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CLAThacker legal aptitude analysis: Identifying trends from the 2009 CLAT paper

When I got the last years paper in my hand, I just turned over to the Legal GK section and got a shock of sorts. Well, 2010 paper is a new ballgame, and would not be set by the same set of examiners. But still, is there any identifiable trend in the question paper that can be expected to be followed in future? I think there are, about two of them.

1. lifting questions from commercial books - Well, those who gave the paper had already said this, but only after looking at the paper I realised that about 50% questions are straight away lifted from Universal's Guide to LLB. While this is good for those who read the book, it is also problematic if it happens every year as a lot of people read it these days, I have recommended it to all my students, and so did almost everyone else. Naturally, a sizeable portion of the students taking the exam will know these answers but that doesnt help anyone as it will be a tie as far as those questions go among a large number of students (as everyone will get them right) and the rest of the questions will decide the rank of the students.

In general, lifting questions from a book is a terrible idea. I hope whoever makes the paper will have the sense to not do it again.

2. The questions that were not lifted have a surprisingly high standard. I am surprised that the paper setters expected the students to know these things as a matter of GK. In any case, it is advisable to be prepared for any eventuality, and for that I shall identify below the new areas that have been touched.

A. Ancient legal history - 1 (Manusmriti)

B. technical & legal terms - 19 (conflict of laws, private international law, common law, advance, earnest money, solatium, successors, [coparceners, joint owners, co-heirs, right in rem, right in personam, locus standi, FR, bicameralism, Universal Adult Franchise, Dyarchy, federalism, intestate, perjury, posthumous, affidavit, power of attorney, will, declaration, parole, amnesty, discharge, pardon, sedition, forgery, litigant, plaintiff, complainant, double jeopardy, corpus delicti, accomplice, undertrial, respondent, defendant, fiduciary relationship, sacrilege, salus populi, malfeasance, infanticide, abortion, foeticide, offender, absconder, caveat, writ, certiaorari, injunction, wakf)

C. case name: 2 [State of Maharashtra v. Praful Desai (recent case), Golak Nath v. Union of India (classic constitutional law case, preamble, basic structure)]

D. law of torts: 2 [vicarious liability, tortuos liability, absolute and strict liability, tresspass]

E. parliamentary procedure: 1

F. recent statutes: 1 [competition act replaced MRTP (this was a tough one. MRTP stands for monpolistic and restrictive trade practices)]

G. law of limitation: 1 [time barred debt- perfect/imperfect right?]

H. international convention: 1 (Geneva convention, vienna convention and paris convention)

I. general statutes:1 [ public holidays under NI act]

J. criminal procedure: 2 [burden of proof (easy one), compoundable and non-compoundable offences, cognizable and non-cognizable offences]

K. family law: 1 [conjugal rights]

L. law of succession: 1 [intestate]

M. United Nations: 1 (when did india become member: 1945)

N. Commission: 2 [Justice punchi commission on state-center relationship, (this was tough. so fresh news that i barely knew it at the time when the exam was held) phukan commission on tehelka]

O. taxation: 1 (land revenue, customs duty, wealth tax, income tax, payable to state/center)

P. random: location of national judicial academy (from past years papers)

Q. Constitution: 4 (attorney general, preamble, removal of SC judge, judicial review: taken from US)

R. basic principles of law/ jurisprudnce: 1 (duty, obligation)

S. Law of the seas (Public International law) - 1 [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas]


One clear trendsetter, as you can see, is the legal terms category, and not so much the foreign jargon part of it. legal terms from a broad range of area appeared. Those students who had a good idea of legal terms clearly would emerge as easy winners. I would recommend that you start taking legal terms very seriously from now on.

So, have you been preparing for these areas for CLAT 2010? Do you think there is adequate material to study from? If you need any help, request in the forums. Fortunately, I have access to some of the best legal brains in the country and I can request them to solve your problems.

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Comment by Ikshaku Bezbaroa on February 1, 2010 at 10:37am
enlighten me also please..?
Comment by Ramanuj Mukherjee on January 26, 2010 at 6:34pm
i will write separate posts to answer your questions.
Comment by indrani gupta on January 24, 2010 at 9:05pm
hii sir,
this is indrani........i wanted to know about gk........where have u stated???????????
Comment by keerthi priya sirigineedi on January 24, 2010 at 9:03am
hii sir ,
i need information about clat that........... what are the books that helps in preparing as well as in preforming clat
Comment by Dipin Verma on January 22, 2010 at 10:47am
sir,
there are infinite legal terms and maxims......i want to know which books will u prefer more as to use them as a source for these impt. legal terms........
thank you
Comment by Ramanuj Mukherjee on January 22, 2010 at 12:05am
if you take into account last years paper, Universal's or lexis nexis alone is certainly not enough.
Comment by siddhant tyagi on January 21, 2010 at 10:30pm
is "universals guide to ll.b" enough for legal g.k section???
Comment by Vatsal Kishore on January 20, 2010 at 4:08pm
It would surely help everyone..
Comment by nikitha shenoy on January 20, 2010 at 11:16am
i think this is an amazing analysis of the paper..!!
thanx alot sir..
Comment by anurag on January 20, 2010 at 11:15am
thanks a lot.i was searching dis typ of info for a long tym.

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