The revolution in the Indian legal education happened in the year 1987 when National Law School of India University (NLSIU) was founded in Bangalore by Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon. Before the establishment of NLSIU, law used to be an exclusive double graduation course which people who wished to join the legal profession took after completing their graduation. NLSIU brought the concept of integrated law under-graduation course which people could take up right after they complete their higher secondary education. NALSAR, India’s second National Law University was established in 1998 until which NLSIU enjoyed the status of being the only institute across India to offer an integrated under-graduate law course. The establishment of NALSAR was followed by establishment of various National Law Universities across India. Now, we have 18 National Law Universities across India which offer under-graduate law course (LL.B.) and post-graduation law course (LL.M.). Out of these 18 National Law Universities, 16 National Law Universities conduct Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for admissions to their LL.B. and LL.M. courses; whereas, National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) and Mumbai National Law University, Mumbai (NLUM) conduct All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) and Mumbai National Law University Admission Test (MNLUAT) respectively for admissions to their courses.
The first CLAT Core Committee consisting of Vice-Chancellors of the seven participating National Law Universities at that time decided that the test should be conducted by rotation in order of the establishment of participating National Law Universities. Accordingly, the first Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) was conducted in the year 2008 by NLSIU, Bangalore. In 2015, CLAT was conducted by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow and will be conducted by Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiyala in 2016.
The 19 NLUs in order of their establishment are:
  1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
  2. National Academy of Legal Study and Research, Hyderabad (NALSAR)
  3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU)
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
  5. National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ)
  6. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU)
  7. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
  8. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
  9. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab (RGNUL)
  10. Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
  11. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)
  12. National Law University, Cuttack (NLUO)
  13. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL)
  14. National Law University and Judicial Academy, Guwahati (NLUJA)
  15. Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam (DSNLU)
  16. Tamil Nadu National Law University, Tiruchirapalli (TNNLU)
  17. Mumbai National Law University, Mumbai (MNLU)
  18. Maharashtra National Law University Nagpur (MNLU)
  19. Maharashtra National Law University Aurangabad (MNLU)
  • *National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) (Entrance Exam is known as AILET)