The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs) every year to provide admissions to UG and PG law programs offered by 23 NLUs.
Since CLAT is a national-level exam with hundreds of aspirants preparing for it, myths about CLAT and NLUs affect the preparation of the aspirants. And due to high-level competition, many misconceptions and myths around it often mislead the aspirants.
This article addresses the most common myths about CLAT and NLUs that you must know if you are writing the exam.
Here's a complete guide and outlook on the CLAT exam, law as a career, and about the NLUs.
Mathematics is not essential to cracking CLAT
This is one of the most common myths about CLAT and NLUs that the math section is not at all essential to crack CLAT!
Although this section has considerably less weightage in CLAT, it does not mean you should take the mathematics section for granted. CLAT Exam is very high competition, and each mark counts.
An estimated 70,000 or more students appear in the CLAT exam every year. A total of 1,000 students get the opportunity of securing a seat in top NLUs.
The intensity of competition is undoubtedly justified as every single mark alters hundreds of ranks when it comes to an exam as competitive as 70,000 students struggling for their seats. So, leaving Mathematics is not a good choice.
Unlike the other sections of the CLAT exam, the Mathematics section is less subjective and more straightforward. Maths is one section that gives you the leverage of 100% accuracy in such a competitive exam, and each unit is an opportunity to add marks to your overall scores.
By observing the past year, CLAT topper's results, the scoring trend is evident for the legal skills of 35-40, for the GK 30-35, etc. This further shows that you don't want to take a risk if you leave a section.
The CLAT exam is full of surprises; even if you are fully prepared for the other four sections, there is a good chance you might score 7-8 marks less than what you expect due to uncertainty. But if you are well prepared for the CLAT math section, it can give you an upper hand over other applicants to retain those marks.
Remember, the mathematics section of CLATincludes only "elementary" mathematics, i.e. basic maths you learned till class 10th and can be prepared in just a few weeks by solving past years and referring sample papers.
To be more specific, the CLAT syllabus includes the following:
No. of Questions
Weightage in %
General knowledge and current affairs
English grammar and comprehension
Considering the weightage of the mathematics section, you must prepare this section very keenly.
Go for private colleges if you don't get top 5 NLUs
What if you don't get an NLU through CLAT? Then what?
If you are preparing for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), you are bound to ask yourself these questions at some point. But are these CLAT-participating institutes the only option you got?
Do all these NLUs provide the same legal education standards? And what if you fail to get into top NLUs? Etc. However, this is far from the truth, and there are multiple reasons for it.
Several law colleges and universities will accept CLAT scores if you don’t score well to get into the top 5 NLUs through CLAT. 23 NLUs are participating in CLAT, of which 9 NLUs are on the top list, and they are doing well and are worth considering if you don't get into the top 5 NLUs.
One of the most important reasons why students choose to study at NLUs is for the placement opportunities. Although all students can become legal practitioners after graduation, looking at NLU is also a way to enter the corporate world. The leading law firms in the country and worldwide prefer to hire fresh law graduates from NLUs.
Almost all participating top NLU campuses have the best infrastructure of any law school in India.
Being a government-facilitated institute, students can study at a minimal government-subsidized fee, compared with some private institutes where the yearly fee is in lakhs.
Compared to NLUs, private institutes have a big batch size. This affects your quality of education, and you tend to be lost in the crowd if you can't catch up, whereas, in the top 10 NLUs, where the batch size is not an issue, each student gets more focus.
However, the exam is unpredictable, so it is usually a good idea to make some backups. If you don't get into the top 10 NLU and other institutes through CLAT, And because the preparation for practically all law entrance tests overlaps, you can easily transition from one exam to the next. So, you should also take other competitive exams like AILET, SLAT, or PU BA LLB if you are taking CLAT.
Hence, going for" private colleges if you don't get top 5 NLUs" is another one of the most common myths About CLAT and NLUs.
JEE/NEET/CA, if you can't crack these exams, then let's do CLAT
It also gives a sense of fulfilment from assisting society's members in becoming more aware of and comprehending fundamental human rights.
