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The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is accepted by all the National Law Universities (NLUs) except NLU Delhi for selecting candidates for their undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of law. NLU Delhi conducts the All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) for shortlisting applicants for admission to the college. There are a total of 23 NLUs and they are considered to be among the topmost law colleges of India. More than 70,000 law aspirants appear for CLAT every year, thus making it the most popular law entrance exam in India.
The NLUs are the top choice for candidates who wish to study and make a career in law. In such a scenario, deciding which NLU to prefer over the others can be a daunting and confusing task. While filling the CLAT application form, candidates are given the option of selecting their preference of NLUs. Several factors are to be considered before filling the choice of college in the CLAT form. In this article, we have listed some important points that will help law aspirants in choosing the best NLU for themselves. Go through the list provided below and evaluate which NLU will be ideal for you.
Location of the University
The location of any college is one of the primary things to consider when looking for admission. Students usually prefer institutes that are established in tier 1 cities as that gives them more exposure. Apart from that, the opportunities that students of metropolitan or developed cities get are greater and relatively better than those provided to students of tier 2 or tier 3 cities. The geographical location of an NLU plays an important role in the decision-making process of students who list their preferences in the form. Some students also have personal reasons like preferring a university that is closer to their hometown or their unwillingness to move to an altogether different part of the country.
How Old is the University
Another factor considered by students while listing their choices is how old the university is. In most cases, students opt for older colleges over those who are newly established because of various reasons. If a university has been functioning for a sufficient number of years, it becomes easier to find about its curriculum, facilities, rankings, etc. With new colleges, not much can be deduced about their overall academic performance.
Additionally, the older the university, the larger is its alumni network. This provides a better chance of networking to students which helps them to a great extent when they step into their professional venture. A lot can be figured out about a college by looking at its record in the past few years.
Availability of Job Opportunities
It goes without saying that cities that offer job opportunities to students are the most preferred locations for pursuing the law degree from. Since law students have to do many internships during their undergraduate degree, they would naturally prefer enrolling in a National Law University which is situated in a city that has a good number of law firms and job prospects.
Many students start working under an advocate or a legal professional during their degree itself. If they get such an opportunity in the city of their college, they have the option of attending classes in the day and going for the internship during the evening hours or on weekends. Many law students follow this to enhance their skills and gain some experience while continuing with their classes.
Apart from that, some students also prefer NLUs that are in the vicinity of courts. One of the reasons why NLU Delhi is a top choice of students is because of its proximity to the Supreme Court. Candidates can try looking for internship opportunities in and around high courts and can also get a wider range of legal professionals to work under.
The Sector You Want to Pursue
The candidates who have clarity regarding which field of law they wish to pursue as their career are at an advantage while giving their preference of NLUs. Those who opt for corporate law choose the higher-ranked NLUs like National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), National Law School of India University (NLSIU), WB National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJs), etc. because they provide better placements in corporate law. Whereas the students who wish to go for litigation can enrol in the lower-ranked NLUs like Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University (RMLNLU), Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Chanakya National Law University (CNLU Patna) as they provide great job offers in litigation.
While the importance of semester breaks is significant for every college student, it is even more noteworthy for students who are pursuing law. It has been mentioned already that internships are mandatory for every law aspirant. They have to do as many internships as they can so as to enhance their resume and increase their chances of getting employed at a well-known firm right after graduating. Therefore, the semester breaks of law schools are when almost all the students join some law firm for internships.
The students do not have any pressure of academics and their classes and hence, they can focus entirely on their work. Semester breaks are the most ideal periods for law students to complete their apprenticeship and learn how the legal profession functions. In such a case, students of NLUs who have longer semester breaks are at an advantage.
For example, NLSIU and National Law Institute University (NLIU) have three semesters in a year which results in students of NLU Bangalore and NLU Bhopal getting shorter semester breaks as compared to those of the other NLUs which have only two semesters in a year. Likewise, the universities which release their academic schedule beforehand provide students with an added benefit as they can manage their internships and academic on time. Applying for an internship and getting accepted is a long process and takes time. Hence, it is not possible for students to bag an internship at short notice. Therefore, it comes as a great help if they know details like their exam schedule and semester break dates way before, thus giving them the liberty to apply accordingly.
The courses offered in law have are diverse. With an increase in the popularity of the stream of law, the programmes of this field have also expanded. Students now have a wide range of options to choose from, depending upon their requirements, preferences, and interests. All NLUs offer various bachelor and masters level programmes. The courses of Bachelor of Law (LL.B) and Master of Law (LL.M) are provided at all NLUs. However, the five-year integrated law programmes are spread unevenly across all National Law Universities.
Students must decide which course they want to enrol in and then choose a college that offers that course. For example, BA LL.B is offered at almost all the NLUs but B.Sc LL.B is offered by Gujarat National Law University (GNLU). Similarly, B.Com LL.B is provided at Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU) and BBA LL.B is provided at National Law University Odisha (NLUO) and National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur among a few others.
The placement record of a college is probably the most important factor considered by students while listing that college in his/ her preference list. The NLUs which boast placement results better than other NLUs are naturally the top choice of students. Those who have maintained an impressive placement record in all the years of its establishment have become the most sought after colleges, especially for students who wish to start working after completing their degree.
Students who aspire to go for judiciary after their course do not lay as much emphasis on this factor because getting placed is neither on their agenda nor their priority. Hence, candidates must search for the placement record of each NLU, the average package offered at them, the total companies that visit them for recruiting students, etc.
Referring to the NIRF rankings of all National Law Universities before filling your preferences is a wise decision. The National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) releases their rankings every year which are given to colleges after evaluating them on several aspects. All the NLUs that featured among the top 10 NIRF ranking 2021 for law colleges have been listed below along with their respective ranks.
Name of the NLU
NIRF 2020 Rank
National Law School of India University (NLSIU)
National Law University (NLUD)
New Delhi, Delhi
National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR)
National Law University (NLUJ)
The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS)
Kolkata, West Bengal
Gujarat National Law University (GNLU)
These points will definitely help you in deciding which NLU to choose after CLAT 2021. In case you have any doubts or queries, you can call on the toll-free student helpline number 1800-572-9877 and speak with our counsellors. You can also fill the Common Application Form (CAF) and get your queries solved by admission experts.