Strategy and Books to prepare for the Law Optional

Every year lakhs of students appear for one of the most competitive exams which is the Civil Service Exam in order to fulfill their dream of becoming a civil servant. Students from all types of backgrounds prepare immensely for this exam. While doing so you need to make the decision of choosing your optional subject out of the wide range for which you need to sit for 2 papers. Out of the options that you can choose from is Law, which holds a good success rate too. But due to its course being very specialized the aspirants need to follow a good strategy to get them good grades.

Below are the strategies for you to follow for this subject.

  1. Start preparing in time. The syllabus of this subject is too much to consume thus you should set your strategy keeping in mind the time that you would need. If you are a non-law student then you would need comparatively more time to study.
  2. Refer to the previous year’s papers to analyze the weightage of topics. Since the syllabus is very vast you need to strategically prepare for the exam keeping in mind the time constraint. With the question papers, you will get a good idea of the weightage and importance that each topic carries. You can start off with the most important ones and then simultaneously prepare the less important ones. But ensure that you don’t miss out on any topic.
  3. Consolidate your notes in one place. It becomes very tedious to refer to notes when they are all over the place. Thus keep in mind to consolidate all of your notes in one place or segregate them according to the topic so that whenever you sit down to revise you don’t spend hours struggling to find the material.
  4. Use jargon and legal terms while you prepare your notes. Since the law is a specialized subject you need to ensure that you are well versed in the legal terminologies and know when to use them in the answers. This gives a good impression to the examiner that you know the practical usage too.
  5. Be well versed with current affairs at both the national and international levels. Either directly or indirectly you would be using current events in your answers. Thus for this, you can refer to government publications or websites. You can also refer to the Hindu newspaper for the same.

Recommended books for Law Optional that would help you with the preparations:

The two papers of the Law Optional require different strategies for preparation as well as different books also and one needs to choose wisely from the many available around.

Paper I
  1. Refer to D. D. Basu for Constitutional Law to start with. It is a great book to form the foundation of the subject.
  2. Indian Constitutional Law by M. P. Jain is a must-read for topics like Fundamental Rights and their relationship with directive principles, public interest litigation etc.
  3. Administrative Law is best studied from I. P. Massey.
  4. Second ARC is a very important source material for Law Optional. Topics like Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal, and so on, it is perhaps the most authentic material to study from.
  5. For International Law, Malcolm Shaw and S. K. Kapoor should be enough.
  1. One of the most preferred books for Criminal Law is PSA Pillai’s Criminal Law. Cases and Materials by K. D. Gaur is also a favored source.
  2. For Law of Torts, A. Pillai is a great option.
  3. Study Consumer Protection from Dr. R. K. Bangia’s book, which also covers the entire Law of Torts extensively.
    Avatar Singh is the book to read for Law of Contracts.
  4. For a specific and in-depth study of Plea Bargaining, study Cr. P.C. Amendments and the 142nd Law Commission Report.

Name of the Book

Name of the Author

Introduction to the Constitution of India

D. D. Basu

Administrative Law

Subhash C. Kashyap

Mercantile Law

R.K. Bangia

Law of Tort

Atchuthen Pillai


P. K. Tripathi and Dias

International Law

Malcolm N. Shaw

An Introduction to Public International Law

S. K. Verma

Constitution of India

V. N. Shukla

That’s all about Strategy & Books for Law Optional for UPSC CSE. Hope this reading will worth you.
Thank you
Happy Reading.

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