Judiciary prepation
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This article is written by Ramanuj Mukherjee, Team LawSikho.

I have visited over 300 law college campuses all over India. If I ever visit a city, I make an attempt to go visit the local law colleges. Offer some guest lectures, meet LawSikho students who live in the city, speak to the local lawyers, but more importantly, get the pulse of the law students and young lawyers – because they are the people we at LawSikho work with.

I ask the kids – what do you want to do when you graduate? Why did you choose law? How do you think your law studies are going? Are you satisfied with your progress? Where did you intern recently? What did you learn there?

The more I ask, the more I learn.

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So I have known for some time that judiciary is a top career choice. Law students either want to work in a law firm as a corporate lawyer after graduation, or they want to be a judge. There are others with other interests, but that is a small minority.

Even first-year law students will tell you that they want to be a judge when they graduate. The next question I tend to ask is – great, so have you started preparing in some ways? Whether you ask a first-year or a fifth-year, the answer is always some version of the following:

Yeah, not really. But I am going to start soon though.

Here is what the average law students does:

First year: this is too early to start of course. I have 2 more/ 4 more years (depending on whether you are in 3 years or 5 years course).

Second year: Ok, now they are teaching some relevant subjects like IPC, CPC, CrPC, Evidence Act so let me learn these from college teachers first then I will join judiciary coaching later.

Third year: yeah now I need to start thinking about judiciary preparation but I guess I still have time. I will start next month. No, I will start after the next exam. Ok, after Diwali. Fine, after New Year definitely etc.

Fourth year: I still have not started judiciary training. But I guess it’s ok. Maybe I should think of joining a judiciary coaching finally. 

Fifth year: I have joined a judiciary coaching finally. However, now I have only 18 months to prepare 40 huge subjects. It’s bigger than my entire law school curriculum to finish this in 18 months now I need to study for 12 hours a day! Ok maybe I can do this. Let me try.

After 2 months: It’s not happening. How can one study for 10 hours a day? I am getting depressed from staying in front of books and not being able to focus! My life is upside down and still, I am not progressing fast enough. Maybe I should try again after graduation when I can focus exclusively on this. Also, this is the final year in college, I should enjoy this year and not spend studying for 10 hours a day!

3 months after graduation: all my friends are earning, dating, travelling, posting amazing pictures on Instagram, and what am I doing? Trying to learn CPC and TOPA notes and I do not know where to start and where to end. Am I ready to study so much for the next 12-18 months? What if I don’t make it after all this effort?

80% of judiciary-aspirants psychologically give up at this point. They may still appear in the exam, but they know in their heart that they have not put in the preparation that was needed. They still go through the motions to keep their family happy, or to keep up the appearances. But long before, they are already looking for exit options. 

One exit option is to focus on the prelims and clear it. It is relatively easy to do. However, after writing prelims, you barely have 2-3 months to prepare for mains. That is nowhere near enough time no matter how hard you work. Still, if you cleared prelims, you have something to show, kind of a face-saver with your family and well-wishers. 

Take for example the Bihar judiciary exams that are coming up, and dates have been announced. My estimate is that at least 20,000 people will appear in that exam.

However, not more than 1000 would have finished the syllabus and revised at least once before the exams! I am not kidding.

There are a lot of people taking a shot, but very few who actually go through the proper preparations beforehand. 

There are some exams that you can prepare for quickly. For instance, you can clear the SEBI Grade 1 officers’ exam with 3-6 months of preparation. You can clear UGC NET with 3 months of preparation – we are helping a lot of people to do so.

But that does not work with judiciary exams. You have to put in a lot of work before you will even be close enough to compete. And in the end, there will be a couple of dozen seats, and if you do not make it to 50 people, your chances are quite low. While there is reservation for SC, ST, and OBC candidates, it is not at all easy to make it through to one of the reserved category seats either, quite contrary to what is often said by some ignorant people. 

People do not start when they have plenty of time in their hands. They say – we have enough time. We will see about this later.

They start when they have little time, at the 11th hour, and then they give up on their dreams because there is not enough time.

It is just so sad. 

I wish this is how it was though:

First year: you spend some time trying to understand what interests you. Do internships to figure out what may appeal to you. Also, I recommend that you start reading the past years papers, analysing what kind of subjects are there and what you need to study. Starting to develop an understanding of what it takes to clear judiciary exams will make a big difference. Make sure you go through at least 15 past years papers, prelims & mains, and understand the testing priorities, question patterns, and the extent of the syllabus.

Second year: if you have decided to be a judge, start your preparation without delay. To be honest, if you clear the judiciary exam, become a judge, and do not like that work, you will still have plenty of opportunities to resign and do other things, such as work with a law firm or practice as many people have done very successfully. But to crack the exam, it is better that you start early. As you will be studying many relevant subjects from your 2nd year, this is the time to build the fundamentals in the right way. Do not study only to clear exams which is a very low standard. Make sure you get a grip on the bare act and critical concepts. Learning things as if you are already preparing for the judiciary exams will make you study better, and create long term memory and conceptual clarity that someone who prepares with less time in hand can never develop. Also doing this will help you to outperform everyone else in college.

