Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (Latin: Legum nrm Baccalaureus; LL.B. or B.L.) is
an undergraduate degree in law (or a first professional degree in law,
depending on jurisdiction) originating in
England and offered in Japan
and most common law jurisdictions—except the United States and
Canada—as the degree which allows a person to become a lawyer. It
historically served this purpose in the U.S. as well, but was phased
out in the mid-1960s in favor of the
Juris Doctor degree, and Canada
Historically, in Canada,
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws was the name of the first
degree in common law, but is also the name of the first degree in
Quebec civil law awarded by a number of Quebec universities. Canadian
common-law LL.B. programmes were, in practice, second-entry
professional degrees, meaning that the vast majority of those admitted
to an LL.B. programme were already holders of one or more degrees, or,
at a minimum (with very few exceptions), have completed two years of
study in a first-entry, undergraduate degree in another discipline.
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws is also the name of the first degree in
Scots law and
South African law
South African law (both being pluralistic legal systems
that are based partly on common law and partly on civil law) awarded
by a number of universities in
Scotland and South Africa,
1 History of academic degrees
2 Origin of the LL.B.
3 Structure of LL.B. programmes
Common law nations generally
3.5 Hong Kong
3.8 New Zealand
3.11 South Africa
5 Alternative titles and formats
5.1 Irish B.C.L. and LL.B.
5.2 Zimbabwe B.L. and LL.B.
5.3 LL.B. in Pakistan
5.4 Variations on the LL.B.
6 United States
6.1 Eligibility of foreign graduates in the U.S.
7 Situation within the European Union
8 Alternative degree route in the UK
9 See also
History of academic degrees
The first academic degrees were all law degrees in medieval
universities, and the first law degrees were doctorates. The
foundations of the first universities were the glossators of the 11th
century, which were also schools of law. The first university, that
of Bologna, was founded as a school of law by four famous legal
scholars in the 12th century who were students of the glossator school
in that city. The
University of Bologna
University of Bologna served as the model for other
law schools of the medieval age. While it was common for students
of law to visit and study at schools in other countries, such was not
the case with
England because of the English rejection of Roman law
(except for certain jurisdictions such as the Admiralty Court), and
University of Oxford
University of Oxford and
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge did
teach canon law until the English Reformation, its importance was
always superior to civil law in those institutions.
Origin of the LL.B.
"LL.B." stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. The "LL." of the
abbreviation for the degree is from the genitive plural legum (of lex,
law). Creating an abbreviation for a plural, especially from Latin, is
often done by doubling the first letter (e.g., "pp" for "pages"), It
is sometimes erroneously called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account
for the double "L".
The bachelor's degree originated at the University of Paris, whose
system was implemented at Oxford and Cambridge. The "arts"
designation of the degree traditionally signifies that the student has
undertaken a certain amount of study of the classics. In
continental Europe the bachelor's degree was phased out in the 18th or
early 19th century but it continued at Oxford and Cambridge.
The teaching of law at Oxford University was for philosophical or
scholarly purposes and not meant to prepare one to practise law.
Professional training for practising common law in
undertaken at the Inns of Court, but over time the training functions
of the Inns lessened considerably and apprenticeships with individual
practitioners arose as the prominent medium of preparation.
However, because of the lack of standardization of study and of
objective standards for appraisal of these apprenticeships, the role
of universities became subsequently of importance for the education of
lawyers in the English speaking world.
England in 1292 when
Edward I first requested that lawyers be
trained, students merely sat in the courts and observed, but over time
the students would hire professionals to lecture them in their
residences, which led to the institution of the Inns of Court
system. The original method of education at the
Inns of Court
Inns of Court was
a mix of moot court-like practice and lecture, as well as court
proceedings observation. By the seventeenth century, the Inns
obtained a status as a kind of university akin to the University of
Oxford and the University of Cambridge, though very specialized in
purpose. With the frequent absence of parties to suits during the
Crusades, the importance of the lawyer role grew tremendously, and the
demand for lawyers grew.
Traditionally Oxford and Cambridge did not see common law as worthy of
study, and included coursework in law only in the context of canon and
civil law and for the purpose of the study of philosophy or history
only. The apprenticeship programme for solicitors thus emerged,
structured and governed by the same rules as the apprenticeship
programmes for the trades. The training of solicitors by
apprenticeship was formally established by an act of parliament in
William Blackstone became the first lecturer in English
common law at the
University of Oxford
University of Oxford in 1753, but the university did
not establish the programme for the purpose of professional study, and
the lectures were very philosophical and theoretical in nature.
Blackstone insisted that the study of law should be university based,
where concentration on foundational principles can be had, instead of
concentration on detail and procedure had through apprenticeship and
the Inns of Court.
