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"LLB" redirects here. For other uses, see LLB (disambiguation).

The Bachelor of Laws (Legum Baccalaureus Latin, abbreviated LL.B., LL. B., LLB, or rarely, Ll.B., but never L.L.B.) is an undergraduate, or bachelor, degree in law (or a first professional degree in law, depending on jurisdiction) originating in England and offered in most common law countries as the primary law degree.[1] In English-speaking Canada it is sometimes referred to as a post-graduate degree because previous university education is usually required for admission. 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"), thus "LL.B." stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. It is sometimes erroneously called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account for the double "L".

The United States is the only common law country that no longer offers the LL.B. 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.,[2][3] which then became the generally standardized degree in most states for the necessary bar exam prior to practice of law.[4] Many law schools converted their basic law degree programs 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.[5][6] Yale graduates who received LL.B. degrees prior to 1971 were similarly permitted to change their degree to a J.D., although many did not take the option, retaining their LL.B. degrees.[3]

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. programs 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. Today in Canada the predominant first degree in common law is the Juris Doctor degree having replaced the LL.B.

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.


The first academic degrees were all law degrees in medieval universities, and the first law degrees were doctorates.[7][8][9] The foundations of the first universities were the glossators of the 11th century, which were also schools of law.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

The bachelor's degree originated at the University of Paris, whose system was implemented at Oxford and Cambridge.[13] The "arts" designation of the degree traditionally signifies that the student has undertaken a certain amount of study of the classics.[14] On 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

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 program for solicitors thus emerged, structured and governed by the same rules as the apprenticeship programs for the trades.[22] The training of solicitors by apprenticeship was formally established by an act of parliament in 1729.[23] William Blackstone became the first lecturer in English common law at the University of Oxford in 1753, but the university did not establish the program for the purpose of professional study, and the lectures were very philosophical and theoretical in nature.[23] 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.[24]

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.[17] 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.[17] 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 the 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 United States), 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.


The programme of study for the common law LL.B. can be either a graduate-entry degree programme requiring a previous bachelors degree (the duration of which is usually three years) or can be undertaken directly after high-school either by itself (the duration of which is usually four years) or with another degree (i.e., B.Comm/LL.B., B.A./LL.B., or B.Sc./LL.B., the duration of which can vary between five and seven years, depending on the specific combination).

Additionally, many universities have started offering the J.D as a graduate entry degree.


Bangladesh is a common law country. Like other Common Law countries, 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 six Public Universities offer LL.B. (Hons.) degree. These Universities are:

  1. University of Chittagong
  2. University of Dhaka
  3. University of Rajshahi
  4. Jahangirnagar University
  5. Jagannath University
  6. Islamic University of Kustia.

All these Universities also offer one-year LL.M. course. Along this, almost all private Universities also offer LL.B. (Hons.) degree (four years) and one-year LL.M. course. Some private universities offer two years LL.B. degree to the graduates of subjects other than Law. Most successful of Law department from Private University is Premier University,Chittagong. About 450 Advocates in Different Bar Association, 38 Advocates of High Court Bar, 14 Assistant Judges & Judicial Cadre Service in Bangladesh (From 2008 to 2013). Besides, the National University of Bangladesh also offers two-years 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 second-entry, undergraduate, professional degree, and now completely replaced by the J.D. by all Canadian common law schools. 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 the programme generally requires completion of a previous undergraduate degree before registration in that programme. In fact, almost all admitted law students hold at least a bachelor level degree, and a significant number hold a graduate level degree as well. As a result, there is an increasing trend for Canadian law schools to switch a Juris Doctor degree in recognition of the profession second-entry nature of Canadian legal studies. (See Juris Doctor in Canada)

The common law programme is three years in length. Upon graduation, one holds a 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 (see Becoming a Lawyer below). 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 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 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 program. Similarly, the University of Ottawa offers, besides its three-year LL.L. program in Quebec civil law, a one-year LL.L. program 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.


See also: Autonomous law schools in India, Common Law Admission Test

In India, legal education has been traditionally ---offered as a three-year graduate degree conferring the title of LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) or B.L. (Bachelor of Law). However the legal education system was revised by the Bar Council of India, the governing body of legal education in India in 1984. Pursuant thereto, various autonomous law schools were established that administer a five-year (5 year) undergraduate degree programme and confer an integrated honours degree, such as "B.A., LL.B. (Honours)", "B.B.A, LL.B. (Honours)", "B.Sc., LL.B. (Honours)", etc.

