Back to the Drawing Board

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By M.C. Linthoingambee
How many of us really abide by the rules? One, two, three and still counting or a fruitful percentage of the total?But, who are we to be judging?

To understand some of the fundamentals of Law, here are some tips for the few who wants to pursue the art of reading law or rather grasping law. Law in my opinion is the summation of all the rules and regulations ever made in existence. One normally enters a law school after schooling gets over or thereafter graduating from a particular course. Law schools in India hosts a common entrance test for law schools around the region called CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) and there are other similar exams for the many number of law schools in existence in India though some colleges may choose not to go through the mandate of an exam. After getting accepted to any law school, you are an undergraduate expecting a degree of Bachelor of Law (Legum Baccalaureus Latin, abbreviated  as LL.B., LL. B., LLB, or rarely, Ll.B., but never L.L.B.) and thereafter, all holders of the degree goes through the exam conducted by the Bar Council of India known as the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) for which one has to enroll through the respective State Bar Councils. The All Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) represents the State Bar Council of the State of Manipur. The AIBE conducts the exam for 20 subjects of law. After one clears such exams you are titled with the name tag “Advocate”. One also has the option of becoming a Judge right away by clearing the Judicial Services Exams held for each state.

Law is the backbone to lessen evils and ensure proper functioning of the society. A lawless land depicts a barbaric act of mind with no regard for remorse. India has its own set of laws guiding its citizens in matters dealing to civil or criminal in nature. The Constitution of India is the highest order or the parent legislation of our land. There is no act in exercise which can cancel the willful rights as guaranteed under our Constitution and most particularly, our fundamental rights.

While undergoing the area of completing graduation, one grows exposed to the gamut of the various National Laws of the country. National Laws are the set of laws functioning and exercisable within the borders of India on Indian Citizens or others according to the jurisdiction defined in usage. Some of the national laws that capture speculation are the study of laws for subjects like Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Land Law, Property Law, Environmental Law, Labour and Industrial Law, Jurisprudence (dealing with the theories which were used to establish laws), etc. With regard to the knowledge so attained of our National dealings, one can take up on honing their careers in the courts rooms of the Supreme Court of India, the High Court functioning in different states, the District Courts, the Fast Track Courts and the several other courts established in regard to a Central, State or any Provincial Act. Nowadays, it is also acceptable to finish off certain cases within the walls of a Law Firm.

Law has also hoped to bring down boundaries with the rapid growth of governance provided for by the International Laws which have been established as most in the beneficial interests of the public or for the good of humanity. The highest order of Courts in the International backdrop lies with the likes of The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Peace Palace which has disposed off cases of inhuman offences on the international level. And the order increases yet again with the International Criminal Court lending punishment to the perpetrators of various crimes like genocide, mass murder, nuclear warfare, etc. One can also study the full aspects of International Laws by choosing it as specialization for the Post Graduate Degree in Law in relative areas of International Humanitarian Law, International Environmental Law, International Trade Law, International Intellectual Property Law, International Space Law, etc. As such, there are other courts of an International nature which offers to safeguard any dispute within borders or states.

Given the above, life in a law school is filled with an unimaginable set of curricula. One starts to deal more with the practicality of life on being asked to intern in given places and introduce ourselves to the various fields of work in tangled in libraries, law firms, court rooms, hospital, police stations, jails and many other settings. One of the greatest opportunities per se is getting to attending lectures of those people excelling in different areas from the likes of sitting for the speech of Judge Markandey Katju, the Chairman to the Press Council of India or bearing audience to Mr. Ram Jethmalani, one of the greatest criminal lawyers of India or listening to the court hearings of the Judges of the Supreme Court in the course of internship or merely listening to the wants of an inmate in a prison cell as sometimes the members of the Legal Aid Cell of any law school goes providing legal advice to the poor, rich or the middle class sections of the society.

In addition, stories in law schools are never ending. With that, let me introduce you to the art of mooting. Mooting is representing a certain fictional client in a fictional case in a fictional court room. Mooting is practiced in a Moot Court. Moot Court is basically a fake court where we the students acts as real lawyers in teams of three members containing two speakers and a researcher or any addition to the number of members given by the choice of competition. Here, one battles to save their client. Phew! So, you can expect that we know what we are doing in real life one day when we choose litigation (pleading in a court room as a lawyer, advocate or the like) as a career. And one of the bonus points which follows the moot competition is having the privilege of travelling to other law schools and meeting other students and the joy of sightseeing that follows but trust me, the competitions are tough and requires a lot of hard work. But if you win, the prize money does turn those loop sided lips into a happy smile.

Before you choose a career in law, think and go back to the drawing board. This is me explaining to tell you to keep your options open at all times.

(M.C. Linthoingambee is an undergraduate pursuing B.Com. LL.B(H). An avid blogger, poet, a seasonal artist and a foodie, she is also a life member to the Indian Society of the Red Cross.)

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