Inns of Court
Inns of Court continued but became less effective and admission to
the bar still did not require any significant educational activity or
examination, therefore in 1846 the Parliament examined the education
and training of prospective barristers and found the system to be
inferior to the legal education provided in the United States.
Therefore, formal schools of law were called for, but not finally
established until later in the century, and even then the bar did not
consider a university degree in admission decisions. When law
degrees were required by the English bar and bar associations in other
common law countries, the LL.B. became the uniform degree for lawyers
in common law countries.
Structure of LL.B. programmes
Historically, law students studied both canon law and civil law.
Today, this is much less common. However, a few institutions, such as
Cardiff University's Department of Canon (Ecclesiastical) Law, and
McGill University's and University of Ottawa's combined programme
continue to offer alternatives to the common law.
Common law nations generally
In most common law countries (with the exceptions of
Canada and the
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws programme is generally entered directly
after completion of secondary school. In
England and Wales it is also
possible to study a programme for conversion to the legal profession
following completion of a previous undergraduate degree unrelated to
law (the Graduate Diploma in Law), which entitles graduates to take
the vocational courses for entry into the legal profession. Master's
courses are also offered to university graduates; those who graduate
from such courses are entitled to use the initials LL.M.
The programme of study for the common law LLB can be either a
graduate-entry degree programme requiring a prior bachelor's degree
(the duration of which is usually three years) or can be undertaken
directly after high-school (the duration of which is usually four
years) or combined with another degree (i.e., BComm/LLB, BA/LLB, or
BSc/LLB, the duration of which can vary between five and seven years,
depending on the specific combination).
Additionally, of the thirty-six law schools thirteen of those
universities have also started offering the
Juris Doctor (JD) as a
Bangladesh is a common law country. Like in other common law
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree is a condition precedent
to practise as an Advocate in the Courts of Law of Bangladesh. Both
LL.B. and LL.B. (Hons.) degrees are offered in different public and
private universities. Only seven public universities offer LL.B.
(Hons.) degree. These universities also offer a one-year
Some private universities also offer LL.B. (Hons.) degree (four years)
LL.M. course. Besides, the National University of
Bangladesh also offers a two-year LL.B. degree to the graduates of
subjects other than law through some law colleges.
Canada has a dual system of laws. In the province of Quebec, a system
of civil law is used. At the federal level, as well as in every
province or territory except Quebec, a system of common law is used.
Because of this, there are two Canadian law degrees generally in use.
The programme of study for the common law LL.B. is an undergraduate,
professional degree. It is now replaced by the J.D. at nearly all
Canadian common law schools (McGill being the exception). While the
degree awarded is at the first-degree level and admission may be
granted to applicants with two or three years of undergraduate studies
towards a degree, in practice, entrants to the programme generally
hold an undergraduate degree before registration in the law programme.
A significant number hold a graduate level degree as well. (See Juris
Doctor in Canada)
The common law programme is three years in length. Upon graduation,
one holds a
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws degree, but cannot yet practise law. To
practise law, the graduate must obtain a licence from the Law Society
of the province where he/she wishes to practise law, which also
requires a year of articling. Those law graduates wishing to become
law professors instead of lawyers often obtain a more advanced
academic degree, such as the
Master of Laws
Master of Laws (LL.M.) or the Doctor of
Laws (LL.D, S.J.D or D.C.L).
The civil law programme in
Canada is three years in length. The
programme of study for the first degree in Quebec civil law (called
LL.B., B.C.L. or LL.L.) is a first-entry degree programme. Like other
first-entry university programmes in Quebec it requires a college
diploma for entry.
Law schools that offer civil law B.C.L., LL.B., or LL.L. degrees
include McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université de
Québec à Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université Laval and
the University of Ottawa.
Because of Canada's dual system of laws, some law schools offer joint
or dual degrees of common law and civil law. McGill University,
Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke and the University
of Ottawa are law schools that offer such degrees.
The law degree offered by
McGill University is a mandatory joint
common law LL.B. / Quebec civil law B.C.L. degree. The programme is
four years in length. Admission to that programme is a first-entry
programme in the case of Quebec students (as a college diploma is
required) while it is a second-entry programme in the case of students
from other provinces (since two years of university studies is
required - effectively one extra year of studies more than for a
college diploma). The
University of Ottawa
University of Ottawa offers a civil law degree
(LL.L.) on its own.
A number of Canadian law schools offer students the opportunity to
earn, besides their three-year first degrees in common law, programmes
in common law for holders of baccalaureate degrees in Quebec civil law
enabling those individuals to earn the LL.B. in common law in two or
three semesters, depending on the offering university's programme.
University of Ottawa
University of Ottawa offers, besides its three-year
LL.L. programme in Quebec civil law, a one-year LL.L. programme in
Quebec civil law for holders of an LL.B. or J.D. degree in common law
from a Canadian law school.
