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Anmol Rathore, AIR 07 with Law Optional in UPSC

Updated: Apr 22

Anmol is a graduate of GNLU and cleared the civil services examination in her third attempt. She secured AIR 7 in CSE 2023.



Anmol rathore rank 07 law optional UPSC 2023
Anmol Rathore, AIR - 07

This is based on an interview of Anmol Rathore with Aditya Tiwari sir. Her Copies can be downloaded from here


Ideal Time to Start Preparation

Anmol Rathore says that her preparation for law optional started in the final year of his graduation. She recommends that law aspirants should ideally begin their preparation in the fourth or fifth year of their law school itself. 


This is because most of the subjects studied during law school, especially Constitutional law and International law, are relevant for the Law optional paper.


College Notes are important

Anmol Rathore emphasizes the importance of making proper notes during law school. This will save time in the long run as the three months between the prelims and Mains exams are not sufficient for in-depth preparation of the optional subject.


Sometimes a great teacher in college, helps you understand better, which becomes your foundational understanding, you can build on that later with some coaching or mentor.


Books Recommended by Anmol Rathore

Here are the resources that Anmol Rathore recommends for Law optional preparation:

  • Subject-wise compilation of PYQs by De Facto IAS

  • Standard law school textbooks like Avtar singh for contract

  • Bangia for Law of Tort and Dukki for all the subjects

  • AK Jain for Constitutional Law

  • VN Shukla or MP Jain for a deeper understanding of specific topics in Constitutional Law

  • Books by SK Kapoor for International Law along with online resources


Online resources Referred

Online Resources like blogs and websites – Anmol Rathore specifically recommends following ‘De Facto IAS’ blog and websites like Live Law and SCC Online for judgements and latest developments.


For International law she recommends a blog by Ruwanthika Gunaratne, where a lot of case summaries of international law can be found. SCC Observer is another website which provides clear and precise details of recent supreme court judgements.


Current Affair for Law

Anmol Rathore also highlights the importance of current affairs in the Law optional paper. He suggests that aspirants should keep themselves updated on recent happenings, especially those related to law, and use them in their answers wherever possible.


Weekly current affairs, provided by De Facto IAS, was helpful for her, as it consolidates a lot of things thus freeing her time for other subjects. Citing current affair improve marks especially in constitutional and international law.


Here are some additional tips from Anmol Rathore for aspirants who are interested in taking Law optional:


Subject Wise Strategy

Consti law - Mostly studied with dukki but for deeper understanding of certain topics such as Right to equality, Freedom of religion, read with MP jain and VN Shukla. Lot of recent judgement came in the last two years of constitutional importance, so read about that in detail from SCC observer and Live Law Website.


International Law - Mostly referred to SK kapoor book along with topics like Nuclear, WTO notes from online sources. For International Law case law, referred to Dr. Ruwanthika Gunaratne for better understanding of the subject. 


CLD - Referred in detail for every topic, as law provided in Contemporary legal development is quite large and often not much question comes, but still gave it full attention. CLD notes supplied by De Facto IAS was very helpful as well.


Law of Crime - Mostly from bare act with inputs from ratan lal books and college notes, Memorised sections so that it could be written in exam when asked. Case law list for easy references.


Law of Contract - Studied from standard sources like avtar singh and college notes, For Special contracts like Sales of Goods, NI act , i used internet search and material De Facto IAS made available.



Overlap with GS paper- II and Optional

Give priority to Law optional over GS Paper 2. A strong foundation in Law will be helpful in answering GS questions related to law. Mostly GS Paper - 2 question papers now ask you to write case law, so I write a lot of case laws.


I didn’t differentiate with GS paper as I wrote cae law as we write in law paper. Hopefully that fetched me good marks.


Don't be afraid to write law-oriented answers in GS Paper 2, as long as they are relevant to the question asked.


Develop your writing skills by practicing answer writing. Anmol Rathore suggests that reading editorials in The Hindu written by lawyers can be beneficial for this purpose.


Is Law Scoring Optional?

Anmol Rathore acknowledges that there is a misconception that Law is not a scoring optional.


However, she argues that if a candidate has a genuine interest in the subject and has studied it for a long time, they can definitely score well in it. He also points out that studying law helps in other subjects of the UPSC syllabus as well.


Ultimately if you have read law for 5 years then there is no point taking any other optional read something else entirely from the very beginning. 


Utilise Free Resources for Law Optional


Anmol's suggests that aspirants who cannot afford coaching subscriptions can utilize free resources available online. She recommends websites like Live Law, SCC Online,


The Hindu’s Explained Column, and The Indian Express’ Explained Column for current affairs related to Law.


Weekly current affair sent by De Facto IAS is very valuable as well, it consolidates everything at one place for easy understanding and access.


Stay Motivated

Anmol acknowledges that the UPSC CSE preparation journey can be long and arduous. Being positive during time for preparation is important.


She recommends finding your ‘why you wanted to prepare in first place’ and referring to it whenever you feel demotivated. Additionally, having a strong support system is crucial for staying on track. In her case her family was great strength of support and motivation, as they keep reminding them of the goal and as she recently cleared her JK civil service so it was additional motivation that she could crack civil service as well.

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