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Background of the CLAT

The Common Law Admission Test acronymic CLAT is the gateway exam to 14 premier law universities, in the country popularly known as National Law Schools or National Law Universities. CLAT is for law what the CAT exam is for management and the JEE is for engineering. It serves as the litmus test to test whether or not you have it in you to become a lawyer, and to that end qualify for and educate yourselves at world class Universities.

National Law Schools began with the premier institution being setup in the late 1980s with the mandate of carrying out bold experiments in legal education. The institution, National Law University of India (NLSIU), Bangalore, grew both in substance and reputation to promote and cater to some of the sub-continent�s best talent in law. The success prompted the concept to grow and other institutions joined the fray most notably Hyderabad, Bhopal and Kolkata.

Each of these institutions originally had a separate entrance exam much to the annoyance of the aspirant (and to expense of the parent). When the grumbling became an argument, one such aspirant filed a petition at the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court of India mandated a common entrance exam for the then existent National Law Schools, and this judgement found animation in the form of the Common Law Entrance Exam or CLAT. Since then almost all National Law Schools, the notable exception being National Law University Delhi, admit students on their CLAT scores.

The Organizing Committee

The CLAT Committee consists of the Vice Chancellors, Registrars and senior persons from all the law schools covered by CLAT. The inaugural CLAT committee decided that the CLAT would be organized by rotation by the Universities in order of seniority by date of establishment. Accordingly, the Vice Chancellor of the conducting University, organizes the Thus NLSIU being the oldest of the National Law Schools conducted the first exam in 2008; 2009, 2010 and 2011 were organized by NALSAR,NLIU and NUJS respectively. The 2012 CLAT exam was conducted under the auspices of NLU, Jodhpur.

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