Official : Law Optional Discussion Group - Syllabus, Queries, How To and Previous Year Papers - ForumIAS

Official : Law Optional Discussion Group - Syllabus, Queries, How To and Previous Year Papers

Hi! Is anyone here with law optional?

ssver2,Joeyisthebestand12 otherslike this


So guys after a lot of debate about here I am writing an informed review of the same. 

I took their test series for mains 2020.

Pros - decent answer sheet evaluation, made some good points wrt presentation

Cons - no synopsis, copy evaluation takes a lot of time.. At times more than 10 days and this with repeated reminders. I don't know how it would have worked out without constant reminders, evaluated copy focuses more on presentation less in content. 

I have written 5-6 tests for them. Post that no test papers have been uploaded. Yes, this when exams are starting in next 20 days.

Ofcourse, question can be raised why I am taking effort to write this so close to mains - because it's frustrating. I have clearly wasted my money and don't want others to do the same or go through this irritation. 

Also, it's not just me who is experiencing this but I know someone else also having similar experience. 

Please make an informed choice and don't fall prey to false marketing gimmicks. 

ssver2,Homo Neanderthalensisand5 otherslike this
3.4k views notes are very average, nothing extraordinary. You cannot substitute them for your books. Dukkis are the bare minimum you need to read, and there is no getting around that.

Some of their notes are extremely outdated. For example, Plea Bargaining notes do not mention the CrPC. Evaluation is okay, quite detailed. However, more emphasis is given on presentation rather than content. I do not get the feeling that the evaluators are updated on recent developments. Quite bookish.

Test series does not have new questions, but only PYQs. PYQs are extremely relevant during preparation; if you can be honest with your prep and do them on time, nothing like it. Otherwise, through their test series, you can cover them. 

EiChan,assiduousand4 otherslike this

@fortarach63 @Joeyisthebest @12akshita96 @PP1204 @Agog 

First of all I wud say this was not my first mains with law. Hence the challenge was to compile the study notes/materials and to focus on answer writing. So I kept my materials short and had done revision at least 3 times for most of the topics in law. The materials I relied upon during this attempt are as follows:

1. Constitution & Ad law: notes + my previous study notes (supplementary)

2. IL: notes + google - for topics like UN and Intl organisations

3. IPC: notes

4. Torts: Bangia and my previous notes

5. Contract: my previous notes for contract act and notes for the mercantile law portion i.e. contact of indemnity till arbitration.

6. CLD: notes + google. (for each topic notes was the basic material supplemented by 2-4 articles from google)

Answer Writing: 21 tests of and 4 from lawxperts. On the basis of feedbacks I reviewed my answer writing very carefully and focused on presentation as my content was more or less ok.

Current affairs relating to Law: + google and livelaw whenever I was relatively free...just scrolled through their pages.

In my last mains I scored 246 and cud nt make it through to the PT only because of below average score in optional. Lack of revision and less focus on writing was the reason. Hope this year my score turns out to be much better. 

Once again plz appreciate that I have only cleared Mains and nothing has been achieved as yet. Since Many of you requested in my inbox I shared my sources/strategy. Everyone must analyse their strengths and weaknesses in their own way. All the best to everyone !! Stay safe.    


ssver2,Joeyisthebestand4 otherslike this

@Neyawn @root, some major marketing going on here! 

Hakunah_Matata,Homo Neanderthalensisand2 otherslike this

Being a law graduate from a top NLU and having law optional, I have been a regular observer in this thread. Being an enrolled student with and being immensely benefited by their notes and test series, I thought it would be wrong to remain silent without clarifying certain things:-

1. The way all of a sudden you two started reacting it seems in fact both of you are acting at the instance of some coaching institute whose business has been impacted. All the while this thread has been a platform for exchange of views, lets keep it that way.

2. Viraj1692...few weeks ago u had posted that you are a geography student thinking to shift to law. All of a sudden how come you have known so much about law coaching? And why did you delete your earlier posts? Be honest bro...

3. its only enrolled students who visit their site regularly. U said u r not enrolled. How do you know the site takes hours to open? Strange...

For me it takes 25-30 seconds sometimes even 40 -50 secs as its a content heavy site. Dnt expect a coaching website to use advanced techs like FB, Google, youtube which opens in a flash.

4. I myself wrote their full lengh tests and found questions asked touching SC judgements delivered 4-5 days back. And for your kind information the full length tests are nowhere uploaded in advance. Please get your facts correct. Dnt spread such trash without even being an enrolled student. How do you know what all are there in the dashboard?

5. Having appeared in Mains I wrote GS tests from Vision. I can vouch that their evaluation is much much better so far as law in concerned. I can now write much better answers than I could 6 mnths back. 

