Bachelor of Laws

The Bachelor of Laws (Latin: Legum 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.[1] 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 followed suit.

Historically, in Canada, 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. Currently, Bachelor of Laws is also the name of the first degree in Scots law and 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, respectively.

History of academic degrees

The first academic degrees were all law degrees in medieval universities, and the first law degrees were doctorates.[2][3][4] The foundations of the first universities were the glossators of the 11th century, which were also schools of law.[5] 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 served as the model for other law schools of the medieval age.[6] 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 although the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge did teach canon law until the English Reformation, its importance was always superior to civil law in those institutions.[7]

Origin of the LL.B.

"LL.B." stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. The "LL." of the abreviation 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.[8] The "arts" designation of the degree traditionally signifies that the student has undertaken a certain amount of study of the classics.[9] 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.[10] Professional training for practising common law in England was 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.[11] 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.[12]

In 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.[13] The original method of education at the Inns of Court was a mix of moot court-like practice and lecture, as well as court proceedings observation.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] The training of solicitors by apprenticeship was formally established by an act of parliament in 1729.[18] William Blackstone became the first lecturer in English common law at the 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.[18] 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.[19]

The 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.[12] 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.[12] 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 in general

In most common law countries (with the exceptions of Canada and the US), the 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.


A qualifying law degree for the purposes of admission as a lawyer in Australia is either the undergraduate LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) programmes at accredited universities recognised by the admission board of the respective state, or the graduate J.D (Juris Doctor) Every recognised qualification of each admission board is reciprocally recognised. However, prior to degrees, there existed an alternative to a degree to become a lawyer in Australia, which was either the Barrister's Admission Board, or the Solicitor's Admission Board, whose examinations rendered one eligible to be admitted respectively, the successor of these boards that still operates this alternative is the Legal Profession Admission Board which issues the distinct Diploma in Law which is equivalent to either an LL.B or a J.D. Law degrees typically last 4 years for undergraduate admission or 3 years for university graduates.

Additionally, of the thirty-eight law schools thirteen of those universities have also started offering the Juris Doctor (JD) as a graduate-entry degree.


In Bangladesh, as in other common-law countries, obtaining a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree is a prerequisite of practising as an advocate in a court of law. Both LL.B. and LL.B. (Hons.) degrees are offered at public and private universities. Only seven public universities offer LL.B. (Hons.) degree. These universities also offer one-year LL.M. courses. Some private universities also offer four-hear LL.B. (Hons.) degrees and one-year LL.M. courses. The National University of Bangladesh also offers a two-year LL.B. degree to graduates of subjects other than law.


Canada has two legal systems. In the province of Quebec, a system of civil law is used. However, 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 types of Canadian law degrees generally in use.

The programme of study for common law has traditionally been an undergraduate LL.B. degree, which has now been replaced by the J.D. at nearly all Canadian common law schools, with McGill University an exception. Entrants to the J.D. programme generally hold an undergraduate degree before registration in the law programme and a significant number hold a graduate-level degree as well. However, admission may be granted to applicants with two or three years of undergraduate studies towards a degree. Unlike the United States, the J.D. is considered a bachelor's degree-level qualification.

The common law programme is three years in length. Upon graduation, one holds a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor 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 (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 du 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 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. Similarly, the 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.

Hong Kong

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 G-Law), and Bachelor of Arts (Literary Studies) ("BA&LLB", or as A-Law). Previous mixed-Degree programme also includes Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering).


In India, legal education is traditionally offered as a three-year graduate degree conferring the title of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B. / B.L.), requiring prospective students to have a bachelor's degree in any subject from a recognised institution.

However, specialised universities of law known as National Law Schools solely devoted to legal education offer an undergraduate five-year law course for students that have completed Class XII from a recognised board of education in India. The five-year law course leads to an integrated honours degree combining the LL.B degree with another Bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Social Work. In these programs, students are taught subjects associated with the additional non-law Bachelor's degree during the first two years, in addition to standard legal subjects such as torts, contracts and constitutional law, such as social sciences for the Bachelor of Arts and a combination of physical, life and applied sciences for the Bachelor of Science. In the latter three years of all these programmes, legal subjects dominate the curriculum.

