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Strategy for Preparation of UPSC Law Optional

How to prepare for law optional upsc remains a very important question for beginners. Primarily speaking, there will be two category of students preparing for law optional subject in UPSC Mains examination,

  1. Law Graduate.

  2. Non Law Graduate

The preparation strategy will differ for both of them, so let's analyse them individually and try understand nuances attached to it.
A Comprehensive Preparation strategy may be seen on youtube as well.

However I will suggest that both law and non law graduate should read each others preparation strategy as well, who knows they may like the idea and may be applicable to them as well.They can follow that as strategy too.  

If you are law graduate and have not studied law seriously in law college (Lot of Class bunk :) ). I will suggest you prepare for UPSC law optional exam as if you are new to law and read strategy written for non law graduate.

Law Optional Strategy

​​Law Optional Strategy for Law Graduate

Step - 1: Understand the structure of Syllabus

Reading syllabus is very vital, as it helps you to understand the exact topic and its meaning, while preparing for law optional of UPSC , It helps you tremendously, as you need not to remember each time what you have to study, that takes a lot of time and often results into loose concentration.


For detail analyse of Syllabus you are advised to see aditya sir video where he explains each topic in detail and subtopic that you need to study within that topic. it is immensely helpfull. It is available here


Step - 2 : Back to Law College Syllabus

Since you are law graduate you need to go back to basics, meaning read what have been taught in graduate classes, it will help you to start preparing UPSC law optional Syllabus which is similar to graduation.


For that you have to simply pull out all semester syllabus and compare with UPSC syllabus for Law. I know having all 10 semester (if you are 5 year LLB student) and 6 semester(if you are 3 year LLB student) syllabus at one place is little tedious, but you can do it.  

After comparison is made, simply note down or mark those syllabus in UPSC optional paper which are common with graduation syllabus. And start reading that portion of syllabus which you have not studied before. You will find almost 60-70 percent of syllabus is already covered.

If you are National Law University student (NLU) student then that will be definitely be the case. If you are student of three year LLB course ( Like student of Delhi University, Osmania university, Bombay university etc) you will find at least 80 percent you have studied already. For other popular university you need to determine above by yourself as I am not aware of those syllabus.

Mostly you will find special contract such as contract of agency, Indemnity or Insurance missing or some topics in International Law Missing. If that's not the case, Well you are in Luck.


Identify the topics which was not in law college but are present in optional syllabus of UPSC, mark them clearly as you need to give extra emphasis on them.


Step - 3 : Previous year questions

Reading question will give you an idea about demand of that topic and what type of questions is asked. It will also help to identify how far you have study topic, in what depth of study is required. Clearly Establish whether syllabus covered in law college and depth of teaching of law college is sufficient to answer Previous paper of UPSC law Optional.

If you feel the syllabus and depth of study of common topic identified in step two is sufficient for answering those questions, then that is a great news. your preparation is just cut in almost half. If not then I will suggest read them again along with other topics as if you are reading them for the first time.


Step - 4 : Start reading in Detail

Go through every resource including books and online resource ( For detail about Books and Resource Read this LINK) and prepare notes which should be precise and effective. It should be such that you should be able to revise the whole syllabus within a week. It helps before mains examination a lot, because you don't have lot of time at hand.

law optional for non law graduate

UPSC Law Optional Strategy for Non Law Students

For Non law graduates, method of preparation is different, both in structure and approach. Most of non law graduate go for law optional out of there fascination with Constitutional law and Paper - II (i.e Indian Polity mostly After reading Laxmikant :) )

Step - 1: Start reading previous year Questions.

The reason it is first step is to give you an idea about what kind of questions come in UPSC mains Examinations. Read questions of all subject, not only constitutional law (that you refer polity, but here it is not referred the same). Try and see wether reading these questions sparks interest in the subject of law or not. If later is the case do not take it. Explore other optional.

Look at the question objectively and get a feeling whether you are understanding the demand of question or not. Even if you don't know the answer, access yourself whether you will be able to write it down after study of the subject or not.

Step - 2: Understand law optional syllabus.

This step is very important as it will help you understand what you have done in first step. Many topic you will find new that you may never heard off, but don't worry those seems unknown only because you are from non law background and once you study it, its very easy.

There will be portion of UPSC law optional syllabus apart from Polity that you will be familiar with, like Alternate Dispute resolution Mechanism (ADR), Judicial Review, Trial By media etc. There will certain act which you may have come across in your GS paper Syllabus. This is a good news.

Step - 3: Books and Notes

As a non law graduate you must not be having any book for law, Even laxminkant is not a constitutional law book, you will have to find other sources for constitutional law.

Before buying to any book, always remember there is no one book which cover all the syllabus, you should look an article here, which describes in detail what book or online material to refer for making an strategy for law optional in UPSC.Look for all content that is available both online and offline start reading syllabus in detail.

Step - 04: Get down to study

Once books/notes are decided and collected, its time for dig in your heels. Give at least 4-5 month for completing the syllabus, Read and re read concepts which are tricky, remember law is more precise than you think. It is pure common sense and logic.

While studying each topic prepare precise notes and good lines which you may emulate in exam. Short notes are very use-full for last minute revision. Revise syllabus atleast 2-3 times before start writing practice. 


Common strategy for all law optional candidates

Apart from above there are few common strategy for UPSC law optional preparation, which both type of above candidates should keep in the mind.

·       1. Keep Yourself Updated

This is not judiciary and approach of preparation is different, Here the questions are dynamic so read at least one good law magazine and familiarise yourself with latest development in that branch of law. I would recommend Live Law Website. Better take its subscription 500 bucks for whole year. Or you can follow this blog regularly, as I will give weekly development of any new or contemporary development of law.

·       2. Hard work is the key.

This is true for any optional or GS paper in UPSC. Read smart but read more. Keep notes of good point which you can jot down in answer writing. Keep Revising what you have studied at least after 15 days revise last 15 days notes and material that you have prepared or have read respectively.this cuts down the revision time at last minute before Main Examination.

·       3. Writing practice for answers.

Generally student leave it for the last. It is the worst decision you can take. Practice the answers as you go along with completing the syllabus. This will help not only to increase your speed but also help in improving your skill.

For this purpose this website will help you, A question a day Feature of this website will give you one question daily which you can practice writing if you have completed that part of the syllabus. It will also have video discuss as how to answer that question by Aditya Tiwari sir. You can find detail here

·       4. Keep Calm And Study

Studying law can monotonous at times, the subject is dry in certain way especially when you are reading long ration laid down in judgements. Remember there is no pain without again, think of IAS officer post and that proud moment your parent would feel. The determination which have inspired you to try civil services. Never Forget that. You will see your boredom gone and you are ready to hit refresh again.

You can try reading and watching interesting law lecture by judges and talk show with jurists, occasionally they are funny too :)


do check other page of website, there is a lot of them! Keep a regular tab on law optional article blog. It have latest developments.

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