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Law as a Career After Board Examinations – Opportunities To Explore

Riddhi Chadha 1

Law has always been one of the most sought-after profession. It is closely associated, directly or indirectly, with the life of a common man. Most of the prominent freedom fighters and political leaders of our nation, like Mahatma Gandhi; Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President; Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister; Sardar Patel, the first Home Minister; and the father of the Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar; all had championed the art of advocacy. Thus, Law is one of the noblest profession.

Admission to top law schools/colleges are becoming increasingly tough and competitive with each passing year as a number of applicants is increasing year by year. So, sine qua non (an essential condition) of success in law entrance is systematic and planned preparation with single mind devotion. So, here at Zigya, we are providing the prerequisites of law entrance examination.


Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)

Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a centralised test for admission to 18 prominent National Law Universities in India, the recent entrant is Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. The test is taken after the Higher Secondary Examination or the 12th grade for admission to integrated under-graduation programmes in Law and after Graduation in Law for Master of Laws(LL.M) programmes conducted by these law universities.

This test was conducted for the first time on 11 May 2008. The two-hour admission test consists of an objective type covering questions on Elementary Mathematics or Numerical Ability, English with Comprehension, General knowledge and Current affairs, Legal Aptitude and Legal Awareness and Logical reasoning. The CLAT scores are used by other private law colleges across the country and Public Sector Undertakings for admissions and recruitment respectively.

CLAT is considered as one of the most competitive exams in India wherein a candidate needs to solve 200 questions in just 120 minutes, that is, an average of only 36 seconds per question.


Before the introduction of CLAT, the autonomous law schools in India conducted their own separate entrance tests, requiring the candidates to prepare and appear separately for each of these tests. The schedule of the administration of these tests sometimes conflicted with the other or with other major entrance tests such as the Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination and the All India Pre Medical Test. This caused students to miss tests and experience much stress.

There are seventeen National Law Universities in India, the first of which is the National Law School of India University, which admitted its first batch of students in 1987. Out of the seventeen, the National Law University, Delhi conducts its own separate entrance test known as All India Law Entrance Test. With the emergence of other law schools, which also sought to conduct their admission tests at around the same time, students faced a hard time preparing for them. From time to time this issue to conduct a common entrance exam to reduce the burden of the students to give multiple tests was raised, but given the autonomous status of each law school, there was no nodal agency to coordinate an action to this regard.

Varun Bhagat’s PIL:

The matter drew national attention when a Public Interest Litigation was filed by Varun Bhagat against the Union of India and various National Law Universities in the Supreme Court of India in 2006. The Chief Justice of India directed the Union of India to consult with the National Law Universities to formulate a common test. The move was strongly supported by the Bar Council of India.

Given the lack of a central nodal authority to bring forth a consensus on the issue, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, (Government of India) and the University Grants Commission of India organized a meeting of the Vice-Chancellors of seven National Law Universities along with the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. After a few such meetings, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Vice Chancellors of the seven National Law Universities on 23 November 2007 to conduct a common admission test.

The Common Law Admission Test was to be conducted each year by each of the law colleges and the responsibility of conducting the exam was to be rotated and given on the basis of seniority in the establishment. Nonetheless, the matter has not been resolved completely as there are other national law universities which were not taking part in CLAT. However, finally in 2015, a fresh MoU was signed by the sixteen National Law Universities, except for National Law University, Delhi for the CLAT 2015 being conducted by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow whereby all the National Law Universities are now part of the centralized admission process without any one being left out.


Only Indian nationals and NRIs can appear in the test. The foreign nationals desirous of taking admission to any course in any of the participating Law Universities may directly contact the concerned University having seats for foreign nationals.

The eligibility requirements are :

Senior Secondary School/Intermediate (10+2) or its equivalent certificate from a recognized Board with not less than 45% marks in aggregate (40% in case of SC and ST candidates). Students whose results are awaited can also appear in the test.


Exam Pattern

This law entrance exam is of two hours duration. The CLAT question paper consists of 200 multiple choice questions. There are five sections in CLAT exam paper wherein students need to answer questions from subjects such as:

  • English including Comprehension
  • General Knowledge and current Affairs
  • Elementary Mathematics (Numerical Ability)
  • Legal Aptitude
  • Logical Reasoning

Marking Scheme: For every correct answer, aspirants are given one mark and for each wrong answer 0.25 marks are deducted from their total score.

Participating Law Colleges


CLAT Participating Institutes

Number of seats*

1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore


2. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, Hyderabad


3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal



West Bengal National University of Judicial Sciences, Kolkata


5. National Law University, Jodhpur


6. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur


7. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar


8. Ram Manohar Lohiya National law University, Lucknow


9. Rajiv Gandhi National Law University, Patiala


10. Chanakya National Law University, Patna


11. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi


12. National Law University Odisha, Cuttack


13. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi


14. National Law University and Judicial Academy, Guwahati


15. Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Vishakhapatna


16. Tamil Nadu National Law School, Trichy


17. Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai


18. Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur


  1. Rahul Kumar Rahul Kumar

    Such a nice and elaborative article.

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