The first National Law School was the National Law School of India University. This was followed by others including the Nalsar University of Law and West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences were established. Today, many Indian universities offer five-year integrated LL.B. programmes similar to that of the National Law Schools of India while others continue to offer a traditional three-year programme. Both integrated and traditional types of law degrees are recognised by the Bar Council of India for to qualify for enrolment to the Bar.


Malaysia inherited a common law system from the British colonial period. However, unlike the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth countries, 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 the Peninsular Malaysia (Malaya) and the States of Sabah & Sarawak.

Under the Legal Profession Act 1976, a person is deemed to be a qualified person to be admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor if he/she completes and passed the course of 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 following Universities:-

New Zealand

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 often combined with another degree program, such as a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). Most New Zealand universities allow graduates of other degrees to complete an LL.B. in three years. Six New Zealand universities offer LL.B. programmes:[20]


Pakistan is a common law country and to become a lawyer in Pakistan, one needs a law degree usually called LL.B. from a Pakistani or a foreign university from common law country recognized by the Pakistan Bar Council.[21] 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, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council, Balochistan Bar Council or the Islamabad Bar Council.

The Bachelor of Laws obtained from universities in Pakistan consists of a 5 year B.A.-LL.B. qualification. This rule was laid down by the Pakistan Bar Council in 2016 requiring 5 years of education to obtain a Bachelor of Laws qualification.[22] This change in the legal education rules led to the abolishing of 3 year LL.B. programs being offered by universities in Pakistan. This rule however does not affect the recognition of LL.B. degrees of less than 5 years obtained from foreign universities recognized by the Pakistan Bar Council for the purposes of enrolling as an advocate in Pakistan.


In Singapore, the LL.B. is an undergraduate degree that is conferred by the National University of Singapore (NUS) or the Singapore Management University (SMU) after four years of study. Three-year graduate degrees are also offered by NUS with its LL.B. (Honours) course, and SMU with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) course. To be called to the Singapore Bar, graduates are minimally required to possess a LLB with a lower second-class honours from NUS[23] or a grade point average of 3.00 from SMU.[24]

South Africa

In South Africa the LL.B. is offered both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.[25][26][27] As of 1996 it is the universal and only legal qualification for legal practice, superseding the existing B.Juris and B.Proc degrees.[28] 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 degree.[29]

The curriculum is typically structured around preliminary, core and advanced courses,[30] 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.[28] 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,[31] or may include humanities subjects so as to prepare graduates with a "broad-based" legal education.[30] Some undergraduate programmes do not offer any optional coursework. Credits in English and Afrikaans are also often included.[31] Along with Latin, these were, but are no longer, "subjects compelled by statute",[32] 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.[33] Further, there are those who question the academic standard of the new degree.[34] Some universities have now discontinued the programme;[35] 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 four-year LLB.[36]


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 in England and Wales or the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws in Hong Kong.

In 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 atmosphere.

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 Examinations (a Barrister Licensing Examination and a Solicitor Licensing Examination), and a 10-month Articling term.[37]

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[38] 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 licensed. In 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 Ontario and 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 clerkship.

Alternative titles and formats

Irish B.C.L. and LL.B.

The four universities under the 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[39] 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 and the 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 is jointly validated by HETAC and the University of Wales and the LL.B. in Griffith College Dublin and Griffith College Cork is jointly validated by HETAC and Nottingham Trent University.)

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 republic.

In the nineteenth century the University of London conferred degrees of LL.B. on clerical and lay students at St. Patrick's College, Carlow from 1840 onwards.[40]

The 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 (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 (LL.B.), is awarded. The curriculum has since been changed and now only one four-year honours degree is offered abbreviated as LL.B.[41]

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 full-time education).