Additionally, some Canadian universities with common law law schools
have an arrangement with a Canadian university with a Quebec civil law
law school enabling students to obtain the home school's law degree in
three years and the exchange school's law degree in the fourth year.
In Hong Kong, three universities, including The University of Hong
Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and City University of Hong
Kong, provide legal studies with both LL.B degree or J.D. degree,
where the former is for students right after high school, and the
latter is for the degree holders. LL.B is 4 years in length, while
J.D. is 2 years. Students who had an LL.B or J.D degree, whether
conferred by local universities or the accredited universities
overseas, would be eligible to apply for admission to PCLL, the 1-year
legal qualification programme in Hong Kong.
On top of LL.B, University of
Hong Kong offers a variety of
Mixed-Degree programmes that allow students to take a first degree and
then have an option to take a conjunctive law degree, including
Bachelor of Business Administration (Law) (abbreviated as
"BBA(Law)&LLB", or as B-Law), Bachelor of Social Science
(Government & Laws) ("BSocSc(Govt&Laws)&LLB", or as
Bachelor of Arts (Literary Studies) ("BA&LLB", or as
A-Law). Previous mixed-Degree programme also includes Bachelor of
Engineering (Civil Engineering).
Main article: Legal Education in India
Autonomous law schools in India and Common Law Admission
In India, legal education had been traditionally offered as a
three-year graduate degree conferring the title of Bachelor of Laws
(LL.B. / B.L.). The eligibility requirement for these degrees was that
the applicant already have a bachelor's degree in any subject from a
recognised institution. However upon the suggestion by the Law
India and also given the prevailing cry for reform the
Bar Council of India, the governing body of legal education in India,
instituted upon an experiment in terms of establishing specialised
national law universities solely devoted to legal education similar to
Indian Institutes of Technology, All
India Institute of Medical
Sciences, Indian Institutes of Management, etc. to raise the academic
standards of legal profession in India. Thus, the first National Law
India was set up in Bangalore which was named as the
National Law School of
India University (popularly 'NLS' or 'NLSIU').
NLSIU offered and continues to offer a five years law course upon the
successful completion of which an integrated degree with the title of
"B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)" would be granted. Pursuant thereto, various
other National Law Schools including the National Academy of Legal
Studies and Research University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR) and
National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS) were
established that administer a five-year (5 year) undergraduate degree
programme and confer an integrated honours degree upon completion,
such as "B.A., LL.B (Hons.)", "B.B.A, LL.B (Hons.)", "B.Sc., LL.B
(Hons.)", "B.Com., LL.B (Hons.)" and "B.S.W., LL.B (Hons.)" . In the
first two years of B.A., LL.B (Hons.) programme, students are taught
Social Sciences (History, Political Science, Sociology and Economics)
associated with B.A. alongside standard legal subjects, such as torts,
contracts and constitutional law and in the B.Sc., LL.B (Hons.)
programme, students are taught a combination of Physical, Life and
Applied Sciences associated with B.Sc. alongside standard legal
subjects, such as torts, contracts and constitutional law. In the
first two years of B.B.A, LL.B (Hons.), B.Com., LL.B (Hons.) and
B.S.W., LL.B (Hons.) programmes, students are taught regular subjects
associated with B.B.A, B.Com. and B.S.W respectively along with the
standard legal subjects as mentioned earlier. In the latter three
years of all five programmes, legal subjects dominate the curriculum.
The eligibility requirement for the five years integrated law degree
is that the applicant must have successfully completed Class XII from
a recognised Board of Education in
India like CISCE, CBSE, etc.
Both the types of degree are recognized and are also qualifying
degrees for practice of legal profession in India. A holder of either
type of degree may approach a Bar Council of any States of
get upon compliance with the necessary standards, be enrolled on the
rolls of the said Bar Council. The process of enrolment confers a
licence to the holder to practise before any court in
India and give
legal advice. The entire procedure of enrolment and post-enrolment
professional conduct is regulated and supervised by the Bar Council of
Today, almost all Indian universities offer five year integrated LL.B.
programmes while others remain offering the traditional three-year
programme. The College of Legal Studies at the University of Petroleum
and Energy Studies, Dehradun offers two six year integrated LL.B.
programmes, the B.Tech Energy Technology + LL.B. (Hons.) with
Specialisation in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and the B.Tech
Computer Science & Engineering + LL.B. (Hons.) with Specialisation
in Cyber Laws & The Glocal Law School at The Glocal University
offers five year integrated LL.B. programmes, the BBA-LLB Business
Administration + LL.B. (Hons.) with Specialisation in Business
Administration . Most other universities in
India offer the five year
integrated LL.B. programmes similar to the National Law Schools of
India. The National Law School of
India University, Bangalore still
continues to be the premier law school of
India and constantly ranks
as the best law school in India.
