‘My CLAT Story’ – by Pallavi Panigrahi (AIR 2 – CLAT 2012)


28th May 2012 – CLAT and CBSE results to be announced on the same day. story-xcgqoeAcA

Oh no! This was exactly the combination that I dreaded most.

How will I fare in the exams?

Is it going to be a lose-lose, lose-win or win-win situation ?

The anxiety was mounting.

The unsparing summer was making things no better.

I was travelling from my home town Cuttack to Bhubaneswar, a distance of about 20 kms, to be at my school in time for the CBSE results.

I kept on giving myself the auto-suggestion – keep cool and hope for the best.

I remembered something that I had read in Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”- It is about something called the “beginner’s luck”, something that you get because life wants you to achieve your destiny.

And I was a beginner – at the threshold of a career and adult life.

Maybe I would also have “the beginner’s luck”.

By the time I reached my school, both the results were out.

CBSE – 93.4%

What about CLAT? 

Rumours had started making the rounds that I had got the AIR 2nd rank.

But there were no means of confirming it myself.

– The official site isn’t opening…

– Yes! CLATGyan has a link… But it’s taking too long to open.

– It still hasn’t opened.

– It’s opening, it’s opening… WHAT?

I found my name and rank and it reminded me of “the beginner’s luck” that I had thought of some time back about cracking the CLAT, a mission that my family had codenamed as ‘chak de clat’

* * *

Hello, everybody. This is how my CLAT story goes.


January, 2008

Teacher: Pallavi, what is your aim in life?

Me: Ma’am, I want to become a lawyer.

Teacher: A what?

Me: A lawyer.

Teacher: Do you want to waste your life? You should grow up to be an engineer! Thinking about anything else is just a waste of time.

This is how the second conversation about my career choice went. Needless to say, the first time I had talked about this was with my parents. Fortunately, my parents were supportive from the very beginning. They understood that I had neither the aptitude nor the inclination towards science. They understood my need to do something that I thought I would be good at. But then, convincing my parents about my career choice was the only easy part in my CLAT journey.

Going against the advice of countless relatives and numerous supposed well wishers, I opted for commerce after 10th (another cardinal sin in my part of the world) and enrolled myself in a CLAT coaching centre.

I always believed that two years of sustained labour would get me into any of the top ranked law schools. I went through coaching material, made regular notes from newspaper, took about fifty on-line and OMR sheet mock tests.

It was difficult to handle the twin pressures of CBSE and CLAT. I took a two days break after the CBSE exam and for the next 40 days, time just flew. I stuck to an eight hour study schedule with a few breaks in between; but hardly missed my favourite TV serial or reading my favourite book, checking my mail or chatting a little on Facebook.

Would you believe it, on the night before CLAT, I actually saw a movie!

This time CLAT had a centre in my hometown Cuttack. I reached the centre well in time. Once I entered the exam hall, I tried to compose myself, took a long breath, muttered my prayers to God and then came the time of real test. I concentrated hard, finished about twelve minutes before time and made a quick revision of a couple of sections. And then it was all over.

I had given it the best that I was capable of.

I heaved a sigh of relief. At last, the exams were off my shoulder. But the relief was short lived and with every passing day, as D-day approached, the wait was getting more and more agonising.

Finally, the CLAT results were out and I landed the 2nd rank (the rank came as a pleasant surprise though I hoped that I would do reasonably well)

* * *

Happy ending, right? But does anything ever really end?

A random aunt: What’s there in CLAT? It’s so easy.

A random uncle: You took the easier way out. Didn’t have to walk that extra mile.

But I am happy. I am happy because my hard work was vindicated. I am happy because I have achieved what I have always wanted to. I am happy because ultimately the mission ‘chak de clat’ is accomplished.

I had my share of heart-breaks. Many a time, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

There’s still a long way to go. There are many more mountains to climb. There are a lot more exams to be taken.

But I am hopeful.

I have even started believing in those life changing lines from ‘The Alchemist’ with greater conviction – “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

So, follow your heart, pursue your dream and be part of the beautiful conspiracy of the universe.

Pallavi Panigrahi,
All India Rank 2 – CLAT 2012.


  1. A random aunt: What’s there in CLAT? It’s so easy.
    A random uncle: You took the easier way out. Didn’t have to walk that extra mile.

