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Should You Even Study in an NLU? What actually is CLAT – All you need to know!

Have you just heard about ‘CLAT’ and wondering what’s it all about? Do questions like these come to your mind?

  • What’s the difference between doing law from my local college and through CLAT?

  • Is CLAT exam necessary for Law?

  • Can I get admission through CLAT Marks in other colleges?

  • Can I prepare for CLAT without Coaching?

  • What happens when I crack CLAT?

  • Do NLUs offer BA LLB or BBA LLB?

  • What are NLUs? Are they government colleges?

  • How much marks do I need to score for getting NLU?

  • What are the passing marks in CLAT?

  • What is the salary I get after completing CLAT?

  • How many attempts can I give for CLAT?

And so on?

Well, let’s get them all answered!

But before that let me tell you who I am.

A Brief Intro About Me

Hi, my name is Harshil Vijayvargiya. I took CLAT in 2017 (yes, you ‘take’ an exam and not ‘give’) and scored All India Rank 501.

After graduating from GNLU in the year 2022, I joined Hindustan Zinc Limited as a lawyer. I knew about CLAT since 8th class and started preparing for the same in my 11th class.

Having given a brief background, let’s now answer your queries!

1. What is CLAT?

CLAT is an exam you take if you want admission in any of the 20-25 National Law Universities. It happens once every year and 5 subjects are part of the exam – Logical Reasoning, English, General Knowledge, Math, Legal Reasoning.

2. What is the Syllabus of CLAT?

There is no detailed syllabus available, however the official website provides the basic CLAT syllabus. I’m producing it below for your convenience.

  • English

  • General Knowledge

  • Maths

  • Legal Reasoning

  • Logical Reasoning

As I said, you will not be given a detailed syllabus like a school exam. So the best thing would be reading the past year papers to understand what kind of questions are asked in the exam.

You can search ‘CLAT 2023 Questions paper PDF’ and you will get the results.

3. Can I crack CLAT without Coaching?

I will like to give my example here.

I enrolled myself in 2 years long coaching as soon as I entered 11th class. The classes used to happen on weekends.

I learned good things in the first 3-4 months. But then I felt like I could prepare better myself. So I stopped attending classes altogether. Yes, I paid for whole 2 years, but only attended coaching for 3-4 months.

A picture the Coaching institute I studied in posted

See, the subjects are not technical like IIT JEE where you have to understand the concepts of Maths, Organic chemistry and so on. The subjects are non-technical like English, Logical Reasoning which you can study by self. There are several YouTube channels you can use to prepare better for the exam. For example for Maths – you can subscribe – Takshzila Shikshak and so on. I have given strategy for each subject on my own YouTube channel.

Personal suggestions –

  1. Read the past year papers and see whether you feel like you can prepare by yourself or not.

  2. Buy materials and mocks of a good coaching institute. I personally had bought LegalEdge material and also extensively solved LegalEdge mocks. This is why I also took sponsorship of LegalEdge for my YouTube channel. So if you wish to buy anything from them, use my code HARSHIL15 and you will get a 15% discount. I suggest buying the ‘Premium Test Series’ of LegalEdge where you get their mocks + materials.

This is my honest suggestion.

4. What are NLUs? Are they government colleges?

To explain it simply, NLUs are for Law, just like IITs are for Engineering.

However, unlike IITs, NLUs are looked after by State Government and NOT Central Government. This makes them more like State Universities.

5. Do I need to take CLAT exam for Law?

No, you can study law without taking CLAT too. However, you need to take this exam if you want admission in an NLU. You can give several attempts, and there are no age restrictions. Concerning how much mark to score – this changes every year and depends on the toughness of the paper.

For example – if the paper is very easy then you may need 119 out of 120 to get into NLS (which is the best NLU), but if the paper is tough, even getting 100/120 may get you NLS.

So don’t set a specific mark as your target, otherwise your mind would subconsciously limit itself to scoring only that much. Try to score 120/120 when you prepare for CLAT. Yes, I am serious.

6. Can I get admission in other colleges through CLAT exam?

Yes. Many private universities admit students based on their CLAT marks. But there are some universities that conduct their own exams.

For example –

  • Symbiosis Law School Pune – SLAT

  • GLC Mumbai – MHCET

  • Army Institute of Law – AILLET


  • Jindal Global Law School – LSAT

  • And lastly, NLU Delhi - AILET

I suggest appearing for these exams as well. Their syllabus is almost similar to CLAT. So if you are preparing for CLAT, you do not need to prepare for them separately.

Read my article here where I talk in detail about these exams.

7. Do NLUs get funding from Central Government?


NLUs get land from State Government when the university is being setup. After that the college management runs the college from the fees received from the students. Sometimes they do get from the state government, but it is rare.

A news article showing GNLU funding news

This is why, the fee of NLUs are comparatively high than IITs.

8. What is the Fee of NLUs?

Different colleges charge different fee, however expect spending 2.5 lakh rupees per year when you study in an NLU.

The good part is, everything is involved in the fee – from hostel, to gym and from tuition fee to food expenses.

So overall, you will be spending 12-15 lakh rupees in your law school study over 5 years.

9. Should I do Law from NLU or my local college?

Okay, so its quite difficult to get admission in an NLU, especially in the top 5-10 NLUs. This means all the students who study there are quite intelligent, and you may get to learn from them a lot.

A local college, sadly, may not offer such an environment.

Apart from this, there are few other benefits such as –

  • Better Placements in NLUs

Suppose you are an HR of a company. If you get an option of hiring a student from a local college in Jaipur and an NLU, which college would you choose?

This is the reason why companies hire students from NLUs as legal advisors and lawyers. NLUs have high placement and almost all the students from top 5-6 NLUs get placed.

