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Legal Aptitude: Several laws one must know before going to a law school



The legal aptitude section has twofold significance in CLAT as it contains 25% marks of the whole paper and also, acts as a tiebreaker when two people get the same score, so, whoever scores more in this section gets it through. This element makes the legal aptitude section, a really crucial one for borderline ranks. Apart from this, legal aptitude section gives you an abstract idea of what you will be reading for the next few years in the Law Schools and also, makes you aware of the fact that whether you possess the skills to become a lawyer or not, and even if you are not scoring well, do not worry a bit, as the skills can be enhanced with dedicated efforts and investment of time.

The section comprises two broad category of questions- Legal Reasoning and Legal Knowledge. Out of 50 questions, the distribution stays varied in nature but the past trends have been tilted more towards legal reasoning questions than legal GK. But, this doesn’t make legal GK, a less important category as it is given due weightage in other law entrance exams like AILET and SET etc. A balanced approach must be taken up by the aspirants, preparing well for both the sections owing to the unpredictability of CLAT.

Ø  Legal Knowledge-

This category is simply the general knowledge of Law, so, preparing it well would also strengthen your GK. Following things are essentially asked in this category-

i)     Legal Maxims (e.g.- ibi jus ubi remedium)

ii)    Landmark Judgments (e.g.- Keshvanand Bharti Case)

iii)   Constitution (especially Fundamental Rights, DPSPs and Preamble)

iv)   Important Acts (those which have made it to the news in the recent past)

v)   Contribution of high-profile Judges (e.g.- Justice P.N. Bhagwati- PIL)

vi)  Hierarchy of Judiciary and jurisdiction of courts.

Aforementioned things broadly cover this category and if you are thinking that preparing for this would take a long time, then please don’t, because, this would only take an hour or two for 3-4 days a week and you will make it, and even if it takes longer then don’t be tensed because it is worth the time and effort as it will cover a lot of portion of Legal Aptitude and GK as well.  Just keep revising, so, these things are not faded away from your mind. Law is more about persistence than intelligence.

Ø  Legal Reasoning-

Given the fact that this category has been asked more than the Legal GK in the past year papers, it calls for a sincere and devoted effort. Mainly, this category gives a legal principle along with a set of facts. Now, you will have to apply the principle to the facts and choose the aptest outcome, among the options provided. As we have been listening to the line “practice makes a man perfect”, applying it here would be correct, as practice will definitely make you solve these questions quickly and efficiently in the final paper. This category is a fun solving, as it challenges your decision-making ability and legal acumen. For the sake of solving the questions correctly, you would need to have a basic knowledge about-

i)       Law of Torts

ii)      Law of Contracts

iii)     Criminal Law

iv)     Constitutional Law

You can access the internet for the same or coaching institutions provide with the sufficient material for effectively know about the basics of aforementioned laws and the nature of questions asked. One more thing you can do is to thoroughly practice past year papers as the principles are often repeated and therefore, your practice will enable you to know the principle before even reading it out (although, make sure that you read it completely).

A simple and tested trick to solve the questions is to match the language and the words used in the options given and the principle and then choose the option which is the closest in language to that of the principle, it works magically sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that you will not apply the mind and simply compare the language. This trick should mostly be used when in doubt between two options.  

Although, the time and accuracy depend largely upon the level of difficulty of the paper, generally, a time range of 25-40 minutes must be invested in this section. Investing more than 40 minutes in this section may result in sacrificing your score in other sections, so, practice it proficiently to ace this section within time and with increased accuracy.

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