A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a
lawyer A lawyer is a person who practices law. The role of a lawyer varies greatly across different legal jurisdictions. A lawyer can be classified as an advocate, attorney, barrister, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, solicito ...
within a given jurisdiction.

Law degrees


In Argentina, lawyers-to-be need to obtain an undergraduate degree in law in order to practice the profession, as opposed to the US system in which a law degree is not obtained until successfully completing a postgraduate program. In spite of that, it is customary to call Argentine lawyers 'doctors,' although the vast majority of them do not hold a Juris Doctor degree. The reason lies in that the career was originally called 'Doctorate in Laws' (''Doctorado en Leyes''), which was an undergraduate degree. There were no graduate studies available in the country at the time of its creation, and they would be instituted only in 1949. After the university reform of 1918 the career was renamed ' Attorney'. It is 5–6 years long, some universities also offering sub-degrees called 'University Bachelor in Law,' commonly taking 3–4 years to complete and closer to an associate degree.


To practice in Australia, one needs to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Juris Doctor (JD), or Diploma-in-Law issued by the Legal Profession Admission Board, followed by an internship for 12 months or an extra course in practical legal training (PLT) depending on the jurisdiction and university, and be admitted as a lawyer of one of a state's Supreme Court.


In Belgium, the admission to the Belgian Bar is permitted after 5-year law degree.


In Brazil, the legal education begins between 1827/28 in Olinda/PE and São Paulo/SP where the first schools of law were established by the new Empire using the Coimbra Faculty of Law as an educational model. The current legal education consists of a 5-year-long course after which the scholar is granted a bachelor's degree. The practice of law is conditioned upon admission to the bar of a particular state or other territorial jurisdiction (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil - OAB ). Before practicing as public attorneys, public prosecutors or magistrates (judges), candidates must successfully pass an entrance examination and complete a constitutionally-mandated three years of legal experience. Second degree courts and higher must have at least one-fifth of their judges be members of a lawyers' association, and also from federal/state/labour prosecutors (ministério público) regarding the court jurisdiction. Electoral and military courts do not have this requirement. After achieving the bachelor's degree in law, it is possible to specialize (''lato sensu'') or to follow an academic law path (''stricto sensu''), or both. The ''stricto sensu'' postgraduate program consists of a master's degree, which is usually a two-year degree, followed by a doctorate degree, which can take up to another four years.


The oldest civil law faculty in Canada offering law degrees was established in 1848 at
McGill University McGill University (french: link=no, Université McGill) is an English-language public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1821 by royal charter granted by King George IV,Frost, Stanley Brice. ''McGill University ...
in Montreal, and the oldest common law faculty in Canada offering law degrees was established in 1883 at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The typical law degree required to practice law in Canada is now the
Juris Doctor The Juris Doctor (J.D. or JD), also known as Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D., JD, D.Jur., or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The J.D. is the standard degree obtained to practice law ...
, which requires previous university coursework and is similar to the first law degree in the United States. There is some scholarly content in the coursework (such as an academic research paper required in most schools). The programs consist of three years, and have similar content in their mandatory first year courses. Beyond first year and the minimum requirements for graduation, course selection is elective with various concentrations such as business law, international law, natural resources law, criminal law, Aboriginal law, etc. Given that the Canadian legal system includes both the civil law and the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipresen ...
, some law schools offer both an LL.B. or J.D. (common law) and a B.C.L., LL.L. or LL.B. (civil law) degree, such as
McGill University McGill University (french: link=no, Université McGill) is an English-language public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1821 by royal charter granted by King George IV,Frost, Stanley Brice. ''McGill University ...
University of Ottawa The University of Ottawa (french: Université d'Ottawa), often referred to as uOttawa or U of O, is a bilingual public research university in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on directly to the northeast of Downtown Ottawa ...
and the
Université de Montréal The Université de Montréal (UdeM; ; translates to University of Montreal) is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university's main campus is located in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood of Côte- ...
. In particular, McGill University Faculty of Law offers a combined civil law and common law program, which has been called "transsystemic." At other faculties, if a person completes a common law degree, then a civil law degree can be obtained with only an extra year of study. This is also true for civil law graduates who wish to complete a common law degree. Despite changes in designation, schools opting for the J.D. have not altered their curricula. Neither the J.D. or LL.B. alone is sufficient to qualify for a Canadian license, as each province's law society requires an apprenticeship and successful completion of provincial skills and responsibilities training course, such as the British Columbia Law Society's Professional Legal Training Course, the Law Society of Upper Canada's Skills and Responsibilities Training Program. and the École du Barreau du Québec. The main reason for implementing the J.D. in Canada was to distinguish the degree from the European counterpart that requires no previous post-secondary education, However, in the eyes of the Canadian educational system, the J.D. awarded by Canadian universities has retained the characteristics of the LL.B. and is considered a second entry program, but not a graduate program. (This position is analogous to the position taken by Canadian universities that the M.D. and D.D.S. degrees are considered second entry programs and not graduate programs.) Nevertheless, disagreement persists regarding the status of the degrees, such as at the University of Toronto, where the J.D. degree designation has been marketed by the Faculty of Law as superior to the LL.B. degree designation. Some universities have developed joint Canadian LL.B or J.D. and American J.D programs, such as York University and New York University, the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy, and the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University program.


