3-year LLB or 5-year Integrated LLB: Which is a Better Course?

Rajneesh Shukla

Updated On: May 22, 2024 09:18 am IST

A 3-year LLB can be studied by graduates and a 5-year Integrated LLB is open for Class 12 pass-outs. Learn all the differences between the 3-year LL.B and the 5-year Integrated LL.B in this article and get to know which is a better course for you.

3-year LLB or 5-year Integrated LLB: Which is a Better Course?

Law courses are in great demand among students as it is one of the most sought-after courses that offer great career opportunities. Law aspirant often gets perplexed when they have to decide on the correct degree and professional path. There are two types of undergraduate law courses, 5-year Integrated LL.B and 3-year LL.B. Students can study the 3-year law degree only after they have completed their bachelor’s while students can study 5-year LLB right after they complete their Class 12. It becomes quite a tough decision for the students to choose between a 3-year LL.B or a 5-year Integrated LL.B.

A lawyer plays an important role in society as they possess the knowledge and exposure to understand the legal system and related processes. The 3-year LLB completely focuses on law-specific subjects whereas, an integrated LLB has to accommodate two subjects, LLB and an undergraduate course like BA, BBA, B.Sc etc. Candidates who are interested in studying law right after their 12th can choose any of the specializations offered by different law schools such as BA LL.B course , B.Com LL.B course , B.Sc LL.B course, BBA LL.B course , etc. Students who are in their undergraduate degree can also study law after getting admitted to the 3-year LL.B course only after completing their bachelor’s degree.

Law is one of the most common professions in India and with the demand for LL.B courses , this article will guide the upcoming law aspirants. This write-up provides relevant information for 3-year LL.B or 5-year Integrated LL.B programmes. We have provided here an ambiguous judgement for aspirants to choose their preferred law courses after reading through all the objectives, criteria, pros and cons.

3-year LLB vs 5-year Integrated LLB

Many times, students are forced to make the confusing decision of whether to pursue a three-year LLB degree or a five-year integrated law study. BA LLB (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law), B.Com LLB (Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law), B.Sc LLB course (Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law), BBA LLB (Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Law) and B.Tech LLB course make up the five-year LLB degree (Bachelor of Technology and Bachelor of Law). To grasp the fundamental differences between a 3 year undergraduate law degree and 5 year undergraduate law degree programme, candidates can look at the table below.

Features

3-year LLB

5-year Integrated LLB

About the Course

A three-year LLB is an undergraduate law curriculum that is only concerned with legal topics. Even though students can only enrol in this course after graduating; it is not a postgraduate degree. A 5-year LLB curriculum is an integrated course with a dual degree. Along with the core requirements for the LLB degree, this course also covers subjects from other graduate programmes including BA, B.Com, BBA, B.Sc, etc.

Duration

3-year programme

5-year programme

Total Number of Semesters

A three-year LLB degree is spread across 6 semesters.

A five-year integrated LLB degree spans 10 semesters.

Course Objective

The course's goal is to educate students on the various legal specialities while preparing them to practice law in any subject of their choice.

The goal of a five-year LLB curriculum is essentially the same. The sole distinction is that, in addition to core law education, this course also concentrates on fundamental graduation subjects like arts/ commerce/ science, etc.

Eligibility Criteria

To study the 3-year LL.B course, aspirants need to complete their Bachelor's degree first in any stream with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks from a recognised university.

Although there is no fixed age limit for the 3-year LL.B course, however, some law schools might need the candidate to be 21 years of age at the time of admission.

Most law schools provide admission based on entrance exams such as LSAT India , but few universities also provide admissions based on the merit of the students.

Candidates should have completed their Class 12 with at least 50% aggregate marks from a recognised board of education in order to be permitted to a 5-year integrated LLB programme.
Students who want to enrol in this program must take entrance exams such as the CLAT , AILET , ULSAT , DU LLB , etc.

Curriculum

Students will learn the principles of law and the Indian constitution in this programme. The entire curriculum and semesters are devoted to the study of law.

Along with fundamental law studies, the 5-year integrated LLB curriculum includes disciplines linked to the graduate programme (such as BA, B.Com, BBA, etc.). Ten semesters are evenly split between these disciplines.

Opportunities


The reputation of a 3-year LLB course depends on the university or college where the course is taken which means that those who want to practice law should enrol in one of the most esteemed law schools, which will offer them great job prospects.


Based on the 5-year law specialisation you choose, you get different work opportunities. BA LLB, B.Com LLB, B.Sc LLB, BBA LLB, etc. are quite popular and the benefits of this course are higher than those of a 3-year LLB programme in terms of job prospects because it involves the study of two curricula and candidates gain more practical exposure through moot court sessions, clinical internships, etc.

Advantages

After graduating, candidates can get a wide range of job opportunities based on their choice and career goals. Those who go for higher studies such as LL.M can get better opportunities. Some of the popular job profiles after completing the 3-year LL.B are Legal Advisor, Lawyer, Advocate (after passing the AIBE exam), Legal officer, Corporate Counsel, etc.