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.[42] 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 the 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 Society and Inns of Court as equivalent to an LL.B.

The 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 External Programme is of the same standard and quality irrespective of the mode or manner of learning.

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 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 placement.[43] Staffordshire University also offer a two-year full-time LL.B. course.[44]

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[45] and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia[46]

United States

The United States no longer offers the LL.B., though some universities have introduced Bachelor of Science degrees in legal studies featuring curricula that include courses in constitutional law, tort law, and criminal law. 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.,[47][48] which then became the generally standardized degree in most states as the compulsory prerequisite to sit for and matriculate from the bar exam prior to practice of law.[49] 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.[50][51] 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.[48]

Before the program was phased out, notable recipients of the LL.B. include former U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, former U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and William Rehnquist, current Supreme Court Justices 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.

In 2014, the University of Arizona established the Bachelor of Arts in Law (BA in Law), in which undergraduate students take core law classes taught by law school faculty in subjects such as property, contracts, torts, administrative law, and criminal and civil procedure.[52] The BA in Law also provides the opportunity for an expedited path to law school, allowing qualified students to start pursuing a J.D. at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law after their junior year, thus earning both a Bachelor of Arts in Law and a JD in six years.

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.[53] Additionally, both New York and Massachusetts permit Canadian LL.B. holders to take the bar exam.[54] 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 vary markedly.

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 LL.M. programmes. 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 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 Germany have 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 continue 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 (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 humanities.

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 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.

See also


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Central Philippine University College of Law

The Central Philippine University College of Law (also referred to as CPU College of Law) is the law school and one of constituent units of Central Philippine University located in Iloilo City. The College of Law is one of the leading law schools in the country. In 2012, the Juris Doctor (JD) replaced the Bachelor of Laws (LLB), making it as the first law school to offer such program approved by Philippine legal education board in the Philippines.

Doctor of Law

Doctor of Law or Doctor of Laws is a degree in law. The application of the term varies from country to country, and includes degrees such as the Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D. or S.J.D), Doctor juris (Dr. iur. or Dr. jur.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Legum Doctor (LL.D.).

Graham Perrett

Graham Douglas Perrett (born 5 January 1966) is an Australian Labor politician, and a member of the Australian House of Representatives in the seat of Moreton. Perrett has a diploma of teaching, and a Bachelor of Laws, and has previously worked in the Queensland Government under Peter Beattie.

Perrett was born in St George in Queensland in 1966 (seventh child in a family of ten children), and received a diploma of teaching in 1985. He taught for three years in schools on the Darling Downs and Far North Queensland, then another eight years in Brisbane.

In 1993, he completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours through the University of Queensland. His honours thesis was a study of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Perrett later received a Bachelor of Laws from Queensland University of Technology in 1999. He worked as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland from 1999 to 2005 in Quinn & Scattini. After working with the Queensland Independent Education Union as an organiser he was given a role as Senior Policy Adviser for then Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie in 2005, and later for the Minister for Health, Stephen Robertson. Perrett previously ran unsuccessfully for the federal seat of Moreton in 2004.Perrett has represented the seat of Moreton, Queensland, since the 2007 Australian federal election where he ended Gary Hardgrave's 11-year term in office with a 7.6-point swing. Perrett described the victory as surprising, stating "In my wildest dreams I certainly didn't expect that the seat would be decided as early as it was". Perrett claimed the victory, over a former multicultural affairs minister, could be put down to the fact that "people are ready for hope and aren't prepared to stick with the tired old fear factor of John Howard".A major issue in the 2007 Moreton campaign was the Australian Labor Party (on behalf of Perrett) branding Perrett's rival, Gary Hardgrave, a "racist", after the standing member said that Moreton was being "exhausted" by the influx of African refugees. Perrett campaigned primarily on issues relating to health and education in the lead up to the election, whilst Hardgrave focused primarily on roads, according to a radio interview.Graham Perrett published his first novel, The Twelfth Fish [1], in October 2008. The sex scenes in The Twelfth Fish drew attention from the political class and the media. In the lead-up to the 2010 federal election a Christian group put out a flyer calling Perrett the Member for Porn. Perrett won his seat in the 2010 election with a margin of 1.1 points and went on to publish a sequel in September 2013, The Big Fig.In his teaching days Perrett played in a band called Once I Killed a Gopher with a Stick and remains a keen fan of music and literature. He enjoys writing and bushwalking.Since the 2016 federal election, Perrett currently holds the position as Opposition Whip.

