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The Grumpy Lawyer

The blog intends to furnish information from a law schoolite's perspective on the matters concerning law students, which maybe a general update or something which affects their routine life in general. The Grumpy Lawyer also intends to provide information to other stakeholders viz. parents, mentors and lawyers themselves who would be, even remotely, interested in getting the know-hows from a law student's vision.

Why 'The Grumpy Lawyer' ?
Well, to answer it in the most simple and succinct manner, 'The Grumpy Lawyer' manifests a law student who is just restless to know about... well, all of it!
While there are many blogs, forums and online print media which talks about law and legal updates, The Grumpy Lawyer makes an attempt to talk about what a law student wants to explore! and what the law aspirant wants to know.

An estimated 7-minute read
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-AVINASH GAUTAM, 3rd Semester Student at NLUO

Editor's note: This post had been written

Infrastructure of the college [Hostels (or alternate accommodations), Academic block/class rooms, Library, Mess/Canteen and Other things ]

The campus has 3 huge hostels (2 boys + 1 girls) and is in process of coming up with another hostel for girls since it would be increasing the strengths of the upcoming batches. It has (a fully functional as intended) academic block equipped with AC classrooms and other facilities such as projector, LCD's etc. The block also possesses a seminar hall and a moot court hall. The library is comprehensive with its resources runs withing academic block and functions till 12 MIDNIGHT (and a physical stature of 3 story giant building is yet to be completed (which is also going to be the biggest law library in Asia, as proposed). It has full functioning sports complex with arenas provided for basketball, volleyball and tennis. It also has one of its kind mammoth, fully equipped and enclosed amphitheater with a capacity of seating 700 people. The university has initiated building up a football and a cricket field inside the campus though, it already has a couple of big lawns/park (whichever suits the need!). The dedicated mess for boys and girls are in their respective hostels which is fairly competent to equip 180+ people at once. The university has 4 major canteens, a small general store with all the daily items and a huge cafeteria. The university also have 2 stationary and photocopy shops sufficing almost all the purposes of printing, binding etc. which one requires in routine life or maybe with moot memorial submissions.



** Images (From the top): NLUO Girls' Hostel; NLUO Sports Complex; NLUO Amphitheatre.

Faculty and Academics [Class hours, How's the faculty in general, Course structure, Evaluation methodology, Etc. ]

The classes run from 9AM to 1:30PM with 3 short brakes of 10 minutes each. The faculty is a mixture of exceptional and average teachers. Some hold exceptional skills and are authorities of their field while there are a few who I won't say lack competence, but definitely need to groom for reaching the threshold of high expected standards. All the teachers are always approachable. The University provides BALLB(Hons) and BBALLB (Hons) with 6 subjects per semester running into 4 months each. Students are evaluated on a grade scale of 8 pointer and the result is calculated as CGPA. The semester runs into 2 examinations of mid-semester and end-semester and every subject is evaluated in the scale of 100 marks with the division of: project 20+ viva 5+ attendance 5+ midsems 25+ endsems 45.

Administration and Fees [Fees. Curfew timings. How's the admin in general? ]

The fees is revised every year to some extent. I joined in 2015 and we pay a 1,71,000 per annum with an additional of 14,080 per semester for mess. The mess is completely student managed and students get to choose the menu through a general poll and the food is served well. The administration is not incompetent but sometimes lags badly. You might have to be on top of their head to get your marksheets etc. but overall, the administration is very cooperating and if you maintain good terms with them, they'll surely help. The examination department though is a concern with the stringent attendance policy of 75% minimum attendance to appear for examinations and a minimum of 66% in extraordinary circumstances. They are also very strict with the exemption policy. Though you get exemption (i.e. allowed to write exams with improvement/Re ones) when the exams clashes with moot court dates or you seriously fall ill, but certain medical claims are not accepted even if they are of high gravity such as migraine etc and thus the policy is subjective and on the discretion of the controller of examinations. The curfew timings to be inside the campus is 7:30pm which can be adjusted to 10:00pm with permissions. The curfew time for retreating to hostels is 10PM for both boys and girls, THOUGH YOU ARE ALLOWED TO COME BACK AT 12 AM IF YOU ARE ACCESSING LIBRARY OR WORKING IN ACADEMIC BLOCK.

