CLAT PG preferences: Mostly what you’d expect. But how would you make your choice?CLAT PG preferences: Mostly what you’d expect. But how would you make your choice?

Did you know (or suspect) postgraduate law students hoping to study at an Indian national law university (NLU) nearly all prefer going to NLSIU Bangalore? Probably. But did you know NLIU Bhopal is by some readings more popular than NUJS Kolkata? And that a lot of high-ranking post-grads are going to Lucknow.

Following on from our annually-conducted analysis of undergraduate Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) takers’ preferences for national law schools a few days ago, we have this year, for the first time, also analysed postgraduate preferences for national law schools.

This is far from a completely scientific analysis, and doesn’t necessarily take into account reserved seats, locational factors and quality of postgraduate education offered, but it is rather interesting since there has been very little transparency or reporting done on the LLM scene (with the exception of a few articles below, please let us know if we’ve missed any):

In any case, we have published a table below of the top 20 ranks and top 10 ranks who opted for each college for a postgraduate, according to the first indicative seat preference list published by the CLAT.

In addition, there’s a slightly confusing graph above plotting candidate ranks against each law college, which is enlightening once you get your head around it (click here for an interactive version of the graph, which may be easier to follow, as well as the source data).

The findings, in short

In short, much like in the undergraduate preferences, nearly everyone ranking in the top 50 wants to go to NLSIU Bangalore.

Nalsar Hyderabad is in firm second place in CLAT post-graduate preferences, both according to the Super 10, Super 20 and the graph.

It gets interesting around NLIU Bhopal and NUJS Kolkata though - NLIU Bhopal, which is the older college but has long been lower-ranked in undergraduate preferences to NUJS - has a clear edge over NUJS both in Super 20 and Super 10 scores.

According to the graph, NLIU reservations likely kick after around 15 candidates, however, while NUJS has a fairly consistent curve up to 30 candidates.

The largest post-graduate NLU, with 80 seats, is NLU Jodhpur, and it is firmly ensconced in CLAT takers’ preferences behind NLIU and NUJS, for all 60-odd non-reserved seats.

Also interesting is RMLNLU Lucknow, which has quite a low Super 20 rank though actually is nearly as popular as Nalsar Hyderabad among its 10th best candidates. That could be a locational preference or a statistical aberration, due to 10 candidates being a small sample size.

Update: The RMLNLU mystery is perhaps solved. Othla tweeted:

@LegallyIndia reason for Lucknow preference is: lot of candidates who score high in CLAT-PG are from UP preparing for UPSC & Judiciary.

— Othla (@othlaw) Fri, 09 Jun 2017, 19:56

Finally, post-graduate candidates marginally preferred GNLU Gandhinagar over HNLU Raipur, which is followed by RGNUL Patiala and Nuals Kochi.

After that, there is a bit of a numerical separating line between NLUO Cuttack, with comparable Super 20 and Super 10 scores in the mid-300s, and the rest.

The remaining four and youngest CLAT colleges, which generally have smaller batch sizes of around 20, are lowest on the list of preferences with Super 20 scores of around 1,000, due in part to reservations kicking in.

However, some Super 10 scores stand out - MNLU Mumbai’s top 10 candidates have a comparable rank to those at HNLU Raipur, GNLU Gandhinagar, and RGNUL Patiala. One would wager that it’s Mumbai’s locational advantage coming into play, yet again.


In any case, this is the first time we’ve done this but we’d be interested in your views: how do you choose post-graduate national law schools? Is there a difference in post-graduate course quality at each of these places, or is it mostly a matter of brand names?

And why is NLIU more popular than NUJS?

Answers and thoughts in comments below please.

Postgraduate NLU Super 20 & 10 preferences

Super 20 (avg ranks) Super 10 (avg ranks) Total PG seats
NLSIU Bangalore 14 7 50
Nalsar Hyderabad 58 52 60
NLIU Bhopal 106 84 40
NUJS Kolkata 112 98 40
NLU Jodhpur 149 135 80
GNLU Gandhinagar 215 180 52
HNLU Raipur 242 221 45
RGNUL Patiala 258 208 38
Nuals Kochi 334 312 37
RMLNLU Lucknow 349 67 20
NLUO Cuttack 359 341 44
NLUJAA Guwahati 827 827 10
NUSRL Ranchi 983 383 20
MNLU Mumbai 1091 201 18
DSNLU 1229 352 21
MNLU Nagpur 1515 378 17

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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 10 Jun 17, 01:18
Pls report on NUJS placements
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Like +3 Object -1 Dev 001 10 Jun 17, 11:16
Thanks for bringing this up Kian. Hope you can come up with empirical evidence to reflect upon Indian Post Grad education in law.

