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‘General knowledge makes that critical difference’

Subhro Prokas Mukherjee was just 13 when he decided to become a lawyer. The driving force came from within the family, his late grandfather, Arun Prakash Chatterjee, an eminent lawyer who had also been a Member of Parliament from West Bengal.

education Updated: Feb 16, 2011 09:15 IST

Subhro Prokas Mukherjee was just 13 when he decided to become a lawyer. The driving force came from within the family, his late grandfather, Arun Prakash Chatterjee, an eminent lawyer who had also been a Member of Parliament from West Bengal.

Mukherjee started studying for the CLAT a year before he was expected to appear in 2010. It was the same year he gave his Board exams from Sanskriti School, Delhi.

“I joined a coaching centre (while in Class 12) and went there for classes - twice a week for one hour each. Even though coaching wasn’t of much help, it helped me be regular with the preparations,” says Mukherjee.

His success mantra was to lay maximum emphasis on general knowledge which, incidentally, also has the maximum weightage of 50 marks. “I studied the yearbook of Competition Success Review and thanks to the array of 24-hour news channels, I could easily keep up with the daily news,” he adds.

For improving general knowledge, Mukherjee used to hold interactive sessions regularly with three of his school friends who were also preparing for CLAT.

“The four of us used to meet at one of our homes and discuss current affairs. These interactions helped me retain most of the general knowledge acquired in the classroom or through television,” he adds.

Team study helped others too. One of Mukherjee’s friends got rank seven and is now studying at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, while the third one is a student of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.

Of course, not many can crack the exam. There were around 22,000 students for 1180 seats in 11 law universities last year. Only those who prepare diligently and attempt the paper wisely sail through. While writing the two-hour paper, Mukherjee advises, one must start with the GK section and end with mathematics.

“GK is something that you either know or don’t know and you get complete 60 seconds to answer one question,” he explains.

It is interesting to note that having secured rank eight, Mukherjee could have joined any of the 11 NLUs but consciously chose the three-year-old NLU in Delhi (not under the CLAT umbrella). He took this decision not only because he is a Delhiite but also because of the geographical advantage the city offers and the reputation of Delhi NLU’s faculty members. On his choice, Mukherjee says, “You shouldn’t choose the best institute but must choose the institute that can get the best out of you.”