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Law Studies Around the World: Everything You Need to Know

Law is a vast field with a wide range of career opportunities which can broadly be classified into two main categories – Licensed Attorney and Corporate Lawyer.

A licensed attorney is an individual who has obtained a license to practice law and can represent clients in court. On the other hand, a corporate lawyer is a lawyer who works for a company or a business entity. Licensed attorneys can handle a wide range of legal issues, including criminal law, civil litigation, family law, and human rights law. Whereas corporate lawyers advise companies on legal issues related to their business operations, such as mergers and acquisitions, contracts, employment law, human resources law, securities and intellectual property law. Regardless of which path you choose, the first step towards achieving your goal of becoming a lawyer is to undertake a degree program in Law.

Let’s embark on an insightful journey that provides a comprehensive overview of the law pathways of different countries, highlighting the diverse entrance tests, and opportunities available to those interested in pursuing a legal career. 


Law studies in the US/Canada are different from the rest of the world. Unlike India and the UK, US/Canada universities do not offer integrated law degrees at bachelor’s level. Students must complete a four-year undergraduate degree before they can apply to law school. Nonetheless, given the flexibility of the US/Canada education system, even students with engineering degrees or science majors can apply to law schools and become successful lawyers and attorneys.

The Top 5 Law Schools in US and Canada are – 







US (USNews)

Yale Law School

Stanford Law School

University of Chicago

Harvard Law School

Columbia Law School

Canada (QS World)

University of Toronto Faculty of Law

McGill University Faculty of Law

University of British Columbia Allard School of Law

University of Montreal

University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

Here are the steps you can take to become a lawyer in US/Canada after Grade XII:

  1. Complete an Undergraduate Degree: In the US and Canada, a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for admission to law school. While there are no specific degree requirements for law school, many students choose to pursue degrees in fields such as political science, history, economics, or English, which provide a strong foundation for legal studies.

  2. Write the Law Exam: The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test that measures skills that are critical for success in law school, such as reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. 

  3. Apply to Law School: Once you have completed your undergraduate degree and taken the LSAT, you can apply to law school. In the US, there are more than 200 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association and in Canada, there are 24 law schools accredited by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Research the different schools and their programs to find one that suits your needs and interests.

  4. Complete a Juris Doctor (JD) degree: The JD is the most common law degree in the US/Canada and typically takes three years to complete. During your JD program, you will take courses in a variety of legal areas, including contracts, torts, criminal law, property law, and constitutional law.

  5. Pass the Bar Exam: After completing your JD, you must pass the bar exam in the state in which you plan to practice law. The bar exam tests your knowledge of substantive law, procedural law, and ethical issues relevant to legal practice in that state.

  6. Complete a Period of Supervised Practice: In some states or provinces, after passing the bar exam, you must complete a period of supervised practice known as a clerkship or articling or residency. This period typically lasts one to two years and allows you to gain practical experience under the guidance of a more experienced attorney.


The UK has a long-standing reputation for legal excellence, with many universities being world-renowned for their law programs. UK law schools offer a wide range of specializations, enabling students to tailor their education to their interests. Additionally, students have the opportunity to gain practical experience through hands-on learning, including clinics, internships, and pro bono work. Lastly, UK law schools are known for their rigorous and challenging programs, which can help prepare students for a successful legal career. The top 5 Law schools in the UK are – 







UK (QS World)

University of Oxford – Faculty of Law

University of Cambridge – Faculty of Law

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) – Department of Law

University College London (UCL) – Faculty of Laws

King’s College London – Dickson Poon School of Law

Here are the steps you can take to become a lawyer in the UK after Grade XII:

  1. Prepare for the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) Exam: – Some of the top law schools in the UK, such as the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, require the LNAT as part of their admissions process. The LNAT is an aptitude test that assesses a student’s critical thinking, reading comprehension, and analytical skills. It is designed to provide universities with an indication of a student’s potential to succeed in a law program.

  2. Complete your Undergraduate Degree: In order to become a lawyer in the UK, it is necessary to complete a three-year undergraduate degree program (or four years in Scotland). There are two options available: obtaining an LLB or a BA/BSc degree. You can choose to study any subject for your undergraduate degree, but you must complete a conversion course to qualify for a legal career.

  3. Pass the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or Common Professional Examination (CPE): If you did not study law at the undergraduate level, you will need to complete a GDL or CPE course to qualify for legal practice.

  4. Complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC): After completing your undergraduate degree and the GDL or CPE, you will need to take the LPC, which focuses on practical legal skills such as advocacy, interviewing clients, and legal drafting.

  5. Secure a Training Contract: A training contract is a two-year apprenticeship with a law firm, during which you will work as a trainee solicitor and receive on-the-job training.

  6. Pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE): Starting from 2021, the SQE will replace the current system of qualification. This is a national assessment that all aspiring solicitors must pass in order to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales.

  7. Register with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA): Once you have completed your training contract and passed the SQE, you can register with the SRA and become a qualified solicitor in England and Wales.

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Ireland’s legal system is influenced by both common law and civil law traditions, providing students with a unique perspective on the law that can be applied in a global context. Furthermore, Ireland’s economy is thriving, with many international companies choosing to set up their European headquarters in the country. This has created a high demand for legal professionals with the skills and knowledge to navigate complex legal issues in a global business environment. The top 5 law schools in the Ireland are – 







Ireland (QS World)

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) – School of Law

University College Dublin (UCD) – Sutherland School of Law

National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) – School of Law

University College Cork (UCC) – School of Law

Dublin City University (DCU) – School of Law and Government

Here are the steps you can take to become a lawyer in Ireland after Grade XII:

  1. Prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT):  LSAT is used by top Irish law schools, such as University College Dublin, as part of their admissions process. However, not all law schools in Ireland require the LSAT and some may have their own admission test or use other criteria for admission. It is important to research the specific requirements of the law schools you are interested in to determine if the LSAT is required.

