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Monday, August 23, 2010

IDIA Sensitisation Session and Aptitude Test at Loreto Day School, Sealdah (West Bengal)

The sensitization process at Loreto Day School, Sealdah stretched over a week. On the first day, 5 students of NUJS, Diptoshree, Radhika, Jhalak, Shruti and Suman visited the school to speak to the students about law as a career option and the benefits of studying at a national law school. Diptoshree began by posing some common quiz questions involving famous personalities. Then she asked them about the common link between all the answers: which was that they were all lawyers, who contributed to society in various ways.

She then went ahead to explain the purpose of our visit and the evolution of law as a career in India. She elaborated on the setting up of national law schools and the purpose they serve. Further, all information about a 5 year law course at different national law schools and CLAT was given, with a brief mentioning of the broad areas that are tested.

Radhika took example of Barack Obama to elucidate what lawyers can do for society and how some of them become very famous. Students seemed very enthusiastic about law after the session and the teacher later informed us that all those who attended the sensitization process also wanted to appear for the aptitude test which was to be conducted during the following week. They were especially astounded after hearing about the salaries that law school graduates receive.

46 students appeared for aptitude test conducted at Loreto day school. They asked many questions pertaining to the test and about law as a career prospect. Some of their questions (pertaining to the student profile section of the question paper) were:

• What external sources of parental income needs to be mentioned as monthly income on the test paper? Was it compulsory to mention it?

• Why was parents’ fluency in English required?

• What did ‘Legal profession’ mean?

The students were given one hour to complete the test. However, since they struggled to finish by an hour, they were given another 10 minutes extra time.

After that was the feedback session about the test. Majority said that the test was very confusing, though not particularly difficult. They found the test to be quite lengthy. Logical reasoning was confusing for most however, it was also the most interesting section according to them. Relations and directions were the easiest for many.

Parajumbles were difficult for almost all students. Legal reasoning also confused many of the students. The students had difficulty in applying the principles to the facts. All found the english comprehensions very easy to solve. Saurabh and Avisha solved two of the questions on ‘coding-decoding’ to demonstrate how to solve it.

When asked if the information given to them regarding law as a prospective career convinced their parents, most said yes. Some said their parents were already quite supportive and encouraging about pursuing law as a career. Some however, had not spoken to their parents about pursuing law as yet.

After the results were declared, most of the highest scorers turned out to be from the higher and middle income group and therefore, did not need any scholarship for studying law. The IDIA team decided to simply refer them to IMS, where they can receive training for CLAT after payment of requisite charges. 4 students from lower income group were selected for scholarship. Two of them belonged to SC category and one was from a minority community.

The IDIA team will be visiting the school again, for verification of the income level of selected students from salary statement of parents. They will engage in a counseling session with the parents to confirm their permission for their wards to study law.

Report prepared by Diptoshree.

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