Monday, 20 January 2014

CLAT 2014 Co-Convener talks about NLU expectations

  By: Apratim Chatterjee Updated On: 20-Jan-2014, 11:21

CLAT 2014 is scheduled to be held on May 11, 2014. Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) is conducting CLAT 2014 which is a common entrance test for admission to various law courses in all 14 National Law Universities.  In this interview with Careers360, CLAT 2014 Co-Convener Dr. Thomas Mathew shares insights on CLAT exam and preparation strategy for law aspirants.  The CLAT Co-Convener says that cracking CLAT  depends on self practice, time management and belief in hard work.
Dr. Mathewalso talks on what is expected from law aspirants and advises them on CLAT exam preparation strategy.
Excerpts below:
Careers360: What made it to change the counselling procedure from offline to online in CLAT 2014?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: There had been no counselling after the declaration of the results of CLAT in past. Till now the students used to give the preferences before the test while filling the application form. This would often lead to change of the preferred NLUs by the candidate after the allotment of seats and this would cause problem of re-shuffling.
The reasons for going for online application form are as follows:
  • Easy access to the application form by the candidates. Access of the form from home/nearby place (internet cafe etc.).
  • Submission of the form within deadline. No delays.
  • Editions in the form are possible before final submission. So chances of less error.
Careers360: How will the new counselling procedure help the aspirants?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: Candidates can prefer for the best suitable NLU of their choice based on the performance in the test.
  • Chances of change of preferred NLU by the candidate will be minimal, so less chance of re-shuffling and hence lesser problems faced by the candidates at large.
  • Entire admission process may get completed early.
Careers360: Please share your thoughts on the institute's expectations from the aspirants. What are the key qualities that you look for while taking admissions?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: After 12th it is totally a new field (which they have not studied till 12th) being opted by the candidates so candidates should have zeal to excel in the field of their interest and make a mark not only in India but worldwide. If there is zeal then a candidate who knows his strengths and weaknesses will know how to use their strengths effectively to succeed.
Careers360: Please share some suggestions on how an aspirant can improve himself/herself before taking admission in the NLUs?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: Candidates should list out their strengths and weaknesses. Later, they should work more to improve the weaknesses. The abilities that should be developed are that of research, finding facts from documents, effective way of listing the facts, improving vocabulary skills for better and effective way of representation.
Careers360: Besides academic activities, please throw some light on the other activities which make GNLU unique?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: Our stress at GNLU is on overall development of students and more importantly shaping them into a good human being who is there for the needs of society. In this regard, various cultural and co-curricular activities, sports activities, internal or external moots, social awareness programmes, blood donation camps etc are conducted at our institute.
Careers360: Please share the importance of industrial interaction for students pursuing graduation in law colleges.
Dr. Thomas Mathew: Theoretical study along with the practical exposure is the tool to yield results. So such exposures help in understanding the things from overall perspective.
Careers360: Please share the preparation strategy for CLAT 2014 when aspirants are just few months away from the coveted exam for Law.
Dr. Thomas Mathew: There is no set pattern for how to prepare for CLAT or any other exams. However, Aspirants should put their time and effort in preparing the subject that they consider them to be weak at. There are students who can get hold of a particular topic in less time than others. But it might be required for someone to invest more time and effort. Therefore, depending on their caliber they should plan their preparation.
Following are the five areas on which the CLAT is based:
  • English Comprehension
  • General Knowledge/Current Affairs
  • Elementary Mathematics
  • Legal Aptitude
  • Logical Reasoning
Careers360: Please share your inputs on the scope of Law in current scenario?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: Law is an important measure for creating a disciplined and caring society, hence the scope is tremendous. Avenues need to be seen where the interest lies; especially with the constant developments taking place in the society.
Careers360: Please throw some light on the future prospects of law graduates.
Dr. Thomas Mathew: The possible future prospects of the law graduates are Judiciary, Law Firms, Advocacy/Litigation, Corporate Offices (Law Officers), NGOs, Civil servants (UPSC) and entrepreneurs.
Careers360: Please share your insights on the challenges an aspirant will have to face taking law as a career and how he/she can prepare to cope?
Dr. Thomas Mathew: With the ever changing and frequent developments taking place in society, either the laws do keep on getting amended or there is the requirement of amendments already or new ones need to be framed. So, an aspirant needs to keep self always updated of all the developments both in the legal field and otherwise so that he/she can contribute effectively. Those who become dormant will not be able to leave any mark.

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