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This article is written by Jolly Tewari, Trainee Associate at LawSikho. 

 

Introduction 

It comes to every law student’s mind, once enrolled in a law school, that it is the most elite profession a person can enter into. With passing years after numerous moots, internships, seminars, meeting new people you find various other good career options as well.

If you are determined from the beginning that you want to clear the judicial services exam it is excellent because it gives you an edge over others.

While in law school, one can focus on those topics that are important from the point of judicial services exam, which in future will save you a lot of time when preparing for it. It is okay to not have a plan from the beginning or till last year of graduation, it is okay to be clueless but once you decide that you want to be a judge, you should be clear with the purpose. Judiciary is the highest wing and that is what makes it a highly respectable job.

When to start?

It is better if you are clear from starting because you will study accordingly. It is also okay if you are starting two years or one year early because what counts is focus, discipline, determination and a good strategy.

How to start?

From very starting you should be clear about the state as every state has its own pattern. Preparing for multiple states can be a waste of time and effort.

Start your preparations with bare acts, as law colleges focus on the syllabus they hardly focus on substantive laws or municipal laws. Study bare acts along with interpretations and illustrations- break it into parts and then study about 10 sections or 5 sections a day. Preparing for multiple states can be a waste of time and effort.

For example, In Delhi and Haryana, the questions are asked from the practical and conceptual application of law but in UP, the focus on theoretical concepts is more. 

Start reading the newspaper, you should know what is going around in the world. Work on your language- start giving at least half an hour to your writing skills in English as well as in Hindi as people often tend to underestimate English language. GK & current affairs also demand equal attention as in Preliminary GK and English section itself contains the same amount of weightage like other 9 law subjects. If you are contributing half an hour daily you can complete English, Hindi and GK sections in 6 months.

Are internships necessary?

After asking my mentors and people who have already cleared the Judicial Services Examination, one thing which I found common was that doing internships made them realize what they really want to do as exploring your interests is never a bad idea.

This inclined me further towards my goal but, if you have had your mindset from the very beginning, there is little need to do internships. It will save your time to focus on academics more. But doing an internship in a lower court gives the inside picture of the court which is very different from what is portrayed in cinemas. Doing an internship under a Judge will be beneficial, it will give the impression that you were resolute from the beginning to become a Judge. It will help you in interviews and also brush up your skills.

Is coaching necessary?

Coaching institutions have some advantages as they provide you with guidance, methods, mock exams that push you to work for more. We live in a world full of distractions so investing money in these institutions reminds you of your purpose. At the end of the day, it is you who has to persevere. If you can manage your time and are disciplined, coaching is not necessary.

What subjects to study for Judiciary?

Everything you are studying in your law school will help you further in your Judicial services examination but law schools try to cover it in one semester which is not possible if you want to study it conceptually, try to break those subjects in parts and complete it in 2-3 semesters. In Judicial services, law is the key subject, which includes substantive as well as procedural laws, but law schools hardly focus on municipal laws which is an important part of Judiciary. 

Procedural laws

Substantive laws

Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Hindu & Mohammedan Law

Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Transfer of Property Act, 1882

Limitation Act, 1963

Indian Contract Act, 1872

Indian Registration Act, 1908 

Partnership Act, 1932

In some states (UP, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand etc.), Constitutional Law, International Law and Jurisprudence are also covered. In Delhi, Constitutional law is also included in Preliminary exam, real syllabus reflects in the previous year question papers. Let’s take an example of IPC where most of the questions in the preliminary exams are asked from chapter 16 and 17 so this is how you get to know what is important and what not. After going through previous year papers you would be able to discard what is not of much importance.

What are some of the books which can be referred to?

Subjects

Recommended Book(s)

Criminal Code of Procedure

Rv Kelkar

Indian Penal Code

KD Gaur, Ashok Jain (Dukki)

Indian Evidence Act

Batuk Lal, Ashok Jain (Dukki)

Civil Procedure Code

Ck Thakka (Takwani)

Indian Contract Act

Dr Avtar Singh, Rk Bangia

Sales of Goods Act

Mulla

Indian Partnership Act

Avtar Singh, Rk Bangia, Mulla

Specific Relief Act

Rk Bangia

Indian Limitation Act

Jd Jain (Bare Act)

Hindu Law

Dr Kusum, Dr P Saxena, Dukki

Muslim Law

Faizee, Dukki

Indian Registration Act

Jps Sirahi

To study from Mains point of view or Preliminary?

Firstly, never assume that post Preliminary exam, you will get time to study for Mains, Study for Mains beforehand. You can even prepare for Preliminary and Mains simultaneously.

As major subjects take time (approx 2-3 months) you can divide the time accordingly or you can simultaneously take 1 major subject with 2-3 minor subjects. As when you will be done with a major subject, simultaneously 2-3 minor subjects will already be covered. 