There are many careers after your 12th class and a wide range of possible work environments and focus areas. So, considering the law as a backup plan is never a good idea.
Clearing the CLAT exam is altogether a different game. CLAT has developed a reputation for being one of the most difficult entrance exams to crack. Only about 5% of all the aspirants get into a National Law University.
Go to an NLU, Life set
Students preparing for the CLAT entrance exam will hear a lot from coaching centres, mentors, etc. Once you get into a good NLU, your life is set. But is this the case?
No, it's not true!
Clearing the CLAT cut-offand getting admission to top NLUs is the beginning of my journey in law.
This course requires perseverance, vigilance, and dedication.
The hard reflection on the behaviour of serious aspirants helps them successfully pave their careers in law.
When you get into a law school to be a good lawyer, this is a prolonged process that takes five years of hard work, and if you are not a part of this process, you will be in trouble.
So, make sure if you clear CLAT and go to a good NLU, don't have this misconception in your mind, and from day one, be persistent about your work.
There is too much nepotism in law
Law as a career is all about two things: hard work and consistency, and as long as you are willing to put that in, there is nothing else that can stop you.
Nepotism exists everywhere. Whether it is corporate, academics, sports, or entertainment, nepotism seems to be something that you cannot escape in the legal profession. However, an individual can begin independent practice.
A person must indeed understand the workings and procedures of the courts and the process, which cannot be mastered in a single day. One must commit to a favourable outcome. You must be passionate about the law; your enthusiasm will take you to your objective, not your family background.
Many CLAT aspirants and freshers are often intimidated because their peers are from law backgrounds and have strong family support and prior knowledge of the law. They will be at an advantage, there will be someone to help them with internships, papers, or academics, but this is not the case. These fears are very normal. We understand having certain resources at their disposal or prior knowledge.
But as long as you take the 5 years of the law profession sincerely, nothing else will matter; Law schools and workplaces generally have such an inclusive environment that such problems that you face can easily be taken care of.
For a long time, first-generation lawyers have performed exceptionally well in the legal profession. While we must identify and examine nepotism in the profession, attributing every achievement of a second or third-generation lawyer to nepotism would be unreasonable and improper. And we must constantly check to see whether we are fooling ourselves by blaming nepotism for our lack of initiative, execution, and success.
Public speaking skills are mandatory for a successful lawyer
Do you need to be good at public speaking and debating to be a good lawyer?
Many aspiring lawyers feel that to be a competent lawyer, one must be a great public speaker. Fortunately, this is not the case. But obviously, having good public speaking skills is always good; you can articulate your client's position succinctly in a persuasive manner that is always helpful; effective communication is helpful in any professional environment, be it corporate, academics, sports, or entertainment, etc. However, in my opinion, As a lawyer, the written word takes precedence over the ability to communicate verbally. So the capability to express oneself in writing is what you truly need.
You might be shocked that many well-known Supreme Court lawyers don't have good public speaking skills. They make up for their lack of expertise by producing perfect paperwork and presenting written arguments in court.
Furthermore, you may always enhance your public speaking abilities. You will be required to deliver speeches and participate in moot courts and other activities while in law school.
In terms of actually arguing in court, it's not exactly public speaking because you'll be presenting your case to a single or at least two judges, and you won't be permitted to talk for more than five minutes. So, rather than fighting for extended periods, it's more about talking about the correct things, going straight to the point, and achieving a favourable Order.
Unless you are a senior lawyer, in which case you can go on for hours and the judge will not stop you, such lengthy arguments (as shown in Bollywood) only happen at the Final Hearing stage and for no more than 15 minutes.
So, don't be disheartened if you are not that good at public speaking. It is all about "excellent preparation". If you know what you're talking about, you can "rattle on'' for hours about your study and do a fantastic job for your clients if required. Suppose you have public speaking abilities, as well as knowledge and research. You're nearly invincible.
You cannot crack CLAT without coaching centres! Is this true?
