CLAT is a test that is used to admit students to 22 law schools around the country (NLUs). The CLAT office has not established a ‘default’ or pre-determined preferred list. Although you may believe that NLSIU Bangalore is the best of all NLUs, the CLAT office treats all 22 NLUs equally. CNLU Patna is comparable to NLSIU Bangalore in this regard. As a result, it is up to CLAT applicants to create their preference lists individually.
What’s the best way to construct a Preference List?
This is, without a doubt, the most crucial of all your inquiries. While creating your Preference List is totally up to you, keep the following tips in mind:
- Spend some time researching. Consider what you hope to gain from a law school and a legal degree. If you want to be closer to home (and you are from New Delhi), NLU Jodhpur is a better option than NLSIU. NALSAR/NLSIU should also be at the top of your list if you seek a strong campus placement in a corporate law firm. Before making a decision, compare the most recent NALSAR and NLSIU recruitment statistics.
- Magazine rankings such as IndiaToday or Outlook, for example, are not to be trusted. These rankings have never had a high level of trustworthiness. Take, for example, the IndiaToday rankings post. NALSAR isn’t on the list, and Amity is number four.
- Be skeptical of the source whenever you read something on the internet or chat to someone about their preferences. A chest-thumping RGNUL Patiala student may persuade you that his or her college can put Harvard to shame. It’s not true, to be honest. And a NALSAR hater would say that NALSAR can’t possibly be superior to NUSRL – Ranchi. Spoiler alert: no way.
- Make sure you fill out the Preference List with all 22 NLUs. You will not be assigned that NLU if you leave any out. Even if you are certain that you do not wish to attend an NLU, we recommend that you include it at the bottom of your list rather than leaving it blank.
- Each NLU has its distinct characteristics. As a NALSARite, I believe that NALSAR is the greatest NLU in the country because of its corporate placements or campus culture, but I must acknowledge (with a heavy heart) that NLSIU is quite decent in terms of student quality, academics, and most importantly, alumni strength.
- Take the Preference List seriously. You can have a rash mentality that says, “Let me first earn a decent grade, and then I’ll worry about everything else.” Let me not get too excited about having to choose between NLSIU and NALSAR. Now, only if I cook pulao with khayal, how?” That’s not the appropriate thing to do, is it?
- After the CLAT results are received, you will not be able to amend your options. As a result, put forth the effort necessary to meticulously compile the list. You will not be able to forgive yourself for messing up the Preference List and obtaining an undesirable NLU assigned to you if you wind up getting a decent rank.
Read More: Top 10 CLAT Colleges In India [Check List]
For the CLAT 2025, what should be on my NLU preference list?
Filling out the CLAT application form requires you to clearly express your preference for NLU. This determines how many NLUs you get (assuming that you have met the cut-off requirement for the respective NLU). While different criteria may influence the preference list, I believe the following order should be taken into account when filling out the CLAT 2025 choice list:
- National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru
- NALSAR University of Law (NALSAR), Hyderabad
- WB National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata
- National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur
- National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal
- Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar
- Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU), Mumbai
- National Law University Odisha (NLUO), Cuttack
- Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Raipur
- Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University (RMLNLU), Lucknow
- Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patiala
- Chanakya National Law University (CNLU), Patna
- National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Kochi
- National University of Study and Research in Law (NUSRL), Ranchi
- Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Visakhapatnam
- National Law University and Judicial Academy (NLUJA), Guwahati
- Tamil Nadu National Law University (TNNLU), Tiruchirapalli
- Himachal Pradesh National Law University (HPNLU), Shimla
- Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU), Nagpur
- Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU), Aurangabad
- Dharmashastra National Law University (MPDNLU), Jabalpur
HPNLU Shimla and NLUD Delhi are the only two NLUs not included in CLAT’s list of NLUs. They each conduct their examination separately.
Read More: Job Opportunities After CLAT
Why is it necessary to keep a Preference List?
The merit cum preference’ principle governs NLU allocation. This means that your preference list will be used to assign you an NLU once the CLAT results (and the rank list) are released. Keep in mind that NLUs are always distributed starting with the candidate with the highest rank and working down the list.
Let’s look at a couple of examples to see how this works:
Example 1: Let’s say NLSIU – Bangalore is the first NLU on your list of preferences, and your CLAT score is 1.
The CLAT office will now begin allocating candidates from the top of the rank list (which is you). They’ll look at NLSIU, which is your chosen NLU. Then they’ll check to see whether NLSIU has any openings. NLSIU will, of course, have openings because you are the first person to be considered for a position (as your rank is 1). They will now add your name to the NLSIU Allocation List.
Read More: Difference Between CLAT UG and CLAT PG
Example 2: Assume you have a rank of 58. NLSIU is the first NLU on your list of preferences, followed by NALSAR.
As is customary, the allocation will begin with the contender with the highest rank. They’ll assign colleges to Ranks 1 through 57, and then they’ll contact you (rank 58). NLSIU has 57 positions in the General Category, according to their website.
You will not be sent to NLSIU if all 57 individuals above you in the rank list have NLSIU as their first choice. Why? Because your most chosen NLU (NLSIU) does not have any vacancies by the time they come down to assign you an NLU.
When this occurs, they will go on to your second choice to see whether that NLU has any openings. It’s NALSAR here, and there will be openings. NALSAR will be assigned to you.
It is feasible, however, that none of the 57 rankers have NLSIU as their top choice (which means that they placed some other NLU at the first spot). In this instance, NLSIU positions will not be filled by the time you are assigned. As a result, NLSIU will be assigned to you.
Read More: CLAT Quantitative Techniques 2025
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: What is the purpose of the CLAT preference list?
A: You will be assigned to universities based on your choice list and rank. NLUs operate on the merit-cum-preference principle. All you have to do now is double-check that you've filled out the preferred list by the National Law Universities' guidelines.
Q: When filling out the CLAT form, in what order should I enter my NLU preferences?
A: There is no such thing as a fixed order! Your preference list is a time-consuming task to which you should dedicate a significant amount of attention! Don't rush through it; it will have a long-term impact on your life.
Q: How can I choose my preferred NLU option?
A: CLAT counseling has only one basic rule. ALL applicants must list their preferences as if they were in the first place and have an equal chance of receiving any NLU. To put it another way, start at the top with NLSIU and work your way down according to the order in which you rank the NLUs.
Q: Is it possible to adjust my NLU options later?
A: No, once an applicant has specified and submitted his or her preferred NLUs, it will be considered final. However, if you apply for CLAT more than once, the last form you submit will be considered final.
Q: What is the CLAT invite list, exactly?
A: Before the counseling, the CLAT invite list is made public. It lists the candidates who have been shortlisted for counseling and seat assignment. It should be noted that the invite list is based on the CLAT merit list.