Both the types of degrees (i.e., three-year and five-year integrated honours) 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 India and get upon compliance with the necessary standards, be enrolled on the rolls of the said Bar Council. The process of enrollment confers a licence to the holder to practise before any court in India and give legal advice. The entire procedure of enrollment and post-enrollment professional conduct is regulated and supervised by the Bar Council of India.

In all Indian Universities (recognised by University Grants Commission), M.L./ LL.M. course which is generally a two (2) years programme offered at Post Graduation Level. It is also offered as a three (3) years programme in case of a part-time study. A majority of Indian Universities have started offering a one (1) year Masters in Law (LL.M) course starting from the year 2013, on approval by the University Grants Commission.



Pakistan is a common law country and to become a lawyer in Pakistan, one needs 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, Baluchistan Bar Council or the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council to practice as an advocate.

The following universities are authorised to award law degrees in Pakistan:[25]


In Singapore, the LL.B. may be conferred by either the National University of Singapore or the Singapore Management University after 4 years (8 Semesters) of study. Possession of an LLB with a Lower Second Class of honours from NUS[26] or a Grade Point Average of 3.00 from SMU[27] 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 program.

South Africa

In South Africa the LL.B. is offered both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.[28][29][30] As of 1996 it is the universal and only legal qualification for legal practice, superseding the existing B.Juris and B.Proc degrees.[31] 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.[32]

The curriculum is typically structured around preliminary, core / intermediate and advanced courses,[33] 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.[31] The advanced courses (usually) comprise further study in these core subjects, deepening and / or broadening the student's knowledge as appropriate. The electives 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.[34]

The undergraduate LL.B. may depart from this structure. Depending on university, the curriculum will comprise legal subjects exclusively,[35] or may include humanities subjects so as to prepare graduates with a "broad-based" legal education.[33] Some undergraduate programs do not offer any optional coursework. Credits in English and Afrikaans are also often included.[35] Along with Latin, these were, but are no longer, "subjects compelled by statute",[36] 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.


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). 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 one-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) a LL.B. graduate is required to undertake a six-week PLT course before applying to be admitted to the bar as a barrister and solicitor. Depending on the State to which a practitioner is admitted, membership of the Bar is either restricted to Barristers, or open to both Solicitors and Barristers. In the states that maintain membership of the bar as a separate and distinct role to that of a practicing solicitor, entry is attained through the successful completion of an exam and a nine-month period of tutelage (the reading period) 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, commonly referred to as bar exams, related to the taken courses and 2.) complete articled clerkship commonly known as articling. Although the vast majority of law graduates fulfill the articled clerkship requirement by articling (i.e. working and learning) 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, a small minority of law graduates (with exceptional academic records) satisfy the articled clerkship requirement by undergoing what is commonly called clerkship with a specific courthouse and under the supervision of a judge instead of working in a more "lawyer-type environment" under the supervision of a lawyer called a "principal". 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 [2]

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[37] 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 permitted to practice the powers of a Notary Public. 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; The Queen's University of Belfast; the University of Limerick, National University of Ireland, Maynooth[38] and the University of Ulster) award an LL.B. University College Cork and NUIG offer the LL.B. as an 1-year postgraduate course for holders of the BCorp(Bachelor of Corporate Law) or BA Legal Science degrees.

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.)

It should be noted, though, that 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 past NUI B.C.L. graduates who went to work in Britain sometimes didn't disabuse people of the casual notion that it was a post-graduate degree, similar to the more famous Oxford B.C.L.

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.[39] 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 Law (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.[40]

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. program 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 one-year 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 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.[41] Staffordshire University also offer a two-year full-time LL.B. course.[42]

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 program can be found in Malaysia as offered by International Islamic University Malaysia[43] and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia[44]

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.[45] Additionally, both New York and Massachusetts permit Canadian LL.B. holders to take the bar exam.[46] 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. programs for foreign attorneys; many such law schools may have no other LL.M. programs. 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. programs, 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 programs 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 exceptional 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. programs, although this is not sufficient to practice law. Students wishing to practice law should continue with a Masters in Law program, 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 {fact} 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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