Jacques Bureau

Jacques Bureau, (July 9, 1860 – January 23, 1933) was a Canadian politician.

Born in Trois-Rivières, Canada East, the son of J. Napoleon Bureau and Sophie Gingras, Bureau was educated at Nicolet College and received a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1881 from Laval University. A lawyer, he was elected to the House of Commons of Canada for the riding of Three Rivers and St. Maurice in the 1900 federal election. A Liberal, he was re-elected in 1904, 1908, 1911, 1917, and 1921. From 1907 to 1911, he was the Solicitor General of Canada. From 1921 to 1925, he was the Minister of Customs and Excise. In 1925, after his involvement in the King-Byng Affair, he was called to the Senate of Canada representing the senatorial division of La Salle, Quebec. He served until his death in 1933.

James H. DeCoursey Jr.

James Henry DeCoursey Jr. (July 7, 1932 – October 17, 2016) was an American politician. He was the 36th Lieutenant Governor of Kansas from 1969 to 1971. DeCoursey was an alumnus of the University of Kansas and University of Notre Dame and holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science (Finance) degrees. He died in 2016 at the age of 84.

Law degree

A law degree is an academic degree conferred for studies in law. Such degrees are generally preparation for legal careers; but while their curricula may be reviewed by legal authority, they do not themselves confer a license. A legal license is granted (typically by examination) and exercised locally; while the law degree can have local, international, and world-wide aspects- e.g., in Britain the Legal Practice Course is required to become a British solicitor or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to become a barrister.

List of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands by education

This is a list of Prime Ministers of the Netherlands by higher education since 20th century. Of the twenty-three Prime Ministers since 1901 eight had a doctorate and ten served either as a full professor or a visiting professor. Four Cort van der Linden, Gerbrandy, Beel and Van Agt where legal scholars.

Mark Ryan (Australian politician)

Mark Thomas Ryan (born 29 December 1982) is an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 2009 to 2012. He regained his seat in 2015.

Ryan was born in Nambour, Queensland, and attended St Eugene School and then St Joseph's College, Nudgee. He received a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and became a solicitor. In 2009, he was selected as the Labor candidate for the new seat of Morayfield and was elected. He lost his seat at the 2012 Queensland state election, but regained it at the 2015 election.

In December 2015 a cabinet reshuffle placed Mr Ryan in an extended cabinet, as Assistant Minister for State Assisting the Premier.

In November 2016, a cabinet reshuffle saw Mr Ryan promoted to senior cabinet as the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and the Minister for Correctional Services.

Markaz Law College

Markaz Law College, is a centre of higher legal education in Kozhikode, India. The law college is the first project launched under the Knowledge City of Markazu Ssaqafathi Ssunniyya, the college is affiliated to the University of Calicut and is recognised by the Bar Council of India. It offers integrated five-year course BBA with Bachelor of Laws and three-year course LLB. P.S Gopi is the principal of the Law College.

Nipitphon Phuangphuapet

Nipitphon Phuangphuapet (Thai: นิพิฐพนธ์ พวงพั่วเพชร; RTGS: Niphitphon Phuangphuaphet, born 31 May 1991) is a Thai badminton player. He studies bachelor of Laws at Bangkok-Dhonburi University.

