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Society cannot exist without law. Law is the bond of society: that which makes it, that which preserves it and keeps it together. It is, in fact, the essence of civil society. Joseph P. Bradley

A UPSC aspirant is often faced with the dilemma of choosing the right optional.

A right optional is the one which helps you to outperform in mains, the one that fetches you maximum marks, the one which comes to your rescue when you fail to score well in General Studies and last but not the least, the one which brings out the best in you.

Why to chose LAW as an Optional?

Law can prove to be a smart choice as an optional subject considering a number of factors:

  • It overlaps with 40 % of GENERAL STUDIES syllabus.
  • Law optional has a significant overlapping with essay paper too. Every year, certain topics in the essay can be handled easily by law students.
  • It has also witnessed many successful candidates.
  • Study material is easily available.
  • The syllabus is relatively shorter and you can complete it within 2 or 3 months.
  • Helpful in preliminary exam as around 15 to 20 questions from Indian Polity and governance section are asked every year for sure and they are covered in the Law optional.

WHO SHOULD CHOOSE Law as an Optional Subject?

  • Interest: Interest in a particular subject should be given top priority while deciding on an optional subject. If you are having interested in Law, you can go for it as it is not technical and you don’t need to have a law background.
  • Background: If you have done law in your graduation, then you should go for Law as your optional subject.


Law has enjoyed a fair success rate in the UPSC exam. In fact, in 2013, out of optional subjects that had 100 or more takers, the most number of successful candidates had selected law as their optional (about 24%). Overall Law optional has a success rate of about 12-15% in comparison to other optionals in the UPSC exam.

Many candidates have been able to score high marks in Law and many have managed to bag top ranks. However, UPSC does not discriminate between any of its optional subjects and one should consider his/her interest a top priority while choosing an optional.

Name of the candidate Year of passing Total marks (500) in Law Paper I LAW (250 MARKS) Paper II LAW (250 MARKS)
NEHA JAIN (AIR14) CSE- 2017 283 155 128
CS JEYDEV (AIR 5) CSE- 2019 275 136 139
SAUMYA SHARMA (AIR9) CSE- 2017 287 143 147
VASU JAIN (AIR-67) CSE-2020 262 123 139

Optional subject marks play an important role in improving your UPSC-CSE all India ranking. Also, if you have not scored well in GS papers, and if you can score well in optional papers, you can still find your name in UPSC-CSE final list.

Law Optional Coaching Fees:

Sr. Course & Features Fees
1. Online Video Lectures for Both Optional Papers 1 & 2 + Study Material in Soft Copy + Test Series Rs. 30,000/-
2. Online Video Lectures for Both Optional Papers 1 & 2 + Study Material in Soft Copy Rs. 20,000/-


  1. Detailed coverage of both Law papers I & II for UPSC mains exam
  2. Current Affairs updated teaching for dynamic sections of Law. 
  3. Explanation of the interlinks between Law and GS papers  
  4. Availability of topic-wise module with coverage of each topic 
  5. Special lecture series on answer writing practice 
  6. Access to the best lecturers anytime and anywhere 
  7. 150+ hours of Offline/online lectures by Delhi based faculty members


Super Affordable fees:

Usually, the cost of Law optional coaching fee is approx. Rs.50,000/- to Rs.75,000/- whereas online coaching costs very less.

Your time, Your Place:

While offline IAS coaching has a fixed schedule, online coaching is flexible. Aspirants can save time from traveling between home, college, and other places.


One of the biggest advantages of online Law coaching is that no lecture or topic will be missed as you can watch it anytime anywhere on your laptop or mobile.

  • While writing Law optional paper, candidates must keep in mind that their answers for Law should look different from the GS answers.
  • Writing case laws and section numbers can be added in the optional subject to score well in law.
  • Supreme Court and High Court judgments can be cited in the answer wherever necessary.
  • Regular answer writing practice and solving previous year's question papers will help in scoring well in your Law optional.
  • Law Optional SYLLABUS

    PAPER – I : Constitutional and Administrative Law
    1. Constitution and Constitutionalism: The distinctive features of the Constitution.
    2. Fundamental rights - Public interest litigation; Legal Aid; Legal services authority.
    3. Relationship between fundamental rights, directive principles and fundamental duties.
    4. The constitutional position of the President and relation with the Council of Ministers.
    5. Governor and his powers.
    6. Supreme Court and High Courts:
      1. Appointments and transfers.
      2. Powers, functions and jurisdiction.
    7. Centre, States and local bodies:
      1. Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States.
      2. Local bodies.
      3. Administrative relationship among Union, State and Local Bodies.
      4. Eminent domain - State property - common property - community property.
    8. Legislative powers, privileges and immunities.
    9. Services under the Union and the States:
      1. Recruitment and conditions of services; Constitutional safeguards; Administrative tribunals.
      2. Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commissions - Power and functions
      3. Election Commission - Power and functions.
    10. Emergency provisions.
    11. Amendment of the Constitution.
    12. Principles of natural justice - Emerging trends and judicial approach.
    13. Delegated legislation and its constitutionality.
    14. Separation of powers and constitutional governance.
    15. Judicial review of administrative action.
    16. Ombudsman: Lokayukta, Lokpal etc.