Few issues to flag here:

1. Most National Law schools barely focus on master's students.
2. While specializations are listed, websites of law schools barely provide description of the various electives on offer. More often than not student end up repeating undergrad courses.
3. UGC controls and specifies certain mandatory courses for LLM courses. This limits the number of electives that can be opted by Master's students.
4. Quality of teaching, assessment standards are rather poor as faculty members barely teach. In some instances faculty is asked to focus on Undergrad students.
5. All in all, master's students are forced to learn on their own. Some emerge with better understanding due to their interactions with various undergrad students or due to their own efforts.
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Like +0 Object -3 Guest 10 Jun 17, 11:25
If you click the links above on previous LI article on LLMs you will see that doing an LLM in India is worthless: poor-quality students and poor placements.
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Like +2 Object -0 NUJS 10 Jun 17, 13:48
Kian - one reason a lot of students are not joining NUJS, I personally know three LLM candidates who went to NLUJ and NLIU even though the got through NUJS, was because there was no hostel for LLM students at NUJS.

Also, I don't understand why there is always a comment on an LLM news berating lack of placements, LLM is not for placements, it is an entry degree for Academics - I think students are misguided if a course is meant for something and you want something else you will be disappointed.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 10 Jun 17, 15:42
Really? LLM is only for academics?? Then why do so many NLI grads do LLMs abroad a join firms and companies, both abroad and in India?? You cannot say that LLMs from abroad are for placements and academic jobs, but LLMs from India are only for academic jobs !!
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Like +0 Object -0 Darkseid 10 Jun 17, 18:57
Actually, people do an LLM from abroad (other than for joining academics) mostly to get a foreign degree that offers entry into the foreign working market. If a person did LLB equivalent from a foreign university, he would rarely want to do an LLM too if he wants to join the industry. Similarly, most non-NLU grads do an LLM from NLU to get that NLU stamp more easily and cheaply than getting to do an LLB from there. I know of only 3-4 people who have graduated from top NLUs and did their LLMs from there too, and that was because they wanted to start teaching almost immediately and were being offered options that way. However, I agree with the general sentiment about Indian LLMs being grossly neglected in NLUs. Whether you wish to join academics or not, you need substance from a course. If you have it, you'd do well in the industry or in academia. If you consider strictly from placement perspective, it's not as if the NLUs help their LLBs in placement. The students do it all by themselves. And they get 4-5 years to acclimatise with the scenario, hence the reason for their success. The LLM students get hardly an year to do all of that. The contrast is thus stark.
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Like +1 Object -0 Scooter- 12 Jun 17, 14:33
Loan repayment
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Like +0 Object -0 Delhi lawyer 20 Jun 17, 14:39
Indian law graduates who do their LLM from abroad either hope to gain an entry to foreign firms or hope to improve their furture in India (of course, some hope to teach as well).

You see, without an US LLM followed by clearing a US State level Bar Exam, it is very unlikely that an Indian law grduate will get a job in a law firm in the US. Also, without getting into detailed niceties, most State level Bar Exams require that candidates study at an American law school. Further, studying LLM at a top Ivy League opens doors to placements, just like studying LLB at top NLUs do.

The situation is different for the UK. London firms do not care that much about LLM. They even hire law students directly from Indian law schools as "Trainee Solicitors" (because English law requires that all law graduates undergo a training period before their enrolment, although the position has changed slightly/technically since 2010 with the replacement of QLTT scheme/exam with QLTS). Indian law students who cannot get a Training Contract during their undergrad days try the LLM route subsequently in the belief that the LLM will improve their chances of getting a Training Contract. Some try the LLM route entry to associate positions directly, after a couple of years at Indian law firms - most of them were earlier registered as "foreign lawyers" but now they can qualify as English lawyers without doing a "Training Contract" if they take the QLTS. Firms, however, may not list them as "Associates" and continue their "foreign lawyer" designation.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 10 Jun 17, 23:54
The best law school ranking is the one down by Lawctopus. It reflect student preference and also points out that Symbi and Amity are better than the lower NLUs.
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