Why am I studying Law? No, it is not down to any family expectation to study medicine, engineering or law at higher studies (as in some Asian families). Admittedly, ‘Law?’ was the reaction that people would get from me when they asked if that was an option for me to study at university. It was the one subject I ‘knew’ I was never going to study. Ever. Why?
After my aunt had studied law in university, the most common reaction, in any discussion which involved my applications, from my grandparents would consist of, ‘don’t do law, it’s strenuous, laborious and tiring.’ It was a subject I wasn’t encouraged to do as a young child, therefore, I never took it to be an option.
My interests fluctuated from engineering, to art, to journalism during the course of the past four years. Why then did I settle for law, a subject I supposedly ‘knew’ I was never going to read? A subject, the thought of which scared me? A subject which now I am going to spend the next three years of my life reading?
I guess my interest in law sparked from my regular holidays to New Delhi where in the space of a twenty minute journey, the visible human landscape would change drastically; from passing luxurious mansions with Bentleys parked in wide, green and clean avenues into the contrasting world of polluted slums. This raised a number of questions within my mind – As we know the Indian economy is exponentially expanding each year, with growth rates reaching their pinnacle and progress is evident. However, does this progress which translates into obvious consumerism, create a desire within under-privileged individuals? A desire to change their positions, through the world of crime and venality; the contra montage of the law, the law I now wish to represent?
Many cases in India, have been brought to light over the past years which have questionable outcomes. One such case would be the one involving Sanjeev Nanda in 1999. He was convicted of running over and killing six people with his BMW. The Court sentenced him to five years of jail in 2008 which was eventually reduced even further by the Delhi High Court. This case has raised my curiosity in law and has raised a number of questions regarding the judicial system of India. What does law and order truly entail? Is it fair to punish a person less severely because he is the grandson of a former Navy chief? After all, the law is only created by humans like us and not God, but on what basis is this done? How does the judicial system set certain laws and what is their though process while settling on a law? and can their power be questioned if deemed to be in the disinterest of society?
A couple of weeks into my Law LLB degree and I already feel like my knowledge is expanding on certain issues, and some of my initial questions have already begun to be answered.
To be completely honest, however, I still don’t know where my future lies and what I want to do with law. Chances are even after attaining my degree, regardless of whether I decide to pursue law as a career or not, I still won’t know what I truly want to do. After all how many 18 year olds, 21 year olds or even 50 year olds can successfully say that they ‘knew’ what they had wanted to do, ‘knew’ where they would stand in the future or if they will ever know what it is that they truly want to do? The idea is to use the resources available to us and make the most of it. Either way, it will only expand our knowledge and give us access to ever growing opportunities, contributing to our life in a positive manner.
I haven’t ever studied law before, and during applications I was probably one of the most confused students in my class. I never had an interest in one particular area, I was one of ‘those ones’ who enjoyed almost everything. Reflecting upon my decision to do law, I’m glad that I chose to do so. It’s a subject I am loving more and more by the minute.
As Glanville Williams once said, ‘Law is the cement of society’, it governs and forms the basis of our lives today. It’s something that we cannot escape from; it’s embedded into our daily lives, sometimes without us being fully conscious of it. I’ve begun to understand the importance, power of law and appreciate the value of having knowledge of law. My experience so far has made me learn to keep my options open, and embrace what comes my way with an open mind. It always helps to have an initial interest in a particular subject before studying it at university with only a few possible scenarios; either you’ll continue to pursue it in the future or you won’t, but it’s not really the end of the world if what you thought you were interested in, later changes to a disinterest. A number of people have studied engineering but have ultimately ended up doing finance in their future. After all there is a famous saying – ‘the only constant in our lives is change’. My experiences so far have taught me to go with the flow and “never say never”.
Priyanka Jain began her LLB at the City Law School in September 2011.