Law school is usually entered to at the undergraduate level in a university. There is an intermediate bachelor's degree (''oikeusnotaari''), but the target is the master's degree in law (''oikeustieteen maisteri''; until 2005 ''oikeustieteen kandidaatti''). Once university education is complete, the title of '' varatuomari'' (VT) is obtained with a one-year
externship Externships are experiential learning opportunities, similar to internships, provided by partnerships between educational institutions and employers to give students practical experiences in their field of study. In medicine, it may refer to a visi ...
in a district court. This is the basic qualification to practice law as a judge. With further experience, the candidate may be admitted to the Finnish Bar Association and licensed with the legally protected title '' asianajaja'', similar to
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching law and givin ...


In France, the legal education is a three tier system. The student may study for an LL.B. (''licence de droit''), then an LL.M. (''master de droit'') and, for those interested in Law theory, a PhD in law (''doctorat de droit''). Many French universities offer Law courses in department labelled as Research and Education Units (''unité de formation et de recherche'') and/or Faculties of Law or Law Schools. A LLM-level is a prerequisite for some legal professions, but is combined with vocational education, such as the école nationale de la magistrature for judges and the ''Certificat d'aptitude aux fonctions d'avocat'' for
advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English law–based jurisdictions could be a barrister or a solicitor. However, ...


Law Degree in Indonesia consists of three tier systems. The first tier is the Degree of which carries the title of Sarjana Hukum/S.H. (Bachelor of Law). This can be obtained in 4–7 years after they enter Law School straight from Senior High School. The second tier varies depending on the legal specialties taken after the first tier. The general title for this tier is Magister Hukum / M.H. (Master in Law). Although it is also common to see other title for secondary tier such as Magister Kenotariatan / M.Kn. (Master in Notary) for Notarial professionals line of work. The second tier can be obtained normally in 1-2 year. The third tier in Indonesian Law Degree is Doctor / DR. (Doctor in Law). To work in legal professions of choice in Indonesia, a Bachelor Law Degree (S.H.) is obligatory. Graduates can pursue their career as Legal in-house counsel, Judge profession (requires admission and further training at Supreme Court Educational Center), Public Prosecutor (requires admission and further training at Public Prosecutor Educational and Training Center), other legal-related work and Advocate. To become an Advocate, Law Graduate should attend an Advocate Special Course (1–2 months) and pass the Bar exam. The title Advocate can be obtained after a graduate passes the Bar exam and fulfill several obligation and requirements created by the Indonesian Advocates Association (PERADI), and is a prerequisite for practicing trial law in Indonesia.


