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Location, location? / Issue 97

Legally India newsletter
Legally India newsletter

The lawyers of five-years-from-now by most accounts had a harrowing weekend.

Sunday’s Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) – the decider of who gets into 11 national law schools - was impossible to complete in the time allotted and hence mostly a matter of luck, complained many test takers who frantically circled random answers towards the end of the paper.

Semi-random CLAT results could have an advantage though in spreading the often self-perceived talent pool more evenly between law schools, which in the long term would ensure the growth of all nationals and encourage law firms to hire from more than just the top few.

From that perspective NLU Delhi’s move to hold its own entrance exam is shrewd – although there are question marks over whether this complies with the Supreme Court order that first introduced CLAT.

Strictly going by numbers of applicants to seats available, getting into NLU Delhi is now as hard as getting into one of the three most popular CLAT schools: out of almost 8000 applicants, less than 1 per cent made the cut-off mark.

While this does not tell the whole story and some students may not take up their offers opting for other CLAT schools, it is good evidence of just how popular NLU Delhi has become in such a brief space of time.

And it may also point to how important location is in the success of a law school – studying in India’s litigation capital Delhi is bound to help with internship applications and attracting recruiters, which is something that some of the more far-flung new NLSes have complained about. Which leaves one to wonder about the thinking behind possible locations of the contentious NLS Maharashtra for example, leaving aside politics.

The locational advantage also helped the first batch of Christ College Bangalore in placing its first batch of students with a respectable cross section of recruiters, according to the students.

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With court and college holidays many lawyers are enjoying a well-deserved break, although deal activity remains strong – see below.

Nevertheless, the Competition Commission is all-go and has decided to allow informal discussions pre-merger control filings after all. And FoxMandal has absorbed a boutique practice in London and Paris although details of the deal are sparse.

Please also welcome our new associate moves column, that will follow the careers of friends and colleagues in the profession. This week: An air law team for JSA and a Links lateral move in the US.

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