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Lawctopus through a student poll, in its first week questions law students, “Are you happy with your law school life? 312 students casted their vote, which led to reveal 19 percent were not happy with their life at law school.
Gross National Happiness
Discussions on India’s GDP growth rate takes up a quarter of the space of our business newspapers. A significant quarter is devoted to averments of how the trickle-down effect has been non-existent. Nevertheless, as our GDP grows the world claps and oohs and aahs!
India’s neighbour Bhutan, which for obvious reasons does not invite many news pieces, did make news with a term called the Gross National Happiness. The world clapped and ooh-ed and aah-ed for the journey to the pursuit of happiness seemed to have got an index. There are many criticisms of such an index; but it surely is an interesting and a useful concept.
Happiness Index- Getting closer to the true story
Like with the story of India, the discussions on story of the Indian Law Schools, inside our colleges and outside in media seem to hover a lot around the placement prospects and figures. While, the world outside is buoyed by the numbers, most of the insiders murmur a different story.
Some of the numbers are easily measurable, but the impact of quantifiable things—like placements—on seemingly unquantifiable ones—like happiness, is rarely studied.
At Lawctopus, we are trying to make the Law Student Happiness Index. Among many things we want to find:
Whether the law students are happy with their law school lives or not? What is the most important thing for them? Is it good infrastructure and the location of their law school? Is the peers, the faculty, the involvement in co-curricular projects or the placements?
The poll continues for another 4 weeks, with a different question posted on every week.
Are you happy with your law school’ life?
The results for the question ‘Are you happy with your law school life’ which had 312 votes being polled in a 7 days’ time are out and they go like this: 35 percent of the students have said ‘a loud yes’ to this question. 26 percent of the students clicked the ‘Maybe Yes’ option.
Interestingly 19 percent of the students are definitely not happy with their law school’ lives. This means that 1 out of every 5 students finds himself in a place that he would surely like to get away from. 11 percent of the students answered ‘Maybe No’ while 9 percent of the students ‘Don’t Know’ the answer to this rather tough question.
On a lighter note, two among the other three answers included a liberal use of the F word.
Statistics and its use
We believe by the end of the 5 polls we’ll get a good idea—backed with statistics- of what can make our law schools better places to live in. The Lawctopus’ Law Student Happiness Index can also provide useful indicators to magazines in the business of law school rankings.
The index can also be useful for projects like the IDIA project (increasing diversity by increasing access to legal education). A major part of the criticism of the IDIA project rests on the assumption that the law schools are not congenial places to live in. This index will test that assumption. If the assumption is proven right, this survey can help in initiating an informed plan of action which will work towards the betterment of our law schools.
We hope that more law students vote on our next question. Please do comment on what more can be done with such a poll.
Tanuj Kalia is a third year law student at NUJS, Kolkata and the founder / publishing editor of Lawctopus.