In India, legal education has been traditionally offered as a three-year graduate degree. However, the structure has been changed since 1987. Law degrees in India are granted and conferred in terms of the Advocates Act, 1961, which is a law passed by the
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. T ...
both on the aspect of legal education and also regulation of conduct of legal profession. Under the act, the Bar Council of India is the supreme regulatory body to regulate the legal profession in India and also to ensure the compliance of the laws and maintenance of professional standards by the legal profession in the country. To this regard, the Bar Council of India prescribes the minimum curriculum required to be taught in order for an institution to be eligible for the grant of a law degree. The Bar Council also carries on a periodic supervision of the institutions conferring the degree and evaluates their teaching methodology and curriculum and having determined that the institution meets the required standards, recognizes the institution and the degree conferred by it. Traditionally the degrees that were conferred carried the title of LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) or B.L. (Bachelor of Law). The eligibility requirement for these degrees was that the applicant already have a
Bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin ''baccalaureus'') or baccalaureate (from Modern Latin ''baccalaureatus'') is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to six ...
in any subject from a recognized institution. Thereafter the LL.B. / B.L. course was for three years, upon the successful completion of which the applicant was granted either degree. However, upon the suggestion by the Law Commission of India and also given the prevailing cry for reform, the Bar Council of India instituted upon an
experiment An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy or likelihood of something previously untried. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when ...
in terms of establishing specialized law universities solely devoted to legal education and thus to raise the academic standards of legal profession in India. This decision was taken somewhere in 1985 and thereafter the first law University in India was set up in
Bangalore Bangalore (), officially Bengaluru (), is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of more than and a metropolitan population of around , making it the third most populous city and fifth mos ...
which was named as the
National Law School of India University The National Law School of India University (NLSIU or simply NLS) is a public law school and a National Law University located in Bangalore, Karnataka. It was the first National Law University to be established in India as well as one of th ...
(popularly 'NLS'). These law universities were meant to offer a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to legal education. It was therefore for the first time that a law degree other than LL.B. or B.L. was granted in India. NLS offered a five-year law course, upon the successful completion of which an integrated degree with the title of "B.A., LL.B. (Honours)" would be granted. Thereafter, other law universities were set up, all offering five-year integrated law degrees with different nomenclature. The next in line was National Law Institute University set up in
Bhopal Bhopal (; ) is the capital (political), capital city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of both Bhopal district and Bhopal division. It is known as the ''City of Lakes'' due to its various natural and ar ...
in 1997. It was followed by NALSAR university of law in 1998. The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in
Delhi Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. Straddling the Yamuna river, primarily its western or right bank, Delhi shares borders w ...
offered a five-year integrated law degree course of LL.B (Honours) from 1998 and subsequently from 2007 started to award the B.A., LL.B / B.B.A.LL.B (Honours). The Mysore University School of Justice set up by the
University of Mysore The University of Mysore is a public state university in Mysore, Karnataka, India. The university was founded during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore. The university is recognised by the University Grants Commissi ...
Mysore Mysore (), officially Mysuru (), is a city in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, India. Mysore city is geographically located between 12° 18′ 26″ north latitude and 76° 38′ 59″ east longitude. It is located at an altitude of ...
offered a five-year integrated law degree course of B.A., LL.B (Honours) from 2007. The course for three years LL.B. is also regularized in
University of Delhi Delhi University (DU), formally the University of Delhi, is a collegiate central university located in New Delhi, India. It was founded in 1922 by an Act of the Central Legislative Assembly and is recognized as an Institute of Eminence (IoE ...
as an option for post graduation after the completion of graduation degree. The National Law University, Jodhpur offered for the first time in 2001 the integrated law degree of "B.B.A, LL.B. (Honours)" which was preceded by the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences offering the "B.Sc., LL.B. (Honours)" degree. Gujarat National Law University established in Gandhinagar also offers LL.B. However, despite these specialized law universities, the traditional three-year degree continues to be offered in India by other institutions and are equally recognized as eligible qualifications for practicing law in India. Another essential difference that remains is that while the eligibility qualification for the three year law degree is that the applicant must already be a holder of a bachelor's degree, for being eligible for the five years integrated law degree, the applicant must have successfully completed Class XII from a recognized Boards of Education in India. Both the holders of the three-year degree and of the five-year integrated degree are eligible for enrollment with the Bar Council of India upon the fulfillment of eligibility conditions and upon enrollment, may appear before any court in India.''Major Legal Systems in the World Today: An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Law'', by René David, John E. C. Brierley, Contributor René David, John E. C. Brierley, Edition: 2, (Published by Simon and Schuster, 1978),



