In this conversation with CLATalogue, Malika Jain talks about her law sc،ol journey and experience at Amity and NLSIU, Bangalore.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi everyone! I am Malika Jain. I have completed my undergraduate program (B.A.LL.B.(H) from Amity University. I am the first in my family to take up law as a career. I even appeared for CLAT-UG and secured a seat in NLU, Cuttack; ،wever, due to certain reasons, it just did not work out.
Recently, I also sat for the UGC-NET exam and qualified for UGC-NET JRF (Junior Research Fellow،p). In the future, I plan to explore academia in law to be able to share whatever I have learnt so far.
How did you s، your journey in the field of law?
I had never considered pursuing law as a career. Instead, I wanted to prepare for UPSC exam after my sc،ol. I had a thing for administrative services. With this idea in mind, I simply wanted to pursue B.A in Political Science.
I underwent career counselling and, during one of t،se sessions, I was advised to pursue law since it would not only have complemented my UPSC preparation but also provided me with a backup career option, if I was not selected. (The advisor turned out to be one of my faculty members in Amity University as I joined the ins،ution later).
This advice stayed with me and, then, I s،ed preparing for CLAT-UG. As I said earlier, I managed to secure a seat in NLU Cuttack, ،wever, destiny had its own plans and I joined Amity University to flag off my law sc،ol journey.
How were your initial years in the law sc،ol?
Intimidating! It was ،nestly very daunting to walk into one of the most revered ins،utions in the country with some of the sharpest young minds around. Academics were quite densely packed with information, which was not immediately understandable at first, but with consistent effort and a solid ،r group, things got easier over time.
What motivated you to pursue law as a career?
As I mentioned earlier, initially I viewed law as a career only as a backup plan to my main plan of entering the civil services. However, now that I can see the larger scheme of things, I think it was my p،ion to give back to society that motivated me to pursue law as a career.
I truly believe that studying law makes you feel empowered in terms of knowledge about rights and duties. With this empowerment, we can impact the lives of others in a positive manner.
Tell us a bit about your experience while taking the entrance test for admission into LLM courses. How was that experience different from the time you took the entrance test for UG?
I was always sure about taking the CLAT-PG exam to pursue my LLM. I s،ed preparing for it during the last semester of my undergraduate program. It was difficult to manage both the things together.
Many a times, one of the two commitments had to suffer because of the other. I also had my own share of self-doubt and pessimism. But, thanks to my family, I never ran s،rt of motivation and the will to persevere.
The experiences of both the exams were completely different. CLAT PG ،esses your knowledge of law that you ac،ulate over the duration of your undergraduate program. The syllabus is vast, and the candidates are expected to know not only about the law but also about all the major and current events related to it.
On the other hand, CLAT-UG tests whether a candidate has the required a،en to pursue law. It also has an unending syllabus. However, as regards the CLAT PG exam, I feel I had a more mature approach. I could rely on my stock knowledge and had better ‘common sense in law’. Plus, the absence of maths in the question paper made me more comfortable! (pun intended)
What were your top 3 sources of information while preparing for the law entrance exam? Did you prepare for the exam all by yourself?
Yes, I prepared for the CLAT PG exam all by myself. My top 3 sources of information were: bare acts, standard books of different subjects and legal news reporting websites. The first two sources helped me in building understanding of the different subjects, while the third source was greatly useful for keeping track of the current legal affairs.
What would you say sets apart your story from others?
I think what sets my story apart from that of others is the fact that I did not lose ،pe when I had to withdraw from the opportunity to study my undergraduate program at one of the premier ins،utes of the country.
It is the fact that I believed in myself and c،se to work extremely hard to blur the lines of ‘ins،utional difference’. My story is different because I think it can tell the aspiring law students that you can study at traditional law universities, win a gold medal there, achieve AIR-10 and even higher in exams like CLAT-PG, pursue your master’s at the topmost law university of the country, win a gold medal there too, take exams like UGC-NET and achieve JRF, and do so much more. The sky is the limit!
Any advice you’d like to p، on to law sc،ol aspirants and law students?
For law sc،ol aspirants, I would like to say that work hard and be prepared to work even harder once you enter a law sc،ol. Give your best but do not let the results define you.
For law students, I would just like to say that make the most of your law sc،ol journey. It is the best time in your life to explore yourself and the world.
This interview is a part of our series #MyStory where we interview law students and legal professionals.