Now you must be thinking ‘What is the average salary of NLU students?” I have answered this question in my video here.

But to summarize, 90% of my batchmates who applied for jobs got job before graduating from college. And almost everybody is working now at some places.

Out of the 100-110 students who got job from my batch, 45-50 students got a package of Rs.15 lakh/year, 35-40 students got job between Rs.8-13 lakh/year and the rest got a package of 5-8 lakh/year.

Those who did not apply for placements are either –

a. going for practicing in courts,

b. going for foreign studies

c. UPSC/judiciary

d. Working on their own startup/initiatives

Not All NLUs offer Good Placements

But do keep in mind, this is not true for every NLU out there. This applies only for NLSIU Bangalore, NALSAR, NLU Delhi, NLU Jodhpur, GNLU, NLIU Bhopal.

NLUs such as HNLU Raipur, NLU Orissa – might be able to places 50-70 students out of 150-160 students.

NUSRL, DSNLU, TNNLU – 15-20 people and other new NLUs such as DNLU, HPNLU would be hardly able to place 5-10 people.

So try to get into a top NLU. Your life would be more sorted.

On a sidenote- what if you get into one of the new NLU or into a private college. What exactly should you do to land good internships and good job?

I have written a book titled ‘How to Kill it at Law School’, it contains everything you need to know to get a job at a law firm or a company, no matter which college you study in.

Here is the list of 13 chapters I’ve put in the book –

  • 4 Ways to Score Good In College Exams - How I went from scoring 50% in Sem 1 to 70% in Sem 4

  • How is it like Working as an In-House Lawyer - Salaries, Type of Work and More

  • 3 Reasons Why You Should do CS with Law

  • Detailed 5-Year Internship Plan - Plan from 1st Sem to 10th Sem

  • 5 Tips for Performing Good in Internship - How I Secured a Job Offer Through My Internship

  • 2 Secret Ways to Get In-house Internships

  • 5 Practical No-nonsense tips on How to Write Research Articles

  • How to Send Mails that Get You Internship Anywhere

  • NLU v. Non-NLU - What Firms Actually Want

  • Do these 5 things to Ace in Moot Court Competitions

  • Why You Should Learn Playing a Musical Instrument - 5 Tips to Live a Memorable College Life

  • And finally, How to Remove the Tag of 'Shy Person' and Become Confident Socially - Story of My Own Experiments

You can either learn these things by hit and trial over the course of 2-3 years, or you could spend the next 2 days reading the whole book and learn from my experiences.

The average fee of a Law School is Rs. 10-15 lakh. This book worth Rs. 200, ensures the fee you spent on college doesn't go to waste and becomes well worth it.

  • Unmatched Exposure provided by NLUs

Let me tell you an incident that took place in 2019.

So, I was part of the organizing committee for a conference, and we were bit late in starting the program. As we finally started the program, I saw one gentleman who was looking little angry because of our little lack of punctuality.

I searched the participant list to know the person’s name and turns out, he was a senior IPS officer who was working as a joint director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad. SVNPA is the place where new IPS officers are trained for a year.

I was pleasantly surprised and excited to know this. May be this is not a big deal for many people, but as a person who comes from a small town, interacting with an IPS officer was and is a big deal for me.

This incident happened in 2019, and many such incidents took place in my college life, solely because I was part of Gujarat National Law University.

I hope the point regarding ‘exposure’ is clear now!

  • Good ‘first’ impression

Let’s say you want to build your website.

There are two people who have offered to build your website. One is from a local college of Rajasthan and the other one is from IIT Kharagpur.

Whom will you choose?

Most people would choose the IIT guy.

It’s a different thing that if the local college guy does good work, you would NOT even care whether he was from an IIT or not.

This is where having an NLU tag comes into picture. If you go into litigation (working in a court), acquiring clients will become little bit easier for you when they know you are from an NLU.

But after getting the client, your work would ONLY matter. This is why, litigation/practicing in court can be rewarding if you do not belong from a good college but work hard. You will get success solely because of your hard work.

10. I want to pursue UPSC – should I join NLU?

If you are very sure that you only want to pursue UPSC and there is no chance in the world that you want a job – I suggest not joining an NLU. Join some local B.Com college or better, join Delhi University’s B.Com program instead.

First thing, if you join a course – you will be able to take UPSC exam within 3 years of completing 12th boards. But if you study in an NLU, you will have to wait 5 years for UPSC.

Second thing, you will get less time for UPSC preparation as NLU will make you busy in mid-semester exams, moots, end semester exams, and so on.

Third, even if you wish to take law optional in UPSC – you can study those subjects by yourself and there is no need as such of going to a law school. Self study + taking some coaching materials would be sufficient.

Many NLU graduates have cracked UPSC

My seniors have cracked UPSC despite studying in NLUs. So if they wanted to pursue UPSC, then why did they join NLU. And why even many judiciary aspirants join NLU too?

The answer is –

  • NLU degree gives you a safety net. Students can have peace of mind thinking – ‘Even if I don’t clear UPSC, I can have a good job because of my degree’.

  • The 5 years in law school will develop you as a person. Your social skills and life skills will increase 10x when you join a law school. You will get exposure to a new world through the college fests, debating competitions, sports competition, moot courts and much more. A student can certainly manage both law school and UPSC study at the same time.

So to conclude, if you are not very sure about UPSC- join an NLU. If you wish to join some normal B.Com course, I suggest joining Delhi University/H.R. College of Commerce or some similar one’s – so you don’t miss out on Personality Development.

Sitting in your home in a Tier-3 town for 3 years when you are 19-20 years old, is not advisable, unless you have very strong reasons.

So, this is all from my side!

I hope I answered all your queries.

1 comment

1 Comment

Jul 13, 2023

Thank you sir

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