Main article: Legal Education in Malaysia
Malaysia inherited a common law system from the British colonial
period. However, unlike the
United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth
Malaysia adopted the fused legal profession with legal
practitioners acting both as solicitors and in a way "barristers".
Hence all are lawyers eligible and can be admitted to the High Court
as a legal professional is entitled to be bestowed with the title
"Advocate & Solicitor". This applies to both lawyers practising in
Malaysia (Malaya) and the States of
Under the Legal Profession Act 1976, a person is deemed to be a
qualified person to be admitted as an Advocate &
he/she completes and passed the course of
Bar Vocational Course
Bar Vocational Course in UK
& Wales from any Inns of Court, passed the Certificate in Legal
Practice or completed a 4-year LL.B. (Honours) course from any of the
University of Malaya
National University of Malaysia
International Islamic University of Malaysia
Mara Technological Institute University
Malaysia Multimedia University
Malaysian Northern University
Sultan Zainal Abidin University
An LL.B. is required to be able to practice law in New Zealand. An
LL.B. typically takes four years to complete after high school, and is
combined with another degree program, such as a Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).
New Zealand universities offer LL.B. programmes:
University of Auckland
Auckland University of Technology
University of Waikato
Victoria University of Wellington
University of Canterbury
University of Otago
Pakistan is a common law country and to become a lawyer in Pakistan,
one needs a law degree usually called LL.B. from recognised Pakistani
or common law country universities. Lawyers in
Pakistan are called
advocates. An advocate has to be member of one of the provincial Bar
Councils, i.e., Punjab Bar Council, Sindh Bar council, Balochistan Bar
In Singapore, the LL.B. may be conferred by either the National
University of Singapore or the
Singapore Management University
Singapore Management University after 4
years (8 Semesters) of study. Possession of an LLB with a Lower Second
Class of honours from NUS or a
Grade Point Average of 3.00 from
SMU is required to be called to the Singapore Bar.
NUS also offers a 3-year LL.B. (Honours) course to graduate law
students, with SMU offering an equivalent
Juris Doctor programme.
Legal education in
South Africa and
List of law schools in
University of Pretoria Faculty of Law
South Africa the LL.B. is offered both at the undergraduate and
postgraduate levels. As of 1996 it is the universal and
only legal qualification for legal practice, superseding the existing
B.Juris and B.Proc degrees. The undergraduate programme, offered
since 1998, requires four years of study. At the postgraduate level,
the programme generally requires three years. Several South African
universities offer B.A. and
BCom degrees with a major in "Law", and
these graduates then undertake a two-year postgraduate-programme. Some
universities also offer a one-year programme for holders of the BProc
The curriculum is typically structured around preliminary, core and
advanced courses, and most universities also offer elective
coursework. The preliminary courses acquaint the students with both
the background and the foundations of the South African legal system,
and with legal thinking and analysis in general. The core subjects are
those regularly required for legal practice. The advanced courses
(usually) comprise further study in these core subjects, deepening and
/ or broadening the student's knowledge as appropriate. The electives
- often comprising these advanced courses, amongst others - allow
students to specialise in a particular area of law, to an extent, by
choosing from a range of optional courses. Some universities also
require that students complete an experience based course ("Practical
Legal Studies" / "Law clinic"); a credit comprising independent
research exclusively is often offered as an elective, and at some
universities is a degree requirement.
The undergraduate LL.B. may depart from this structure. Depending on
university, the curriculum will comprise legal subjects
exclusively, or may include humanities subjects so as to prepare
graduates with a "broad-based" legal education. Some undergraduate
programmes do not offer any optional coursework. Credits in English
and Afrikaans are also often included. Along with Latin, these
were, but are no longer, "subjects compelled by statute", and were
typically entrance requirements for the LL.B., having been studied as
undergraduate modules. Similarly,
Roman Law was previously a
preliminary course, whereas, in both the post- and undergraduate
degree, it is now offered as an elective.
Note that the structure of the undergraduate programme is under
review. The issues noted are: graduates of these programmes are seen
to be less prepared for the profession as compared to those pursuing
the graduate LLB; only 20% of entrants complete the programme within
four years; only about 50% of graduates here enter the legal
profession at all. Further, there are those who question the
academic standard of the new degree. Some universities have now
discontinued the programme; in other cases undergraduate students
are required to initially register as Arts, Commerce or Science
students - with first year law subjects - and, in the second year of
study, only those meeting specified criteria may choose to pursue the
Legal education and
Legal education in the United Kingdom
Upon completion of the LL.B. degree (or its equivalent), graduates are
generally qualified to apply for membership of the bar or law society.