Student culture and activities [Student culture: moots, co-curricular, extra-curricular, sports, fests, life after classes. Prominent activities/clubs/societies ]

NLUO is a res-ipsa-loquitor(the name speaks for itself) for moots. Students are over enthusiastic for moot court competitions and are constantly achieving better than any top ranked NLU's. The mooting culture of the university is such that if you have the talent, you can't be denied an opportunity. If you can compete and win over any senior team(be it 5th years), you get to go for that moot. This is how we yeild the best of mooters and that's not all with us. If you have a moot, its not just yours. You can rush to any random senior/faculty for cracking a moot problem and you will always be welcomed from memorials to orals. The university has rich extra curricular culture as well with high achievement and constant growth in debates etc. and is also doing great in terms of alternate dispute resolution (mediation, negotiation etc) extra curricular too. The university organizes a national level sports fest "Viraj" (organized by sports committee), national level debate competition (by literary and debating committee) and a national maritime arbitration moot court competition (org. by moot court committee). There is a designated committee for almost all the aspects of a law school life. Further, the university holds numerous number of cultural fests, intra moot court and other competitions including that of sports.

Location [What's the surrounding area like? Shops/market nearby? ]

The location of NLUO isn't the best. Being on the outskirt of the city and in between the two rivers Mahanadi and Kathajodi, the university is a bit alienated from the main city. Though the scenic views and natural beauty is incomparable to any institution in the middle of any city. To make life easy, NLUO provides a DAILY bus service to the city. Bhubaneshwar is not too far with a taxi (service like Uber) taking you there within 20 minutes and the Bhubaneshwar airport is hardly 40 minutes away. Within 1-2 kilometer you can find a lot of places which can serve you well (bakeries, restaurants and others). There is a shack 100 meters away which suffices daily chill out needs with edibles and 'others'.

The major hot-spots outside college are readily accessible and some of them have really good ambiance too. Again, if not satisfied then Bhubaneshwar is just a click away.

Placements [College support. Alumni network. When/where all do students intern? Placement stats? ]

The college placement cell is supporting well. Being a relatively new college (3 batches passed out) you can't expect 100% campus placement. But sincere efforts of students and support of university has lead to a lot of PPO's and placements under renowned corporate houses and firms like AZB, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas etc. Not just that, many are getting placed under big-fish lawyers too. Students get to intern at really posh places which a law student can expect. The internship committee really works off to support students with the intended placements. Though students can intern wherever they want to through their personal contacts too.

What are the best things about your law school?

* No state domicile reservation and really competitive environment.

* Single sharing rooms.

* A family sphere between all the students (seniors who are always available to help their juniors).

* Equal and transparent opportunity to compete (with moot and other events).

* Research acumen in the students which is helped to develop by various formal and informal sessions   by faculty/seniors.(Students of 1st year research better than 3rd and 4th of other national law schools).

* Student managed mess committee with quick action and implementation of concerns.

* Liabrary working hours (till 12 midnight)

* Daily bus trip to city

What are the worst things about your law school?

* Far from city (if it may be a disadvantage for you).

* Localites outside the college are not very friendly and helpful.

* On your bad days, you won't find a Uber instantly.

* The autowalas will burn your pockets with super inflated fares.

* The temperature is high and its too humid at all times of the year.

* When administration begins to lag, you realize the struggles in your life

Outrageous policies which are framed sometimes (Though are negotiated with students and amended accordingly later)

Other things?

So, if you have a definite willingness to gain not just theoretical but also practical and research knowledge in the field of law, welcome! If you are too cozy and can't take the temperatures you may struggle a bit :P (But you'll definitely be used to it in 5 years....Your call though).

The place Cuttack outside is totally different from what is inside the campus. A totally different arena than the rest of the city…

Happy Lawschooling ! :)

Avinash Gautam is a 3rd semester student at National Law University Odisha.
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