Next in line in the chain of posts on law schools is NUALS, Kochi, written by Raghul Sudheeh, Associate Editor in Bar and Bench who passed out from NUALS in 2011.
The National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) was established by Act 27 of 2005 of the Kerala State Legislature. While it was established in 2002 it was known as the National Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) under the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). Post the enactment of the NUALS Act; it has become an independent University like the other National Law Schools. NUALS is situated in Cochin; know as Queen of Arabian Sea.
1. Quality of Education
As far as the quality of education is concerned, it’s a mix of both good and bad. NUALS offers only a five year B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree programme. From the 2009 Admissions, the course is offered under the Choice Based Credit Semester System. There are some extremely good professors and extremely pathetic professors.
For some of the core courses, the industry experts come and take classes; which I have felt to be very useful rather than the lectures of a normal faculty. For eg; Civil Procedure Code and Land Laws for my batch was handled by a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court for the entire semester, who used to come to the campus early morning before going to the Court. He was hearing civil matters in the High Court mostly and had vast experience in that field. Even now he continues to teach at NUALS on a regular basis. There are so many other visiting faculties like him handling other core subjects.
Internal Exams are conducted on a regular basis and students will have to handle project presentations for every subject, but this does not make life tough at NUALS. You will get enough free time which you can utilise for co-curricular activities; there by you can manage to get the extra edge for your CV!
Recruitments are not that great as in the top NLU’s but it is slowly picking up. Until 2011 mid, NUALS never had a permanent campus. Post mid 2011, NUALS have moved totally to its permanent campus. With better infrastructure in place, it is certain that placements will improve.
Though there were lot of limitations, NUALS have had recruitment from almost all the top law firms and corporate houses. NUALS alumni’s have their presence at various places, including Amarchand, Trilegal, AZB, Khaitan, Wadhia Gandhy, L S, Desai & Diwanji, Phoenix Legal, KPMG, ICCI, Reliance, Delloitte, Vedantta, Siemens, IBM, etc.
NUALS alumnus Nikhil Narendran recently won The Travelling Fellowship Award (TFA. The the award gave Nikhil the opportunity to travel and work with several prestigious law firms in Europe and in the USA. Many top law school alumni’s may have achieved greater heights, but this is an indication that NUALSians are also slowly making it big in the legal fraternity.
Placements are never an assurance in NUALS. If you can put in an extra effort and utilise the resources and exposure that NUALS provides, you can manage to get a job for yourself. This is not a claim that I make, but what I tell from my experience. I never sat for the college placements as I was never inclined to the corporate or law firm sector; but I managed to find a job in which I was interested.
3. College Environment
Normally the college environment is pretty friendly and the first year students will have “friendly interaction” with seniors in the first few weeks of joining the college till the freshers’ party get over. Then you will find the seniors the most helpful people on the campus even more than the faculty; some even becomes your best buddies. I have seen always, seniors helping out juniors with the projects and even during exam time on the subjects.
NUALS is not at all a dead place in terms of extracurricular activities, this I can guarantee for sure. Round the year there will be cultural programmes and other events which will keep you busy. NAALAM and Altus Disputatio, which are the cultural fest and National Debate, NUALS hosts; have already earned a name for itself. <
NUALS hostel curfew time is 7 PM for girls and boys; which is often relaxed to 9 PM for the latter. NUALS at the end of five years is sure to give you some of the best moments in your life, again from my experience! You would love going back to those classes!
Until the NUALS new campus came up, the infrastructure was not that good. Currently it can boast of a permanent ten acre campus with all the necessary facilities. The classrooms and the campus are well built and maintained. The first phase of the campus is almost over and only few furnishing work is going on. Second phase of the campus construction has already begun. Library in NUALS is not something great but a pretty decent one. Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer has dedicated his whole library to NUALS and this is one advantage about the NUALS library. Hostels are also well built and maintained. The whole campus has wi-fi connectivity and ensures decent speed for surfing. NUALS subscribes to almost all the top online resources including Westlaw, Hein Online, SCC online database and Manupatra. There are enough sports facilities also to while away time at evenings and on holidays.
Above all, you will love travelling in and around God’s Own County-Kerala! There is lot to see in five years you spend there! You will fall in love with the backwaters, the hill station Munnar where NIshabd movie was shot, the Periyar wild life sanctuary, Varkala Kovalam beaches, etc… all these are just few hours away from Cochin, where NUALS is situated!