    International Law
    1. Nature and definition of international law.
    2. Relationship between international law and municipal law.
    3. State recognition and state succession.
    4. Law of the sea: Inland waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, high seas.
    5. Individuals: Nationality, statelessness; Human rights and procedures available for their enforcement.
    6. Territorial jurisdiction of States, extradition and asylum.
    7. Treaties: Formation, application, termination and reservation.
    8. United Nations: Its principal organs, powers, functions and reform.
    9. Peaceful settlement of disputes - different modes.
    10. Lawful recourse to force: aggression, self-defence, intervention.
    11. Fundamental principles of international humanitarian law - International conventions and contemporary developments.
    12. The legality of the use of nuclear weapons; ban on the testing of nuclear weapons; Nuclear - nonproliferation treaty, CTBT.
    13. International terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, hijacking, international criminal court.
    14. New international economic order and monetary law: WTO, TRIPS, GATT, IMF, World Bank.
    15. Protection and improvement of the human environment: International efforts.

    PAPER – II : Law of Crimes
    1. General principles of criminal liability: Mens rea and actus reus, mens rea in statutory offences.
    2. Kinds of punishment and emerging trends as to abolition of capital punishment.
    3. Preparation and criminal attempt.
    4. General exceptions.
    5. Joint and constructive liability.
    6. Abetment.
    7. Criminal conspiracy.
    8. Offences against the State.
    9. Offences against public tranquility.
    10. Offences against human body.
    11. Offences against property.
    12. Offences against women.
    13. Defamation.
    14. Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
    15. Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and subsequent legislative developments. 16. Plea bargaining.

    Law of Torts
    1. Nature and definition.
    2. Liability based upon fault and strict liability; Absolute liability.
    3. Vicarious liability including State liability.
    4. General defences.
    5. Joint tortfeasors.
    6. Remedies.
    7. Negligence.
    8. Defamation.
    9. Nuisance.
    10. Conspiracy.
    11. False imprisonment.
    12. Malicious prosecution.
    13. Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

    Law of Contracts and Mercantile Law
    1. Nature and formation of contract/E-contract.
    2. Factors vitiating free consent.
    3. Void, voidable, illegal and unenforceable agreements.
    4. Performance and discharge of contracts.
    5. Quasi-contracts.
    6. Consequences of breach of contract.
    7. Contract of indemnity, guarantee and insurance.
    8. Contract of agency.
    9. Sale of goods and hire purchase.
    10. Formation and dissolution of partnership.
    11. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
    12. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
    13. Standard form contracts.

    Contemporary Legal Developments
    1. Public Interest Litigation.
    2. Intellectual property rights—Concept, types/prospects.
    3. Information Technology Law including Cyber Laws—Concept, purpose/prospects.
    4. Competition Law—Concept, purpose/prospects.
    5. Alternate Dispute Resolution—Concept, types/prospects.
    6. Major statutes concerning environmental law.
    7. Right to Information Act.
    8. Trial by media.

    Books for Law optional UPSC:
    1. Indian Constitutional Law by MP Jain
    2. Administrative Law by IP Massey
    3. International Law by Malcolm Shaw
    4. International Law by SK Kapoor
    5. Starke’s International Law by JG Starke
    6. Textbook on IPC by KD Gaur
    7. Law of Torts by RK Bangia
    8. Law of Contract & Specific Relief by Avtar Singh
    9. The Constitution of India (Bare Act) by PM Bakshi
    10. Jurisprudence (Legal Theory) by B.N. Mani Tripathi

    FAQ Regarding Law Optional:

    1. Is Law a Good Optional For UPSC Exam?
    Law has enjoyed a fair success rate in the UPSC exam. In fact, in 2013, out of optional subjects that had 100 or more takers, the most number of successful candidates had selected law as their optional (about 24%). Overall Law optional has a success rate of about 12-15% in comparison to other optionals in the UPSC exam.