Sahil Mathur is a student from Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, who secured AIR 5 in CLAT PG 2020 exam. He has been interviewed by EBC/SCC Online Student Ambassador Divya Vattikutti who is currently pursuing law from DSNLU.
1.Please introduce yourself to our readers and let us know what is it that draws you to the study of law?
My name is Sahil Mathur. I hail from Haryana. I completed my BA LLB course from Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University in 2020. What interests me towards law is the fact that law is fundamental in all aspects of life, may it be politics, science, sports or something else. Without any law, the world would be full of chaos and this fact in itself is fascinating.
2.Could you tell us your preparation strategy that helped you crack CLAT exam? (suggested discussion points – books to read, study plan, coaching, mock tests).
I have six major pointers.
Basics – Your basic understanding of all law subjects must be strong and it is not something you build in a month or two but throughout your law school;
Planning – You must plan your days wisely with ample amount of studying but not ignoring other activities and once you have made a plan, stick with it religiously;
Consistency – Consistency is the key, a long break will just push you back;
Discussions – This is something not everyone believes in but constant discussions with my friends of our studies helped a lot in retaining the information in the long term;
Revision – Reading goes to waste if you do not revise it and it is always better to revise when the information is freshly put in your brain. There shall be revision at least twice or thrice;
Mock Tests – For any examination mock tests are really helpful. One should try to attempt as many mocks as possible.
Since Constitution is one of the most important subjects for CLAT PG exam, I was mainly reading recent and other landmark cases and if any Article of the Constitution is being discussed in the judgment, I would read that from the Constitution Bare text. Other than that, one must study the basic concepts of the constitution. “PM Bakshi” is a good book for CLAT PG – Constitutional Law.
My preparation strategy for other subjects in light of the inclusion of various other law subjects in CLAT’s syllabus is mainly studying cases but the basics of every subject need to be covered which can be found via various sources.
With the changed pattern of CLAT, to prepare for comprehension based questions what helps is reading the passage thoroughly and carefully. It might happen that reading a big comprehension might take a lot of time, so practice reading beforehand.
You shall dedicate at least five to six hours daily to your preparation. Also, keep checking the Bar and Bench and live law for recent developments in the law.
3.Please tell us briefly about your college life, especially at DSNLU and now at NLSIU?
Life at DSNLU was at times hectic and sometimes easy going, though I always maintained a balanced scheduled dedicating sufficient time to my academics, personal life and fitness. NLSIU always keeps you on your feet may it be through assignments, term papers, dissertation, class discussions and lot more.
4.What are your views on the prospects of LLM from NLU? (suggested discussion points – Foreign LLM, career prospects in corporate and academic areas)
LLM from NLU is mostly designed to prepare you for a career in academics but that does not rule out corporate jobs. LLM from foreign universities is an indicator of your skills in a particular area of law.
5.With the constant change in CLAT PG question paper pattern, How did you prepare yourself for uncertainty?
After CLAT announced changes in pattern and syllabus in January 2020, I started reading Supreme Court Judgments and not just the summary but the entire judgments. Some judgments are very long but in law school, you develop the skill of focusing on the important parts.
6.How is CLAT PG different from CLAT UG?
For CLAT UG, you can prepare yourself if you start preparing a year or so from the exam. For PG, if you will not focus on understanding the basic concept of law subject being taught in the law school right from the first year itself, you will be at a serious disadvantageous position.
7.Does it often happen that aspirants get stressed during preparation? Are there times when you faced stress and what would you suggest to the aspirants on dealing with stress?
I was stressed because of the constant postponement of the exam but what kept me calm is looking at the end goal. I suggest that no one shall overburden themselves mentally and keep a cool mind even when you have to face a failure because failures always lead to success.
8.How important is doing proper legal research and how should law students equip themselves with legal research skills. Not many people are familiar with the concept of “exhaustion of a search”. What are your views on it?
Research involves finding something new. “New” may simply mean “new to everyone”, or it may simply mean “new to you”. The first of these meanings, “new to everyone”, is usually known as primary research. The second, “new to you but not to everyone”, is usually known as secondary research. Secondary research is to supplement primary research and therefore, one should first get a good hold on secondary research so that he/she may not end up looking like a fool. Therefore, exhaustion of search should mean that you have done proper due diligence before arriving at the conclusion.
- Lastly, is there any advice you would like to share with the law students aspiring to apply for LLM?
The 2020 exam was a mixture of expected and unexpected questions. The consortium was claiming that this year the focus is not on testing the memory but rather on testing the understanding but still majority of the questions were designed to test the memory. My take away from the examination is that you cannot just expect a particular set of questions so it is better to be up to date with everything.