Law degrees are highly regarded, as they give you the ability to reason, to analyse and negotiate, and communicate with people from all walks of life.
A good law school can lead to an exciting and challenging career as a lawyer, solicitor or barrister, but it can also offers high-paying career opportunities in business, banking, politics and government.
You could also use your college of law study to fight for human rights, working in third world aid and development projects, or in international law.
Highlighted courses and degrees in law
You can study at schools of law and law colleges around the world – but the important thing to check is whether your own country will recognise that qualification when you return.
English Law, or ‘common law’, is the basis for many legal systems, including those in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Pakistan. An international law degree is a great asset in the global economy of today as many business deals are negotiated across borders.
Although the USA also uses common law, it offers a different style of legal study. In the US, you can study a JD (Juris Doctor), your first law degree, and then progress to an LLM (Masters of Law) as a graduate.
In the UK, Australia and New Zealand, you can study an LLB (Bachelor of Law) as an undergraduate law degree, and combine it with other degrees for a double major. But you’ll still need to pass post-graduate bar exams to qualify as a professional lawyer.
You can also choose a legal specialisation. Criminal law could lead you into law enforcement, forensic science and psychology. Commercial law specialisations include intellectual property and taxation law. And you can also study constitutional law, analysing government and policy decisions.
No matter which law university you choose, make sure it has a well-stocked law library. You’ll be doing a lot of reading and research to find solutions to typical legal problems, work on your thesis, and pass you examinations.
You can study law courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We have listed the most popular areas of specialisation below, so you can explore them further.
In some countries, you can also study a joint degree, adding degrees in areas such as business, IT, international relations or psychology to your law degree.
Entry requirements vary, but all international applicants from non-English speaking countries will need to prove a certain level of English language ability. You will need to be very confident in your written and spoken English skills to be a successful law student.
Most curriculums for JD programs aim to equip their students not only with the knowledge lawyers need but the skills as well. Core requirements usually included courses on contracts, property law, torts, criminal law, constitutional law, legal analysis and civil procedures. Students are usually given the chance to choose a specialisation, focus or track in the last two years of the program.
Availability of specialisations depends on the offerings of each university. Below is a short list of specialisations offered by different institutions:
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates. For example, in the United States, accreditation of schools and programs is handled by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Graduates of law degree programs need to take bar exams in order to practice law as licensed professionals. Individuals are advised to check licensing requirements of the state or country wherein they are looking to practice, as these usually vary per area.
For further studies in the field of law, the Master of Laws or LLM is available, allowing individuals to focus on their chosen area of specialisation, generally taking a year of full time studies to complete. The most advanced degree offered in law is the Doctor of Juridical Science, which requires both extensive research and experience.
Entrance into a law degree program varies from institution to institution and usually depends on the country wherein the degree program will be taken. Some countries have universities offering bachelor of laws (LLB) as an undergraduate degree. In this case, graduates of this program undergo further training and education before practicing in the field. In some countries, LLB is taken as a second degree that grants bar exam eligibility to graduates of the program. Countries that offer this include the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and Malaysia.
Another law degree program is the Juris Doctor (JD), which is a postgraduate degree. This is usually the requirement to be able to practice law in a certain number of countries including the United States. Requirements for admission into this type of program include a certain grade in the Law School Admission Test or LSAT (which measures reading comprehension and logical and analytical reasoning) and a high undergraduate grade point average. Extra curricular activities, involvement in the community and leadership experience may also be taken into consideration. Other requirements may include an application essay and admissions interview.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
*Students with a lower score may still be accepted if they complete an English language course or a foundation year before going on to their chosen degree. Subjects required – Generally, Maths and English for undergraduate law degrees but requirements vary by institution – see course profiles for further details
Visit our scholarships and funding section to read more about funding your studies.
Those who graduate from a JD program and pass the bar exam in the US generally practice as lawyers or attorneys-at-law and can work in positions with law firms, corporations, District Attorney offices and other government legal departments. Positions include plaintiff attorneys, corporate lawyers, contract negotiators and consultants.
In the UK, graduates of law degree programs can work as solicitors or barristers. Solicitors are present in the government, law firms, businesses and banks and work generally outside of the court. Barristers, often distinguished by the wig and gown worn at court, work at higher levels of court and represent clients.
Law degree programs arm graduates with transferable skills that can be applied in many fields such as business, politics and research. Law graduates are persuasive, confident and detail-oriented, and the hone skills including evaluation and analysis of data, reasoning, problem-solving and oral and written communication.
Find law programs available in the following countries.
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