Differences between CLAT UG & PG I Eligibility, Syllabus Etc

CLAT, or Common Law Admission Test, is the entrance test for 22 National Law Universities (all NLUs, except NLU Delhi) across India. Both, CLAT PG and UG is organized by the Consortium of National Law Universities, consisting of the representative universities. Broadly, CLAT UG is essentially the entrance to courses like B.A.LL. B., B.Sc, LL. B., B.B.A.LL. B, etc. On the other hand, CLAT PG is taken by law aspirants to gain admission into NLUs at the Masters’ level, for LL.M. 


However, there are some inherent nuances to this categorization. In this blog, we will deal with the differences between CLAT UG & PG with respect to eligibility, syllabus, preparation strategy, career prospects, etc. Let’s dive right into it!

Differences between CLAT UG & PG #1: Syllabus

CLAT UG focuses on evaluating the comprehension and reasoning skills and abilities of candidates. Overall, it is designed to be a test of aptitude and skills that are necessary for a legal education rather than prior knowledge.Prior knowledge of Law is the core essence of CLAT PG paper. Since the eligibility (next section) is UG in law, the paper extracts comprehension paragraphs from primary legal materials such as important court decisions in various fields of law, statutes or regulations.
The CLAT UG question paper is divided across the following five (05) subjects: English Language, Current Affairs, including General Knowledge, Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative TechniquesThe entire paper is based on the mandatory subjects of the undergraduate program and includes Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, Administrative Law, Law of Contract, Torts, Family Law, Criminal Law, Property Law, Company Law, Public International Law, Tax Law, Environmental Law, and Labour & Industrial Law.

Differences between CLAT UG & PG #2: Eligibility

The qualifying examination for CLAT UG is 10+2 or equivalent.
As regards the minimum percentage of marks in the qualifying examination, the candidates must have secured:Forty-five percent (45%) marks or its equivalent grade in the case of candidates belonging to General / OBC / PWD / NRI / PIO / OCI categoriesForty Percent (40%) marks or equivalent in case of candidates belonging to SC/ST categories.
Note – There is no upper age limit for appearing in CLAT UG.
The qualifying examination is an LL.B. Degree or an equivalent examination.
As regards the minimum percentage of marks in the qualifying examinations, the candidates must have secured: a minimum of Fifty percent (50%) of Marks or its equivalent grade in the case of candidates belonging to General/OBC/PWD/NRI/PIO/OCI categoriesForty-Five percent (45%) of marks or its equivalent grade in case of candidates belonging to SC/ST categories.Note – No upper age limit is prescribed for appearing in CLAT PG as well.

Differences between CLAT UG & PG #3: Career Prospects

The differences between CLAT UG & PG concerning career prospects aren’t very wide. After CLAT PG, however, a new career avenue, that of academia opens up. Also, some major PSUs prefer to hire LL. M. holders from NLUs, making CLAT PG a requisite. We will discuss these in this section.

Let’s first begin with recruiters that are common to CLAT UG and PG holders. The common kinds of recruiters that hire after the completion of your UG or PG degree from an NLU after cracking CLAT are –

  • Domestic Law Firms – The major portion of the pie chart on hirings done by a kind of recruiter belongs to the Domestic Law firm category. Entry-level hirings are made by the “big seven” of the law industry – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM), Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), AZB & Partners, Khaitan & Co., Trilegal, J. Sagar Associates (JSA) and Luthra & Luthra (L&L) Partners. The average salary offered by these offices ranges between 12 and 15 lakhs per annum. Offers are made by some other law firms like the S & R Associates, Talwar Thakore & Associates and Wadia & Ghandy Associate, as well.
  • Corporate Organisations – The in-house counsel jobs are also up for grabs during the placement seasons in an NLU. Corporate organisations like Ernst & Young, Tata Sons, Tata Croma, ICICI Bank, CL Educated, Star India, Edelweiss Asset, etc appear on the “Day Zero” frequently. 
  • Foreign Law Firms – Another hot piece of that pie is the global career prospect providing recruiters, the overseas law firms. The best recruiters in this category are –
    • Herbert Smith Freehills, 
    • Linklaters, and 
    • Allen & Overy.
  • Public Sector Undertakings – Another top recruiters kind are the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). 

Though most of them accept the CLAT (PG) scores for scrutiny for the recruitment process, some are which hire the NLU students directly. Some of them are –

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)
  • National Mineral Development Corporation Limited (NMDCL)
  • Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL)
  • Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
  • Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL)
  • Indian Oil Corporation (IOC Ltd.)
  • National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)

In addition to the students hired by the recruitment processes mentioned above, some students choose a variety of additional approaches depending on their particular motivations and for which there may not be a standard procedure. For example,

  • Independent Litigation in fields like –
    • Criminal law,
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution expert like Arbitrator, Mediator, etc,
    • Intellectual Property Law,
    • Mercantile and Corporate law, etc
  • Supreme court/ High Court clerk or Judicial Clerkship,
  • Research assistantship with Government and Private firms,
  • Civil Services (UPSC and State PCS),
  • Lower judiciary, and
  • Legal Journalism.

Further, if you want to make a career in academia, then an LLM degree (after cracking CLAT PG) is mandatory. In academia, you have to start as an Assistant Professor to work in law school. You should be UGC NET qualified with a degree in LLM.

NGOs, consultancies, media and publishing houses, and international organizations like the United Nations (UN) also hire LLM graduates in highly paid positions.

Concluding differences between CLAT UG & PG

CLAT UG & PG are entirely different examinations when it comes to their nature, scope, syllabus and eligibility. However, what joins them is the fact that they function as entrances to an NLU, albeit for different courses at two distinct levels. 

Having said that, life in an NLU and beyond looks pretty decent, eh? Indeed. However, remember that as sweet as life after NLU may seem, getting into one is equally arduous. It requires dedicated preparation, exact study sources, study techniques, and sheer willpower. Nevertheless, it isn’t something unachievable. So wherever you are in the preparation stage – whether starting it or concluding your journey with the upcoming examinations – decide quickly and decide now. 

And as soon as you decide, tune in to Oliveboard for more help with that dream life in an NLU. You can also check out this blog for preparation tips and tricks for CLAT UG. The sooner you decide, the more edge we have!

For tips and tricks on preparing for other law entrances, check this. Ciao! 


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