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Tips & Key Takeaways For Conquering Advocate-On-Record Exam: Hear It From The AoR Exam Toppers Of June 2019

Sanya Talwar
24 March 2020 1:40 PM GMT
Tips & Key Takeaways For Conquering Advocate-On-Record Exam: Hear It From The AoR Exam Toppers Of June 2019
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The Supreme Court Advocate On Record (AoR) Examination Result for June 2019 was declared yesterday.

Practicing at the top court of law in India requires robust expertise. According to numerous reports, only 18% of test takers pass the AOR exam which goes on to suggest that conquering the test is no easy task.

So what does it take to crack the AOR Exam? Who better than the Toppers themselves to elucidate?

This year, Tahira Karanjawala & Namit Saxena holding Ranks 1 & 2 respectively, emerged as toppers of this coveted exam held which is held every year & is regulated by a Board of Examiners (regulated by the Supreme Court). The AoR Examination is divided into four individual papers; Drafting, Practice & Procedure, Legal Ethics & Leading Cases. It is held every year in the month of June.

Tahira Karanjawala, who is currently Principal Associate at Karanjawala & Company, has been an alumnus of Columbia Law School & Amity Law School Delhi. She is also enrolled with the New York Bar and has not lost sight of challenges faced by lawyers aspiring to crack the exam while without ignoring their law practice.

"I feel that the biggest challenge for most people is balancing studying for the examination along with your practice" says Karanjawala

In light of this, she adds that time management is key as it is in all exams. Even though she insists on giving undivided attention in May & June (when the court closes for vacation) to preparing for the exam, she also suggests trying to put aside some time from March or April onwards to start going through material.

Some insightful takeaways from Karanjawala are:

  1. Attend classes held by Ld. Senior Advocates in the summer to gain insight into the format;

  1. For the Drafting paper:-
  2. Jot down or have a broad outline in your mind of the points which the draft has to cover;
  3. Apportioning time between questions is key as this is time consumming.
  4. The paper on Practice & Procedure as well as Legal Ethics test practical knowledge. It is important to study the following carefully:
  5. Supreme Court Rules, 2013
  6. Advocates Act, 1961
  7. Bar Council of India Rules
  8. For the paper on Leading cases, the "make-you-own-notes" strategy works best as the cases prescribed are long and re-reading is time-consuming

"Overall, time management is important as it is in all examinations" adds Karanjawala.

Namit Saxena is a practicing Advocate who graduated from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow. Having worked in the chambers of then Solictor General Ranjit Kumar, he also has a fond taste for academic writing. He has revised legal classics including hard bound and paperback versions of Code of Criminal Procedure (Ratanlal Dhirajlal) and Civil Procedure Code (Mulla). He also assisted Justice Jasti Chelameshwar and Justice D.S.Naidu in revising the M.P.Jain's Constitutional Law.

He insists that to attain an advantage over other aspiring candidates, updating one self regularly and highlighting important aspects in answer books is extremely important.

Saxena gives some important takeaways for aspiring canditates:

  1. Paper on Practice & Procedure requires knowing the jurisdictional clauses from the text of Constitution and Supreme Court Rule, 2013 well;

  1. For the paper on Drafting one must keep in mind the following:
  2. Learn patterns of preliminaries, prayer & verification clause(s);
  3. Grounds made out should be razor-sharp and not repititive;
  4. Pay focus on tiny but pertinent details like proper spacing, legible handwriting & adjusting headings
  5. For the paper on Leading cases, knowing the backdrop of leading cases is imperative.

"For eg, for a proper understanding of the judgment in Selvi v State of Karnataka, one must know about Dr. Narco and her experiments with the truth serum. This gives an added advantage over other candidates" says Saxena

Highlight how different benches have different ways of looking at things. As examiners are senior advocates of the court, they are very well versed with those judges and this can be highly advantageous.

  • For the paper on Ethics, notes by Senior Advocate Venkataramani and a recent book authored by him on the subject covers everything.

Both Tahira & Namit wish all those taking the exam this year all the very best!

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