The 3 years LL.B. course after graduation remained the only recognized course for entry into legal profession for long. An alternative option was found when the 5 years integrated LL.B. course after 12 th was introduced in the year 1988 with the establishment of National Law School, Bangalore.
However, even today when LAW as a career option and 5 years integrated LL.B. course after 12 th as a preferred choice of professional education have assumed significant popularity and eminence, the traditional 3 years LL.B. course is being offered at a larger number of University Law Faculties & Departments and affiliated Law Colleges, producing a larger number of qualified law graduates in the country in comparison to 5 years course.
Some of the top law schools/faculties of the country like Faculty of Law of Delhi University and Law School of Benaras Hindu University still offer only 3 years LL.B. course. However, some top law schools like Government Law College, Mumbai and I.L.S. Law College, Pune have added 5 years LL.B. course in addition to their existing 3 years LL.B. programme. Though, most of the new generation law schools i.e. those set up during the last 10-15 years including National Law Universities (NLUs) have excluded 3 years LL.B. from their offerings and have marched ahead only with 5 years LL.B. courses, the 3 years course remains as popular and important across the country.
3 years LL.B. course vis-à-vis 5 years LL.B. course
A question which I come across very often is - "How good is a 3 years LL.B. course in comparison to a 5 years integrated Law programme?" Answer to this question is very simple. If a candidate is class 12 th student/pass out, he should go for 5 years law without giving any thought to 3 years course in future and if she/he is a graduate, asking a question about 5 years law or making comparisons therewith makes no sense. Both the courses are equally good and they should not be compared in the first place simply because they serve to two entirely different audiences.
Arguably, 5 years LL.B. courses, particularly at NLUs have placed their graduates in national/international law firms, corporate legal departments and consulting companies in a much better way. However, the litigators, judges, academicians and law officers in the government mostly come from 3 years LL.B. courses of University Law Departments and Faculties. Important in this context for a law aspirant is to aim for and secure admission to a top law school/faculty to get a wholesome legal education and learning experience.
Age-limit and Eligibility for 3 years LL.B. Entrance Exams
There is no upper age-limit for admission to 3 years LL.B. course, however, a candidate must be above 17 years of age on the date of application. A graduation degree is the basic qualification required. Universities like Delhi and B.H.U. require minimum 50% marks whereas Universities like Kurukshetra, MDU Rohtak, CCS University, Meerut, etc. require 45% marks in graduation.
Analysis of Past Papers and Advisory in each area
We can see clearly that the focus in 3 years LL.B. Entrance exams remains on three areas namely, GK, English and Legal Aptitude. In some exams, logical and analytical reasoning are also important but Quantitative Aptitude or Maths is generally not asked. So, students should have a balanced strategy for all the four subjects i.e. GK, English, Legal Aptitude and Reasoning. Let us discuss them one by one.
1. G.K. including Current Affairs
If we analyze past 3 years' papers of Delhi University (2008-2010), GK emerges as the most important area. 90-100 questions out of 175 total questions were from GK/Current Affairs. If we include questions from Legal GK or Legal Awareness to it, in 2010, over 125 questions were from this area. In other exams also, it is an important part. So, students should prepare it well.
Reading a good newspaper like 'The Hindu' regularly and taking notes is the best way to build GK. However, if you have not done that throughout the year, just go through the diary of events of year 2010 (available 'free' at its website www.hindu.com , click 'Events 2010' link). Now, just take note of all important national, international and sports events. Students must supplement it with happenings of past four months i.e. January to April 2011 from a good GK magazine like Pratiyogita Darpan (English) - at least six past issues. Alternatively, you can read GK content of last six months at a GK portal like www.competitionmaster.com . With this, your preparation for current affairs would be adequately done.
For General Studies, candidates should go for a good GK book like Pearson's coupled with a latest yearbook like Penguin or Manorama. Government publication ' India 2011' of Publications Division is a must read for LL.B. aspirants.
2. English including Reading Comprehension
The second most important area is English, which is also the language of LAW. In D.U. LL.B. entrance, we can reasonably expect 35 to 70 questions (20 -40%) of the paper from this area. You need to master three areas of English:
- Grammar & Sentence Correction, and
- Reading Comprehension
Building vocabulary on a daily basis from every possible source is important i.e. from your daily newspaper to your text books or from books like Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Similarly, doing some grammar and sentence correction exercise daily is important from any good book on objective English like 'English is Easy' of Chetanand Singh or a book on similar subject by R.S. Agarwal . For mastering comprehension, a wide reading habit as well as practice from papers given in aforementioned books is needed. A two-month plan working two-hours daily on English can do the magic even for students of non-English medium.
3. Legal Aptitude/Legal Awareness
In DU or other 3 years LL.B. Entrances, most of the Legal Aptitude questions are from Legal GK or Legal Awareness and very few questions are from Legal Reasoning. If you see 2010 paper of Delhi University, you can find some very easy questions like who is the Chief Justice of India or Chairman of Bar Council of India or Union Minister of HRD. Point to note is that all of them were lawyers. So, information about courts, lawyers and judges is the most important in Legal GK. At the same time, 2010 paper contained some really difficult questions for them who do not follow legal news and developments in the country. For example, there was a question about Supreme Court judgment dated 22.03.2010 interpreting Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution. There was another question about Delhi High Court's judgment dated 22.03.2010 about protection of women from domestic violence. Another question related to IP litigation between Toyota & Prius Industrie s for trademark 'Prius'. Now, to answer such questions correctly, a very high degree of legal awareness is required.
For mastering legal awareness or Legal GK questions, again reading a good newspaper like 'The Hindu' and taking note of every important legal development in the country on a regular basis is important. Students may also trust Universal's Guide to LL.B. (21 st Edition, 2011) and Universal's book on Legal GK .
4. Logical & Analytical Reasoning
Though a look at DU 2008-2010 papers suggests that this area is not-so-important as very few questions (5-10) are asked each year, I will still suggest students to master this area thoroughly because I remember 40 to 50 questions from reasoning being asked in DU LL.B. Entrances of year 2001 to 2006.
As the pattern of DU LL.B. exam keeps on changing and is highly unpredictable, students must solve at least few exercises from all type of reasoning questions to be on the safer side. Many good text-books on reasoning are available in the market but taking just one like that of M.K. Pandey's Analytical Reasoning or any such similar book will suffice.
Make a Study Plan
Law aspirants must make a daily study plan based on aforementioned information. At least 30 to 45 days of intensive preparation is a must to pass a 3 years LL.B. Entrance Test like that of Delhi University. A cool 5-6 hours of studies every day is required. Candidates must make a plan where they study at least 2 subjects every day and have at least one vocabulary/English and one reasoning exercise daily.
Apply to More Colleges
Lastly, I suggest students aspiring for a 3 years LL.B. course to apply for more colleges to be on the safer side. In a competitive exam like DU, one bad day of yours can mar a whole year. Hence, applying to more Universities like BHU, Panjab, Mumbai (GLC), Pune (ILS and DES), Allahabad, Lucknow, etc. will secure your seat.