Many students are confused by a strange abbreviation when looking for Bachelor’s programmes in Law: LL.B. This is because some countries offer this type of programme, while others do not.
LL.B degrees are taught in most common law countries, the main exceptions being the U.S. and Canada. The Brits made it popular, so most Bachelors of Law are available in Britain.
This type of degrees are your ticket to becoming a lawyer because they include all the essential categories of Law. However, a degree in Law opens many other professional doors in industries like finance, engineering, environmental protection or journalism.
Where can I study a Bachelor of Laws?
As mentioned, the United Kingdom is probably the place with the widest range of LL.B. degrees, making it an ideal option for your international Bachelor’s studies. Some great programmes are found at:
- London South Bank University, in London
- SOAS University of London, in London
- University of Leeds, in Leeds
- University of Dundee, in Dundee
- Middlesex University, in London
What will you study during a Bachelor of Laws?
Once you’re in, you should be prepared for a lot of reading and essay writing. Being able to analyse various legal and non-legal texts will be essential. Some of the typical courses you will follow are:
- Contract Law
- Criminal Law
- Constitutional & Administrative Law
- International Law
- Equity and Trusts
- European Union Law
- Commercial Law
- Family Law
Each of these courses can turn into a degree specialisation, when you graduate or when you apply to Master’s studies.
What do I have to do to get into an LL.B degree?
If you want to do a Bachelor of Laws, you should know that universities that feature LL.B. degrees tend to have different requirements. However, some of the most common ones are an excellent track record in Social Sciences, but also in Maths and Foreign Languages.
Some universities require you to have attended a prior Law course in order to qualify for an LL.B degree. To stand out among other candidates, the letter of motivation is your secret weapon.
What happens after I get my LL.B. degree?
Many students think a Bachelor of Laws is necessary to become a lawyer or that such a degree automatically makes you a lawyer. The first is a myth. The second is relatively true in some countries.
While an LL.B. degree is not the only way to becoming a lawyer, it certainly makes things easier if you want to enter the legal profession. Here is what you need to do to become a lawyer in different countries after an LL.B. degree:
- In countries like Greece and Romania such a degree plus 1-2 years of practice qualify you to apply to the bar. Provided you take the bar exams, you get your licence practice.
- In several countries, like Germany and Denmark – you can only take the bar examination if you have an additional 1-3 years practice in a law firm as well as a Master of Law (LL.M.)
- In the United Kingdom the rules differ according to country. In England and Wales, you can become a barrister or solicitor after you graduate from an LL.B. study programme and do a two-year traineeship.
- In the United States, after graduating with a Bachelor's, you still need to apply for a post-graduate Juris Doctorate (JD) degree, which will qualify you to sit for the bar exam.
The great news about doing an LL.B. degree in European states is that after at least three years of practice, you can get a licence of practice in any other EU country.
As we have mentioned, there are countries where there aren’t any Bachelor of Laws programmes — or there are only a few — like the U.S. or Canada.
There, students who want to become lawyers need to apply for a regular Bachelor's in any discipline not related to Law and then enrol in a postgraduate Juris Doctorate (JD) degree. After graduating with a JD diploma, you can then sit for the bar exam.
To further advance your career, an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree is the way to go.
Careers with a Bachelor’s in Law
While the typical career path with an undergraduate degree in Law is to become a lawyer, judge or prosecutor in the public system, or to work as a lawyer at private firms, you can also do different things. Law graduates also choose to develop careers in:
- Police – you can go into criminal investigations or work at the Police’s legal office if you do a Criminal Law degree.
- Banking – specialising in Financial Law will make you an asset to banks.
- Journalism – you can use the writing skills and law knowledge to cover law-related news.
- Civil service – you can work as a legal adviser or as a clerk in the legal departments of state institutions.
- Environmental Protection – you can become an advisor on Environmental Law.
- Mediation and Counselling – you can become a mediator and settle private, public and businesses conflicts before they get to court.