Interview with Harshit Sharma, AIR-15 (2019) & AIR-23 (2020) in CLAT PG

Q1. Kindly introduce yourself. Your early education and all.

Ans: Hello Readers. Harshit Sharma (aka HS-30) this side. I am 24 years old. I completed my schooling from different Kendriya Vidyalyas across the state of Rajasthan owing to my father’s frequent transfers. My school days were primarily inclined towards sports. During this time, I represented the district and state cricket teams at Under 14, 16, and 19 levels. Along with this, I had also played VK nationals. So, I was a kid who was studying just for passing the exams.

A major shift in my academics came when I opted for Humanities in my Senior Secondary. The purpose was to save time so that I could devote more hours of practice towards Cricket. But with time I developed an interest in Humanities subjects. To everyone’s surprise, (except my mother) I topped my region with 93.8 % in CBSE Senior Secondary Exams, 2013. After the result, I was determined to join DU. But someone told my father about National Law Universities (NLU’s). At that time we were in Jodhpur, so we came to know about NLU Jodhpur and its excellent academic and sports history. Apart from the stature of NLU’s the chief reason that convinced me to go for CLAT was the hope of securing admission into NLU Jodhpur so that I can be close to my mother.

For preparing CLAT I took a year’s drop. This drop served me a good opportunity of continuing cricket at a professional level. So till the end of December, I bunked the majority of coaching classes just to practice cricket more. Finally, by the end of December, I started my preparation seriously. The result was favorable to me and I got through NLU Jodhpur in the first list.

During five years at NLU Jodhpur, I devoted the majority of my time to play sports and to develop my fitness. Even in my internship breaks, I devoted hours and hours to sports just to excel at a professional level. The heart satisfying moment for me was to learn a new game (Badminton) in college and to master it. I can feel the benefits of perfecting Badminton each and every day.  In my last two years, I captained the Badminton Team and won several laurels for the university. Not to forget I was equally devoted towards cricket and remained Vice-Captain from day one to the last day.

Moving our talks towards the academic side, I opted for Criminal Law Hons, in my fourth year. I completed college with an aggregate CGPA of 7.8 (2014-19). In short, I am a Law, Sports, and Fitness Enthusiast.

Q2. When do you started preparing for CLAT PG?

Ans: Looking at my interest in fitness, sports, and developing an overall personality my close seniors always guided me to go for a PSU Job and not corporate placements. So I hardly did any internship in Law Firms. Majority of my internships were under Session Court and High Court Advocates. I started my preparation in my 10th Semester after the notification was released by CLAT Consortium (Dec. 2018).

Q3. Mode of your study? Any coaching or self study?

Ans: I am a kind of person who starts feeling dizzy if I try to hear somebody for long. So teacher-student learning is not an ideal thing for me. So I always rely on self-study. During my five years at NLU, I realized that self-study suits me better. So I dedicated my efforts and time towards self-study. Whenever I encountered any doubts, they were cleared by my seniors and teachers.

Q4. What was your preparation strategy? Please do mention which books you referred to and your timetable for the preparation.

Ans: Before I tell my preparation strategy, I would want to mention some of my seniors who guided and motivated me to give my best in the best possible manner- Vishant Singh (Dy. Manager Legal NHAI), Maryanka Singh (Assist. Prof. IMS Unison University), Neeraj Meena (Legal Manager ONGC) and some of my very close friends- Rishav Dixit, Saloni Birla, and Shourya Bana. The abovementioned were indispensable for acing this exam owing to their guidance and support. I am proud to say that they are no less than a teacher to me.

There is no shortcut to preparing for CLAT PG. They test your hard-earned knowledge of five years. No single book can be a substitute for what you studied throughout this long duration of five years. So from day one in college, I focused on core law subjects like Constitution, CrPC, CPC, IPC, Contracts, Evidence, Family and Property Law, etc. In the fifth year especially in my last sem, I started to cover subjects specifically asked in CLAT PG. The majority of core law subjects were already covered in five years. What I did at this stage that I started to prepare minor subjects (those having less weightage in CLAT like IPR, Labour, Tax, Arbitration, Company, etc.) along with revising the major subjects. Take a sufficient margin of time so that you can revise the whole course at least twice.

Once you have completed the theory part you need to practice a lot of MCQs. You can’t afford to leave MCQ practice. They test your understanding and memory. Many times they show you how to pick the most suitable option out of the four. So practice them a lot. Practice past years of CLAT and other LLM Entrance like AILET, DU, ILI, etc.

