3 year LLB or 5 year LLB Course | Which is better?

One question that repeatedly haunts and confuse every law aspirant is what to choose? A five Year Integrated BA LLB or BBA LLB/ BCom LLB or opt for a three year LLB course. Law is one of the desired fields of education and there is always been a demand for a great lawyer. In India, currently there are two ways to pursue an undergraduate degree in Law:

  • Three (3) year LLB course or
  • Five (5) year integrated law course

There is a lot of confusion in the mind of aspirants that what they should opt because every course has its own importance and the career prospectus of every course is different. So in this article, you will get to learn about which is better a 3 year LLB or 5 year LLB course.

Key difference between 3-year LLB vs 5-year LLB Integrated course

Features

3-year LLB

5-year LLB Integrated

Level of Programme

3-year LLB is a postgraduate programme. Scholars can pursue this course only after they have successfully completed their graduation.

5-year LLB is an integrated programme. This programme includes a graduate programme such as BA, BBA, B.Com etc. along with the core LLB degree.

Duration

3 years

5 years

Course objective

Objective of the course is to focus on various aspects of law education and prepare the learners to practice law or work as legal advisers in the corporate sectors.

Objective of 5-year LLB is not different from the 3-year LLB programme. The only difference is that this programme also focuses on basic graduation level subjects apart from core law education.

Curriculum

In this programme, a learner will study the fundamentals of law and the constitution of India. All the semesters in this programme are dedicated to law education.

5-year LLB is an integrated course which comprises of subjects related to the graduation programme (eg. BA, BBA, B.Com, etc.) as well as core law subjects.

Admission Criteria/ Eligibility

Scholars must have passed graduation with at least 45% marks. Admission to most of the institutes is done on the basis of entrance exams such as the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

To take admission in this programme, aspirants must have passed 10+2 with a minimum of 50% marks. Students willing to take admission will have to appear for exams like Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET) etc.

Opportunities

The value of the programme depends on the institute from which the course is pursued. If it is pursued from reputed colleges such as NLUs, the course has a bag full of career opportunities.  

The value of the programme is the same as the 3-year LLB programme in terms of job opportunities as both programmes are considered equivalent.


3 year LLB or 5 year LLB course for which course aspirants should go?

3 Year LLB Course: Advantages and Disadvantages-

Elaborating on the first option available to aspirants, the pros and cons of pursuing a three year LLB degree are as mentioned below:

  • A three-year LLB course is 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.
  • In a three year course, learners 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.
  • Most aspirants who are aware of a five-year course, still opt for a three-year course in order to gain a better perspective in each field. In three year of LLB course, students do not have the option to choose any subjects but have to study the formal 3-year syllabus prescribed by the University.
  • It is considered a drawback because scholars get less exposure to legal education in comparison to the five year LLB course because five-year law students get longer time and experience in the field.
  • In numerous colleges, scholars are practised to the courtroom. Students also 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.
  • Students learn Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (Crpc), Civil Procedure Code (CPC), Labour Law, Company Law etc. within months of joining the course, whereas five-year students usually study in their third or 5th year of law school.
5 Year LLB Course: Advantages and Disadvantages-

Elaborating on the second option available to scholars, the pros and cons of pursuing an integrated LLB degree are as mentioned below:

  • Five year LLB is an integrated course where the scholars do not have to undergo graduation twice, i.e. 3 years of graduation in any stream and then again 3 years of law but in this case, aspirants 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 scholars a blend of BA subjects, coupled with Law straight from the first semester of admission. Applicants gain exposure to legal education from a young age and streamline their thought process in that direction.
  • Under 5 year LLB, integrated course aspirants learn contract law, Legal Research Methodology and numerous other legal subjects which most scholars don’t get who are opting for 3 year LLB.
  • Apart from this aspirants have a wide range of subjects to choose in five-year courses which three-year applicants cannot avail. For eg, BA LLB, BALLB, BCom LLB, BSc LLB, BA LLB (Hons), BBA LLB (Hons), BCom LLB (Hons), BSc LLB (Hons) etc.
  • By pursuing this 5 years integrated course scholars get early access to the courtroom practice in college. It also includes Moot Courts, research submissions, Mock Trial courts in their curriculum.
  • Students must choose a reputed University of their choice which offers a 5 year LLB course and before taking admission one must seek the placement opportunities, rankings, campus, facilities etc. before taking admission in that course.
  • 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.
Which is a better course out of these two?

Deciding a thriving career path in the Law field must depend on aspirants priorities. If one is stalwart and dedicated to making a career in law, then the 5-year LLB programme is the best option for an individual. This course not only saves one year of education as compared to 3-year LLB programmes but also offer the same educational merit to the applicants.

However, if one wants to gain experience in a divergent field of education or if one is sure about pursuing law, then he can pursue a 3-year graduation course such as BA, BBA, B.Sc., B.Com, etc. and then apply for the 3-year LLB programme.

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Date: 12 Feb 2019

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