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Law Optional for UPSC- Key Takeaways

Hi guys,

I'm a law graduate from one of the top National Law Schools. I wrote my first mains this year with law optional. I thought I'd share some of my impressions and realizations during the course of the preparation with fellow aspirants. Here are some of my key takeaways while preparing law-

1.) There is hardly any guidance available for law optional online. There is a patent lack of resources and study material as well as guidance from senior candidates/successful candidates on their strategies, methods etc.
2.) There is a serious lack of good coachings and test series especially true for students outside Delhi.
3.) The subject can be extremely rewarding if you have the right resources and the preparation is good. But it is difficult to finish the syllabus in a holistic manner and focus on important areas due to a lack of guidance.
4.) Finishing the syllabus is a task as there are a lot of specific things that you have to internalize but honestly speaking they might not be very important from the point of view of UPSC. It is difficult to ascertain the risk and reward quotient of different parts of the syllabus unless you have a clear idea of the requirement of the paper.
5.) The questions are always on predictable lines - a good mixture of current affairs based questions and key concepts. Current affairs based questions have gained significant prominence over the years.
6.) It is easy to predict the line of questions hence answer writing becomes even more important.
7.) Content enrichment in the form of adding case laws and relevant provisions is extremely important to fetch good marks.
8.) There are hardly any resources available to understand the answer requirements- no model answers or topper's answers etc.

Unfortunately, due to a number of above mentioned limitations, I could not give my best this year. It took a lot of time just to collate resources and even then there was a patent lack of genuine and good feedback. There was no way to judge the direction of my preparation or whether my answer writing was upto the mark. Therefore, I suggest the following for people preparing for next year-
*I'd humbly request senior candidates/successful candidates to take some time out from their busy schedules and guide the aspirants.
*Answer writing and feedback are extremely important. Due to a lack of good coachings, peer collaboration and review become the most important way to improve.
*Most of the questions are now related to current affairs hence it becomes really important to constantly analyse legal current affairs and make a list of possible questions and try and answer them.
*Solving past year question papers is also a very good way to practice answer writing. Past year question are often repeated.
*Finally, make a clear strategy of how to cover topics and stick to it while also practicing answer writing simultaneously.

I'm planning to do all of the above for my next attempt in 2018 and looking for a group of motivated individuals for collaboration and peer review. If you are interested, you can pm me or reply to this thread and we can start as soon as possible. Any genuine suggestions to improve the method of preparation are also welcome.

Regards,
A fellow law aspirant.






Comments

  • Hello sir, I am from NLU Odisha. I am in second year now. Could u plz suggest how to start prep especially law optional and also which books should I refer to?
  • Hello sir, I am from NLU Odisha. I am in second year now. Could u plz suggest how to start prep especially law optional and also which books should I refer to?

    For all this visit blogs of riju bafna and abdaal akhtar... selected candidates..
    Officer at MHA
  • @Legally_Yours totally agree that there is a patent lack of resources to ascertain the risk and reward quotient of different parts of the syllabus. More so, with such vast syllabus coupled with the plethora of legally relevant current affairs.
  • abhi44 said:

    @Legally_Yours totally agree that there is a patent lack of resources to ascertain the risk and reward quotient of different parts of the syllabus. More so, with such vast syllabus coupled with the plethora of legally relevant current affairs.

    Even though I 'll be opting for History but any discussion on law optional interests me as I have read some standard texts while pursuing LLB. @Legally_Yours What he said holds completely true.
    BA History - Political science. LLB. LLM student.
    Optional - History
  • Hello everyone. Got the opportunity to return after so many years on the website. I have appeared in cse interview in 2014, 15 and 16 with good scores in law though interview killed my chances everytime. Currently I am engaged with a private firm independent of the vicious cycle of the exams. So, I am willing to give back to the aspirants my share of knowledge and experiences. Anyone interested can pm me.
  • edited February 28
    Hello @Nariman

    Which firm are you working for ? And where are you based currently ?

    I am from Mumbai and completed LLB in 2017.

    And any reasons as to why things went wrong in consecutive interviews , in case if you would like to share it with us.
    BA History - Political science. LLB. LLM student.
    Optional - History
  • Sorry. I can't divulge much details. Due to intense scrutiny itself I have to create a new account here. As far as interviews are concerned, sometimes a loop gets started where you are only concerned about only appearing for interview without thinking about marking. I remember in my 2016 attempt I was not willing to go for the interview.
  • Nariman said:

    Sorry. I can't divulge much details. Due to intense scrutiny itself I have to create a new account here. As far as interviews are concerned, sometimes a loop gets started where you are only concerned about only appearing for interview without thinking about marking. I remember in my 2016 attempt I was not willing to go for the interview.

    Noted :)
    BA History - Political science. LLB. LLM student.
    Optional - History
  • abhi44 said:

    @Legally_Yours totally agree that there is a patent lack of resources to ascertain the risk and reward quotient of different parts of the syllabus. More so, with such vast syllabus coupled with the plethora of legally relevant current affairs.

    Can't really say whether it's the lack of resources or the incredibly opaque manner of marking that's deterring me from opting for this optional. I was quite satisfied after my optional paper. Waiting for marksheets to figure out what went wrong. But switching optional nonetheless.
  • abhi44 said:

    @Legally_Yours totally agree that there is a patent lack of resources to ascertain the risk and reward quotient of different parts of the syllabus. More so, with such vast syllabus coupled with the plethora of legally relevant current affairs.

    Can't really say whether it's the lack of resources or the incredibly opaque manner of marking that's deterring me from opting for this optional. I was quite satisfied after my optional paper. Waiting for marksheets to figure out what went wrong. But switching optional nonetheless.
    @plain_dosa01
    What was your earlier optional ?

    BA History - Political science. LLB. LLM student.
    Optional - History
  • @Prathmesh14 Geography. Although Geography is also dooming vis a vis marks at the moment but I think it would be more reliable for me at least.
  • Nariman said:

    Sorry. I can't divulge much details. Due to intense scrutiny itself I have to create a new account here. As far as interviews are concerned, sometimes a loop gets started where you are only concerned about only appearing for interview without thinking about marking. I remember in my 2016 attempt I was not willing to go for the interview.

    Actually you need to publish this wonderful thought of yours in all thread of all website of which forumias sud be the last (here everyone knows you )
    “The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties. Never regret.”
  • edited February 28

    @Prathmesh14 Geography. Although Geography is also dooming vis a vis marks at the moment but I think it would be more reliable for me at least.

    @plain_dosa01

    Ok. The optional which also covers some part of GS is definetly safe. Mine is history and even I plan to stick to it given the time, energy and money i have invested in it.
    BA History - Political science. LLB. LLM student.
    Optional - History
  • one stop destination for IBPS Law officer and other law related exam
  • Law is a good optional. Barring 2016 performance has been good. One thing is important that barring constitutional law there is less scope of doing anything out of box to outclass others. Rest, the best thing is one can hardly find any question unanswerable if one cover the basic syllabus properly without going in much depth. Scoring in Paper 2 is literally a cakewalk if one has correct orientation as against paper 1.
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