If you’re shopping around for Law degrees, it’s likely that at this point you’ve noticed that there are two undergraduate Law degrees - the LLB, and the BA Law. While there’s quite a lot of information out there about the LLB, it can be a bit of a pickle figuring out how the BA Law fits in.
So what is the BA in Law, how does it differ from the LLB - and most importantly, which one should you do?
BA Law vs LLB
The BA Law is essentially a Bachelor of Arts with a Law focus. If you study for a BA in Law, you will have the option to substitute some of your modules for non-law subjects, alongside a selection of Law modules. However, if you study for a degree in LLB Law you will be required to take the seven qualifying modules, and any additional electives will be based around Law. Also, BA Law students study for joint honours - you could do Law with Spanish for example, or Law with Criminology. LLB Law students tend to just do straight Law.
Can I become a lawyer with a BA in Law?
The short answer is, yes, you are able to become a Barrister or a Solicitor with a BA in Law. But unlike the LLB Law, the BA in Law is not a qualifying law degree. This means you will most likely still have to take the GDL - the one year course taken by all non-Law degree holders seeking to qualify as lawyers.
There are seven core Law modules that you must take to obtain a ‘qualifying Law degree’ - the BA is likely to offer some, but not all, of these. A small selection of universities may offer BA Law students the chance to study all seven of the qualifying modules, which would result in a qualifying degree. If you’re concerned about this, you should check the individual module options at that university.
However, a BA in Law is still going to provide you with a grounded and broad understanding of the law, with the addition of another subject. If you would like to study something else that fits your academic interests alongside law, then a BA is for you. If you’re ready for straight-up 100% law, then go for the LLB!
So wait.. why a BA?
For someone who wants to qualify as a lawyer, automatically and as quickly as possible, the BA may not be the obvious choice. But there are many benefits to this type of Law degree.
It might be that you are more interested in the academic side of Law, rather than itching to practice as a Solicitor or join the Bar. If this is the aspect of Law that you’re drawn to, then the BA provides a flexible basis to explore your academic interests. Or perhaps your career aspirations are completely different - studying a BA in Law will give you skills that are relevant to journalism, politics or business.
The BA is also usually studied alongside other subjects, either as a joint honours degree, or through a combination of Law and non-law modules. It might be that you’ve always wanted to study Law alongside Criminology, History, or a foreign language. Or perhaps you are interested in how different subjects influence and complement each other. Generally the BA offers more flexibility than the LLB, as you can mix, match, and deviate from Law.
The BA Law - nothing to worry about
The BA in Law is not something to stress about - if you’ve got your heart set on being a Barrister or Solicitor, you’ll still be able to do so with the BA and the GDL. Likewise, if you’re not sure and want to decide later, studying law and non-law modules alongside each other may help you to decide. Whether you choose the LLB or the BA, you’re still getting a well-rounded degree that will open up opportunities in the legal sector.
Check out BA Law courses here.