How do we recognise talent today

Legal industry runs on talent. Any law firm, chamber of advocate, legal startup or in-house legal team cannot function without a steady stream of high quality legal talent.

Yet, we see a peculiar situation.

On one hand employers complain that their growth is being stifled due to lack of industry ready talent. And on the other hand, job seekers complain that they are not getting reasonable opportunities.

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Could the problem lie in the difficulty of identification of talent?

One way to identify talent is to see who cracked CLAT at the age of 17 and went to some of the highly ranked universities.

But this is a suboptimal way to identify talent and also leads to concentration of opportunities at the top.

Another way is to give internships to many students and see who stands out. This can be expensive, resource intensive and could be prone to systemic biases.

Of course, as talented individuals struggle and make their way through the system, after a few years it becomes easy to tell them apart.

But can we reduce the struggle of these talented individuals at the entry-level? Can we prevent talented & committed individuals from giving up because their initial challenges are insurmountable?

There are three critical questions that we must ask:

  1. Do we believe that there are talented individuals distributed all over India in different places?
  1. Do we believe that even those individuals who did not get to go to top universities may still self educate and become competitive in the era of the internet? Can we afford to miss out on that talent?
  1. What about those individuals who focus on an area of interest and develop advanced knowledge or capabilities outside the university education system? Do we have a mechanism to identify them? 

What if the All India Bar Exam was of a high quality and declared percentile of every test taker just like CAT or SAT does? We believe that would have led to increased employability of thousands of law graduates and ease in selection by employers at the entry level.

Unfortunately, this is not likely in the near future.

But what if we could launch a National Legal Talent Search Test, in the form of a standardised test any law student can take? What if we had different focus areas such as tech law, IP law, corporate law, litigation etc?

Could we give an opportunity to serious law students to showcase their knowledge, aptitude and commitment towards different niches in the legal industry that helps to signal their employability?

If we could pull this off, can this create significant opportunities for law students across India, as well as employers who then find it easier to spot relevant talent?

We believe that is the case.

What will NLTSE Look like

  • Language: English
  • Standardised objective type test 
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Online AI proctored exam 
  • All questions are application based and require prior knowledge of law
  • Negative marking
  • Questions will be tough
  • Paper will be difficult to finish in one hour, the test duration
  • We will declare and certify the percentile where a test taker has scored, just as CAT (used for MBA admissions by IIMs)
  • The first NLTSE exam will have a theme – technology law practice (we intend to follow up with other themes too)
  • We will prepare a question bank vetted by experienced lawyers of around 300-500 problem based questions. Test takers will be presented with 200 randomly selected questions from this question bank.
  • Every person will see the exam differently as questions, their order, and even multiple choices will be randomised by AI, removing possibility of cheating
  • This will also enable us to keep the exam open over a few days
  • We aim to have over 1000 law students appear in the inaugural version of the National Legal Talent Search Exam, and we are in the process of driving around 5000 registrations

Who will benefit from NLTSE

What will test takers get

  • LawSikho will be providing cash prizes worth Rs. 1 lakh to the toppers of the test
  • Several leading law firms, senior advocates and startups have agreed to take those who perform in the top 95 percentile of the NLTSE as interns for a minimum of 1 month, which may be extended if they perform well. Almost all of these are paid internships.
  • LawSikho will also offer 100% scholarships to top 100 rankers to any LawSikho course of their choice
  • All test takers will get a digital certificate showcasing their percentile if they are in top 70 percentile

What will employers get

  • Access to overlooked, committed talent who have proven their interest and commitment to technology law
  • A pipeline for long term interns and future employees
  • An opportunity to mentor and shape some of the most promising young law students

What do we need to pull it off

  • LawSikho has the required marketing outreach and budget required to kick start the inaugural version of this exam. We are able to attract the necessary registrations required to make this a viable project.
  • We have already identified internal and external tech solutions required to conduct seamless online AI proctored exam where cheating will not be possible
  • We have brought together a volunteering team of tech lawyers who are vetting the question bank
  • We also need participation from 50 strong brands including law firms, in-house legal teams, startups and senior advocates who would offer 1 month paid internships to two law students each. So far, we have received commitment from around 10 law firms, investment funds, investment bankers, recognizable startups and senior advocates. 

