Legal Reasoning CLAT 2022 CLAT 2023

Decoding ‘Legal Reasoning’ for your upcoming CLAT

CLAT(Common Law Admission Test) is a well-known examination for the students seeking admission in the undergraduate as well post-graduate courses of law. The exam is conducted every year as a competitive medium to get admission to the prestigious National Law Universities of India. The exam comprises 150questions which are being divided into 5 subjects i.e., English, General knowledge, Logical Reasoning, Legal reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.


The legal reasoning section covers approximately 25% of the paper and evaluates the legal aptitude and acumen of the aspirants. To excel in the subject, one needs to understand what is exactly ‘legal reasoning’ is and why there is a significant need to focus this subject apart from others. This article tends to highlight the important information regarding the legal section of the CLAT-UG examination and key tips to prepare for it.


What is legal Reasoning?

Let’s start with the very basic question: What do you understand by Legal Reasoning terms of CLAT-UG examination?

The legal reasoning section of this examination focuses on, firstly, whether the aspirant has the general awareness of the contemporary legal and moral issues and secondly, whether they can apply general legal principles or propositions to the given fact scenarios. The aspirants will not require any prior knowledge of the law, however, legislations can be a part of this section but the motive is to judge a candidate aptitude and problem-solving ability.


Based on the examination pattern, the CLAT consortium, expects the aspirant to read passages of around 450words each. Roughly, there will be 35-39 questions divided into 6-7 passages. The passages may relate to fact situations or scenarios involving legal matters, public policy questions or moral philosophical enquiries. Each of such passage would be followed by a series of questions that will require you to: Identify and infer the rules and principles set out in the passage; Apply such rules and principles to various fact situations, and Understand how changes to the rules or principles may alter their application to various fact situations.


How to prepare for legal reasoning?

Legal Reasoning can be a new subject for the majority of the students, especially those who have no prior exposure to law by any means. Law is a very vast subject but to prepare for legal reasoning, there is no need to learn everything under the sun. The focus should be two-fold and that will do the trick:


1.  Basic legal understanding: Legal Reasoning as a subject doesn’t require that the candidate have legal knowledge with regards to every aspect of the law. The CLAT consortium only tries to identify whether the aspirants are in a good position to apply legal principles and understanding to the given facts or not.  Therefore, even if the student hasn’t studied law before, they will still be able to appear and clear the examination. However, to grasp a better understanding of the legal jargons/maxims, their usage in our day-to-day life and analyzes of the recent legal issues, it is often suggested that the aspirants should have some understanding of the basic legal concepts.


Some of the basic subjects that can help the students are Law of Tort, Law of Contracts, Constitutional law and Basics of Criminal Law, matrimonial laws etc. You are not required to memorize anything, but having a mere understanding of how these law works is very beneficial.


2.  Recent legal Issues: General knowledge and current affairs are a very important aspect of the aptitude-based examination and with the change in exam pattern recently, the candidates are required to be more focused on the recent and current legal affairs.

To cover this aspect, Firstly, the candidates are suggested to be well-versed with the daily news updates in the legal field, for which you can refer to legal reporting websites such as Live Law and Bar&Bench etc. Secondly, The candidates are required to keep a tab on any new bills/act/rules that have been enforced recently and became a widely discussed topic amongst the masses. You need to cover the historical context of such legislation, the need to bring that law, the key features of the law and lastly, why this law is making the news or what is the controversy behind it. Lastly, the aspirants are advised to go through, latest and landmark judgments that are widely discussed in the legal fraternity. You are not required to mug up the judgments, but you should have a basic understanding of what was the issue involved and what was held by the court. For this, students can refer to the summarized version of the judgments available at websites such as SCC observer, Casemine etc.


Some other Tips and Tricks

Apart from the aforementioned tips, there are some things that the candidates can include in the preparation strategies, which can prove quite beneficial for them:

1.  Read as much as possible: From2020 onwards, the new pattern of CLAT requires comprehensive reading. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the students should sharpen their reading skills which will affect not only legal but all the sections of the examination.

2.  Attend regular Mock test, Sample papers and Previous papers: the candidates need to make sure to attend as many mocks as possible before their examination. Apart from this, it is suggested to go through previous years papers and sample papers available on the consortium to familiarize and make yourself comfortable with the exam pattern.

3.  Plan your time management and strategy well in advance: Time management is a key area, to excel in the CLAT exam. Prepare a plan for every section, as to how much time to be given to each section and every question. In the legal section, each passage should not take more than 4-5 minute and question comprised of legal knowledge should be solved in less than 10 seconds. The target should not be to attend all the questions but to attempt them accurately.

4.  Discuss the current legal topics: It is often easier to understand a legal topic if you discuss the laws that you are studying about them. If you don’t have anyone to discuss it with, join our telegram channel - ClatPrep Study Group or study group or other forum dedicated to CLAT study.


Why scoring in Legal reasoning is significant?

The candidates are often advised to score well in the legal reasoning section, in comparison to the other subjects. The reason being, in the case of equal marks, the break of the tie is decided by the Higher marks in the component/section on legal aptitude in the CLAT exam. Therefore, the lower marks in the section might result in not getting selected in your desired national law university.