In essence, the Graduate LLB course is the same as the undergraduate law degree (LLB). However, this course is only available to graduates and it only takes two years to complete, rather than the three years it takes for the undergraduate course.
The course will therefore pack in everything you would expect cover in the LLB, i.e. the “foundations of legal knowledge (contract law, land law, criminal law, equity and trusts, EU law, tort law and constitutional or administrative law), plus any additional module options and dissertation requirements, making the Graduate LLB, as you can imagine, a demanding course.
What will I gain from a Graduate LLB?
You will cover the basic legal principles required in order for you to continue with your legal education. The Graduate LLB is a qualifying law degree. This means graduates who complete this course will be able to proceed to either the Legal Practice Course (LPC), the vocational course for aspiring solicitors, or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for would-be barristers. You will also be able to become a legal executive if you’d prefer.
Why do people take the Graduate LLB?
Some students complete their non-law degree and decide they’d like to take on a law degree as a second (or third, or even fourth!) subject. This will be purely an academic pursuit, and these students may not, at least at the point of deciding to take the course, have any intention of moving into the legal sector. A number of people will just relish the chance to explore law on a more academic level.
There are some who decide to take the Graduate LLB as part of the process of becoming a lawyer. They have balanced out their options with this route compared to the law conversion course (GDL).
Having taken this option, their route to a legal career will look like this:
- Undergraduate degree (non-law subject)
- Graduate LLB – Academic study of law
- The Legal Practice course (LPC) – vocational course for law students with the aim of becoming solicitors.
- Training Contract – a working training period with a law firm. Completion results in qualified lawyer status.
- Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) – vocational course for law students with the aim of becoming solicitors.
- Pupillage – the period in which the ‘pupil’ works at a chambers assisting a practising barrister, and eventually takes on their own cases to complete their training and become a practising barrister themselves.
So there you have it. The graduate LLB can function as one rung in your law career ladder, should you choose to climb it. But if you don't fancy it, rest assured—it's not the only way.