Why is LawSikho promoting the NLTSE 

  • It would help us to select high calibre learners and offer them scholarships so they can join LawSikho courses with 100% scholarship, which we expect to further enhance classroom experience for all our learners 
  • It gives us an opportunity to meaningfully engage our 10 lakh plus law student community members and create life changing opportunities for them
  • This would also set a new standard for our own 20k+ learners to aspire to

To participate in the NLTSE, click here.

How will we ensure fairness and transparency

  • Advisory council to oversee the process
  • Questions are vetted by tech lawyers respected in the industry
  • We will keep the exam transparent and subject to audit by any participating recruiter
  • Students will be offered to choose from the internship pool that is being created, and we will follow a counselling process just like CLAT
  • Once a student selects an opportunity, it will be locked and the HR of the respective organisation will be introduced over email to the candidate and they may take it forward
  • The quantum of stipend paid for the 1 month internship will be decided by the organisation, we will play no role in this
  • How would internships be distributed: Rank no 1 has 100 internships in the pool to choose from. Once he chooses one, the option is locked and cannot be changed. Next, Rank no 2 gets to choose one from 99 options. Rank 3 gets to choose from 98 options and so on.
  • Do we charge the test takers? We will keep a token registration fee of Rs 100 to avoid non-serious and irrelevant people registering for the test or taking it just to experiment which would increase our costs exponentially. LawSikho will far outspend any money raised from such registrations so we are not treating this as a source of revenue.

Which organisations have agreed to partner with NLTSE so far?


  • Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
  • Khaitan & Co
  • Luthra & Luthra
  • Laxmikumaran & Sridharan
  • Saraf & Partners
  • Fox Mandal
  • H&B Partners
  • Spaviatech Law
  • Ikigai Law
  • Ashlar Law
  • Sarvada Legal
  • Legajoist
  • Sarvottam Law
  • ES Law Chambers
  • Innove Law
  • MAAZ Legal 
  • Paash & Associates
  • Intelia Law Offices
  • GMA Legal
  • Peritum Partners
  • Corrida Legal
  • Aarambh Legal
  • Equicorp Associates
  • Tarun Gahlot Law Offices
  • Dr G’s House of Justice
  • Cyberjure Legal Consulting
  • LexStart Partners
  • Juris Corp
  • AARC Partners
  • Kashyap Partners & Assoc. LLP

Funds & Investment Bankers and NBFCs 

  • Beeline Capital
  • Ironlink Capital
  • Frontline Ventures
  • Longview Research
  • Narnolia Ltd
  • Supermorpheus Fund (Singapore)
  • Da1 Global Ventures (Abu Dhabi, Shikhar Dhawan) 
  • Neev Credit

Startups and tech companies

  • EXL
  • Riverus
  • Data Is Good
  • QuantAscend
  • Good Nutrition
  • Medtel
  • Shrimath
  • ML360 Education Private Limited
  • Anu Educom Pvt Ltd (OPC)
  • 1 Pharmacy
  • HiVoco.
  • Deskera
  • Instaspaces
  • OppDoor
  • Leroc Media Services Private Limited
  • Bbetter
  • Globetk
  • Omnify

Advocates and Others

  • Advocate Anuj Agarwal
  • Advocate Ashish Dixit
  • Indranil Rudra, former Data Protection Attorney, Allendevaux & Company and former Head – Legal, Jindal

Senior advocates

  • Sr. Adv. Adish Aggarwal, Chairman, Supreme Court Bar Association
  • Sunil Agarwal, Senior Standing Counsel, Delhi High Court (Ex-IRS, Ex-Senior Partner, AZB & Partners)

SILF support

  • Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President – Society of Indian Law Firms (and Chairman of the Advisory Panel of Industry Experts for NLTSE) 


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