LSAT-India was introduced in 2009 and currently, after a span of 6 years more than 60 colleges are participating in the exam. In a chat with Careers360, LSAC President Daniel O. Bernstine talks about the LSAT-India framework and the exam's two way benefit for students as well as colleges accepting LSAT-India scores and what makes LSAT-India different from other law entrance exams.Click here to Enroll For CLAT KnockOut Test Series to Crack CLAT 2015 and other law exams or call Exam Helpline at 011-40360360 to talk Expert counsellors
The LSAC President also shares his view on the growing acceptance of LSAT-India scores across Indian Law Institutions and the reasons for the same.
Excerpts of Interview –
Careers360: LSAT-India 2015 Applications will end on May 1. How many applications have been registered till March?Daniel O. Bernstine: As per the latest data till date, over 3500 candidates have registered themselves for LSAT-India 2015.
Careers360: What was the number of applicants last year? How has been trend in last 2-3 years?Daniel O. Bernstine: In 2014, 4000 candidates have registered for the Law School Admission Test. The growth in numbers has been significant. While we started with 750 LSAT-India 2010 Applications, it has grown almost five times.
Careers360: NLUs conduct CLAT in India. How LSAT-India is different from CLAT or AILET?Daniel O. Bernstine: There is just one similarity between LSAT-India and CLAT and AILET. The similarity is all of these are the law exams for admissions to the five-year integrated law programmes in the law schools/institutions of India. Besides this single similarity what I visualize is only the differences. LSAT-India exam is designed differently from other law entrances in India as it has a neutral background.
Careers360: What do you mean by neutral background?Daniel O. Bernstine: LSAT-India is the law entrance exam which has holistic exam content, which means the exam tests logical and analytical abilities as well as reading comprehension, which LSAC assumes to be the essential skills and qualities needed to become a successful lawyer. Unlike any other law entrance exams, LSAT does not test prior legal knowledge, mathematical knowledge, grammar or current affairs.
Careers360: Why do you think testing of current affairs, prior legal knowledge, mathematical knowledge is not required?Daniel O. Bernstine: As we say ‘Neutral background’, a candidate from a Political Science must be having good logical skills, analytical skills, reading comprehension skills but in the same time he might lack mathematical knowledge. Same is the case with a science candidate; he would be having good mathematical skills but lag in current affairs portion. How can we expect a law aspirant who is yet to pursue legal education need to have prior legal knowledge?
Careers360: As you know GMAC has acquired NMAT and entered the big Indian education market. Are there any similar plans of yours?Daniel O. Bernstine: No, we don’t have any such plans in the near future.
Careers360: Then what is your strategy to expand in India?Daniel O. Bernstine: Our strategy to expand in India is a simple one. We will be inviting more and more law schools/institutions to accept LSAT-India scores.
Careers360: Why would a candidate appear in LSAT-India if he has other law exams too?Daniel O. Bernstine: LSAT-India is a test designed for every candidate irrespective of his academic background.This makes every candidate succeed as long as they have the necessary aptitudes. Moreover, by appearing in LSAT-India, the candidate has 61 law schools to pursue his/her legal education. Therefore, one does not have to depend on luck for getting selected in premier law institutions of India, if appearing in LSAT-India.
Careers360: What advantages Indian law institutions have while associating with LSAC?Daniel O. Bernstine: There are distinct advantages for colleges associating with LSAC and accepting LSAT-India scores. LSAC (LSAT-India) provides a database of candidates appearing in LSAT-India to the associated law schools. They also receive the LSAT-India result and merit/rank list. Overall, this entire database of candidates costs nothing to the law schools. Indeed, the law schools/ institutions need not invest anything for all these. In addition to this, the colleges do not need to analyze the critical reasoning, analytical reasoning and reading skills of candidates, independently. Moreover, the associated colleges are receiving recognition beyond their region as candidates all over India are appearing for LSAT-India.
Careers360: How do you see Indian legal education in comparison to that of global standards?Daniel O. Bernstine: I visualize the Indian legal education at equal stature that of global standards. In India, we have more qualified and talented law professors educating the law aspirants. In India, the five-year integrated law programmes are emerging as an advantage for those aspirants who want to pursue a career in law soon after their high schooling. We have so many good law colleges too. I feel happy to share that many of these good law schools are part of LSAT-India Associated Colleges.
Careers360: How do you visualize the career prospect of a law graduate in India?Daniel O. Bernstine: Sad to say, but there is an acute shortage of qualified lawyers. Yet India has one of the highest litigation rates among its population. This demand and supply issue means the talented lawyers will never have to worry about their income. There are a plethora of opportunities for a law graduate who can practice either practice as an advocate in a court of law, with a stipend ranging between Rs. 5000 and Rs. 40000 or a corporate lawyer where they can expect an attractive monthly salary between Rs. 20000 and Rs. 50000. They can further proceed for a career in government services as Solicitor General, Public Prosecutor or even a Judge.
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Hello student cut off vary every year on various factors like the level of question in the entrance examination and total number of applicants in that examination, its difficult to predict exact score but as per previous year records 80 percentile or more than 80 percentile for 5 year law program at jindal law school.
Feel free to comment if you have any doubt
No. A very important point to remember is that there is no negative marking. So, once you reach the end of the section if you haven't answered every question or attempted every question then absolutely go back and answer. You have roughly twenty percent chance of getting it right just by guessing so please save 30 seconds to a minute at the end to go back and make sure that you have an answer entered for every single question.
Dr. Jason Dickenson
Director, India Testing- Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
I think it's a misperception that it is an easy test and you don't have to prepare for iit and you can just walk in and take it unlike the CLAT and I think that's wrong. I don't think it is an easy test and I know it is not because I actually see the raw scores and it's certainly a test that you have to practice for so one thing I will tell you as far as percentiles and so forth is that even our highest scoring test takers over the years get a lot of questions wrong.
If you take the practice tests and you get 30 or 40 wrong out of 90- 92, they might want to give up but that's not necessarily the case. Again, you can get a good score with quite a number of questions answered incorrectly. So don't lose hope.
People believe that reading questions first is helpful and that will save time and that makes sense theoretically but my hunch is that for most people anyway that it is actually not going to work out very well because what is going to happen is that if you try to read the questions and then you read the passage and then you go back to the questions and you still wouldn't know the answer. You will have to go back to the passage. So you have to read the questions one time more than you need to. One thing to remember is that time is very precious in this test. It is a tough test and a good number of questions in the section and you don't have a lot of time so you have just a minute or two per question so you really should not waste your time. Time management is absolutely critical so reading questions first may work for some people and may work for some kinds of tests, our passages are not conducive to that practice because they are so dense and they have so many ideas in them and they are complex. The answers are not just going to pop off the screen at you once you read the passage. You really need to focus on the passage first and then go and tackle the questions.
We do, in fact administer the global LSAT in India for people who want to apply for law school in North America or elsewhere and I do think that students who are interested in going to law school in India should take the LSAT India and get into LSAT India accepting law school and it's certainly possible that if a student has global aspiration and want to study internationally,it is a very tried and true thing to do to get your undergraduate degree in law and then study in US Or Canada and get your LLM degree in law so it's a very standard path that people take. It gives you the grounding in Indian law and then it gives you that international exposure in the LLM degree.
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