Posted by: Kunal | January 24, 2008

How to Dismantle the Bomb: Legal Aptitude

We all kept contemplating about it and before anyone knew, it was out of the box. Yes Monsieur and Mademoiselle, I am talking about ‘The CAT with a “L”.’ L of course stands here for LAW; the name of the examination is so apt and in fact so beautifully personified that students have to start visualizing this examination as the feline CAT. A CAT which is not that easy to catch, bell or whatever, add to that a Legal angle to the nature of this animal and it becomes even more intricate, (that is because, with LAW by its side, it knows how to remain within the purview of the legalities and how to Play Safe)

So much so for brainstorming on the name of the examination. Lets touch the core issue. The examination is now going to be completely objective in nature and the descriptive part shall be left out in the cold (We know we are saying this the umpteenth time, maybe this should tell you how much of an impact this has left on us) For some it could be a Christmas gift albeit a little delayed, for others it maybe distressing, but for none will it prove to be a catastrophe, (cLatastrophe) since we all are already more than half way through with our preparation of the objective part, which as all of you may agree is relatively easy.

Law is based upon ‘Human Behaviour’ and prescribes certain codes of conduct for the citizens on whom it is applicable. This means that Legal Aptitude is the easiest among all the heads of preparation for the entrance process, because all you have to do is to ‘act rationally’ and think in line with the ‘principles of law’.

The Legal Aptitude section is basically divided into two halves constituting of Legal Knowledge and Legal reasoning (Hereinafter called as LK & LR). Till last year when there was a mix of subjective and objective questions, certain components of both of these ( LK & LR) were covered in the form of brief writing and Short note writing.

An appropriate question here can be, “Whether these attributes be compromised?”

The answer is not as difficult as the question. No, (not even for the love of God). Legal knowledge has always been an integral part of the curriculum, and requires you to go through the recent updates happening in the legal field such as the recent judgments etc. Since the total number of marks remain same, your the focus should be on gathering more knowledge about the recent amendments, landmark judgments etc. as these can now be asked as Multiple Choice Question types. This in itself makes things a little more complicated for you. Examiners can be really cruel when it comes to creating options, and would try their best to confuse you, which means you have to be completely thorough with the information.

This brings us to the question, “How does one gain more clarity on concepts?”

Answer: Read.

Next question

How to read? (I meant Does one need to cram the stuff?)

Being the authentic academicians that we are, we will never recommend you to something that shallow. (All right exceptions are always there, so on a few occasions we may.) But for this our advice is to always read things extensively and in detail (whenever you are reading an article, read it carefully and completely and not just go through a summary or skim through a bunch of prepared points).

For example, if you happen to read about Rajiv Gandhi. Browsing through a few points will tell you that ‘He was the youngest Prime Minister’ and ‘A militant outfit called LTTE killed him’. But what you can miss out and what the National Law Schools will test you upon is ‘Where was he killed’, or ‘what policies did he adopt in India? , ‘What were the landmark moves taken by him? , ‘What was his tenure?’

You could be asked about the importance of these events and if you don’t know it in details and are prepared superficial things could miss out if you miss even a small link, For example If they ask you Where was Rajiv Gandhi assassinated ? What was his impact in Shah Bano case etc. You won’t have any clue if you have not read about him in detail.


Whose birthday do we celebrate as ‘Youth’s day’, most people would believe it is Rajiv Gandhi (more so since we are talking about him), but the right answer is Swami Vivekananda.

I know these are General Knowledge based questions but the base of learning remains same.

Legal Terms, maxims, Doctrines are important as they form an important element even in your understanding of concepts of law, as principles of natural justice and Ignorantia juris non exusat maxim form the very basis of law. The examiner will test you upon these grounds to understand whether you are actually well versed with the fundamentals or the ‘base of law.’

The most important feature is ‘The Constitution of India’ and its articles ( Not all of them are important) along with it form the most important element in Legal knowledge. The powers of a Constitutional Body, Position, appointment procedure etc all are given there and are often asked in the entrance examination.

The other important areas, include Current affairs, the Commissions, and the recent Acts and Amendments from the legal arena.

All of these can be learnt and understood by you if you get into the thick of the things and know try and understand the basics of whatever that you are reading. If you are reading Constitution, you must know why do we need a Constitution, What principles govern the Constitution, and rest assured all the important parts of Legal knowledge will be covered.

In the next post we shall be take up Legal Reasoning, and break the bricks in its wall.

Keep reading.



  1. Nice!
    Looking forward to the LR post!

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