CLAT, AILET, LSAT etc. You must have given all of these entrance exams. They’re all similar. They select the candidates on the basis of marks and marks alone. The more marks, the better. Anyone with a decent skill at memorizing and reading fast could make it through any of the law entrance exams but for one. Symbiosis Entrance Test (Called SET in a monosyllabic tone).
Symbiosis Law School, both at Pune and Noida, selects its students through two sequential stages. The first being the exam itself and the second being the Group Discussion and Personal Interview. The latter stage is when you’re supposed to ostentate the lawyer in you. This is when you get to imitate Bobby Donnell or Allen Shore. To keep it simple, all you do is SPEAK, in a polite, welcoming, kind and professional manner. And almost all of you must be knowing the basics of a Group Discussion or a Personal Interview. Being polite, letting others speak, positive attitude blah blah blah. (See here) These are there in every Group Discussion. But, what actually happens in Symbi is what I’m here to talk about.
Around 8-10 students will be made a group and will be asked to sit around a table along with two co-ordinators. These co-ordinators will give you a topic and around 5 minutes for you to jot down whatever you can think of regarding the topic. The topics are mostly related to contemporary issues. The topic which was given to us during my group discussion was “You are what you wear”. Such abstract topics are rarely given, but when you get one, make sure you explore every nuance of it. Few of my friends got “Kasab – Should he be hanged?”, “Should capital punishment be banned?” and “Should right-wing politics be abolished?” etc.
Once this time gets over, you will be asked to start the discussion. It will make a good impression if you take the initiative to start. But before you do so, obtain permission from the co-ordinators. “If it may please, I’d like to start” would make a brilliant commencement. Try to frame the discussion and draw lines. Tell everyone what exactly you’re now going to discuss. But, in case someone else starts, worry not. Just listen to him/her. Also, while you’re talking, do not stare at the co-ordinators. Look at everyone like you do in the late night chin-wagging sessions. And most importantly, do not lose your temper. If someone’s not agreeing with you, let them do so. You need not bang your head and bleed for that. After all, what counts is your way of putting the arguments and the level of confidence you have.
The discussion will go on for 15-20 minutes. And at the end, each of you will be given 3-5 minutes to summarize the whole discussion. Here is when you should look forward to compensate the mistakes you might have committed earlier. Once you’re done with your turn, don’t slumber. Listen to others. At least feign to, until the whole discussion is over and you’re asked to leave.
Generally, the Personal Interview takes place after the Group Discussion and by the time you start it, you’ll not go berserk with nervousness. You’ve spoken in front of 10 people and you’ll now do the same in front of 2. All you’re expected to do is answer all their questions in a precise manner.
Once you’re called, enter the room, wish the interviewers, give your file to them and introduce yourself. Your name and the place you’re from should be enough for the intro. Sit in the chair only when you’re asked to and for every sweet thing they tell you, say “Very much obliged” or at least “Thank you”.
You will be then asked a few questions. It’ll seem like a friendly interaction rather than an interview. Be ready with the answers for the basic questions such as “What made you choose to study Law?”, “You want to build your career in?” etc. Answer each and every question with a smile on your face. Don’t speak unnecessarily. Short and simple replies will get you through. Once you’re finished with the interview, wish and thank them. This marks the end of the second and last stage for the admission into Symbiosis Law School, arguably the number one private law school of India.
The first merit list will be released on 11th of June at 5 PM. Till then, just hope and pray.
“Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity” – Robert G. Ingersoll