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WITH AN INCREASING NUMBER OF ASPIRANTS TAKING THE COMMON LAW ADMISSION TEST (CLAT) EVERY YEAR, THE COMPETITION IS GETTING TOUGHER. SURBHI BHATIA REPORTS

MORE than 18,000 candidates will appear for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2010 to be held on May 9. Last year, approximately 14,000 students appeared for the test. “The competition is getting tougher by the day. In 2009, several students with equal percentage in the entrance test were fighting for a single seat. Preference was given to the candidate older in age. However, this year, we have changed the criterion. If there is a tie between candidates with similar percentage in CLAT, preference will be given to the candidate who scored better in his or her class X board exam and the legal aptitude section of CLAT,” informed SS Singh, director, National Law Institute University, Bhopal, convener, CLAT 2010. Attributing the increase in applications to the growing demand for legal services, he said, “Globalisation created the demand for legal services and the economic meltdown has given it further boost.” There has also been an increase in the number of law schools participating in the test from the time it started. “A memorandum of understanding was signed by seven National Law Universities. The experience in CLAT-2008 has been that larger catchment area provides better quality of students. Therefore, in addition to the initial seven National Law Universities, four other National Law Universities from Kochi, Lucknow, Raipur and Patiala joined CLAT in 2009,” he said. The test will have 200 questions (one mark each) and will judge students on their legal aptitude and English and GK. The pattern of the test has been undergoing changes over the years. There is an increase in the number of questions in English and legal aptitude sections. It may witness further changes in the coming years as law schools plan to align CLAT with the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) conducted for admission to various law schools across the US, Australia and Canada. Approximately, 1.5 lakh aspirants from these countries take the test.