I devoted roughly around 6-8 hours of study to prepare every day. During the most productive hours I used to study theory and whenever I felt like sleeping I practiced MCQs.

Before providing a list of suggested books I am assuming that you have already studied good commentaries of core law subjects in your law school career like M.P Jain and VN Shukla for Constitution, Dr. Poonam Pradhan Saxena for Family and Property Law, Dr. IP Massey’s Lectures on Administrative Law, Kelkar and Pillai for Criminal Law and Procedure.

Suggested Books:

  1. A.K Jain’s LLM Entrance- Provides Theory as well as MCQ’s (Bible for Competitive Law Exams)
  2. MA Rashid’s Judicial Services Examination for MCQ’s (Lexis Nexis)
  3. Gaurav Mehta’s Guide to LLM- Provides Theory as well as MCQ (Universal)
  4. Trueman’s UGC NET for further understanding

Q5. How do you see the difference in cracking the CLAT PG and securing a top rank in it? What does a candidate do to get a top rank?

I got AIR-15 in CLAT PG 2019 and AIR-23 in CLAT PG 2020. The purpose of giving this year’s CLAT was just to test me on the changed pattern. This year’s rank is proof that if your basics are sound and clear, then half of your job is done. Apart from your preparation, you need to have a competitive mindset. This mindset comes when you start getting a stronghold over the subjects. Try to give as many mocks as possible. They will increase your confidence and reduce your examination anxiety.

For securing a good rank in CLAT PG you need to have a strong hold on core law subjects that you studied in your 5 years. But in this attempt, as we all know consortium changed the pattern. Now it requires an in-depth and comprehensive study of landmarks and recent topics. So books wouldn’t be sufficient in view of the changing patterns. So you need to keep a constant vigil on recent and hot topics related to law. For that, you can subscribe to leading Law Websites for day to day update. You need to study the past, present, and possible future of every relevant topic. As of now, it is not clear whether the consortium will revert to the old pattern or still continue with this new comprehension based pattern. So what I think is the best strategy for aspirants will be to work upon their basics till the notification comes. Then they can direct their preparation specifically in accordance with the pattern.

In the old pattern there was a descriptive section also where they used to give you five-six topics out of that you have to write on any two. The topics are mostly of contemporary relevance but they require knowledge of past and settled positions as well.

Q. 6. What’s your future plan?

Ans: I am inclined towards Judiciary and my efforts are directed in that direction only. The year 2019 was path-breaking and a year to remember for me where I first graduated from NLU Jodhpur in May and then secured AIR-15 in CLAT PG (May). I went to Rajasthan Judicial Services Interview (Nov.) where I missed the final merit by half a mark. Instead of disheartening I continued my preparation and qualified for NTA NET (Dec.). The happiest moment came when I got selected for Delhi Judicial Services Interview as well (I wrote its Pre in September and Mains in October, the result of mains came in January). The interview is still pending due to COVID. Meanwhile, I completed my masters this year in Criminal and Security Law and now trying to get enrolled for Ph.D. in some good college.

After I Cleared NET, in order to make my academic profile lucrative for pursuing a Ph.D. from a good institution, I started to write blogs on recent topics along with research papers. The lockdown break was efficiently utilized in academic writing.

So as of now, my prime aim is to achieve 3 Peat (CLAT{UG &PG}, NET & Judiciary) out of which two are already achieved. Basically, it’s a kind of grand slam for me. Along with this, I want to get a Ph.D. enrolment. And not to forget the quest for becoming a good professional sports player still continues.

Q.7. Tips from your side to students?

Ans: The most essential thing I always say to the students asking me about preparation is to have faith in themselves. Never undermine yourself. As you all know that I was a hardcore sports player but still managed to clear a lot of exams. This is all because of the consistent hard work and the mindset. You don’t need to be extra smart or analytically sound to clear law exams. What they require are constant and regular efforts. Always maintain good relations with your seniors because they are the ones who help you to navigate difficult times by giving their constant support and guidance. Juniors are equally important because there is no point in a victory without having juniors to celebrate the same with you.

I am immensely grateful to Indian Legal Solution for taking my interview through which I am able to give my views in relation to preparing for CLAT PG.

If anyone wants to contact me

Drop me a mail @ [email protected]


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