Law Optional Course

Law optional has the highest success ratio among all optional subjects with aspirants securing ranks among top Ten regularly. Due to overlapping and commonality with the syllabus of other GS papers even the aspirants with non law background stands a fairly high chance of success.

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By :- Former I.A.S. Jasbir Singh Bajaj
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Law Optional

Choosing the optional subject for Civil Services Examination for the mains part is perhaps one of the most crucial and difficult tasks for the aspirant. It is the score in the optional which has a bearing on the final ranking and place in the merit list. Most of the serious aspirants put in almost the similar number of efforts in their preparation for the General Studies and Essay papers and hence their scores in those papers also do not vary much. It is the scores in the optional subject and later the personality test which finally get them their respective position in the final merit list and thus the rankings for determination of their position and the allotment of the service, if they are able to make it. One can now imagine how much difference the choice of optional subject will make in this, the most sought after and attempted examination of our country. It is important to make an in-depth analysis of the subject which is suggested to the aspirant by the experts who had once faced the similar dilemma but had chosen the most appropriate optional subject and came out successfully making it to the top rankings and the service of their choice. For this analysis to be more objective we have identified some factors which could be of great help in taking a rational, logical and beneficial decision. Going by our own personal experience and success stories well known to many we are of the definite opinion and strongly suggest ‘Law’ as one of the most appropriate optional subjects for this prestigious examination.

Some of these important factors are:

  • Relatively Small Size of Syllabus
  • Good scoring vis a vis Other Commonly Opted Subjects
  • High Success Ratio
  • Large Areas of Overlapping in many Topics of General Studies Papers
  • Improved Writing Skills and Application of Common Sense
  • General Preparations for GS through Daily Updates of Current Affairs
  • Knowledge of Law by Every Person is A Legal Presumption…Ignorance of Law is No Excuse for Anyone

This criterion will help both Law and Non-Law Graduates to objectively take a decision about their choice of Law as their Optional for this examination. As far as Law Graduates are concerned Law should be their natural and obvious choice having studied a major portion of the contents of topics listed in the syllabus for this examination quite in-depth in their law colleges as part of their curriculum there. For Non-Law Graduates our following analysis will guide them appropriately in finalizing their choice of Law as their optional. 1. Relatively Small Size of Syllabus: x The topics in the syllabus of all other optional are more than what generally students study in their graduation courses. Whereas in the case of Law a relatively large portions of subjects matter consisting of Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), Civil Procedure Code(CPC) and The Evidence Act, which generally student dread and find it tough to crack have been omitted and are not part of the syllabus here. In judicial services exams, the other preferred choice for the Law Graduates, these statutes form almost 50 percent of the syllabus. This is one important factor which can weigh in favour of the Non-Law Graduates too. x If handled smartly with a structured study plan under the able guidance of the successful experts the whole syllabus can be covered from end to end in 4 to 5 months’ time. x Altogether just 7 major laws cover almost 70% of the total syllabus and rest 30% is covered by minor laws which are easy to study and have very limited scope for vast variations in the questions which are generally.

Choosing optional in UPSC CSE exams is the first step towards success. Taking the right path is more important. Choosing Law as an optional is not the choice only for aspirants like Lawyers, Advocates or even judges but even students with non-Law background.


Jasbir Singh Bajaj
I.A.S. (Retd.)

  • Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Delhi University
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Corporate and IPR (I.L.I.)
  • Master Administration (Pub. Adm.n)
  • Master of Business Administration (I.I.F.T.)
  • Master of Business Laws (MBL) from (N.L.S.I.U.)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Writing and Contract Drafting from (G.N.L.U.)
  • International Mediator with accreditations from (S.I.M.I.),
    (C.M.C.) UK, and ADR ODR International, UK
  • International Accredited Negotiator
    with ADR ODR International, UK
  • Certifications in IPR Laws and Cyber Laws from ILI
    and in International Taxation from (C.L.S.), USA.

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