Students’ Blog: Opinion expressed is personal.
By Mitali Agarwal
Here is the admission season and the CLAT results are out. It is one of the most difficult phases to decide for the best college in the available rank. Though ranking of all NLUs is already set in the mind of aspirants, it gets fuzzy around MNLU Mumbai. The University has been a subject of a lot of speculations since its very inception. Whether MNLU Mumbai will be able to run without a campus? Whether it will be able to compete with the existing NLUs? Is it advisable to go study there in the next academic year?
The University started in 2015 with a single classroom on the campus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The Administration made sure that students had the best within limited resources. The University has accomplished a lot in 2 years. MNLU Mumbai was ranked 7th in early preferences for CLAT 2016. The University has entered into MoU with Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany as a part of which 15 students from the 2nd year are going for a BSEL (Berlin School of Economics and Law) Student Exchange Programme to Germany on June 15th, 2017.
There are various parameters on which a University is ranked like location, infrastructure, faculty, library and other resources, placement opportunities, etc.
The location of the University is incomparable considering its various advantages coming from the legal industry of Mumbai. The students also have had the opportunity to learn from legal luminaries across the country and overseas. The University has invited partners and associates for interactive sessions from Law Firms like Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Khaitan, MD of Mizuho Securities, Director (Legal), Uber India. There have been approximately 100 guest lectures by Professors of renowned Universities across the world, Judge Kristie Harrington from the United States, Judges and Senior Advocates from the Supreme Court and the High Courts, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and other experts in the specific field.
Despite not having a campus of our own, being stationed at TISS Mumbai was a privilege for the first 2 years. Access to TISS library was the major part of the privilege. Also, exposure to a diverse culture among students of TISS was enriching, the regular seminars, workshops by eminent personalities, events and fests organised there were unique and intriguing. Now the campus has been relocated to the CETTM (Centre for Excellence in Telecom Technology and Management), Powai. It is a well-equipped campus which one can check from the University website.
The University library has more than 3300 books and over 700 back volume Journals / Law Reports – Supreme Court Cases, All England Law Reports, The Law Reports Appeal Cases, Weekly Law Reports, Halsbury Laws of England, Manuals, Commentaries, Indian Journal of International Law, American International Law Cases, All India Report, Bank CLR etc. We have SCC Online and Hein Online subscription. Further, we have recently become an associate member of E-ShodhSindhu and other subscriptions like JStor, Manupatra, Westlaw, Lexis Nexis Academic, Thomson Reuters Pro-View are on its way. The University also has a collection of valuable classics from Philip C Jessup, J.G. Starke, Lord Halisham and Warren F Schwartz just to name a few.
The University has an experienced and supportive faculty. Many of the professors help us with research for Moot Court Competitions and accessing and using online resources. We have always had great support from our Vice Chancellor and Registrar who are in constant touch with the students to know about the classes and academic progress.
MNLU Mumbai has undoubtedly accomplished a lot in the last 2 years. Since the 1st year itself, the students have competed with the senior students from other reputed law Universities/Colleges in various Moot Court Competitions, Debates, Quizzes, Sports, ADR competitions.
In the 3rd Semester itself, a team from the University won the Runners-up trophy, 4th Best Memorial Award and the 3rd Best Student Advocate at the Surana & Surana National Trial Advocacy Moot Court Competition, 2016. Another team bagged the Best Memorial Award and made it to the semi-finals at the 16th Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition, 2016. A team from the University in their first inter-college moot secured the first position in the 3rd Smt. Kashibai Navale Moot Court Competition, 2017. Another team representing the University at the Intra Mumbai Parliamentary Debating tournament “Loquitur’16” stood first in preliminary round & reached in Semi Finals and bagged the best speaker of the tournament award.
Yes, the University is young but the experience and exposure given to the students encourages them to work relentlessly to develop their skill set required for the legal industry. Every student gets an opportunity to participate and learn from intra-college competitions. The University has dedicated committees to organise moots, debates and ADR competitions. MNLU Mumbai has its annual fest ‘Abhikrama’ and the Foundation Day celebration ‘Zest’ along with many other events hosted throughout the year. We celebrate festivals from all the religions with the same enthusiasm. The University has successfully organised a workshop on Negotiation in association with Network of International Law Students (NILS), and Workshop on Clinical Legal Education and two certificate courses on Mediation Skills. There is another programme on Human Rights being conducted in July 2017 in association with BSEL, Germany. Now, since the University has been relocated to a bigger campus, we are expecting an increase in the number and variety of activities and events.
Considering the above facts resembling a steady growth MNLU Mumbai has miles to cover where new students will raise the level high and the alumni will strengthen the pillars, but with all support of the Administration and faculty. We at MNLU Mumbai are a family which has to grow because we are determined.
Mitali Agarwal is student of the first batch of Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai.
The author is thankful to Advocate Rakesh Singh for giving a final touch to this write-up.
Check out our students’ page ASK MNLU Mumbai.