The membership eligibility bestowed may be subject to completion of
professional exams. A student may have to gain a further qualification
at postgraduate level, for example a traineeship and the Legal
Practice Course or
Bar Vocational Course
Bar Vocational Course in
England and Wales or the
Postgraduate Certificate in Laws in Hong Kong.
Australia some LL.B. graduates practice as a solicitor or
barrister, while others work in academia, for the government or for a
private company (i.e. not as a practicing solicitor or barrister). For
LL.B. graduates who do choose to practice law, in some states of
Australia (namely, Victoria and New South Wales), LL.B. graduates are
required to undertake a 1-year articled clerkship or the Legal
Practice Course (commonly Practical Legal Training or PLT) before
applying for registration as a solicitor. In other states, (namely,
South Australia) an LL.B. graduate is required to undertake a 6-week
PLT course before applying to be admitted to the bar as a barrister
and solicitor. Depending on the state where a lawyer is admitted to
practice, membership in the Bar may be either restricted to barristers
or open to both solicitors and barristers. In the states that maintain
as split Bar system, barristers are a separate and distinct profession
to that of a solicitor, and entry is attained through the successful
completion of an exam and a 9-month reading period (in other words,
tutelage) under a senior barrister.
In Canada, the lawyer licensing process usually requires the law
graduate to (1) take further classroom law courses taught by the Law
Society itself, and pass a set of written examinations, known as bar
exams, related to the taken courses and (2) undertake an articled
clerkship, commonly known as articling under the supervision of an
established lawyer called a principal. The vast majority of law
graduates article (i.e. work and learn) in a law firm, a government's
legal department, a corporation's (in-house) legal department, a
community legal clinic or some other type of non-profit organization
involved in legal work; however, a small minority of law graduates
(with exceptional academic records) undertake instead a judicial
clerkship with a specific court and under the supervision of a judge
instead of working in a more "lawyer-type environment". In either
articling or clerkship, there is the expectation that the law graduate
will work in a variety of legal fields and be exposed to the realities
of legal practice that are absent from law school's academic
In the province of Ontario, for example, the licensing process for the
Law Society of Upper
Canada (Ontario's governing law society) consists
of three mandatory components: The Skills and Professional
Responsibility Program with assignments and assessments, Licensing
Barrister Licensing Examination and a Solicitor
Licensing Examination), and a 10-month
At the conclusion of the licensing process, the law graduate is
"called to the bar" whereby he/she signs his/her name in the Rolls of
the Court of Appeal for
Ontario and the Superior Court of Justice
and swears lawyer-related oaths in a formal ceremony where he/she must
appear in a complete barrister's gown and bow before judges of the
local superior court and benchers of the licensing law society. After
the call ceremony, he/she can designate him/herself as a "Barrister
and Solicitor", and can practice law in the province in which they are
Ontario and other provinces, licensed lawyers may also
exercise the powers of a Commissioner of Oaths. In the Province of
British Columbia, licensed lawyers are automatically qualified to
practice as a notary public subject to appointment. In
other provinces, a licensed lawyer must submit a form and pay a
one-time fee to the provincial attorney general before he/she is
appointed as a notary public.
Although not required by the licensing process, many first- and
second- year law students work in law firms during the summer
off-school season to earn extra money and to guarantee themselves an
articling position (with the same law firms) upon their graduation
from law school, because there is always fierce competition for
articling positions, especially for those in large law firms offering
attractive remuneration and prestige, and a law graduate cannot become
a licensed lawyer in
Canada if he/she has not gone through articled
Alternative titles and formats
Irish B.C.L. and LL.B.
The four universities under the
National University of Ireland
National University of Ireland (NUI)
umbrella, award the degree of
Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.). These
are University College Cork, University College Dublin, NUI Maynooth
and NUIG. Four Irish universities and two Northern Irish universities
(the University of Dublin; NUIG; Queen's University Belfast; the
University of Limerick; National University of Ireland, Maynooth
and the University of Ulster) award an LL.B. NUIG offer the LL.B. as a
1-year postgraduate course for holders of the BCorp(Bachelor of
Corporate Law) or BA Law degrees.
University College Cork
University College Cork and the
University of Limerick
University of Limerick offer a
two-year postgraduate LL.B to outstanding non-law graduates. These
courses are Kings Inns approved.
Institute of Technology, Carlow and Institute of Technology, Waterford
also offer an LL.B. degree programme. Two English universities
(University of the West of
England and Nottingham Trent University)
and one Welsh university (University of Wales) award the LL.B. in
Ireland as a professional degree in law (the latter three are run via
local private colleges). (
Independent Colleges LL.B.(Hons) in Irish
Law is conferred by the University of the West of England, LL.B.(Hons)
in Irish Law at
Dublin Business School
Dublin Business School is jointly validated by HETAC
University of Wales
University of Wales and the LL.B. in Griffith College Dublin
Griffith College Cork
Griffith College Cork is jointly validated by
HETAC and Nottingham
Ireland is a common law jurisdiction (in fact there are two common law
jurisdictions on the island) and the expression "civil law" is used to
differentiate common law from ecclesiastical law or
Canon Law in the
In the nineteenth century the
University of London
University of London conferred degrees
of LL.B. on clerical and lay students at St. Patrick's College, Carlow
from 1840 onwards.
