“It’s easy to make good decisions when there are no bad options” - Robert Half
Law, as a career option, has gained quite a name for itself in India over the last couple of years since the introduction of the 5 year integrated law programme that awards a dual degree. With as many as 19 National Law Universities and also many other successful private law colleges established in various states over these years, a large section of Indian youth with an intellectual inclination is finding its dream vocation in law. As such, it’s crucial for any law aspirant to make themselves aware of all the options they have available for themselves from this huge pile of exams and colleges.
Let us begin with the list of exams.
(1) All of the following exams are conducted for LLB as well as LLM unless mentioned otherwise.
(2) The dates given in this article pertain to Law Entrance exams in 2018 only.
CLAT or the Common Law Admission Test is the umbrella exam, on the basis of which admissions are granted in all National Law Universities all over India except for NLU Delhi, which has its own separate selection test. In fact the responsibility of the conduction of this exam is borne by these NLUs in rotation. Additionally 43 other law schools are eligible to use the scores obtained by aspirants in CLAT making this the most important and wide ranging law exam of India.
For a detailed discussion of the pattern of this exam please refer to this article.
When to Apply? : Jan 1st-March 31st, 2018
Expected date/month of examination: 13th May, 2018
AILET (All India Law Entrance Test)
This exam is conducted solely for the purpose NLU Delhi admissions.
The pattern is almost same as CLAT but the number of questions (150 questions) and time allotted (one and a half hour) differ. Also, unlike CLAT, it is conducted offline. As CLAT, negative marking is a part of this exam.
When to apply? The 2018 AILET has already been conducted and dates are yet to be declared for 2019 LET. However, going as per the dates last time, the application process for AILET 2019 should begin in October, 2018
Expected date/month of examination: January 2019
LSAT India (Law School Admission Test India)
Conducted in India by Pearson VUE, under the aegis Law School Admission council, USA, many Indian as well as foreign universities recognise LSAT scores.
Aspirants are supposed to answer a total of 92-100 questions over a period of 2 hrs 20 mins. There is NO negative marking. There are a total of 4 sections (Analytical reasoning, 1st Logical Reasoning, 2nd Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension) and each section is timed (35 minutes each). This exam is quite different from the above two exams and it would be a wise idea to go through previous year papers for the same. It is an offline exam.
To understand the pattern better please visit their official site.
When to apply?
It is conducted 4 times a year, hence the different months when application process begin are: May, August/September, November and January.
Expected exam date/month:
June, September/October, December and February
SET (Symbiosis Entrance Test)
This exam is conducted only for the undergraduate course (that is LLB) in institutes of Symbiosis International University. This exam is not held for the purpose of admission into LLM.
The paper consists of the same 5 sections as that of CLAT with each section accounting for 30 questions and 30 marks, so there would be a total of 150 questions. It is an offline exam that spans over a period of 2 and a half hours, which gives you an average of one minute per question. There is NO negative marking.
When to Apply? Anytime between January 9th– April 15th, 2018
Expected Date/month of examination: May 5th, 2018
Delhi University Law Entrance Exam:
This exam, conducted for the renowned Delhi University, is held only in the cities of Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Nagpur and Varanasi (the test centres declared for the exam in 2017; 2018 declarations haven’t yet been made).
A total of 100 questions are asked with each right answer awarding +4 marks and each wrong one awarding -1. The paper is divided in 4 sections: English (including RC), General Awareness, Logical reasoning and Legal Aptitude, with no certainty as to how many questions would be asked from each section. This makes this exam a tad unpredictable. This again is an offline exam spanning over a duration of 2 hours.
When to Apply ? The application process should start by 3rd week of April, 2018 ending sometime in May, 2018.
Expected Date/Month of Examination: June, 2018.
Other University Level Examinations:
- AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) Law Entrance Exam
- IPU CET for Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
- CUSAT (Cochin University of Science and Technology) Law Entrance exam
- LPU NEST for Lovely Professional University
- JMI (Jamia Milia Islamia) Law Entrance exam
Application process for most of the above universities starts in January. The way of asking questions in the exam may differ a little but the content would almost be similar to the exams listed in points 1-5. It is a good idea to go through previous year papers of these exams so as to equip yourself better with what to expect.
If you have made up your mind to pursue a career in law then you have many options. Choose well, apply in time, prepare smartly and you should sail smoothly through these turbulent times of college admissions.
May the force be with you.