Dear Batch of 2026
This letter has been penned by Dhawal M. and Ojas Chandaniha (Batch of 2025). The illustration is by Kajal Jamdare (Batch of 2025).
To the incoming first years,
First off, a big congratulations for cracking CLAT and making it into NLS. All those months and years of hard work and dreaming about being in the ‘top law school’ seems to have finally paid off.
We apologise for sending out a welcome-letter weeks into your term. You see, we’re teen parents whose kids have been delivered prematurely. This is the part where your seniors throw themselves a pity party. Take a seat, have a drink, this might take a while. We were barely getting accustomed to the fact that we are college students and now we are supposed to give Gyaan. Lmao, god bless y’all. We can definitely give you solid advice on how to use zoom to your advantage and other such hacks that have a 100% chance of pissing off your professors. We probably won’t be able to help you find your way on campus, but don’t worry, we’re equally lost on other accounts as well.
As surprising as it may be, this confidence-inducing self-deprecation has a point – sometimes, what gets lost in the NLS Gyaan culture is that seniors are not infallible. Seniors, no matter the year, have perfected the art of looking sorted. The weekly breakdowns, crumbling friendships, internship rejections, RAship rejections, publication rejections, relationship rejections, just rejections in general (okay? stop now.) are concealed under numerous layers of junior-senior dynamics, your own exaggeration of our achievements, and an ability to ‘scam’ law school. So just remember to take everything you hear with a pinch of salt.
Gyaan culture must have made its acquaintance with you in the philosophical proclamations of your rank parents, project guides, all the seniors who have been assigned to help you and many others who are just excited to welcome y’all. From learning the art of ‘faffing’, scamming courses, dealing with whatever BT comes your way while navigating through life to whatever more secrets of surviving law school your seniors are eager to share with you, it all must feel like a lot to take in. You must be overwhelmed with the shitload of information thrown at you and feel like you are not qualified to even exist in this place. It may seem as if you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of deadlines, performance pressure, and the anxieties that come with it. “The city is flying. We’re fighting an army of robots. And I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense.” In law school, you’ll have your very own Hawkeye moments when you’ll relate to this quote on a spiritual level but know that it gets better (it might not seem like it, but take it from us, it does <3).
Just pause and remember that Law School is a buffet. Now bear with us for a moment. What we mean to say is that everything is optional. EVERYTHING. You might want to have a little taste of academics, with a large serving of extracurriculars, and might go to mooting and other co-curriculars for dessert but someone may take a large scoop of academics with a side of nothing at all. And that is completely okay. Remember everyone has different appetites and preferences. Just like you won’t have the same Swiggy order as your favourite seniors, there is no need to bust your ass trying to ape their law school trajectory either. Similarly, remember that you might not have a taste for everything on offer at the buffet but through a process of trial and error, you’ll finally find a meal that makes you happy. There’s a plethora of things that Law School has to offer: committees, negotiations, moots, debates, just to name a few. While all of these are a great way to interact with people and improve your skillset, they are not the be-all and end-all.
Committees are over-glorified kitty parties, both CR and SBA elections are an illusion of choice, journals are boring, competitions are just egofibrillators for those suffering from popular girl syndrome. At the same time, committees help people make friends in the cutthroat competition that NLS thrives on, journals help you read about topics that your courses would simply never cover, the freedom of expression offered by moots and debates are liberating for many. The non-academic side of law school can be one of the places where you make lifelong friends, find a significant other or just have fun in general. Emphasis on one of the places.
There is no single path that you need to follow, just go with what your heart says and you’ll be okay. When the time comes, you’ll get used to the academic rigour, committee convenors will beg you to apply to their committees, you’ll be able to see debating as the over-glorified, IRL version of Twitter feuds that it is (and when have Twitter feuds not been fun?), and most importantly, you will find your niche and feel like you fit in. At this point, just sit down, take a breath, bunk one of your classes every once in a while to catch up on your sleep, and remember to chill.
We keep telling you to chill, to relax, to pause because we know that Law School can be daunting and you might feel like everyone else is somehow coping with the pressure and has their shit together. You couldn’t be farther from the truth. No one actually reads for every class. No one is succeeding at everything. Everyone is facing their own demons, everyone has their fair share of anxieties and insecurities, so always be kind and look out for the people around you. Don’t take all the burden on your shoulders, ask for help, share notes, rant together, brainstorm ideas to escape cold calls xD. Small things like these make NLS a lil more bearable : )
Now technically, this letter does qualify as Gyaan too but we have been told that gyaan used to be delivered over Chetta treats, sutta breaks and field drinks. Let us make this clear. Free snacks and free drinks. But so is the woe of our batches that everything is online. While one does get to sleep in some of the classes and that is obviously a plus, we, better than anyone else, understand the frustration of online college. You’ll recognize your friends’ voices without even looking up but still be shocked to know that the person you have been calling your bestie is a 5-foot 3-inch tall first copy of Danny DeVito. Betrayal and Law School have an old history. We will not tell you how great online college is, because honestly, we know how much it sucks. Our seniors have bragged about how great the campus is, how “rad” the parties are and how “lit” the nightlife scene is. Their words, not ours. While sulking is valid and encouraged, remind yourselves that it’ll be over soon.
At the same time, imagine this, 240 campus virgin kids roaming around the premises, making it their own and fundamentally changing how fun is had at NLS. So, while we are jealous of what the seniors have had the good fortune of enjoying, remember that what we make of the campus will be way bigger, grander and even funner. The ever-famous food from Chetta, make-out sessions on the new Acad roof, PDA on the football field, fun (and slavery) during Spiritus, the excitement of Univ week. All of this is waiting to be redefined by a completely new set of students who have had a completely different initiation into NLS.
Lastly, acknowledge that some of you come from positions of privilege, so remember to be open-minded in the discussions you partake in and give the mic to people who might have actually experienced what you are discussing. Law School can be a real eye-opener and brings with it a lot of opportunities to be a better human.
Despite everything that we have said, don’t look at this online trimester as a transitory period. It is your first trimester and it will never come back. Have fun, take chances, read up on stuff that the oh-so-empowering Indian education system never exposed you to. Watch movies with your friends, use the discount NLS gets on Spotify and free yourself of those mind-numbing ads, ask your professors dumb questions, and most importantly, annoy your seniors with every doubt that you may think is irrelevant.
Remember we’re also here to listen to the project rants, professor bitching sessions, and any other conversation which doesn’t necessarily have to begin with a question like – So, how did ya apply to this? We really hope to see y’all soon but until then, awkward Whatsapp texts, Insta DMs and the occasional rant it is.
A bunch of seniors who don’t want to do their projects.