CLAT exam is a single unified entrance exam test for the reputed law schools in India. The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is an all India entrance examination, conducted on rotation by 17 National Law Universities (NLUs) for admissions to their Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate degree programmes.
Law course post 12th has shot into prominence in past few years owing to rapidly changing Indian corporate scenario and legal structure. Degree from any of the NLUs can be well compared in reputation to the engineering domain's IITs and NITs. Respect, placements and opportunities available today in field of law are as coveted as any one graduating from IITs or IIMs.
Law as a career takes loads of hard work and dedication. It requires lot of patience and logical skills to become a successful lawyer. Initially fresh lawyers face many problems in their profession as is true of every other profession. It is always considered great if one trains under a Senior expert or Counsel in the beginning of career. This is not to say that newbie’s cannot make it own their own. Anything is possible with determination and of course, hard work. Great communication skills and a faculty for critical analysis and articulation are pre-requisites for lawyers. Therefore, one should analyze these points before opting for law as a career.
Law has been one of the popular career choices in our country for a long time. In India it is witnessed that generation to generation people have been associated with this profession from the same family. A Lawer is defined as someone who is skilled in the 'circumvention of the law' by Ambrose Bierce . The lawyers are expert of law who is adept at finding 'loopholes' in the system.
Traditionally, students could specialize in either civil or criminal laws. However, this concept has changed and now students can opt to specialize in any of the various options offered like Environment law, patent laws, corporate laws, etc. A degree in law not only lets you practice as a lawyer in the courts in the company but also opens up career options in sectors like corporate management, legal services and administrative services.
Students interested in making a career in law can either do a three-year law course after graduation in any discipline or a 5 years’ course after 12th class. In fact, the 3 years’ course is now giving way to the 5 years’ one which is seen as a better option. In most cases, colleges run the 3 years’ course only for those whose main discipline in graduation is something other than law, or working professionals who want to do an LLB as an additional qualification. The five year course is meant for those who want to take up law as a career – be it as a litigator, or any other kind of legal professional.
The LLB course is regulated by the Bar Council of India which sets rules and regulations regarding legal practice in the country. Any specialization is done at masters, MPhil or PhD stage. A higher degree helps candidates get jobs in academics.
In 2008 only 8,000 candidates sat in this exam but in 2015, about 42,500 students sat for it. And it is expected to exponentially in coming years. Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) initiated for the convenience of the students seeking admission to various National Law Universities in the country. An entrance test is conducted to provide a list of candidates on the basis of ‘merit-cum-preference’ to each University for admission to their UG/PG programmes, as per the eligibility, reservation and other criteria laid down under the respective statutes of the participating Universities.
Participatory Universities under CLAT
The 17 participating NLUs in the order of their year of establishment are:
1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
2. National Academy of Legal Study and Research University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR)
3. The National Law Institute University, Bhopal(NLIU)
4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
5. National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ)
6. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU)
7. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
8. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
9. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab (RGNUL)
10. Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
11. The National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)
12. National Law University Odisha, Cuttack (NLUO)
13. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL)
14. National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJAA)
15. Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam (DSNLU)
16. Tamil Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirappalli (TNNLS)
17. Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai (MNLU)
Total No. of Seats:
According to the CLAT-2016 notification, the total seats at All India level is 1442, State Category Seats- 566, Special Category Seats-244, over all total no. of seats- 2252. The no. of seats is subject to change every year.
Apart from 17 NLU, some of the corporate also uses CLAT score to hire the professional. Following are the list of organizations / Public Sector Units (PSUs) who are having MoU with CLAT to use CLAT score of Post Graduate students for recruitment purposes. For further details, you may visit the website of concerned PSUs.
1. National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC)
2. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
3. Power Grid Corporation of India Limited
Other Institute Using CLAT Score
The following institutions are having Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Common Law Admission Test for using CLAT score for admission purposes in their respective Institutions. The list is not exhaustive and the MoU of other Institutions are under consideration.
1. Galgotias University, Greater Noida, U.P.
2. Indore Institute of Law, Indore
3. Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida, U.P.
4. Manipal University, Jaipur
5. RNB Global University, Bikaner
6. Shri Vaishnav Institute of Law, Indore
7. SRM University, Delhi-NCR, Sonipat