You must know what is expected of you in exams because judicial exams across the states do not require much apart from a conceptual clarity of what you are already studying in your law school. Do not be a rote-learner.

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How to prepare for an Interview?

Personality, confidence, legal knowledge and application of mind is what is checked in an interview. Well, if you score decent marks in your mains paper, interview will hardly count so your focus should be on mains, anyway interview will help you get a good rank. 

The word preparation for an interview is outdated as they have already checked your knowledge, what they want to check is your personality. 

Judiciary syllabus is immense than the syllabus of law schools- how to fill this gap?

Law schools hardly focus on municipal laws in comparison to corporate and International Laws. So your focus should be to break them and study like in 2-3 semesters because you cannot learn the whole of CPC in one semester, you have to break it up and learn- which rarely happens in law schools. 

You should study according to the evolving Judicial Examination trend because many amendments have come in the past few years. It is overarching to try to prepare according to the current trend. Studying those old and landmark cases will not help. When you see the latest case laws, take a liberal interpretation. 

Judiciary is evolving at a fast pace, the applications which were not allowed before are allowed now. The approach to fundamental rights has changed, for example, the rule of local standi has been relaxed so only if a student knows these amendments then only he can apply those.

Is the syllabus of LLM different from the Judiciary?

LLM is a specialization in a particular field of law and it is more objective than subjective. So, yes, if you think to prepare for LLM, it will help you crack judicial exams then you are wrong but vice-versa is possible because preparing for judiciary requires you to study the core of law which might help in clearing LLM exams as well, as it is always better to have a backup plan. 

LLM’s syllabus keeps on changing- first, it was objective then some part of it was subjective and law of torts is asked in LLM examinations in more detail than in judiciary so yes there is a bit difference so prepare according to that.

Does the number of vacancies play any role in cracking the exam?

Vacancies do play an important role. This year DJS released 30 vacancies only and in the past few years, a vast state like Uttar Pradesh did not release enough vacancies. There is no All India Judicial Examination but in future, it might become one.

You need a systematic preparation and approach, and preparing for many states at once will put pressure and you will lose your time and concentration. You should also consider having a backup career option and try to concentrate on 2-3 states. Narrow down your choice to 2-3 priority states. It is not that you will not be allowed to take exams for other states but basic groundwork and the foundation stone would be based on your top priorities. Once you have created that, you can build upon it like a pyramid. Don’t lose focus and get overwhelmed.

Does maintaining a good percentage in college necessary or we can get average marks and devote our time to Judiciary exam preparation?

Being a topper is not what the Judiciary exam demands. That does not mean that you are getting backlogs. maintaining an average percentage is enough.

In a recent judgement of the Bombay High Court, a person can only become a judge if he has cleared all his semester exams in the first attempt. It is not a judgment from the Supreme court or other courts, but keep your grades intact for the safer side.

Maintaining an average percentage is enough.

How to prepare GK and Current Affairs for Judicial services?

Indian Geography can be studied from Ghatna chakra and NCERT. (If you have more than 6 months for preparation, only then choose to go through NCERT).

Indian History can be covered from Lucent’s, Ghatna Chakra and NCERT.

Indian Economy, Indian Art and Culture and science(in Bihar and UP questions arise more from science) and from Lucent’s as well. Go through the newspaper daily, you should be aware of the current affairs, even 1 week before exams. Stay updated and aware of any latest legal amendments.

How to make notes

You need to keep in mind that your notes should be concise, it should not be a direct copy of books but a derivative of your own conclusion.

In making notes, the emphasis should be on two things- its brevity and completeness, but if you are doing coaching, making notes would be useless just jot down the conclusion of those notes. 

Do extracurricular activities give any shape to the study of Judiciary?

No, they do not. To make your CV diverse, you can do moots but such titles hold little importance in Judiciary.

How to manage studies with internships?

Doing internships just for certificate sake won’t help, asking a mentor to give you work which will help you in the long run. Like while interning in a court student’s say, they only get labor work such as carrying files and taking dates. 

So this is the biggest mistake which interns make. Instead of utilising each and every minute, they waste their whole day doing unnecessary stuff and learn nothing. Try to ask questions and take work related to what you are studying, learn to draft (helps you everywhere), so this is how your internships will act as a boon for your studies, takeout at least 2 hours daily for your preparation in-between internship duration, just don’t waste your time there sitting ideal or gossiping. 

Conclusion

Make learning a fun activity by using techniques like breaking, drawing pie-chart, flow charts, using grouping method, one word technique (every article or section has a key around which the whole section or article can be woven, comparison etc). Revision is a key factor in your study for the exams, without revision whatever you are studying will go in vain, and every part of your study should be planned and mentored properly.


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