Qazi Muhammad Farooq

Justice (Retd.) Mr. Qazi Muhammad Farooq (Qazi Muhammad Irfan) (6 January 1938, Abbottabad) is Chief Election Commissioner of Election Commission Of Pakistan.


Passed Matriculation Examination from Dennys High School, Rawalpindi in 1954;

Graduated from Gordon College, Rawalpindi in 1958;

Obtain Degree of Bachelor of Laws from University Law College, Lahore in 1960;Practical Experience:

Practiced as a lawyer at abbottabad till 1967;joined P.C.S. (Judicial Branch) in 1967;

Worked as Civil Judge at Charsadda, Lakki Marwat, Bannu and as Senior Civil Judge, Mardan till 1974;

Promoted as additional District and Sessions Judge in July 1974 and served as such at Haripur, abbottabad and Mansehra till April, 1977; during this period participated in 28th advanced Course in Public administration and Development at N.I.P.A., Lahore;

Promoted as District and Session Judge in April, 1977 and worked as such at Mansehra, Bannu and Peshawar till September, 1982; During this period attended the 1st advanced Course in Shariah in the Institute of Shariah and Legal Profession, Islamabad as also the 1st advanced Course in Shariah in the Islamic University, Madina Munawara;

Promoted to B.P.S. 20 in August 1982; appointed Provincial Election Commissioner, N.W.F.P. in September, 1982;

Repatriated to Judiciary in January, 1988 and posted as Registrar, Peshawar High Court; during this period participated in the International Visitor Programme administration of Courts in the United States arranged by the United States Information agency and attended LAWASIA Trial Court administrators Conference held in Singapore from 3 to 8 April 1989; elevated to the Peshawar High Court on 29 September 1991;

Visited Iran in 1992 as a member of the Supreme Court Delegation and attended a course on alternate Dispute Resolution in San Francisco (U.S.A) in July, 1998.

appointed as Chief Justice Peshawar High Court on 12 May 1999 and retired on 5 January 2000.

appointed as Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan on 4 February 2000 and retired on 31 December 2003. During this period remained member Law Reforms Commission, Judge-in-charge, Federal Judicial academy, Islamabad;

Visited the People's Republic of China as a member of the Supreme Court Delegation and participated in the Australian Educators Forum held in Philippines on February 11–14, 2003.

appointed as member of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan and Chairman, Committee of administration, al-Mizan Foundation in August, 2005.

Shannon Fentiman

Shannon Maree Fentiman is an Australian politician. She has been the Labor member for Waterford in the Queensland Legislative Assembly since 2015.Fentiman was sworn in as Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the Palaszczuk Ministry on 16 February 2015.Fentiman holds a Bachelor of Laws (First class honours) from Queensland University of Technology and Master of Laws at Melbourne University.Prior to her election to the Queensland Parliament as the Member for Waterford, Fentiman worked as a solicitor for Hall Payne Lawyers. She has previously worked as an industrial advocate for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and as a judge's associate in the Supreme Court of Queensland to Justice Atkinson.Fentiman has also been a board member of the Logan Women's Health and Wellbeing Centre, Secretary of the Centre Against Sexual Violence in Logan and the Duty Solicitor at the Beenleigh Neighbourhood Centre.

Spessard Holland

Spessard Lindsey Holland (July 10, 1892 – November 6, 1971) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as the 28th Governor of Florida from 1941 to 1945, and as a United States Senator from Florida from 1946 to 1971. A Democrat, he was a member of the conservative coalition in Congress.

Sree Narayana Guru College of Legal Studies

Sree Narayana Guru College of Legal Studies (SNGCLS), named after and inspired by Indian social reformer Nārāyana Guru, is a centre of higher legal education in Kollam. Managed by the Sree Narayana Trust of Kollam, the college is affiliated to the University of Kerala and is recognized by the Bar Council of India. It offers integrated five-year courses Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce with Bachelor of Laws that is law courses linked with general subjects.

