An Introduction to Legal Reasoning


This article is intended to introduce you to the basics of Legal Reasoning. Many of you already know what I’m going to say here. However, to those who don’t, never get disappointed. Considering the amount of time you have for your CLAT prep, you will surely do well if you concentrate consistently.

What is Legal Reasoning?

Legal Reasoning, to keep it simple, is one of the two parts of the Legal Aptitude section. The other part is called Legal Knowledge where direct law based questions are asked (just like GK, but this will be GK of Law). Legal Reasoning, on the other hand, has questions where you are given a set of facts and a principle of law. You will have to apply the principle to the facts and decide upon the outcome of the situation.

For example : “The Indian Constitution was adopted in the year..?”(answer : 1949) would be a Legal Knowledge question while the following question would be a Legal Reasoning question :

Principle : If you yourself commit a wrong and suffer an injury then you cannot blame someone else.
Facts : Amulya digs a pit in her land. Manasa trespasses into Amulya’s land and falls into the pit.
Answer : Manasa committed the wrong by trespassing and Amulya cannot be held liable for the injury caused to Manasa.

What all topics come under Legal Reasoning?

Firstly, understand the point that you should never ever use your own knowledge while answering the Legal Reasoning questions. All you have to do is apply the given principle to the given facts and come out with a decision(even if you know that the principle is wrong). However, knowing certain concepts before hand will help you save time in understanding the principle during the exam. The topics you should be doing beforehand are:

a. Law of Torts (very important – almost 90% of the questions come from this)
b. Contracts (second to Torts, but important as well)
c. Criminal Law (What’s the use of learning the Law if you don’t do this one?)
c. Constitution Law (this rarely comes, but just in case!)

What we think of CLAT 2013’s Legal Aptitude section?

Now that we know that NUJS (CLAT 2011) had emphasized on Current Affairs and Reasoning rather than memory (unlike CLAT 2010), it is reasonable enough to expect a Paper(where the whole Legal Aptitude section of 45 questions had 45 Legal Reasoning questions and had no Legal Knowledge questions at all). Also, the questions might also be of CLAT 2008 kind where the candidate had to first choose a Negative or Positive (Yes, he’s be liable or No, he isn’t) and then choose the reason for the answer. So, make sure you do both CLAT 2011 and 2008 Papers to get an idea of what could be the Legal Aptitude section of CLAT 2013.

Hoping that you’ve understood all the basics, we would start with the concepts from the next article onwards. Make sure you visit regularly.

Next in this series : An Introduction to ‘Torts’


  1. @ Abhay… Thats called “Differential Marking”.. and I want you to concentrate on the kind of questions and not on the weightage. Nothing can be told about the marking system for now.

  2. can i post questions related to legal reasoning HERE………of any topic like torts, contracts, constitutional law,criminal law .

  3. @ Asad–u have not mentioned here about criminal law which is also a major portion in the legal reasoning and legal knowledge section….

  4. @Asad : are we nt gonna be questioned on criminal law as far as legal reasoning is concerned…………… if not where will we get criminal law related questions then ?

  5. What about the criminal law as far as clat is concerned?And do we need to remember the various articles of constitution for legal aptitude?

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