6. @viraj1692: Can u plz disclose the foundational questions which the founder could not answer? I have got many concepts cleared by him and i found him very inspiring and thorough...has to be...he is a NLU grad and scored very well in law optional...a teacher is always a teacher....good, bad...indifferent. dnt write half baked things...we are still aspirants...dnt know whether we ll even clear prelims this year. Btw dnt mind if I can ask...Have you cleared Prelims and wrote Mains at least once?

7. I regret that you found them to be in 2015-16 era. Go through their current affairs modules once You enrol. 

8. The Revision Notes which is a summary of the Main notes is not meant for writing answers...its only for last minute revision. Did you think you will write answers from the Revision Notes? What did you mean...I wish law was so easy...  

9. I agree with @patootie ...that some of the modules require upgradation. Having gone through all the modules by now I can say such modules are very few in number. At the same time there are many modules where very recent 2020 judgments have also been included. Having struggled with law optional fr 1.5 years, I still found their Notes to be the best for Mains, where time management is a much bigger challenge than super duper content. 

10. I disagree that their evaluation is bookish and outdated. In my last Mains and even 6 mnths back I use to write essay type long answers. Its only Ghosh Sir, who taught me how to convert every answer in Charts, diagrams and flowcharts and thereby save time. He is much in tune with the requirements of the Main Exam. He has helped me a lot in developing my answers...I have every reason to acknowledge that in public.  

I know I ll face attacks on the allegation of marketing. But then...whatever I have narrated here is 100% true and enrolled students will agree. as on date doesnt even appear in google, forget about FB, Telegram etc etc. This shows that they spend 0 for marketing. When I decided to enrol, this is what impressed me the most. 

This is also the reason why I wrote this long post speaking on behalf of them. 

Please dont believe anyone or any post even my post above. Verify and assess everything for yourself.

assiduous,Aks1992and2 otherslike this
@Joeyisthebest same experience with my friend who has enrolled with them for 2020 mains

1.No synopsis
2.No best copy 
3.No video discussion
4. Evaluation takes more than 2 weeks
(he said they dont even reply to mails inspite of reminder)
5.Even after waiting for so long their scanning is not proper, no marks for some questions,only feedback is given.
6.only focus on flowcharts and presentation.
8.material is also average.Cannot replace standard books.
7.when asked about the delay they say they have many admissions so evaluation takes more time.

onlys cons.
no pros.

note:This is a genuine review.Nothing against them.
Also my friend joined another online test series (lawexpert) their evaluation is on time but test questions is poor.

So stay away from both of these

So there is almost no class in online mode for law test series who is reliable.
Nirwana doesn't provide online test series who has decent reviews.

ssver2,Joeyisthebestand1 otherslike this
@Aks1992 Same here. Please share with me as well. Especially your current affairs strategy for law. Or just post it here if you don't mind and want to avoid multiple messages about this when other people may want to know about your strategy later as well haha. 

ssver2,Homo Neanderthalensisand1 otherslike this
1.5k views review.


1. Not responsive.@Reticent can corroborate.

2. The evaluation for the tests that I gave were more or less done within a week. However, no value addition. Comments focused on presentation more than anything else. Draw a chart here, draw a spider web there, improve your handwriting, you get the gist.

3. I needed notes for a few subjects which yield low returns wrt time invested. These notes were not uploaded until yesterday, 2 weeks before the exam. 

4. Notes were substandard. For paper 2, a number of modules did not mention section numbers. For eg, the module on Plea Bargaining did not include the provisions in CrPC, the only codified law regarding the same.

5. Notes did not include any case laws whatsoever for most parts of Paper 2.

6. These substandard notes were not uploaded until after an extremely stern and unpleasant conversation.

7. Further, these notes were prepared in a shoddy manner and it is obvious that the content creator was pressed for time. Considering it was done in the past week, most of the content is actually taken verbatim from the first google result. For example, I could match the "Trial by Media" module word for word with a legalserviceindia article which appears as the first google search result.

8. Full Length Tests haven't been uploaded on the portal despite multiple requests.

9. The 5-6 tests I bothered to write, questions were only from PYQs. Except for one question on COVID-19 and Force Majeure.

10. Extremely rude when I criticised them for their shitty service. 

11. Extremely high cost. At 18k.


1. Constitutional Law and International Law notes are okay if you want to just touch the surface of it. (No alternative to standard books in my view)

2.  Good notes on Negotiable Instruments Act. (No case laws for the most part, but my standards are low considering the above cons)

All in all, it left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. Felt more disappointed than anything else. Would recommend joining a more established institute.

ssver2,Joeyisthebestand1 otherslike this
@Lawoptionalaspirant No idea about others but upsclawoptional is very very slow when it comes to evaluation. You will have to keep sending reminders asking them for evaluated copy. Well established institutes with several enrolled students also do not take so much time. 