    I connect to this, quite easily and effortlessly.

    Awesome piece! 🙂

  2. ppl have wrong notions regarding clat as wl as commrce bt doing gud in both shud have shut their mouth 
    anyways congrats yaar u really did gr8

  3. congratulations pallavi !! even i appeared for clat 2012 but i dint make it,my score was 111 and this was my last chance :(((( 

    • why last chance? you can always try for 2013? right? I;ve also been hit hard by this CLAT 2012.. so gonna try once more…what about u?

      • darling!! i would have surely tried again but i would have crossed 18 years of age by CLAT2013 ;( and i sooo wish the CLAT committee increases this age limit because i know i can do it but what a dismal..i feel paethetic NOW !! no more chance ;( … neways ALL THE BEST to you ! prepare well !! i still hope they increase the age 🙁

  4. thanx dear for sharing your story..mine is very much like sme.i m in 12th nw..my all friends r opting for CA..but i m thnkng of doing law..i have not started studyng d way i shuld due 2 this hectic 12 th schedule..but reading your story i have got insoiration that i can give my best 2 both..12 th as well as clat..

  5. Congratulations pallavi. I can make out how hard you have worked for this exam. As far as the aunts and uncles and teachers go, it is the same for a lot of people in CLAT. Heart in heart we all know how ‘EASY’ CLAT is. 😉
    So its a hearty laugh and have a great time the NLS!:)
    All the Best!

  6. I must say this is an inspiring piece! 🙂
    I have a question to ask. The Static GK and the Legal Knowledge were supposedly out of course. Did you prepare for these two, too? Didn’t these two affect your score?
    Please answer.

  7. This post was so inspiring, so heartfelt. Although I’m not AIR 2 or AIR 200 or even a law aspirant, I could still connect to your success story. Thanks for sharing it!
    Also, this was inspiring in a very different way. Till now, “The Alchemist” had been my best bet whenever I couldn’t sleep at night. I might just start actually reading that thing…:P 

    • congrats to u pallavi… have a great time at NLS…
      but, i have a question for u…. i have scored 118 in CLAT 2012..
      any chances of getting ANY NLU????
      i mean, ANY NLU WOULD DO GOOD…… !!!!!!!!!!!

      *IN ANY LIST*


  8. congrates to you pallavi!! i just want to ask  ………..or want your opinion i tried for two times in clat already but still not cleared ………….got 112 in clat 2012 and last chance left ……………………..want to be a lawer passed from nls ………….. big dreams…… do u think i should try once more…………….????

  9. My Friend’s mother: Woh law kyun padhna chahta hai woh toh accha student tha..!!!
    I mean like seriously…!!!!

    (Student National Law University Orissa)

      • Hey. Congrats 🙂
        I’d like to know which books you referred for each section. And which coaching institute you attended?? And the mock tests? If it isn’t much would you try to chart out a timetable showing how much time you spent preparing for Clat after you boards?  It would help me a lot. Thanks.

  10. Congo Pallavi..:):)Way to go..:):)Even i had attempted this time but ha got in Assam..!!:(Decided to take up CLAT again next year..:):)I will not say hope,,but;;will make it NLU-Delhi or the top 5 NLU’s..:):)

  11. Hi Pallavi which books did you use for general knowledge and current affairs …. plz reply and congrats for the achievement

  12. Pallavi great. My daughter Ishita also want to become a lawyer. She has passed 10th this year. Is it possible she may have a interaction with you over phone.

  13. i have already appeared CLAT this year but could get it..can you help me out with few querries related to my preparations.
    i just need a simple favour from you.please let me know that through which books you went through while preparing for your CLAT.what should be the basic schedule that i should follow to come up with highest rank in CLAT.

  14. u r lucky pallavi. for me:
    a random aunt : r u out of ur min? u left an engg college for LAW!!
    a random uncle : r u trying to tell me ur parents actully let you do this??

    nd m like “if only murder wasn’t a criminal offence :/”

  15. even i aspire to become a lawyer…prepare my vry best fr CLAT bt d low on mentality of d society…”opt fr science” sometimes urges me to think twice on my decision…bt thnx fr ur valuable advc…hlpd a great deal….

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