Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a national level law entrance exam for class 12th passed students. It is conducted every year by The Consortium of NLUs for admission in UG & PG Law Program. Generally CLAT & its admission related workout is conducted from December to June. Both Indian & NRI students are eligible for this exam. There are 5 topics – English, Maths, Static GK + Current Affairs, Legal Aptitude & Logical Reasoning for LLB program but for LLM program, there are 7 topics - Constitutional Law , Law of Torts, International Law, Jurisprudence, Intellectual Property Law, Law of Contracts & Criminal Law.
In India there are 23 National Law Universities, the first of which is the National Law School of India University, which accepted its first student batch in 1987. The National Law University, Delhi conducts its own separate entrance test, known as All India Law Entrance Test, out of the twenty three NLUs. With the emergence of other law schools, which also sought to conduct their admission tests at around the same time, students faced a hard time preparing for them. Students faced a lot of difficulty preparing for entrance exam with the emergence of other law schools, because they also sought to conduct their admission tests at about the same time. This issue has been raised from time to time to conduct a common entrance examination to reduce the students ' burden of performing multiple tests, but given the autonomous status of each law school, there was no nodal agency to coordinate an action to this regard.
The matter attracted India’s attention when Varun Bhagat filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2006 at the Supreme Court of India against the Union of India and various National Law Universities. The Chief Justice of India directed the Union of India to consult with the National Law Universities to formulate a common test. The move was strongly backed by the Bar Council of India.
Given the lack of a central nodal authority to bring forth a consensus on the issue, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, (Government of India) and the University Grants Commission of India organized a meeting of the Vice-Chancellors of seven National Law Universities along with the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. Following a few such meetings, the Vice Chancellors of the seven National Law Universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 23 November 2007 to conduct a common admission test. That's how CLAT came into existence. Accordingly, the first CLAT was conducted in 2008 by the National Law School of India University. Subsequently, CLAT-2009, CLAT-2010, CLAT-2011, CLAT-2012, CLAT-2013, CLAT-2014, CLAT-2015, CLAT-2016, CLAT-2017, CLAT-2018, CLAT-2019 & CLAT-2020 have been conducted by NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, National Law Institute University, The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, National Law University, Jodhpur, Hidayatullah National Law University, Gujarat National Law University, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Chanakya National Law University, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, National Law University Odisha and Consortium of NLUs respectively.