•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

Is the NLU bubble bursting or maturing? 2014 undergrad CLAT growth is lowest ever (but PG booms)

Has law as a career clateaud?
Has law as a career clateaud?

31,231 national law school hopefuls sat the Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) conducted by GNLU Gandhinagar this weekend, which was the lowest growth rate recorded since the exam began in 2008.

According to a press release from GNLU, 31,231 candidates sat the undergraduate CLAT yesterday competing for 1,660 seats, stating: “CLAT which began in 2007 has been witnessing ever increasing number of candidates participating in the exam to get admission into one of the national law universities. 2014 has witnessed the highest number of students appearing for the test.”

However, the number of undergraduate test takers is an increase of only 5 per cent compared to last year, marking the lowest year-on-year increase since 2010.

History repeating

In 2008 only 10,773 candidates applied for the first CLAT, held by NLSIU Bangalore, but the numbers grew rapidly year by year as more national law schools joined the CLAT club and law became an increasingly attractive career option.

In 2009 and and 2011, the number of applicants grew by a huge 28 per cent, while in 2010 and 2013 the growth-rate was around 13 per cent.

This dipped to a growth rate of only 7 per cent in 2012 and to just over 5 per cent growth this year at GNLU.

The number of national law schools has ballooned in recent years: a total of 15 national law schools are part of this year’s CLAT, including Tamil Nadu National Law School Srirangam that was granted provisional inclusion by the Madras high court early this month. This is more than twice as many as in 2008 when only seven were part of the CLAT.

Despite the number of applicants having increased by around 200 per cent between 2008 and 2014 and the number of law schools more than doubling, the number of undergraduate seats has only increased by 60 per cent, from 1,037 in 2008 to 1,660 this year.

NLU Delhi continues to conduct its own admissions test, the AILET.

Postgrad booms

While the undergraduate applications may be reaching a plateau, the postgraduate admissions are stronger than ever: 2,260 postgraduate candidates sat this year’s exam for 491 seats available, according to GNLU.

This is a hike of 63 per cent on last year when only 1,385 postgraduate candidates sat the CLAT.

2013 was the first year that the shorter one-year LLM began to be offered by many national law schools, in a bid to make the domestic LLM more popular and relevant.

Results will be declared on 31 May followed by a “counselling period” for the top-ranking 2,500 “merit-cum-preference candidates”, according to GNLU, with the admissions process closing by 30 June.

Click to show 20 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.