Legal Reasoning: Some Do’s and Dont’s
Legal Reasoning – carrying 50 marks – is an important section of Common Law Admission exam. Seats are allotted on the basis of age and marks attained in this section if there is a tie. This substantiates how decisive the component is. OPUS introduces you to the signposts you need to follow here.
Don’t form ideas on the basis of the title of this section. It aims to judge your aptitude on the basis of reasoning questions containing:
A legal Principle
A factual situation
Followed by Four Options
The purpose is not to assess the aspirant’s legal knowledge but to test his logical skills. The examiners judge a candidate’s ability to apply knowledge in a given set of situations and his clarity of thought. Legal reasoning section consists of Legal Aptitude questions and Legal Knowledge questions. OPUS accentuates this fact for your sake. To clear the clutter from your mind and make you think clear.
Analyse the previous CLAT papers and you find questions in the Legal Reasoning section have been culled from the following areas:
- 1. Law of contracts: It covers the laws governing the validity and content of any agreement made between companies, institution, and individuals.
- 2. Law of Torts: A ‘tort’ is a type of legal wrong done, for which the law offers a solution. It is a civil/secular action initiated by one denizen against another and tried/adjudged in a court of law.
- 3. Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the Criminal Code of India. It is a comprehensive code structured to cover almost all aspects of criminal law. The purpose of this code is to provide a general penal code for India. The Indian Penal Code of 1860, further sub-divided into twenty-three chapters, consists of five hundred and eleven sections.
- 4. Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It is an effective framework to make Government system work. It details the structure defining fundamental political principles, creates the procedures, duties and powers of government institutions and displays fundamental rights, directive principles and the charter of duties meant for citizens.
This segment gives you a legal principle and states a situation. You are directed to map the legal ramifications of the situation in support of the given set of facts.
Apply principle to the facts presented before you and recognize the most befitting option. It is likely to get more than one possible correct answer here. It is up to you to freeze the most suitable option.
1. Assumptions aside
Always bear in mind that law does not allow you to assume anything. Furnish answers according to the stated facts. Never try to question the supplied facts.
2. Principle is never wrong
One crucial point to remember while solving legal reasoning questions is that principle is always right. If you know something pertaining to a question beforehand, set aside the knowledge, be it legal knowledge, your personal viewpoint or prejudices. Go strictly by what the principle states despite the fact that it is quite contrary to what the law should be. The principle has to be right all the time.
Trend of Legal Reasoning
Analysis of Legal Reasoning section in CLAT 2018 – The section comprised reasoning questions of various sizes with varying levels of difficulty. As all the questions were of reasoning kind, the time consumed to solve them also shot up for the mediocre student. This led the studets to solve maximum questions with a shorter length and leaving a few (3-4) lengthy ones unanswered. It was a balanced section on the whole.
Analysis of Legal Reasoning section in CLAT 2017 – The absence of questions related to Legal Knowledge was conspicuous. Questions based on legal principles, from areas such as constitutional law, Criminal law, Contracts, and torts, were raised. 3-4 questions from Hindu law embellished the paper. Knowledge of IPR was tested with trademarks, Licenses, and Copyright-related questions. Questions from areas like Intellectual Property and International law were skipped.
Analysis of Legal Reasoning section in CLAT 2016 – This time the section turned out to be easy for well-prepared aspirants, with 15 questions based on principle and facts. The majority of questions were from legal GK, Acts, Amendments and head of Legal Institutions. Though this section was simple, plenty of questions related to legal knowledge and assertion were asked. This was a departure from the trend seen in the last few years.
If you have further queries about the legal reasoning section of CLAT and other law entrance exams in the country, please feel free to share them with OPUS in the comments section below. OPUS team of experts will answer them all.