Why every law aspirant in India must sit the LSAT-India exam
By Anand Prakash Mishra
Admissions to the top law schools have always been driven by law entrance exams conducted by the law schools or universities themselves or by a Committee or Association of Law Schools for its members. Internationally, there are law entrance exams like LSAT of LSAC (USA) which started as early as 1947 and which has been used by over 220 Law Schools in the USA, Canada & Australia, written by over one lakh law aspirants every year making it the largest law entrance exam in the world. The most popular law entrance exam in India has been the CLAT of National Law Universities for their five year Integrated LL.B. programmes and the LL.B. Entrance test of University of Delhi for its three year LL.B. degree written by over 45,000 law aspirants across the country.
LSAT—India is a comparatively new law entrance exam in India. It started in 2009 when Jindal Global Law School was established as India’s first global law school as a part of the multi-disciplinary O.P. Jindal Global University, and the Law School Admission Council or LSAC of USA launched this special version of LSAT exam for Indian Law Schools. From a very humble beginning i.e. one law school in 2009, LSAT—India exam has come a long way in a short span of six years by having over 60 Law Colleges across the country accepting its score for admissions. Doubtlessly, the vast majority of law aspirants continue to write this exam for admission to the Jindal Global Law School. I would like to emphasize five important reasons why every law aspirant in India must write the LSAT—India 2015 exam:
I. YOU WANT TO ASSESS YOURSELF FOR BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE LAWYER
So you have decided to study law but not sure whether law is the right choice for your career and higher education or not? LSAT—India is one test which can really help you understand whether law is the right career path for you. Unlike CLAT or any other Indian Law Entrance exam, LSAT--India doesn’t test your knowledge of law or any other subject. It is not a test to see whether you have memorized the right facts or equations correctly or not. It is also not a test of your general knowledge or legal knowledge which can be memorized.
LSAT—India rather assesses your aptitude for the skills required to study law. It is a test of your logical and analytical reasoning and English comprehension skills. It is a test of your ability to comprehend and interpret information. It is a test of your reasoning skills – both inductive and deductive. And, it is a test of your ability to analyse information and draw conclusions. So, it’s a test of your critical thinking, language and analytical skills which are the most important skills for a lawyer.
Therefore, any student who has taken that critical decision to study law and become a lawyer has a great tool in hand in form of LSAT—India exam to assess himself that how suitable his abilities are for studying law. So, whether you decide to choose a college affiliated to LSAT—India Exam or not, if you have chosen to study law, it is advisable for you to write this exam and get your unique percentile score to find out your skills as a lawyer. Every law aspirant must visit the LSAT—India website (Official Test Prep link) to download over hundred pages of free material including 4 full-length past papers, sample questions with answers, videos on logical & analytical reasoning and reading comprehension and access some valuable links about how to better your critical thinking skills required for building a successful legal career.
II. YOU WANT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ADMISSIONS & SCHOLARSHIPS AT JINDAL GLOBAL LAW SCHOOL (JGLS) OF O.P. JINDAL GLOBAL UNIVERSITY
In past six years, JGLS has arguably emerged as India’s most promising law school. With over 90 full-time faculty members and over 1500 law students, it is safely one of the largest law schools in India and South Asia. The faculty members are drawn from almost all important legal jurisdictions in the world, which include not only India, UK and USA but also countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Russia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Iceland. Securing wide-ranging academic collaborations with over 100 top international universities, JGLS has almost achieved its distinction to be the India’s first global law school on par with the top law schools in the world.
Admission to all 360 seats in the 5-year Integrated BA/BBALLB (H) programmes i.e. five sections of 60 each in the BALLB (H) & one section of 60 students in BBALLB (H), are given on the basis of LSAT score. Further, LSAT score remains the major criteria to award scholarships and studentships to the first year students which could be up to 100% of the tuition fees depending upon one’s LSAT score and other eligibility requirements.
If you wish to study at JGLS, LSAT—India exam is a must .But, even if you want to keep it as one of the options, you have to write LSAT—India exam. Every year we receive hundreds of requests from students, who wish to join JGLS but have not written LSAT exam.
III. YOU AIM FOR INDIA’S FINEST 3-YEAR LLB PROGRAMME AFTER GRADUATION
So either you missed the bus after class 12 to join a great 5-year LLB programme or you took a decision to study law only after completing your first degree in whatever stream i.e.
BA/BCom/BSc/BE/BTech/BPharma/MBBS/BDS/BArch/BFA etc. Now you think of the option to study a truly professional and powerful 3-year LLB programme which is as good as the J.D. programme of US law schools or at least which is on par with the 5-year Integrated LLB programme of a top Indian law school. Unfortunately, the options are very limited. None of our National Law Universities (NLUs) offer a full-time, residential and rigorous 3-year LLB programme. Only options for you would be the traditional academic departments or faculties of Central or State Universities or their affiliated law colleges. The quality and standards of education could be good at very few places like University of Delhi or Benaras Hindu University. But if you aspire for the same rigor, exposure and full-time residential experience which students get in top law school, you may be disappointed. LSAT—India opens the opportunity to study the 3-year LL.B. programme at Jindal Global Law School which is arguably a world-class, fully residential, extremely rigorous, full-time LL.B. programme on par with a J.D. programme of a good US law school.
IV. YOU ARE AN ENGINEER OR SCIENCE POST-GRAD AND WANT TO STUDY LAW
Only Law School in the IIT system i.e. Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (RGSOIPL) of IIT, Kharagpur which offers a 3-year LL.B. programme with specialization in Intellectual Property Rights, admits students through LSAT—India exam. Of course, this option is open to you only if you are a First class BE/B.Tech. Graduate or you have done an MBBS/BDS/B.Pharma/M.Sc. with a first class in the 10+2+4/5 years of education.
V. YOU WANT MORE ADMISSION OFFERS FROM LEADING LAW SCHOOLS
It is always good that you receive admission offers from more than one law school and you are in a position to weigh your options and choose the best possible campus for yourself. As the law school admissions decision is a critical and important one for your entire career and life (you have to spend five/three years on the same campus), it is advisable to sit as many law entrance exam as you can and secure as many admission offers as possible. Then, you have option to do your own research, discuss with your parents and people in legal or judicial fraternity, visit the actual campuses of the law schools, network with alumni and existing students, checking your financial affordability and related issues, and finally, taking the best decision to join a particular law school. With over 60 law schools affiliated with LSAT—India exam, your writing it will make sure that you get multiple admission offers and you are in a position to choose the best one.
Lastly, being a lawyer myself, I will congratulate all of you who choose to study law and become an agent of change and justice and wish you all the best for your law entrance exam this summer.
(Note: The last date to apply online for LSAT—India exam is 1st May 2015 and the exam would be held on 17th May 2015. Visit www.pearsonvueindia.com/lsatindia for more info.)
(Mr. Anand Prakash Mishra holds an LL.B. & LL.M. from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and presently works as Assistant Director & Head – Graduate Admissions at O.P. Jindal Global University. He has a decade of past experience of teaching law aspirants and writing bestseller guidebooks for law entrance exams.)