King's Inns Barrister-at-Law degree BL is a postgraduate degree
and is required to practice as a barrister in Ireland.
Zimbabwe B.L. and LL.B.
At the University of Zimbabwe, the first degree in common law is the
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (B.L.), which is equivalent to the LL.B. in other
common law jurisdictions. It is followed by a one-year programme at
the university (analogous to post-LL.B. vocational programmes in other
common law jurisdictions) at the end of which a second degree, the
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), is awarded. The curriculum has since been
changed and now only one four-year honours degree is offered
abbreviated as LL.B.
LL.B. in Pakistan
In Pakistan, to get admission in LL.B. degree course in any state
university, one should have a bachelor's degree in any discipline.
Before 1992, LL.B. degree course was of two years but now it is a
three-year programme. Nowadays some colleges offering five years LL.B.
programme. In Punjab, and Sindh Muslim Govt. Law College Karachi, for
example, a five-year joint B.A./LL.B. degree is being offered by
Punjab University and Karachi University. Actually it is a three-year
LL.B. programme that includes two years of graduation studies
(Graduation degree is usually awarded after fourteen years of
After obtaining an LL.B. degree, a person wishing to practise has to
intimate the respective Provincial Bar Council that he is starting a
six-month training/articleship under the supervision of a senior
advocate who has a ten-year standing as an advocate. After the
completion of the articleship/pupillage, he will be asked to take a
Bar admission test that consists one multiple choice questions/written
test and a viva-voce (by a panel of Bar Council members). These days
University of London
University of London external programme has widely attracted many
potential candidates who wish to pursue a career in Law in Pakistan.
Variations on the LL.B.
Some universities in the
United Kingdom and
New Zealand offer
variations of this degree, such as the LL.B. (Europe), which generally
take four years to complete and include a wider range of topics as
well as some degree of specialisation.
Various universities in the
United Kingdom and
Australia will allow a
degree that combines study with a non-law discipline. For example,
some universities in the
United Kingdom offer a combined study of law
and history leading to a B.A. degree that is accepted by the Law
Inns of Court
Inns of Court as equivalent to an LL.B.
University of London
University of London External Programme in Laws (LL.B.) has been
awarding its law degree via distance learning since 1858. The LL.B.
awarded by the
University of London
University of London External Programme is of the same
standard and quality irrespective of the mode or manner of
At various universities in the UK such as Oxford, Nottingham and
Cambridge the principal law degree is often a B.A., in either
Jurisprudence or Law. The B.C.L and LL.M are second-entry and
postgraduate degrees. The
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge has recently
replaced their LL.B. degree with an LL.M.
Some universities in the UK including
Bournemouth University have a
four-year LL.B. course, which consists of a 40-week industrial work
Staffordshire University also offer a two-year
full-time LL.B. course.
A unique degree of LL.B.(Hons) Sharia and Law has been introduced by
the International Islamic University, Islamabad. The distinctive
feature of this course is the comparative study of both Islamic law
and Common law. Similar programme can be found in
Malaysia as offered
by International Islamic University Malaysia and Universiti Sains
The United States
The United States no longer offers the LL.B., though some universities
have introduced a
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies that
includes Constitutional Law, Tort Law, and Criminal Law within the
curriculum. The Master of Science of Laws (MSL) is also offered in
some universities accredited by the American Bar Association. While
the LL.B. was conferred until 1971 at Yale University, since that
time, all universities in the United States have awarded the
professional doctorate J.D., which then became the generally
standardized degree in most states for the necessary bar exam prior to
practice of law. Many law schools converted their basic law degree
programmes from LL.B. to J.D. in the 1960s, and permitted prior LL.B.
graduates to retroactively receive the new doctorate degrees by
returning their LL.B. in exchange for a J.D. degree. Yale
graduates who received LL.B. degrees prior to 1971 were similarly
permitted to change their degree to a J.D., though many did not take
the option, choosing to retain their LL.B. degrees.
Before the program was phased out, notable recipients of the LL.B.
include former U.S. president Gerald Ford, current US Supreme Court
Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer,
former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, American judge and jurist Richard
Allen Posner, as well as the first female commissioner of the Federal
Communications Commission Frieda B. Hennock.
Eligibility of foreign graduates in the U.S.
For the most part, foreign law graduates seeking admission to the bar
in the United States will find their LL.B. law degree does not of
itself fulfill the core admission requirements of most states, thereby
not allowing them to take the bar exam.