Hong Kong

In Legal system of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, which generally follows the English common law system, an undergraduate L.L.B. is common, followed by a one or two year
Postgraduate Certificate in Laws The Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL; 法學專業證書) is an intensive one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) professional legal qualification programme in Hong Kong. It allows graduates to proceed to legal training before qualifyi ...
before one can begin a training contract (solicitors) or a
pupillage A pupillage, in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan and Hong Kong, is the final, vocational stage of training for those wishing to become practising barristers. Pupillage is similar to an apprenticeship, during which bar ...
(barristers). All three law schools (HKU, CUHK, CityU) in Hong Kong also offer 2-year Juris Doctor programme allowing students with a bachelor's degree in any field to be considered for PCLL.


In Iran, the legal education has been influenced both by civil law and Islamic Shari'ah law. Like many countries, after high school, one can enter the law school. The first law degree is
Bachelor of Science A Bachelor of Science (BS, BSc, SB, or ScB; from the Latin ') is a bachelor's degree awarded for programs that generally last three to five years. The first university to admit a student to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the University o ...
. It takes about four years to get B.S. The first graduate program in law is B.S. It takes about two to three years to earn a Master of Science. The Master of Science is a mix of course work in a specific field of law and a dissertation. The Ph.D. in law is the highest law degree offered by some law schools. It takes about 5–7 years depending on the school as well as the students.


In Italy, the route for obtaining a legal education to qualify as a practicing lawyer is via a 5-year Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. Law school is usually entered to at the undergraduate level in a university.


See Legal education#Japan.


Law degree programs are considered graduate programs in the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
. As such, admission to law schools requires the completion of a bachelor's degree, with a sufficient number of credits or units in certain subject areas. Graduation from a Philippine law school constitutes the primary eligibility requirement for the
Philippine Bar Examination The Philippine Bar Examination is the professional licensure examination for lawyers in the Philippines. The exam is exclusively administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines through the Supreme Court Bar Examination Committee. Brief hist ...
, the national licensure examination for practicing lawyers in the country. The bar examination is administered by the
Supreme Court of the Philippines The Supreme Court ( fil, Kataas-taasang Hukuman; colloquially referred to as the ''Korte Suprema'' lso used in formal writing is the highest court in the Philippines. The Supreme Court was established by the Second Philippine Commission on J ...
during the month of September every year. As of 2011 the bar examinations were held during November. The
University of Santo Tomas The University of Santo Tomas (also known as UST and officially as the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, Manila) is a private, Catholic research university in Manila, Philippines. Founded on April 28, 1611, by Spanish friar Migu ...
Faculty of Civil Law was the first secular faculty, and hence the oldest law school in the Philippines.


In Singapore, the primary route for obtaining a legal education to qualify as a practicing lawyer is via a 4-year Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from either the NUS Faculty of Law, or the SMU School of Law. The SUSS School of Law is aimed primarily at producing law graduates focused on family law and criminal law, as there is a pressing need for lawyers practicing in these areas. Additionally, the SMU School of Law offers the 3-year
Juris Doctor The Juris Doctor (J.D. or JD), also known as Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D., JD, D.Jur., or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The J.D. is the standard degree obtained to practice law ...
degree for aspiring candidates who have already completed a prior undergraduate course of study and who have been award a bachelor's degree in another field. The SMU J.D. is recognised for qualification to the Singapore Bar. There are several private law schools in Singapore that are run by private education providers and which also award the Bachelor of Laws degree. These private law schools are neither recognised nor supported by the government and their graduates are, in the vast majority of cases, ineligible for qualification to the Singapore Bar.


In Serbia, prospective students are required to pass an admission test for enrollment in a law school. The legal education is a three tier system – 4-year bachelor's degree studies, 1-year Master of Law and 5-year doctoral studies. The Belgrade Law School is the most distinguished and largest by capacity in Serbia. Courses are offered in Serbian and English.

