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CLAT 2013 Analysis

CLAT 2013 Analysis

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Published by barandbench
CLAT 2013 Analysis
CLAT 2013 Analysis

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Published by: barandbench on Jul 19, 2013
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08/06/2013

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©Bar&Bench1
National Law Universities – Bringing gender equality in the Indian legalprofession?
“When I went to law school, there were very few women there. And if youdon't see anybody who looks like you, you begin to think ‘Maybe I don’tbelong here’ you know.”Fulbright scholar Prof. Sophie Sparrow (Interview, February 2012)In the interview, Professor Sparrow was talking about her time as a lawstudent in America several decades ago, but her description of her time in lawschool can very well describe the state of the Indian legal profession.In August last year, consultants Swagata Raha and Sonal Makhija released theresults of a study of women legal professionalsacross three cities. Their report,titled “Challenges faced by Indian Women Legal Professionals”, revealed
inter alia
that 36% of women lawyers surveyed had faced some form of gender biaswhile working. This view is supported by senior lawyers such as Rajani Iyer inBombay, who has said that perhaps women lawyers face an“in-builtresistance”in the profession.
 Women, at least in India, do not find the legal profession a particularly easyone to enter.But things might be changing.In May last year when the country’s largest law firm, Amarchand Mangaldasannounced that 13 of the firm’s lawyers were being promoted to Partnership,9were women. Of 16 lawyers who made Partner at JSA this year,5 werewomen. Admittedly, such promotions are far and few in between, but theymay well indicate a sign of things to come.There is no publicly available data on the exact number of women lawyers inthe country. In fact, there is no concrete data on the exact number of lawyerspracticing in the country either. The idea behind this paper is to examine thelevel of gender equality at one of the many sources of the next generation oflawyers: National Law Universities.
National Law Schools – The first step towards gender parity?
Since the first National Law University (NLU) was established in Bangaloretwo and a half decades ago, NLUs have attracted a large amount of mediaattention and continue to do so. While some have criticized these newer lawschools of losing their direction over the years, the impact of these NLUs onlegal education cannot be underestimated.
 
©Bar&Bench2
This paper, however, will not be considering this topic at all. Instead, thispaper seeks to analyze the gender ratio (at the entrance level) at these NLUs,the performance of male and female students in the Common Law AdmissionTest (CLAT) and the possible conclusions that can be drawn vis-à-vis thecountry’s legal sector.Before continuing though, a disclaimer is in order. The small, (“frequentlyincestuous”) world of NLUs is just that – small. In an interview with
Bar &Bench
, the Chairman of the Bar Council of India said that in 2013 there wereclose to35,000 applicants for the All India Bar Examination(AIBE). All 13NLU’s put together (in 2013) churn out less than 1,000 law graduates, orroughly 3% of the number of AIBE applicants. To say that the results of CLATwould mirror changes in the Indian legal sector would be misleading.However, it is a start. Apart from being a national-level examination, theCLAT also provides useful data on the gender, location, and age of thecandidates; it is the kind of data that lends itself to potentially useful analysis.On May 12 this year, close to30,000 students wrote the Common LawAdmission Test, the examination which would decide who would be allottedthe 1,546 seats on offer across the thirteen NLUs. On June 2, the CLATCommittee at the Hidyatullah National Law Institute, Raipur (the NLU incharge of conducting the CLAT in 2013), released thefirst provisionalallotment list(“the allotment list”). All the figures that follow are based on theinformation available in the allotment list.Of the 1,546 seats allocated, 719 (47%) of them were to female students. Withinthe “General Category”, out of the 779 seats available, 355 (45%) were allocatedto female students. With close to half of all NLU students female, gender parityis clearly evident, at least at the entry level to law schools.
 
Male(827)53%Female(729)47%
No. of Successful CLAT Candidates - Male vs Female
 Graph 1
 
©Bar&Bench3
  Just to put that in perspective, areportreleased by the Indian Institute ofTechnology, Kharagpur stated that out of the 9,576 candidates admitted intothe IITs, only 937 (9%) were female.This gender parity for successful CLAT candidates continues if one were toexamine the comparative performance in the examination itself. For instance,the first 200 ranks have 98 female students (49%), the next 200 have exactly 90(45%). A similar ratio is maintained right up to the final ranks.
Performance of Successful CLAT candidates (Seats 1-700)(Male v Female)
Graph 3.1 
 
Male(827)53%Female(729)47%
Students admitted to anNLU (Male v Female)
Graph 2.1Male(8639)90%
Female(937)10%
Students admitted to anIIT (Male v Female)
Graph 2.2
51515752585749
49
494348424351
01020304050607080Seats1-100101-200201-300301-400401-500501-600601-700MaleFemale

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