The major exception to this is New York, where those foreign graduates
who have fulfilled the educational requirements to practice law in
another common law country through study at an approved educational
institution, similar in both duration and content to the equivalent
teaching at an approved U.S. law school, are permitted to sit for the
bar exam. Additionally, both New York and
Canadian LL.B. holders to take the bar exam. The requirements of
each of the states vary, and in some states sufficient years of
practice in one's home country may allow for those otherwise excluded
to sit for the bar exam. Interested applicants should check the
requirements of each state bar association carefully as requirements
Most states require completion of a law degree from a law school
accredited by the American Bar Association. As a result, American law
schools typically offer one-year
LL.M. programmes for foreign
attorneys; many such law schools may have no other
Classes included in these "American Law" "Comparative Law" inter alia
LL.M. programmes are selected to introduce foreign attorneys to
American-style common law practice, such as first-year J.D. courses on
civil procedure, Constitutional law, criminal law, legal research and
analysis, and jurisprudence.
Situation within the European Union
European Union law
European Union law permits
European Union citizens with LL.B. degrees
from one EU Member State, e.g., Ireland, France,
Germany or the UK,
who practise law and who are qualified lawyers in one of these
countries for three or more years, to practise also in every other
member state. The actual procedure to receive the respective national
licence is regulated by the member state and therefore differs from
country to country, and temporary restrictions may in certain cases
exist, but every EU member has to apply the relevant EU Directives to
its own national law.
As a consequence of the Bologna Process, recently many universities of
applied sciences and few traditional universities in
introduced LL.B. programmes, replacing the Diplom-Wirtschaftsjurist
degree. The LL.B. is a three- or four-year full-time study law degree.
As opposed to courses of study leading to the State Examination - the
masters-level professional law degree in
Germany - most LL.B. degree
programmes concentrate on private law and can feature a component of
education in business administration. Graduates of LL.B. courses can
LL.M. studies, and in some cases sit for the first State
Examination after one or more years of additional law studies in order
to qualify for practicing law in Germany.
In Malta, the
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree, offered by the
University of Malta, is an undergraduate degree that of itself is not
sufficient for admission into any of the legal professions.
In Denmark, universities now offer three-year LL.B. programmes,
although this is not sufficient to practice law. Students wishing to
practice law should continue with a Masters in Law programme, leading
to the cand.jur degree. Alternatively, students may choose to use the
LL.B. as a basis for other courses within the social sciences or
Alternative degree route in the UK
There are also conversion courses available for non-law graduates,
available as an alternative to the full-length LL.B. degree course.
One such example of a conversion course in
England and Wales is the
GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law), which takes one year to complete.
In the UK, as well as in other Common Law jurisdictions, the main
approach to this, is the
Graduate Entry (undergraduate) LL.B. degree,
where graduates from another discipline can complete the LL.B. as a
second degree, although this may occasionally require taking
qualifying law courses within the first degree to meet professional
requirements in full. Therefore, it is not entirely correct to regard
it as an 'accelerated' degree.
This 'double degree' system was, at one time, an alternative route to
the former B.L. degree (now obsolete) but students were required to
have independent means to complete the second degree. The current
Scots LL.B. degree, a direct-entry undergraduate degree, meets all
professional requirements when coupled with the Diploma in Legal
Practice. The Diploma was introduced circa 1980; prior to this, all
professional exams were taken within the degree itself (or as part of
an earlier non-law degree), limiting the scope for academic study.
Therefore, the pursuit of the double degree nowadays, for
school-leavers at least, is mainly to indicate that one can be adept
at two disciplines. Unlike Joint Honours, a second degree is
undertaken separately, within the prescribed timeframe. The first
non-law degree will almost invariably be an arts degree[citation
needed] although science or other degrees are not unknown. Rarely, the
double degree principle is found in reverse; just as an arts or
science degree can provide exemption from the full academic (not
professional) requirements of a subsequent law degree, similarly a law
degree can provide exemption from the full academic requirements of a
subsequent arts or science degree. In this case, it
is more likely that the second degree will be taken as a self-funding
mature student, possibly on a part-time basis.
Admission to the bar
Admission to the bar
Admission to the bar in the United States
Autonomous Law Schools in India
Call to the bar
Doctor of Juridical Science
Doctor of law
List of law schools
Master of Laws
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English Comparisons," Pressing Problems in the Law, Volume 2: What are
Law Schools For?, Oxford University Press, 1996.
^ Verger, J. (1999). "Licentia". Lexikon des Mittelalters. 5.
Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler. 1957–1958.
^ Verger, J. (1999). "Doctor, doctoratus". Lexikon des Mittelalters.
3. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler. 1155–1156.