A major misconception students have is that you cannot crack CLAT unless you enrol in a good coaching centre. Because of this misconception, most of the students take a year, drop out after 12th and move to other places living far from home, and they face many problems just because they want to enrol in the best coaching centre.
The coaching centre undoubtedly helps a lot as there will be a good study environment and competition as many students prepare for the same exam. Still, it is not a compulsion to enrol. But CLAT does not require a year of preparation and coaching to pass. What you need is to follow a good mentor and make a strategy.
Many students rely on coaching institutes because they feel that they have a major role in moulding students to clear CLAT, but that's not the case. Coaching institutes teach you, and if you have seen the CLAT Exam syllabusand exam pattern, there is not much to be taught. To crack the exam, you need a lot of practice, and you can do it by yourself; there are many books available on the market, a lot of study material, and YouTube videos that can be used. You can prepare yourself very properly if you are persistent with your work without enrolling.
To Crack the CLAT Exam Without a Coaching Institute, here are some tips section-wise on how you can prepare
CLAT General Knowledge and Current Affairs: This entrance exam section is considered a make-or-break section since it contains almost 40 questions. A well-prepared applicant can answer in the shortest amount of time. A close examination of prior CLAT exams reveals that current events questions were asked more frequently than static GK questions. As a result, reading one regular newspaper every day will be beneficial.
Legal Aptitude: This section comprises almost 40 questions that take longer to answer than the GK segment. This section contains questions on legal principles and facts. The majority of the questions in this part originate from the legal fields of Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law, as well as legal GK, the contents of which may vary from year to year. Although a student is not expected to know everything, this part aims to assess a student's aptitude.
English grammar and comprehension: This part has over 30 questions that assess the candidate's English skills through comprehension passages, grammar, and vocabulary. Though mastering grammar and vocabulary takes time and effort, it is possible to gain sufficient competence quickly if you use efficient learning techniques and have appropriate guidance.
CLAT Logical Reasoning: This section also comprises almost 30 questions. This portion requires regular practice; otherwise, a candidate may become stuck on a difficult topic, making this segment time-consuming. This part assesses a candidate's ability to recognize patterns and logical connections and correct erroneous arguments. This comprises logical sequence questions, deductions or syllogisms, analogies, odd man out, statement and assumption questions, and so on.
CLAT Mathematics: This section comprises almost 15 to 20 questions about percentage, profit and loss, simple interest, compound interest, average & mixture, time and labour, and probability are all topics covered in elementary mathematics up to the tenth grade. Even though fewer questions are in this section, it might help you improve your total score.
Going for a Mock Test Series that you can't do yourself is advisable. The higher the mock test you do, the higher your chances of scoring well in the exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the toughest Law Entrance Exam?
Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) conducted by the Consortium of NLUs is considered the toughest law entrance exam.
Is LSAT easier than the CLAT exam?
As per the survey, the level of the CLAT exam is a bit difficult to crack compared to the LSAT exam.
What is the age limit to apply for Law Entrance Exam?
The age limit differs from exam to exam. For most law entrance exams, there is no age limit. However, 90-95% of students writing CLAT are under 20 or 21, but technically anyone interested can apply.
Which stream should I choose to pursue Law?
There is no specific stream suggested to pursue Law. You can choose commerce or humanities stream after 10th. In case if you choose science, and later wish to take up law, then you need to put in extra effort to crack entrance exams with high scores.
Which is better Private or National Law Schools?
National Law schools are best but there are many private schools doing a great job. There are few government law schools that are in the way to prove themselves, however, when checking the expenses, national law schools are less expensive. Private law schools are comparatively expensive.
Can I pursue Higher Studies after BA LLB?
Yes. After 5 years of BA LLB, few students prefer going abroad for higher studies i.e., LLM. Others who want to expose themselves in practical knowledge of law choose to work in law firms.
I am eligible to do MBA after LLB?
Yes. Law graduates having an MBA degree will have more job opportunities compared to people holding a plain LLB degree.
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