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Bleak 2014 graduate outlook at CNLU Patna: 0 jobs in hand, admin apathetic as students pay recruiters’ travel

CNLU: Sky not so blue at the momoent
CNLU: Sky not so blue at the momoent

CNLU Patna’s on-campus recruitment activity is at its lowest in four years. The law school’s fourth batch, graduating this year, has zero confirmed jobs, two offers subject to internships, and has been visited by only one recruiter - Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) company Mindcrest.

Nine students who appeared in Mindcrest’s interview on 2 April are awaiting interview results, while Athena Law Associates in Delhi has made offers subject to an internship with Rs 15,000 as stipend to two other students.

An anonymous student writing to Legally India, and student sources at the law school whom Legally India contacted, blamed CNLU’s administration for the lack of recruitments from campus.

Initiative

According to the fifth-year student’s post on Legally India, students at CNLU were still without jobs because its administration had allegedly focused on “installing lifts and air conditioners in the faculty chambers rather than providing qualitative faculty members or books for that matter in the library” and had created rigorous attendance requirements which “rummage [their] chances to even secure a [pre-placement offer]” as they are not able to undertake longer internships.

A student close to the process said: “We have not made a placement brochure in the first place, the reason being that we know there is not going to be any effort from the side of the college. The administration has said they have nothing to do with the placements.”

“[The students] have adjusted to the situation,” he said.

The student commented that factors which have led to the current recruitment scenario at the law school include lack of good faculty on campus, failure of the administration to designate a faculty member to reach out to firms and companies for placement at the law school, and failure to organise moot court competitions, conferences and paper presentations which bring potential recruiters from the industry to the campus.

“They have money. They have installed a lift which goes to the vice-chancellor’s office in a two-storied building [15 days ago] but they are not inviting any company to campus,” commented the student.

“Mindcrest came to campus 20 days back. It was completely [students’] initiative of calling them. [Interested] students [pooled in] money and sponsored tickets [for Mindcrest hiring executives to come down to campus]. We gave presentations to tell them they should come to our university. It was a sole student initiative. I don’t think it happens like this [in other law schools],” the student added.

Blame game

CNLU vice chancellor Prof Dr A Lakshminath, who is former Nalsar Hyderabad Dean, said: “There is absolutely some communication gap [between administration and students]. You can’t go spoon feeding these people, right from the beginning they are expected to do something. The administration is doing its best. We call the recruitment office no one comes forward. There is no communication. They don’t turn up.”

Lakshminath said that the administration had designated “four to five faculty members and some students” to be in charge of campus recruitments. He declined to comment further, asking Legally India to contact CNLU assistant professor Ajay Kumar and assistant registrar BRN Sharma for further details on the law school’s placement activities.

Sharma said: “As of now from my knowledge there is no coordination [between students and the administration] or something like that. The administration will take initiative on the initiative of students. I am not having a clear cut idea and information as to what extent [placement efforts have been made]. It is the coordination between those students and the administration. They have to come out with their options.”

Kumar was not available for comment as he was travelling today.

Track record

The law school’s first batch, which graduated in 2011, was visited by two law firms and a law journal for campus recruitment, nine days after 11 students from that class sat on an indefinite hunger strike calling for Bihar’s chief minister to intervene in the dismal campus recruitment situation there.

The second batch secured 25 jobs, 80 per cent of which were in LPOs. It is understood that the third batch mustered up a similar number of jobs, mostly with LPOs too.

It is understood that none of those jobs came through any fourth year campus recruitment.

While class sizes up to the batch graduating from CNLU in 2014 were of 80 students, next year onwards 140 students will graduate from the law school annually.

Fourth year recruitment efforts this year for 2015 graduates at Nalsar Hyderabad have yielded 29 confirmed jobs, 27 job offers at NUJS Kolkata, 10 confirmed jobs at NLU Delhi, 12 offers at NLU Jodhpur, and 33 jobs at NLSIU Bangalore.

A law firm counterview

One lawyer responded on Twitter to the CNLU student’s open letter, writing under the @twitvention handle: “Dear @LegallyIndia I just read this and thought I'd relay a few comments considering i have a view being a partner of a leading law firm. The kid is clearly ranting - 2014 has been the slowest year so jobs are less. Not sure why NLU or any other college is to be blamed.

“Till 5 yrs or so back, there was hardly any concept of college recruitment, so most people got jobs by independently applying. So my 2 pennies worth - instead of blaming your college, try & up your skills so that you make a compelling case in your interview -- getting through a good college does not and should not promise a job - its what you bring to the table!”

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