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IDIA diversity initiative achieves 22% NLU-entry strike rate [UPDATE: interview with topper going to NLSIU]

Eager legal eagles all ears in Sikkim
Eager legal eagles all ears in Sikkim

Eleven students out of 50 trained by the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) program have been selected to join various national law universities (NLUs).

[SP], an economically backward student from Uttar Pradesh was the top performing IDIA scholar securing 45th rank in the all India general category. SP is set to join NLSIU Bangalore.

Note: The name of the student SP has been removed at his request, saying he had eventually not taken financial assistance from IDIA.

Two other IDIA students from the general category have secured admissions at NUJS Kolkata and HNLU Raipur respectively.

SP told Legally India that he could not afford the fee of national law universities and CLAT coaching but via the local IMS centre he learned about IDIA, having studied until December by himself.

After he appeared for the IDIA entrance, he prepared, qualified and took the CLAT coaching funded by IDIA and the test series, only the latter of which he had to pay for.

“[IDIA is] something which gives hope to people like me,” said SP. “I would like to get associated with IDIA in some way in future, I am really grateful to them.

“It needs to spread to all parts of the country - something like the super 30 coaching class, which trains 30 lower income group students to crack the IIT entrance and has a tremendous success rate so far.”

He added that awareness about law as a career and the national law universities should also be created to get more lower-middle class people involved. He himself wanted to originally opt for engineering but ultimately decided to pursue law after he heard about it through a friend and researched NLUs, he explained.

Two other IDIA students from the scheduled caste (SC) category have also secured admission in CLAT schools, with one student each having been allotted Nalsar Hyderabad and NUJS according to the first allotment list released on the CLAT website today (read Legally India’s full analysis of topper’s preferences).

One student from the scheduled tribe (ST) community will join NLU Orissa, which has a separate entrance exam to the CLAT.

Five visually challenged students who had applied under the Persons with Disability (PWD) category have also secured admissions to NUJS, NLU Jodhpur, GNLU, RMLNLU Lucknow and NLU Orissa.

NUJS professor Shamnad Basheer, who conceptualised the IDIA initiative, said: “For us at IDIA this unexpected success is only a mere beginning. Numbers do not mean much to us unless those numbers translate in the long run towards producing world class community advocates and leaders.”

Basheer urged everyone associated with the legal industry to support this unique initiative to create top class lawyers from all backgrounds and requested lawyers and law firms to finance the education of those IDIA students who have secured education through CLAT.

A number of law firms and institutions including Krishnamurthy and Co, Trilegal, Wadia Ghandy and CLAT coaching institute IMS have so far pledged support for the IDIA project.

Learn more about IDIA at its official website www.idialaw.com

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