^ de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde: A History of the University in Europe:
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^ Reed, (1921), 160
^ Reed (1921), 161
^ Stein (1981), 434, 435.
^ Stein (1981), 434, 436.
^ a b c Stein (1981), 436.
^ Stein, R. (1981). The Path of Legal Education from Edward to
Langdell: A History of Insular Reaction, Pace University School of Law
Faculty Publications, 1981, 57 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 429, p. 430.
^ Stein (1981), 431.
^ Stein (1981), 432.
^ Stein (1981), 433.
^ Stein (1981), 434.
^ a b Stein (1981), 435.
^ Moline, Brian J., Early American Legal Education, 42 Washburn Law
Journal 775, 793 (2003).
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National University of Singapore
National University of Singapore (NUS) or one
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original on 2013-11-15.
^ "I graduated from the
Singapore Management University
Singapore Management University (SMU)".
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^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-26. Retrieved
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^  Archived 2010-04-24 at the Wayback Machine.
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^ [dead link]
^ a b "
Undergraduate and honours qualifications". unisa.ac.za.
^ "Microsoft Word - Law_DoL_Report.doc" (PDF). Labour.gov.za.
^ See for example: The declining South African LLB, finweek.com;
Low-skilled lawyers prompt calls for law degree reform, University
^ Scrap 4 year LLB degree - Ngoepe, news24.com.
^ University of the Witwatersrand: Changes to undergraduate LLB.
Archived 2014-12-18 at the Wayback Machine., wits.ac.za
^ Rhodes University: Law Degree Structure: BACHELOR OF LAWS (LLB)
Archived 2014-10-29 at the Wayback Machine., ru.ac.za.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved
^ "Call to the Bar". lsuc.on.ca. Archived from the original on
^ "Maynooth University Communications & Marketing Office".
^ Minutes of the Senate ...: With Indexes. 1837-1850 - University of
London. Books.google.com. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
^ "facultyoflaw: Brief History". 2006. Archived from the original on
24 April 2010.
^ Raja Fakhir Ali. "Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973".
Pakistancode.gov.pk. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
^ "Law LLB(Hons)". Bournemouth University. Archived from the original
on August 23, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
^ "Law (Two-year degree)". Staffordshire University. Archived from the
original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
^ "International Islamic University Malaysia". iium.edu.my.
^ "En. Muhammad Haizuan Rozali, Pendaftar Usim - Usim Universiti
Sains Islam Malaysia". Usim.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
^ "Glossary of Terms for Graduate Education". Association of American
Universities Data Exchange. Archived from the original on 4 March
2009. . National Science Foundation (2006). "Time to Degree of
Doctorate Recipients Archived March 8, 2016, at the
Wayback Machine.," ‘'InfoBrief, Science Resource Statistics NSF
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professional doctorate); San Diego County Bar Association (1969).
‘'Law Firm Chicago Archived March 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine..
Accessed May 26, 2008. (under "other references" discusses differences
between academic and professional doctorate, and statement that the
J.D. is a professional doctorate); University of Utah (2006).
University of Utah – The Graduate School – Graduate Handbook
Archived June 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed May 28,
2008. (the J.D. degree is listed under doctorate degrees); "U.S.
Higher Education / Evaluation of the Almanac Chronicle of Higher
Education" (PDF). German Federal Ministry of Education. Archived from
the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009. (report by the German
Federal Ministry of Education analysing the Chronicle of Higher
Education from the U.S. and stating that the J.D. is a professional
doctorate); Encyclopædia Britannica. (2002). Encyclopædia
Britannica, 3:962:1a. (the J.D. is listed among other doctorate
^ a b Lattman, Peter (September 28, 2007). "Why Did Law Schools Switch
from LLBs to JDs?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 17,
^ Schoenfeld, Marcus, "J.D. or LL.B. as the Basic Law Degree,"
Cleveland-Marshall Law Review, Vol. 4, 1963, pp. 573-579, quoted in
Joanna Lombard, LL.B. to J.D. and the Professional Degree in
Architecture, Proceedings of the 85th ACSA Annual Meeting,
Architecture: Material and Imagined and Technology Conference, 1997.
^ Hylton, J. Gordon. "Why the Law Degree Is Called a J.D. and Not an
LL.B." Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog. Retrieved
September 17, 2013.
^ Maher, Kathleen (November 24, 2006). "Lawyers are Doctors, Too".
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schools were phasing out the LL.B. in favor of the J.D.)
^ Foreign Legal Education The New York State Board of Law Examiners
^ Board of Bar Examiners Rule VI Foreign Law School Graduates The
Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Levels of academic degree
ISCED level 5
Higher National Diploma/Diploma of Higher Education/Certificate of
ISCED level 6
ISCED level 7
ISCED level 8
Candidate of Sciences
No dominant classification