Stanley Elroy Qua

Stanley Elroy Qua (August 26, 1880 – November 8, 1965) was a Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1934 to 1956, serving as Chief Justice from 1947 to 1956 He was appointed by Governor Joseph B. Ely, and elevated to Chief Justice by Governor Robert F. Bradford.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Qua was the son of Francis W. Qua, a local lawyer who practiced in Lowell and served his community as City Solicitor for many years, and Alice Lelia Harder. Qua attended Lowell Public Schools, then graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 1901, where he was accepted in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and received a Bachelor of Laws from Harvard Law School in 1904. He began his legal career with his father's law firm, which is still in existence today as Qua, Hall, Harvey & Walsh in Chelmsford, MA, where he practiced for 17 years with his father and brother, and upon his death bequeathed his personal law library back to the firm. Qua served as an Alderman and a City Councillor in Lowell before eventually being selected for the Superior Court in 1921 and later elevated to the Supreme Court.

Sydney Law School

Sydney Law School (informally Sydney Law or SLS) is the law school at the University of Sydney, Australia's oldest university. Sydney Law School began a full program of legal instruction in 1890 following the appointment of its first dean, having offered legal examinations since 1855.Sydney Law School is widely regarded as being one of Australia's top law schools. In 2017, QS World University Rankings ranked the law school 13th in the world for law (2nd nationally, 2nd in Asia-Pacific). The Social Science Research Network ranks the law school as first in Australia and fifth in the world in the number of downloads of academic papers which have been uploaded to its website. Sydney Law School has won the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on a record five occasions: in 1996, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2017.The law school has produced many leaders in law and politics, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and five other Prime Ministers, four Federal Opposition Leaders, two Governors-General, nine Federal Attorneys-General, and 18 out of 52 Justices of the High Court (plus 5 from the broader University)—more than any other law school in Australia. The school has also produced 24 Rhodes Scholars and several Gates Scholars.

Sydney Law School has approximately 1,700 LLB and JD students; 1,500 postgraduate coursework students; and 100 postgraduate research students. There are now 24 chairs, including the Challis Professors of Law, Jurisprudence and International Law. In 2010, the School replaced its graduate-entry Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree with the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. The LL.B. degree remains as part of an undergraduate double degree program.

University of South Africa

The University of South Africa (UNISA), and colloquially Unisa, is the largest university system in both South Africa and Africa by enrollment. It attracts a third of all higher education students in South Africa. Through various colleges and affiliates, UNISA has over 300,000 students, including international students from 130 countries worldwide, making it one of the world's mega universities and the only such university in Africa.

As a comprehensive university, Unisa offers both vocational and academic programmes, many of which have received international accreditation, as well as an extensive geographical footprint, giving their students recognition and employability in many countries the world over.

William McIntyre (judge)

William Rogers McIntyre, (March 15, 1918 – June 14, 2009) was a Canadian Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Born in Lachine, Quebec, the son of Charles Sidney McIntyre and Pauline May Sifton, he moved with his family to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan when he was young. In 1939, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan. After serving during World War II, he received his Bachelor of Laws in 1946 from University of Saskatchewan.

In 1947, he was called to the Bars of Saskatchewan and British Columbia and practiced law in Victoria, British Columbia.

In 1967, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and elevated to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in 1973. In 1979, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada and retired in 1989. In 1991, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Woo Bih Li

Woo Bih Li J, SC (simplified Chinese: 吴必理; traditional Chinese: 吳必理; pinyin: Wú Bì Lǐ) is a Singaporean judge in the Supreme Court.

Woo received his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Singapore (now the National University of Singapore) in 1977, and was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court the following year. He joined the local law firm Allen & Gledhill in 1970 and in 1992, he established Bih Li & Lee in 1992, becoming its Managing Partner. Having been appointed Senior Counsel in 1997, he was appointed Judicial Commissioner in May 2000, and Judge in January 2003.

Levels of academic degree

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