  2. Obtain a Law Degree: In Ireland, the two primary types of law degrees offered are the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL). The LLB degree in Ireland provides a general education in law covering various legal subjects. The BCL is an undergraduate law degree offered by some universities in Ireland, including University College Dublin (UCD) and University College Cork (UCC). The BCL degree focuses on Irish law. Both the degrees typically last for three or four years, again depending on the university where it incorporates a year of work placement or an extended period of study.

  3. Complete the FE-1 exams: Once a law degree has been obtained, students must complete the First Examination in Law (FE-1) exams. These exams cover various areas of law, including contract law, tort law, criminal law, and property law.

  4. Complete an Apprenticeship: After passing the FE-1 exams, students must complete an apprenticeship with a practicing solicitor or barrister. This apprenticeship typically lasts two years and involves gaining practical experience in a legal setting.

  5. Apply for Admission to the Bar: After completing the apprenticeship, students can apply for admission to the Bar of Ireland as a solicitor or barrister.

  6. Continue Professional Development: Once admitted to the Bar, lawyers in Ireland are required to continue their development as a lawyer by completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses.


Australian law schools are known for their high-quality education and rigorous academic programs, which can prepare students for successful legal careers. Being a multicultural and diverse country, studying law in Australia can provide students with an international perspective on legal issues and opportunities to build a global network of legal contacts. The top 5 law schools in Australia are –







Australia (QS World)

University of Melbourne – Melbourne Law School

University of Sydney – Sydney Law School

Australian National University (ANU) – ANU College of Law

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney – UNSW Law

Monash University – Monash Law School 

Here are the steps you can take to become a lawyer in Australia after Grade XII:

  1. Prepare for the entrance exams: Some universities like The University of New South Wales in Australia require students to pass an entrance exam before commencing their law degree. These exams are typically designed to assess a student’s aptitude for the study of law and include questions on logic, reasoning, and critical thinking. Examples of such entrance exams include the Law Admission Test (LAT) and the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).

  2. Pursue Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or a Juris Doctor (JD) degree: The LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree typically takes four years to complete, while the JD (Juris Doctor) degree takes three years for students who already have an undergraduate degree in a field other than law. Some universities also offer combined LLB and JD programs that can take up to five years to complete.

  3. Complete Practical Legal Training (PLT): PLT is a vocational training program that provides students with the practical skills and knowledge required to practice law.

  4. Pass the Suitability Test: Admission to the legal profession by the admitting authority in the state or territory where the student wishes to practice law. This involves meeting certain eligibility requirements, such as character and fitness standards, and passing a suitability test.

  5. Complete formal training: Completion of a period of supervised legal practice (usually around two years) known as a “traineeship” or “articles of clerkship.”

  6. Bar Entry: Sign the Supreme Court Roll and get your license/certificate to practice law in Australia


Compared to many other countries, pursuing a law degree in India can be relatively affordable, with many universities offering programs at a lower cost. India has a diverse legal system that draws on various legal traditions, providing law students with a unique perspective on the law. The Top 5 Law Schools in India are – 







India (NIRF)

National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore

National Law University (NLU), Delhi

Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad: Nalsar 

National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur

Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar

Here are the steps you can take to become a lawyer in India after Grade XII:

  1. Choose the Right Stream: After completing Grade XII, you need to choose the right stream to pursue your law degree. You can opt for any stream, but it is advisable to take up commerce, business studies, or arts as they provide a better foundation for a legal career.

  2. Prepare for Law Entrance Exams: Most law colleges and universities in India conduct entrance exams for admission to their law programs. You need to prepare well for these exams to secure a seat in a reputed law school. Some popular law entrance exams in India are CLAT, AILET, LSAT India, and MH-CET.

  3. Enroll in a Law Program: After completing your 12th grade, you can enroll in a law program offered by various universities across the country. The most common law degree programs are a five-year integrated BA LLB program or a three-year LLB program after graduation.

  4. Gain Practical Experience: Law requires extensive knowledge of your environment, and gaining practical experience is crucial to becoming a successful lawyer. You can participate in moot court competitions, internships, and other legal clinics to gain practical experience.

  5. Pass the Bar Exam – Upon completion of the LLB degree, candidates must pass the Bar Exam, which is conducted twice a year, to be eligible to enroll as an advocate with the State Bar Council and can begin practicing law in India. However, many lawyers do not register with the Bar and take up corporate jobs instead.

  6. Higher Degree – For Indian students, who have completed their LLB degree, it may be a good idea to pursue an LLM degree (9 to 12 months long degree program) in the US. An LLM from a US law school can provide students with a broader perspective on global legal systems and exposure to international legal issues. It can also enhance their understanding of American legal systems and practices. However, practicing law in the US as a foreign-educated lawyer is a complex process that involves meeting various requirements, including passing the bar exam in a state where they wish to practice.

Wow! That was a great deal of information. To summarize, a law degree can be a challenging and rewarding experience that offers many opportunities for growth and development. And you should be feeling more knowledgeable now, fully equipped and prepared to excel in law school.

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