The Common Law Admission Test also known as CLAT is one of the most competitive law entrance exams in India. Only candidates with good preparation can crack this test. Each year, approximately 70 thousand students appear for the CLAT to get admission into the CLAT UG and CLAT PG programmes which are offered by the 23 National Law Universities in India. In 2021, 62,106 students appeared for the test. With 2522 seats in CLAT UG and 1635 seats in CLAT PG, only a few of them get a chance to clear the national-level law entrance exam.
However, with the limited availability of seats in National Law Universities, the competition is increasing each year. Understandably, some students might not qualify for CLAT due to lack of effort or some unforeseen reasons.
After being unsuccessful, some common questions that bother the candidates are: is it okay to drop a year for CLAT preparation? Will I be able to get better marks and score next year in the CLAT exam? Candidates at this point need to understand that there are alternative career options open to them and if they make the best of these options, they can be equally successful in future.
So, below are a few options you can consider if you couldn’t clear the CLAT exam.
Opt for a degree in a related field
If the students want to become successful lawyers then they can first pursue an undergraduate degree in a related field like - BBA, B. Com, BA courses, etc. After graduation, they can apply for a 3 year LLB course.
Below are a few well-established universities that offer the 3-year LLB course:
Consider other law entrance exam
Apart from CLAT, there are other Universities and Institutes like - National Law University Delhi, Symbiosis Law School, Jindal Global Law School, KIIT School of Law, ICFAI Law School, Patna Law College, University of Allahabad, Osmania University Hyderabad, Law School Admission Council, etc. which conduct their own law entrance exam to shortlist suitable candidates for LLB programs. The entrance exams are held for both UG and PG programs in Law.
Repeat a year and prepare for CLAT
Many students are adamant to pursue law by cracking the CLAT exam only. In that case, the candidates can take a year gap to prepare for the CLAT. Dropping a year can be a tough decision. So the candidates should think, consult and then make a final decision. They should be able to prioritise the exam and commit to it. Also, this will add additional stress on the candidates to score higher marks and perform better than the previous year.
Consider a career change
There might be some reason behind appearing for the CLAT exam and pursuing a law degree. It can be either from family pressure or a friend's advice. Not clearing CLAT is not the end of the world. Nowadays, there are numerous career options and plenty of opportunities for students, for example, journalism, business development, company secretary, etc. It's all about understanding your interests, skill-set, talent better than law and what they are truly passionate about.
Explore professions related to law
A professional program that can assist the candidates to enter the world of legal studies is Company Secretary (CS). They work as advisors to the Board of Directors and advise the company on acceptable governance practices, negotiation, etc. They work as in-house legal experts of the company and hold all information and knowledge relating to Company Law.
One does not require a law degree to be a part of this field. Company Secretary is a professional program with three stages - Foundation Program, Executive Program and Professional Program, followed by 1 year of compulsory internship. Aspirants can pursue this post-class 12th alongside any regular degree program. Thus, while the aspirant will not be called a lawyer, they will still be in a related field and will get to practice law in one way.
CLAT PG Papers: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qx2W-G5ozt_RlmDNfJtEXPPCWEa_MZ0b?usp=sharing
CLAT UG Papers: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tMutyQog32QpOui24z2eT1S_eQNCMikQ?usp=sharing