Dhananjay_Singh,Patootieand1 otherslike this


can we form a group and try making structures of pyq?

ssver2,12akshita96and1 otherslike this

1. I think the IPC textbook is the one needed. However, please go through the contents of both the books and see which one has syllabus related topics. 

2. First step should be to go through the syllabus. Entire IPC is not a part of the syllabus. PYQs then help to find the more important topics from the syllabus. 

3. PYQs should guide you to find important topics but ideally you should cover the entire syllabus. Nature of optional papers is changing. There are books with PYQs segregated topic wise, it can be helpful [Kalinga publication comes out with one such book. Upsclawptional also has one such PDF, it is freely available on their website.]. I haven't referred dukki for subjects like International law, Contract, Torts and most part of Constitution. Hence cannot comment on its efficacy for these subjects. Regarding Constitution, reading books cover to cover can be a little daunting, I mostly did VN Shukla and Pandey for constitution. For some small topics referred to Dukki. 

4. Have't found any solved PYQ book. This you need to do on your own or with the help of a peer group. 

Hope this helps. 

@newintherace I wrote mains 2020 and earlier 2018 mains with law optional. Some of the pointers that I can I make are - 

1. While paper 1 is more static and has fixed sources, part b of paper 2 is a tough nut to Crack. 

2. Not a wise option to leave CLD part or do them just briefly. The IPR questions clearly conveyed it. 

3. Torts and IPC can be your saviors in paper2 if you prepare them well. Mostly static portion and expected questions. In an awful PART B they can bring a sigh of relief. 

4. 5 days are not enough to revise the entire optional if you haven't done several revisions beforehand. I doubt even after that it would be possible. 

5. Completing paper isn't as tricky as in GS papers provided you know case laws and sections/articles at the tip of your figures for majority of the paper.

6. There is a dearth of good test series/coaching for law optional. It would be good if you can form a group of 3-4 like-minded people to share notes/review answers/discuss questions etc. This one thing played a crucial role in my preparation of optional and I personally benefited a lot from it. 

All in all, paper 2 needs more revision while paper 1 can be improvised with some recent case laws etc. However, the small topics in paper 2 should be prepared well before the prelims. Insurance  guarantee etc. 


Based on my personal experience, please don't join Defacto Law. It is a total waste of money. This review on Quora is very relatable -

Also, don't takevideo lectures of lawxpertmv classes. Their lectures are pure imitation of their notes. Though you can consider their notes and test series. 

Rest I believe, if you are a law graduate, then self-study + any exclusive test series of law optional (not the ones which provide both for judiciary and UPSC), would be enough to sail through.

@Patootie @Patootie well said brother. upsclawoptional is totally bogus,i took demo and found out that they are still in their 2015-16 era. the founder was clueless about some basic questions so i didnt join
notes are below average.they have made summary which is useless in answer writing.
cant comment on test series but they said they have already prepared all tests in advance and it will be in dashboard from day whats the use?their website takes hours to open.

dont waste your money guys,full marketting is going on.

beware of defacto law also/he is more dangerous than upsclawoptional.

talked to some serious frnds who cleared mains with law,they suggested only self study and books can help you in mains and not any coaching notes.

hope it helps

@Honest_Homo thanks for giving review of lawexpertsmv...

after so much research i found out that no one is expert is law optional

Any comments on Nirvana IAS? Material quality and coverage. Last i saw their material, i thought it was below average. However, the institute has consistently churned out rankers from law optional. 

The materials are photocopy of class notes (handwriten) of a student. Though that is concise, you can supplement with materials of ambition and AK Jain.

However, if anyone is planning to join classes over there- Please reconsider.

Its a waste of your time and money. 

assiduous,Homo Neanderthalensis
@Coolcat95 you tried and tested ambition before your first attempt and also took another coaching (Upsclawoptional) for the same attempt. Weird. 
Upsclawoptional team really needs to work on the marketing aspect. 

@Coolcat95 I should have a business to save one. Haven't promoted any coaching or test series. Just pointed out that nirvana notes for some subjects are good because I used them and also said how I haven't done coaching there hence did not say anything about the teachers. 

And no it's not normal. According to your chronology, you studied optional, took test series at ambition, wasn't satisfied with the same, took an entire course with Upsclawoptional. Thoda mess up hai just saying. 

Also really doubtful if a first attempter has so much time at disposal. But again to each his own. 

@florence08 chill bro. Peace.



can we form a group and try making structures of pyq?

Write your comment…