South Korea

On July 3, 2007, the Korean National Assembly passed legislation introducing 'Law School', closely modeled on the American post-graduate system. Moreover, naturally, since March 2, 2009, 25 (both public and private) 3-year professional Law Schools that officially approved by Korean Government, has been opened to teach future Korean lawyers. The first bar test to the lawschool graduates was scheduled in 2012.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
to practice law, one must be admitted and enrolled as an
Attorney-at-Law Attorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is the preferred term for a practising lawyer in certain jurisdictions, including South Africa (for certain lawyers), Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and the United ...
of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. This is achieved by passing law exams at the Sri Lanka Law College, which are administered by the Council of Legal Education and spending a period of six months under a practicing attorney of at least 8 years standing. To undertake law exams students must gain admission to the Sri Lanka Law College and study law or directly undertake exams after gaining an LL.B. from a local or foreign university.


In Sweden, the route for obtaining a legal education to qualify as a practicing lawyer is via a -year Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree (270 ECTS).


In Taiwan, law is primarily studied as an undergraduate program resulting in a Bachelor of Law (B.L.).Chang-fa Lo, ''Driving an Ox Cart to Catch Up With the Space Shuttle: The Need For and Prospects of Legal Education Reform in Taiwan'', 24 Wis. Int'l L.J. 41 (2006). Students receive academic rather than practical training. Practical training is arranged after the individual passes the lawyer, judge, or prosecutor exams. A degree in law (bachelor, master or doctor) is one way to qualify to sit for the bar examination. You can also sit for the bar examination if you do not have a law degree, but have taken the requisite number and type of law courses. The bar examination is administered in two written stages. Stage one exam subjects are tested by multiple-choice format and stage two exam subjects are tested in an essay format. Candidates who fail stage one are disqualified from taking stage two, and the “passed” status of the stage one exam will not be retained for future exams. The yearly pass rate for the bar examination in Taiwan hovers around 10% each year. The bar exam is conducted in Chinese, so a native level of language fluency is expected. A non-citizen may take the Attorney Qualification Examination. According to Articles 5 and 20 of the Regulations on Attorney Qualification Examination (Bar Exam), non-citizens are allowed to participate in the bar examination with a degree in law earned in Taiwan. Non-citizens are not allowed to sit in the prosecutor or judge examinations unless they are naturalized citizens of Taiwan. Once a non-citizen is approved to practice law in Taiwan, they must abide by all statutes related to the legal practice, Codes of Legal Ethics, and the Articles of Incorporation of the Bar Association to which they are members.

United Kingdom

United States

In the United States, law school is a postgraduate program usually lasting three years and resulting in the conferral upon graduates of the
Juris Doctor The Juris Doctor (J.D. or JD), also known as Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D., JD, D.Jur., or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The J.D. is the standard degree obtained to practice law ...
(J.D.). Some schools in Louisiana concurrently award a Graduate Diploma in Civil Law (D.C.L.). To gain admission to a law school that is accredited by the
American Bar Association The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. Founded in 1878, the ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of aca ...
(ABA), applicants must usually take the
Law School Admission Test The Law School Admission Test (LSAT; ) is a standardized test administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for prospective law school candidates. It is designed to assess reading comprehension as well as logical and verbal re ...
(LSAT), and have an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree in any major. Currently, there are 203 ABA-approved law schools that grant the J.D. degree. There currently are eight law schools that are unaccredited by any state bar or the ABA but registered by the State Bar of California, 21 law schools approved solely by the State Bar of California, 2 law schools accredited solely by statute in Alabama and 1 law school accredited solely by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Non-ABA approved law schools have much lower bar passage rates than ABA-approved law schools, and do not submit or disclose employment outcome data to the ABA. However, there are currently 10 ABA-accredited law schools that are currently out of compliance with the bar passage standard. According to a study by labor economists Michael Simkovic and Frank McIntyre, a Juris Doctor degree increases the present value of lifetime earnings in the U.S. by $1,000,000 compared to a bachelor's degree. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average salary for lawyers in 2012 was above $130,000, albeit in a bimodal distribution. Salaries vary by geography, with higher average salaries in big cities—especially New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles—and lower salaries in rural areas. An unpublished table produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment rates among experienced lawyers are lower than those for most high-income occupations. BLS data also suggests that lawyer employment has grown slightly faster than other occupations, with lawyers comprising a growing share of the work force over the last decade. However, not all recent law graduates work as lawyers. According to Simkovic and McIntyre's study of U.S. Census Bureau data, around 40 percent of U.S. residents with law degrees do not practice law. Law graduates are disproportionately represented in leadership positions in business and government. The National Association for Legal Career Professionals produces an annual report summarizing the employment of recent graduates of U.S. law schools at a single point in time, 9 months of graduation. Employment at that point is typically around 90 percent, although from 2009 to 2011, the numbers have been lower, at around 86 to 88 percent. Approximately 2 percent of graduates were employed in non-professional jobs. Approximately 75 to 85 percent work in jobs classified by NALP as "JD required" or "JD preferred", and another 5 percent work in other professional jobs. However, a law degree increases earnings, even including those who do not practice law. While certain law schools are starting to accept the GRE, the majority of law schools require applicants to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law School Admission Council initiated the LSAT-Flex.

