I believe the pattern change is in the best interest for the future of the legal profession. CLAT aspirants both 12th pass students as well as graduates must focus on English language comprehension, critical reasoning and decision making because the paper as a whole focuses on skills required in a lawyer.
If you have seen the sample questions released by CLAT, the legal section is very interesting. While you are not expected to have prior legal knowledge, you are expected to know how to find the information you need.
CLAT has changed the pattern of the entrance exam which is the only selection process used for admitting students into the prestigious NLUs. What this change has essentially done is define the type of students who will make great lawyers.
Studying law requires dedication and NLUs want students to motivate themselves to study, take the initiative when required and learn to meet deadlines. Read and Write: It is easy for anyone to skim over the information and take it at face value. To read critically is to comprehend, analyse and find information. In the near future, at NLUs when writing, you need to be able to present arguments and ideas in a clear, logical and persuasive way. A significant part of Law degree will be assessed by way of written examinations and coursework hence you hold over the language is paramount.
I would like to clarify that CLAT is now a level playing filed for both urban students and rural students. Any pre-law student is expected to have sound reasoning and a good hold over language. Rural and semi-rural students need not worry about this change as you are not expected to be strong in speaking /oral English. Your speaking skills is something you will pick up when you interact with 90% of peer group at NLUs who speak English fluently. You need to up your game with Reading and understanding what you read and focus on critical reasoning.