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Double or nothing: Studying a combined law degree

A law degree can start you on an exciting high-flying career – even if you decide not to become a lawyer.

There are many law graduates around the world who work in politics, international finance, diplomacy, health, the media and environmental protection – as well as those who qualify as barristers or solicitors.

Recognising that law is best understood when you learn it within a social, economic or scientific context, most law schools in Australia offer ‘double degrees’ in law. In fact, over 75% of all Australian law degrees are double degrees, the most common being Arts/Law, Commerce/Law, Business/Law and Science/Law.

Why study law?

Law is considered to be one of the most intellectually challenging of all degrees. You’ll develop analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to read critically, research properly, communicate well with people of all walks of life, and write clearly.

Our legal system affects nearly every aspect of our society, and lawyers are the main link between laws and the community.

The double advantage

Combining law with another undergraduate degree allows you to develop a broader range of skills and knowledge in an area that interests you. It also widens your career options in the future.

In general, it also means you can graduate with two degrees within five years. In comparison, if you study law in the US you would complete a four-year undergraduate degree, and then a three-year JD (Juris Doctorate) at a separate Law School.

Legal firms are now realising that practicing law is not just about explaining law to their clients, but also advising them on the specific issues that they deal with. So if you study International Finance and Law, you’ll understand the unique challenges that a global financial firm faces in a legal context.

Law + specialisation

There are now a wide range of options for your combined law degree in Australia, including Law/Property Development at Bond University, Law/Biotechnology at Flinders University, Law/Public Policy at James Cook University and Law/Aerospace Engineering at Monash University. So no matter what excites you, you can combine it with law!

You can still specialise in certain type of law as well – including criminal law, civil law, environmental law or maritime law.

Legal recognition

Australia’s legal system is based on the Common Law model of England, so your Australian law degree (LLB) is recognised in many other countries – including Malaysia, Botswana, Brunei, Fiji, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Singapore also reconises certain Australian law programs. Canada and the US also recognise Australian law degrees, but require some additional study in their specific laws before you can practice.

Remember that any LLB, or undergraduate law program, requires professional accreditation before you are fully qualified to practise as a lawyer.

Other double options

Some double degrees are also available in Europe. King’s College London and ESSEC Business School in Paris have recently launched a double degree in Business and Law, which will also improve your fluency in French and English. You can study international law at Kings College and then specialist business administration courses in Paris – and graduate with a double Master’s degree.

Studying a law degree is interesting in its own right, even if you decide not to become a lawyer. It will develop your confidence, commitment, and stamina. And a double law degree will open up even more career options for you, no matter where you decide to apply your new skills and knowledge.

To find out more about a degree in Law, check out our Law Directory.

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