Postgraduate and professional study

Some schools offer a
Master of Laws A Master of Laws (M.L. or LL.M.; Latin: ' or ') is an advanced postgraduate academic degree, pursued by those either holding an undergraduate academic law degree, a professional law degree, or an undergraduate degree in a related subject. In mos ...
(LL.M.) program as a way of specializing in a particular area of law. A further possible degree is the academic doctoral degree in law of Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) (in the U.S. or Canada)., or the Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) in Canada or the UK, or the Ph.D. in law from European or Australasian universities. In addition to attending law school, many jurisdictions require law school graduates to pass a state or provincial
bar examination A bar examination is an examination administered by the bar association of a jurisdiction that a lawyer must pass in order to be admitted to the bar of that jurisdiction. Australia Administering bar exams is the responsibility of the bar associat ...
before they may practice law. The Multistate Bar Examination is part of the bar examination in almost all United States jurisdictions. Generally, the standardized,
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipresen ...
subject matter of the MBE is combined with state-specific essay questions to produce a comprehensive bar examination. In other common law countries the bar exam is often replaced by a period of work with a law firm known as articles of clerkship.

Alternative legal education systems

UK and Europe

While law schools in the U.S. and Canada are typically post-graduate institutions with considerable autonomy, legal education in other countries is provided within the mainstream educational system from university level and/or in non-degree conferring vocational training institutions. In countries such as the United Kingdom and most of continental Europe, academic legal education is provided within the mainstream university system starting at the
undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and before postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree. For example, in the United States, an entry-lev ...
level, and the legal departments of universities are simply departments like any other rather than separate "law schools". In these countries, the term "law school" may be used, but it does not have the same definition as it does in North America. The same is true for private Law Schools, e.g. in Germany two private law schools have been established, Bucerius Law School in Hamburg and EBS Law School in Wiesbaden which are termed law schools but follow the usual German path of legal education. There are also sometimes legal colleges that provide vocational training as a post-academic stage of legal education. One example is the
University of Law , motto_lang = lat , mottoeng = Let us know the laws and rights , established = ,2012 ( university status) , closed = , type = Private, for-profit , endowment ...
in the United Kingdom, which provides certain professional qualifications lawyers in England and Wales must obtain before they may practice as solicitors or barristers.


In Australia, law schools such as the Melbourne Law School, the Adelaide Law School, and the Sydney Law School have emphasised a combination of the British and American systems. However, other universities such as the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University and Monash University are known for their practical work.For a discussion on the practical training in Australian law schools see Margaret Castles and Anne Hewitt 'Can a law school help develop skilled legal professionals' (2011) ALTERNATIVE LAW JOURNAL; 36 (2) 2011: 90–95.

List of law schools

See also

* Faculty of law * Law School Admissions Test *
Legal clinic A legal clinic (also law clinic or law school clinic) is a legal aid or law school program providing services to various clients and often hands-on-legal experience to law school students. Clinics are usually directed by clinical professors. L ...
* Moot court *
Madrasa Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic: مدرسة , pl. , ) is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, secular or religious (of any religion), whether for elementary instruction or higher learning. The word is variously transliterated ...
Paralegal A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, or paralegal specialist is a professional who performs tasks that require knowledge of legal concepts but not the full expertise of a lawyer with a license to practice law. The market for paralegals ...


Further reading

* Duncan Kennedy: ''Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy'', New Edition, New York Univ Press, 2004, {{DEFAULTSORT:Law School * Types of university or college Legal education