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Graduate LLB: Your Ultimate Guide
A Graduate LLB is essential for someone wanting to practice law as a solicitor or barrister who did not obtain their initial degree in law. Students with a first degree in any subject who want to transfer to law can embark on a two-year LLB in the UK, also known as Graduate Entry Law, Senior Status Law, or an Accelerated LLB. The two-year LLB teaches the core modules and foundations of law, typically allowing students to select elective modules in their second year.
What is the Graduate LLB?
The Graduate LLB (Bachelor of Laws or Legum Baccalaureus in Latin) is a postgraduate degree programme that gives non-law graduates that have earned a non-law related degree the opportunity to obtain an LLB in two years rather than three. Successfully completing a Graduate LLB will enable students to progress into one of the two courses required of all UK lawyers—the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for solicitors and the BTC for barristers.
Although both an LLM and a Graduate LLB can be taken after completing a bachelor’s degree, an LLM takes one year to complete while a Graduate LLB requires two years of full-time study. With a Graduate LLB, it does not matter what subject was studied at degree level – as long as a 2:1 (or higher) grade level is earned – an LLM typically requires that the first degree have been done in law or a subject related to your chosen specialty area.
What Do Graduate LLB Students Study?
Graduate LLB students develop skills in negotiation, advocacy, legal practice, communication, legal writing, document drafting, professional behaviour, relationship building, commercial awareness and analytical thinking—all critical tools for meeting clients’ needs in a global economy. Mock courtrooms give students access to a real-life setting to practice mooting.
Course content that Graduate LLB students typically study include:
To gain acceptance into a Graduate LLB programme, candidates need to have completed a degree (in any subject) at a minimum of a second class honours standard. If a student is located outside the UK, they will also need to prove that they have a good command of the English language.
Is the Graduate LLB a Qualifying Law Degree?
Those who complete a Graduate LLB programme will be eligible to apply for professional legal training (the LPC or BTC) in the UK, Wales, and Ireland. Offering two years of academic study, the Graduate LLB provides extended instruction to candidates entering a more and more competitive job market.
Why Take the Graduate LLB?
Students elect to take the Graduate LLB for a variety of reasons. Some finish their non-law degree and then decide that they want to obtain a law degree as a second subject—merely as an educational pursuit with no intention of working in the legal sector. Others take the Graduate LLB as part of the process of becoming a lawyer and based upon career plan, will either follow it with the LPC course (for solicitors) and a training contract with a law firm or the BTC course (for barristers) and a pupillage with a practising barrister.
Graduates from an LLB course in the UK will be ready to enter the legal profession as either a solicitor or barrister but will also have the ability to enter a wide range of professions such as business, criminology and academia. Universities maintain strong links with local and national law firms and provide students with the opportunities to network with potential employers.
When and How Should You Apply for the Graduate LLB?
The entry requirements and deadlines for a Graduate LLB vary according to university, but commonly include the following:
First or upper second class honours UK bachelor’s degree in a non-law topic or foreign equivalent.
For Canadian graduates, a B+ degree or higher.
IELTS requirements: 6.5 overall, with no lower than 6.0 in any one component
Applications for the Graduate LLB must be made online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). An annual fee of £9,000 will be required.
Where is the Graduate LLB Offered?
Many highly-ranked UK universities offer the Graduate LLB course, including the University of Birmingham, City University of London, the London School of Business and Management, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Oxford. When choosing where to obtain your Graduate LLB, you need to find an institution that will help you apply your knowledge in a practical context that will allow you to progress in your legal career.