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How to remain effectively focused on your preparations in these hard times?

The dates of CLAT/AILET and every other law entrance examination are uncertain. Our daily schedules are disturbed. We are passing through a very difficult time. Everything appears to be uncertain beyond any degree of prediction. Every news item conveys only immeasurable human sufferings and gloomy data of the economy. Nothing may be planned or done with certainty. It appears as if the entire world has come to a complete halt surrounded by grief, disappointments, and uncertain future. Maintaining composure and remaining focused in our day to day normal affairs is the greatest challenge to all of us. We, as budding lawyers, must accept that the legal profession in any form is the sum total of uncertainties and challenges. Every moment of a legal professional passes through these unpredictable challenges. Therefore, a lawyer in the making must also be ready to surmount all these odds, maintaining perfect calm and composure in all times be it relations or difficulties. Needless to point out that this profession requires a focused approach.

2- While looking back in the annals of legal education, I find that the then Chairman of the Bar Council of India Mr V C Mishra reposed his faith in Padmashree (Prof) N R Madhave Menon, an acclaimed Law teacher to establish India’s first National Law University at Bengaluru to prepare legal professionals for a wider role equipping them with divergent skills, perspectives, and tools of analysis creating policy makers, administrators and social- engineers as against the conventional role of a litigation lawyer confined to the Court rooms only. It gave birth to the new form of legal education in the country, being the five year integrated course of law, first at National Law School of India University, followed by other law schools such as NALSAR, WBNUJS etc. No change is easy, as this movement proved over the course of time. Now, almost after a quarter century from the establishment of 1st National Law University, we have more than 20 NLUs offering integrated courses attracting every year 80,000 or so aspirants to get admissions for the limited 3000 seats. The competition is fierce, indeed it has to be. Now it becomes fiercer in the present uncertainties, and you have to win it.

It is the perfect prolonged time to self-examine and self- improve yourself. Being an eye witness to the selection of my elder sister in NALSAR in only one month’s focused preparations, and also having secured a decent score in GMAT with limited, focused preparations before joining one of the world’s best Business School, I share with you these secrets:

  • Do at least 45 minutes of intensive exercise staying in home which may be Pranayam also. It will keep you physically fit and your mind will be more focused
  • Eat healthy diets at intervals, staying away from TV, Internet etc
  • Strictly follow social distancing instructions
  • Nurture only and only positive thoughts, stay away from gloomy thoughts
  • Self-identify your weaknesses and work on them. For example, if you find yourself weak in the new CLAT pattern, read the relevant editorials of prominent newspapers and frame questions and their answers on your own. We may choose a part of today’s (April 17th) editorial in the Indian Express titled Emotional Chipko on illustrative basis which is very much relevant in these times. Thoroughly rephrased and edited paragraph is as under-
    Hugging trees was a new form of Satyagraha in the hills of Uttarakhand that began in 1970. It was aimed at protecting the forests and to preserve the natural resources to help them, particularly their women. Hugging trees relieves loneliness, and ultimately human sufferings. This form of human movement can help us who are entirely distanced from the bounty of the nature, living in cities. These times will certainly lead our environmentalists to prepare plans for humans even when the humanity is not endangered by COVID.

You can frame multiple questions and their answers based on this single passage that will ultimately hone your comprehension skills, as well as test your prior knowledge. Some are given below-

Q-1- How living with nature helps humans (Framing answers on your own will develop habit in you to read every line carefully, your sub-conscious will memorize it knowing very well that it may be tested)

Q-2- Who started Chipko Movement in India (Tests your prior knowledge, answer is not in the passage)

  • Make a well structured plan of study, allotting minimum 50% time to revisions
  • Re-attempt minimum last 10 years questions papers of CLAT/AILET and other law entrance examinations within the respective time limits

At this crucial juncture I remember the immortal rays of hope from “This, Too, shall pass” by Paul Hamilton Hayne comforting us in distressed time-

Art thou in misery, brother? Then I pray
Be comforted. Thy grief shall pass away.
Art thou elated? Ah, be not too gay;
Temper thy joy: this, too, shall pass away.
Art thou in danger? Still let reason sway,
And cling to hope; This, too, shall pass away
Tempted art thou? In all thine anguish lay
One truth to heart: this, too, shall pass away

While parting with I must quote these lines underlying the importance and nobleness of legal profession which every visitor to our Institution comes across-
The Role of Lawyers-
We build no bridges……..
Neither we raise any tower, nor make any picture….
The eye of a man cannot see what we do?
But, we smoothen your difficulties….
We relieve your stress….
We prevent mistakes….
We correct mistakes….
We arbitrate and conciliate and make bridges between human beings…
We take up your burdens…
We make your life peaceful….
And, above all
So, the time has come to prove yourself, your calmness and focused approach in these critical hours