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Failed In CLAT exam: What Is Your Plan B?

Incase you haven't cleared the CLAT exam and wondering what next to do, here are some alternatives:

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The Common Law Admission Test or CLAT is among the top undergraduate entrance exams for aspiring law students who dream to be part of some of the top law institutes in India, such as National Law University (NLUs), NALSAR and others. According to estimates, CLAT recorded over 54,000 applicants applying for just 2342 seats in 2017.

Due to the lack of availability and the mismatch between aspirants and available seats, the failure rate to get admissions is naturally high.  Students who fail to secure seats often feel clueless and suffer from anxiety about their future. If you have been unable to secure a seat for yourself, don’t give in to despondency or compromise your dreams because there are still several other ways that can lead you to a successful career in this or related fields.

Here are a handful of options you can consider if you couldn’t clear CLAT exams:

Look for a 3-years L.L.B degree

If you are under the illusion that pursuing a 5-year degree is the only way to become a lawyer, then hold on and think twice: You can also pursue Law after completing a 3-year UG degree! So if you were not able to clear CLAT, look for other UG courses that will probably help you form a base to pursue law at a later stage.    

For example, at the UG level pursuing B.A. Political Science will provide a great introduction to law studies. The subject will help you understand how government policies are shaped, political systems and rules on which the country operates, as well as how countries operate globally. Apart from this, degrees such as B.B.A, B.Com, B.A Programme, B.A Psychology, B.A. (English) are some of the top choices for students who go this route.

Explore related alternate professions

A professional program that will help students enter the world of legal studies, company policies and arbitration is Company Secretary (CS). From working as the chief adviser to the board of directors to advising the company on good governance practices, arbitration, negotiation, etc., they handle a number of activities and act as the in-house experts of the company and hold all knowledge pertaining to company law.

The best part is, you don’t require a Law degree to be a part of this particular course. For a company secretary program, one needs to clear three stages: Foundation Program, Executive Program and Professional Program, followed by a 1-year internship. Thus, you may not be a designated Lawyer but you would still be in a related domain.

Apart from this, one can pursue this course after 12th alongside any regular degree program, the most popular choice being B.Com.

Apply for other entrance exams

Although, the CLAT examination is conducted for admissions to 18 renowned National Law Schools, they are not the only Law institutions in India. There are other institutes such as O.P Jindal Global Law School, SRM University, Symbiosis International University, Banaras Hindu University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, etc. that offer good law programs.

These institutions also intake students through various other entrance exams such as LSAT (Law School Admission Test) that give you an opportunity to apply to foreign universities; SET (Symbiosis Entrance Test); BLAT (Banaras Hindu University Law Admission test); IPU CET LLB (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test). Also, National Law University of Delhi conducts its separate entrance exam known as AILET, which you can consider too.

Going the Liberal Arts way

Traditionally, the Indian education system could not think of combining two different subjects in a single degree, but Liberal Arts is slowly turning the tables and letting students to take an interdisciplinary course. Unlike the specialisation system of most Indian universities, Liberal Arts education allows you to study array of subjects before choosing the one you wish to major in.

Institutes such as the Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts, Pune, allows you to combine Political Science as your major with Law as your minor. This particular course provides the understanding of both contemporary politics and concepts related to equality, rights and obligation. Broadly, it covers topics related to family law, administrative law, criminal justice administration to introduce students with the basic concepts of Law. Other than Symbiosis, Ashoka University (Sonipat) and FLAME University (Pune) also offer such multidisciplinary courses. 

Not just Political Science, you can choose subjects of you interest from other disciplines such as humanities, Science and Commerce.

Look for a career shift

Sometimes students start walking on a certain career path without evaluating all the other options available. There is a possibility that there are other fields or careers that are best suited to you and you just need to explore them.

For example, if you have good communication skills, research skills and decision-making capacity, and if you feel that Law is the only appropriate career option for you, then you are wrong. Fields like Public Relations, Sales, Marketing or Social Work could be a perfect fit for you.

Always consider other career options according to your skill sets and talent. It is important to widen your career horizons and do some research about other careers which sync with your aptitude, personality traits and your area of interest. Don’t ever settle for a career you may not have the right aptitude or interest for.

Drop a year

This should be your LAST option. Since you can always opt for a 3-year Law degree after completing your graduation in any field, this is not the best option. But if Law is where your heart lies then definitely go ahead and take a drop year.

Think before taking up this option as many students feel they can crack the exam if only they give it another try, but a lot of them end up wasting a year. Before jumping in, critically evaluate your shortcomings, work on them, and have a proper plan for the coming year to claim your seat in one of the top law universities.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Prateek Bhargava is the Founder & CEO of MINDLER

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