Aditya Wadhawan | Posted December 20, 2023 11:30 AM
The registration of female candidates has increased in the last few years for Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) which indicates that Law is the new preference for female candidates. For long courtrooms were considered to be male bastions, but there has been an increase in the number of girls opting for Law courses.
The CLAT 2023 exam that was conducted in 2022, saw 56% of females appearing for the exam. This trend has repeated itself this year too with 57% of girls appearing in CLAT 2024. An increase in female registration has been noticed since 2011, when the percentage jumped to 32%. In 2016, for the first time more than 75% of girls appeared for CLAT in online mode in Patna. Moreover, during the nationwide lockdown in 2021, three female candidates appeared in the top six list of CLAT toppers.
This year, the top 10 list consists of male candidates in the top 8 positions, while two girls have featured in the AIR 4 and 9th positions. Telangana’s Amireddy Sai Pragnya and Gurgaon’s Jigyasa have made it to the top positions. Academics claim the number of women in Law colleges has increased. Besides CLAT, several state and private law colleges have a large number of female candidates successfully passing out each year. In 2022, former Chief Justice of India, NV Ramanna announced 50% reservation for women in all levels of the judiciary, while 50% of seats were marked for girls in government law colleges which has further boosted an increase in the number of women in colleges.
Speaking to Education Times, Megh Raj, assistant professor at Law Faculty, DU, says, “Traditionally the legal profession was reserved for male candidates, but this scenario has changed in the past few years. More women candidates have started to proactively enrol in Law courses as there has been a steady rise in sexual offences and other women-related crimes in the country. Such a scenario has created an increasing demand for women lawyers and judges in the courts. Approximately 5 to 7% increase of women opting for legal courses has been reported in India.”
As per the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), it is mandated that the trial of a rape victim must be conducted by a female judge, which has increased the demand.
“Law courses also give rise to several job roles in the government, corporate and other industries. In the current times, law is not just limited to a mere practising profession, but several different career options have emerged for law graduates. After completing the course, women take up jobs such as judicial officers, corporate lawyers, corporate counsellors, legal writers, legal consultants and more,” says Raj.
Himachal Pradesh has reservation for women in the state judiciary system. Every state mandatorily needs to appoint a requisite number of judicial officers. It has been noticed that many female candidates get selected by appearing in the state judicial exams, adds Raj.
Faizan Mustafa, former vice-chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, says, “Most NLUs enrol 50% of girls and most of them are now asserting to be dispensers of justice and officers of courts. Indian women are proving their worth in taking up causes related to poor people.”
Amritendra Kumar, product head, Career Launcher, says, “More than 50% of candidates who have enrolled in our Law courses are girls. This trend has been continuing for the past many years.”