Third year: continue what you have been doing in 2nd year, but by this time I recommend that you start taking monthly mock tests if not weekly. It is the time to start testing the efficacy of your learning plus develop the habit of writing answers, getting corrected, and seeing how well you remember that very large syllabus that you are studying.

Fourth year: Apart from continuing with the rest, start working on local laws, general knowledge, general studies, and English. If you have finished the core subjects once, that is great, because now you will do one round of revision of all of it. If you are going to appear in multiple state exams – then you are going to map out the differences and plan how you are going to finish those extra subjects.

Fifth year: By this time, you have hopefully already finished the entire syllabus one time, and now is time to do another round of full-proof revision. You will also be taking weekly mock tests, and find your areas of weakness specifically and work on strengthening them. You can also start working on interview skills. More than mock interviews, you need to ensure that you speak well enough and with clarity. Especially for those who are introverted in nature, I suggest working on your public speaking and interpersonal skills. I also recommend that at this time you start thinking of some backup options after graduation in case Plan A does not work out. 

After graduation: Now the rest of the world is just starting their preparation, but you are only revising and giving final touches to your preparation, which is already solid by now, and leaving no stone unturned to ensure that you are on that merit list after the exam. You also have prepared so extensively that you can appear in multiple exams with different syllabuses while your friends who are starting late are struggling to finish the syllabus of even one state.

What if I am already late?

What if you now realise that you are already late? What if you are already in your fifth year or you have already graduated and only now planning to start your judiciary preparation? What should you do now?

It’s important to acknowledge that you have very little time and the task is now uphill. Pretending that everything is fine is not going to be of help here.

You cannot afford to waste time at all. You need top-notch mentorship at this point, because to prepare very quickly with minimal wastage of time requires very laser sharp execution as per a clear agenda that has been prepared with the assistance of experts.

Your step 1 right now should be to find an expert like that who will be willing to mentor you. Check their antecedents before you decide to accept their tutelage. 

And if you have time, please do not waste is dilly dallying. 

Is it a good idea to prepare on your own?

Most people who try to prepare on their own, end up in coachings after failing their first judiciary exam, by which time it is often too late, or their psychology is already messed up.

Yes, there are some people who are highly disciplined and they can prepare on their own. Are you one of them? 

Do you have a history of being highly disciplined over months and preparing for some exam in the past? How did you do this before your board exams? Were you able to study for 6 months, 10 hours a day consistently as people expected you to do? 

Did you need coaching back then?

This is much harder. 

If you needed coaching to clear board exams, there is no point pretending that you can now clear judicial exams without any external support of a systematic coaching program.

Even if you could, given the massive competition, do you not want to get all the support you can get and increase every bit of chance if possible that your dream comes true?

People who clear the judiciary exams without coaching do not receive any extra medals, and unless you really do not have the money you need for coaching, I strongly advise that you get coaching support in your preparation as early as possible, provided your finances can support it.

How can LawSikho help?

We have a judiciary training program, in which we try to get our students as early as possible, keeping with the plan described above. 

  • LawSikho provides big scholarships to those who join early – the earlier the better. We do this because if we get more time to prepare you, we can help you better and ensure you crack the exams.
  • Our test prep coaching is very economical. You will pay less than what you paid for private tuition at class 12 level in 1 year!
  • We are currently not charging you extra if you join early. Whether you join in 1st year of law school or 5th year, we will charge you the same fees. Once you enroll, you have access to the course for up to 2 years after your graduation or when you crack your judiciary exam, whichever is earlier.  
  • Apart from preparing for the judiciary, if you take our course, you will probably start doing very well in your class. Some of our students have begun to score top marks in their classes. 
  • We give you a bunch of extra courses so that you can perform exceptionally well in your internships and develop some backup options as well while preparing hard for the judiciary. Here is a list of courses you get complementary with our judiciary course:
  1. Certificate in Advanced Criminal Litigation and Trial Advocacy 
  2. Advanced Civil Litigation: Practice, Procedure and Drafting 
  3. Certification in Arbitration: Strategy, Procedure and Drafting 
  4. Certificate in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 
  5. EC: Course in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Litigation
  6. LS: Diploma in Cyber Law, Fintech and Technology Contracts 
  7. LS: Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution 
  8. LS: Diploma in Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Laws 
  • You will get full support of our recruitment and placement team as well, for getting top internships and a job after graduation if you desire so. 

If you are interested in creating a foolproof strategy for your judiciary preparation, sign up for a judiciary preparation workshop that we are conducting on 25th November for more insights. 

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