A question that repeatedly haunts and confuses every law aspirant is whether to choose a five-year integrated BA LLB or BBA LLB/ BCom LLB or opt for a three year LLB course. This article aims to clear the confusion of students and put forth an unambiguous answer, which will help students decide the apt course.
Currently, there are two ways to pursue an undergraduate degree in Law from any of the top law colleges in India like Asian Law College (ALC) in Noida:
1. Through a five-year integrated law course or
2. Three year LLB course
5 Year LLB Course: Advantages and Disadvantages
To elaborate on the first option available to students, the pros and cons of pursuing an integrated LLB degree are as mentioned below:
· The degree is an integrated course where the students do not have to undergo graduation twice, i.e. 3 years of graduation in any stream and then again 3 years of law; but here they will receive a consolidated “BA LLB” degree upon finishing the course in a period of 5 years. Earlier, the Bar Council of India (BCI) had an age limit of 20 years to pursue five year LLB course, but after facing criticism from the Supreme Court, the age limit was increased to 22 years.
· It offers students a mix of BA subjects, coupled with Law right from the first semester of admission.
· Students gain exposure to legal education from a young age and thereby streamline their thought process in that direction.
· Students learn Contract Law, Legal Research Methodology and various other legal subjects which most students opting for three years LLB don’t.
· Students can choose from a wide range of subject options in five-year courses which three-year students cannot avail. For e.g.: BA LLB, BBA LLB, BCom LLB, BSc LLB, BA LLB (Hons), BBA LLB (Hons), BCom LLB (Hons), BSc LLB (Hons) etc.
· Students get early access to courtroom practice as colleges include Moot Courts, research submissions, Mock Trial Courts in their curriculum.
· Students also undergo internships in each semester with top law firms, corporates, NGO’s and the likes and further enhance their knowledge on the practical aspects of the law.
· Students must choose a University of their choice offering such courses and must look into the placement, opportunities, rankings etc. before opting to take admission.
· The drawback of this course is the age limit prescribed, which makes it difficult for someone over the age of 22, who has finished 12th much earlier, get access to this course.
· Students spend only 5 years and shall be conferred an integrated BA LLB degree upon completion.
· The degree doesn’t come in two parts of BA and LLB but consolidated as BA LLB.
· Students study relevant subjects like Economics, Legal History, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology etc. as part of this course, which improves their knowledge on relevant issues and provokes constructive thinking.
3 Year LLB Course: Advantages and Disadvantages
To elaborate on the second option available to students, the pros and cons of pursuing a three year LLB degree are as mentioned below:
· A three-year course is normally pursued after possessing any graduation degree and it is imperative that the student has pursued graduation in any discipline and then shall be eligible for a three-year course in law. Earlier, the age limit set by the Bar Council of India (BCI) was 30 years, but after facing criticism from the Apex court, BCI decided to increase the age limit from 30 years to 45 years for 3-year law courses. There are people who decide to pursue Engineering or BCom or BA or any other course for that matter, and later decide that they want to pursue Law as a career option, but have crossed the age of 22. Such candidates can enroll in this course.
· In a three-year course, the students must undergo dual graduation i.e. one in their respective discipline i.e. BCom/ BA/ BSc/ BTech etc. and then a three-year course in Law. This mostly happens when people decide to change their careers.
· The course takes longer than the integrated five year LLB. For e.g.: 4 years of engineering + 3 years LLB = 7 years; or 3 years of BCom/ BSC/ BA + three years LLB = 6 years.
· The age limit has been extended up to 45 years, which opens the doors for professionals with years of experience to still pursue the course, for students, for graduates, everyone to pursue law in case they want to change their career graph.
· Most students who are aware of the five-year course, still opt for a three-year course in order to gain a better perspective in each field.
· In three year LLB course, students do not have the option to choose any subjects but they will have to study the formal 3-year syllabus prescribed by the University.
· It is considered a drawback because students get less exposure to legal education in comparison to the five year LLB students because five-year law students get longer time and experience in the field.
· Students get access to courtroom practice as colleges layout Moot Courts, research submissions, Mock Trial Courts in their curriculum.
· Students also get to undergo internships every semester with top law firms, corporates, NGO’s and the likes and further enhance their knowledge on the practical aspects of the law.
· The positive aspect of this course is that, as the students in this course are already graduates, the University starts directly with hardcore legal subjects without wasting any time.
· Students learn IPC, Crpc, CPC, Labour Law, Company Law etc. within months of joining the course, which the five-year students usually study in their third or 5th year of law school.
· Students spend only 3 years and shall be conferred an LLB degree by the University upon completion.
What’s best for you?
It is advised that students choose the course wisely. Students who have finished their Class 12 and are looking to make a career in law, it is always better to choose a five-year course. However, professionals in any field, graduates, students pursuing any graduation, who are under the age of 45 and are inclined to make a career in law, should definitely rejoice as BCI allows each individual to live up their dream and enter the legal profession.