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Team Careers360|Dec 10, 2023
NEW DELHI: Even if your score is in the catastrophically bad 0.37 percentile in the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) India, you can still get an admission offer. In June, an applicant Careers360 was in touch with, appeared for the LSAT India exam and was able to answer just one question. On the basis of that, they were judged good enough for LLB admission by no less than five law schools.
BML Munjal University, Vinayaka Mission’s Law School, GD Goenka School of Law, Asian Law College and Alliance University, Bengaluru all sent offer letters or asked the candidate with a close-to-zero-percentile score to apply. Alliance University, however, later explained that its selection process involves another test and a personal interview. This invites questions about the point of the LSAT India whose scores don’t matter and also about the quality of all admissions based on it.
Another applicant who wrote the exam in January 2023 had a score in the 22nd percentile. In addition to offers from a few of the above schools, they got offers from Jindal Global Law School, a part of OP Jindal Global University, and IILM University.
LSAT India is held twice a year, in January and June, and the scores are used by over 15 law schools and university departments – all private – for admission to three-year and five-year LLB programmes. It is now conducted by Pearson VUE, a computer-based testing firm.
LSAT India 2023 was home-proctored and candidates needed to answer 92 questions in 2 hours and 20 minutes. The LSAT tests for analytical reasoning, logical reasoning and reading comprehension, albeit admission is apparently possible even if the candidate demonstrates none of these.
The test fee is Rs 3,999, excluding taxes.
The most challenging entrance test for law, the one most aspirants aim for, is the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), the gateway exam for the premier public National Law Universities. Even in 2018, according to a government committee, over 50,000 candidates wrote the CLAT. A large number of other institutions also accept CLAT scores for admission. In terms of the number of exam takers, the All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) conducted by NLU Delhi, and the Symbiosis Law Aptitude Test (SLAT) follow. Over 15,000 candidates wrote the AILET for BA LLB in 2023.
By comparison, the LSAT is significantly smaller. According to official press statements issued by the LSAT conducting body, the number of candidates over the years is given below.
January / March
May / June
Careers360 closely followed the LSAT India exam and admission offers after it to understand the difficulty levels, cut-offs for the admissions and even its relevance. For this, two candidates were followed, one who wrote the January exam and another who wrote it in June. Both candidates, despite absolutely abysmal scores, managed to elicit large numbers of offers including ones from institutions that rank high on international rankings such as the QS rankings.
Here’s what the candidates scored and what each institution wrote to them in their offer letters.
In the case of truly competitive standardised entrance tests, a score close to a zero percentile would imply an almost equal chance of securing a seat – zero. Not so with the LSAT India. Even with a 0.37 percentile score, the candidate received positive responses from as many as five institutions – some invited them to apply, others shortlisted, some offered direct admission and one even threw in a scholarship. The institutions are listed below along with what they wrote in their letters.
BML Munjal University
“We are pleased to extend a provisional offer of admission to the three-year Bachelor of Law i.e. LLB programme at BML Munjal University (A Hero Group Initiative), commencing in August 2023. This provisional offer of admission is based on your LSAT score. You are also eligible for up to 100% scholarship. The same will be awarded based on the recommendation of the interview panel”.
Vinayaka Mission’s Law School:
“VMLS, Chennai, is mentored by OP Jindal Global University (OPJGU), an IOE and Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) under an institutional mentorship agreement. We are delighted to inform you that VMLS, Chennai, has shortlisted you for admission to 3-year Integrated LL.B (Hons.) programme based on your performance in LSAT-India on a provisional basis”.
GD Goenka School of Law
“This significant email intends to answer most of your inquiries relating to the LLB admission process. The admissions are closing as the Last 10 Seats Remain for the LLB program at GD Goenka School of Law. The admission will be solely on the first come first served rule”.
Asian Law College
Counsellors claiming to be from the institution rang the student encouraging them to apply and offered direct admission saying they accept LSAT scores.
Alliance University, Bengaluru
Similarly, counsellors claiming to be from Alliance called asking the student to apply based on the LSAT score. Later, in response to the story, Alliance University explained: "Candidates are required to appear for the Alliance Admission Selection Process comprising of ACET Legal and personal interview. Alliance School of Law also uses other parameters such as scholastic and extracurricular record for admission. The final selection of the candidate will be based on the overall performance in the Alliance Admission Selection Process."
This candidate did better on the test scoring in the 22 percentile. In addition to some of the institutions listed above, they were offered admission by IILM University and JGLS. The second is especially startling because OP Jindal Global University is well regarded for its academic credentials. It was granted Institute of Eminence status by the University Grants Commission and was also judged to be India’s best private university in the QS World Rankings in 2023.
Here’s what the offer letters from these institutions said.
Jindal Global Law School (OP Jindal Global University)
“Based on your LSAT—India January 2023 results, we are delighted to offer you admission to the BA Legal Studies degree programme at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU)...Your Fee Receipt will be generated online, and your admission and seat will be automatically secured. You do not need to enquire about the confirmation of your admission as the same will appear in your Fee Receipt”.
“Congratulations on your performance in the 2023 LSAT. We invite you to be a part of the admission process for our 5-Years Integrated BA LLB (H) ,BBA LLB (H) and 1-Year LLM Programme at IILM University, Gurugram”.
Apart from these, School of Law, Modi University, also wrote to the candidate saying, “We offer you to join the School of Law of this prestigious university which is NAAC A+ accredited….Kindly, take admission or register yourself as early as possible [as] we have limited seats”. Modi University’s email does not mention the LSAT but it is a participating institution.
Update: This story has been updated to include Alliance University's statement.
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