The main advantage of the 3-year LL.B course is that students can learn the core legal subject during their 3-year course curriculum. This will eventually help them to get internships in law firms through which they can gain experience.

For the 5-year Integrated LLB course, the aspirants do not need to complete three years of graduation in any stream before beginning three more years of law school. In this scenario, the law students will complete their law degree in five years, combining their preferred graduation stream degree with the core law degree.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) previously had a 20-year-old age restriction for enrolling in the 5-year Integrated LLB programme, but after receiving criticism from the Supreme Court, the age restriction was raised to 22 years.

Disadvantages

One of the drawbacks of the 3-year LL.B course is that the curriculum focuses on the theoretical part of legal studies rather than practical education. Law candidates get less chance to understand real-life scenarios and mostly depend on internship opportunities.

The only drawback of the five-year LLB course is that its syllabus is vast as it is an integrated course that combines two different curriculums. Students might lose motivation and get overwhelmed while covering up the syllabus.

Also Read: Top 10 Private Law Colleges in India: Entrance Exams and Fees

3-year LLB or 5-year Integrated LLB Syllabus

People who are confused between 3-year LLB or 5-year Integrated LLB should check out the syllabus below:

3-year LLB

5-year Integrated LLB

Law of Contract

Political Science I

Constitutional Law

Political Science II

Family Law I (Hindu Law)

Political Science III

Family Law II (Mohammedan Law)

Sociology I

Law of Evidence

Sociology II

Law of Tort and Consumer Protection

Sociology III

Administrative Law

Legal Method

Law of Crimes (Indian Penal Code)

Economics I

Property Law

Economics II

Company Law

History I

Civil Procedure Code and Limitation Act

History II

Environmental Law

English

Clinical Course I (Professional Ethics)

Law of Contract

Labour and Industrial Law

Psychology

-

Clinical Course (Professional Ethics)

-

Law of Tort

-

Administrative Law

-

Environmental Law

-

Law of Crimes

Pros and Cons of 5-year LLB

The benefits and drawbacks of earning a five-year integrated LLB degree are as follows:

  • The three-year LLB course can be studied after earning any graduate degree, and the student must do so to be qualified for a 3-year LLB programme. The Bar Council of India (BCI) had previously set an age restriction of 30 years; however, in response to criticism from the Supreme Court, BCI agreed to raise the age restriction for the 3-year LLB programme from 30 years to 45 years. Later, BCI eliminated the 45-year age restriction as well. Some persons choose to pursue engineering, B.Com, BA, or any other course for that matter, but subsequently decide they want to follow the law as a career option; such applicants can enrol in this course.
  • The students must do double graduation if they choose to opt for a three-year LLB programme: one in law and one in their particular field, such as B.Com, BA, B.Sc, or B.Tech, etc. Usually, when a candidate decides to change their to law, they go with a three-year LLB degree course.
  • After completing their 10+2, students are introduced to legal education from an early age to help them focus their cognitive processes in that way.
  • In five-year courses, students have a wider option of stream selections than they do in three-year programmes. BA LLB, BBA LLB, BCom LLB, BSc LLB, BA LLB (Hons), BCom LLB, BSc LLB (Hons), etc. are a few examples.
  • Due to institutions' inclusion of Moot Courts, research submissions, and Mock Trial Courts in their curricula, students have early access to courtroom experience.
  • Every semester, students take part in internships with prestigious law firms, businesses, non-profit organizations, and the like to expand their understanding of the practical applications of the law. Before deciding to seek admission, students must select a university of their choosing that offers these courses and must research placement, possibilities, rankings, etc.
  • An earlier disadvantage of this course was the set age restriction, which made it challenging for anyone above the age of 22 to enroll. The age restriction for five-year law programmes, however, has been lifted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
  • Upon graduating, students earn a dual degree instead of a single degree which further expands their job opportunities and future career prospects.
  • As part of this course, students study a healthy mix of subjects including economics, legal history, politics, sociology, psychology, etc., which broadens their knowledge of pertinent topics and encourages logical and critical thinking.
  • The five-year LLB degree encompasses a vast syllabus due to the inclusion of two different streams (Art + Law/ Science + Law/ Commerce + Law, etc.). Students might feel burdened at times and may lose their motivation.
  • The duration of the integrated LLB degree is long i.e. for a period of five years, hence, students must ensure that they have time, energy, and dedication to commit to the integrated LLB programme before opting for the course.
  • The five-year integrated LLB programme is also expensive as compared to the three-year LLB programme. Law aspirants must make sure that they have sufficient funds to study the five-year LLB degree programme. The course fee for the integrated LLB course can range anywhere from INR 1 lakh to INR 8 lakh depending on the law institute of your choice.

Pros and Cons of 3-year LLB

To elucidate on the second choice open to students, the benefits and drawbacks of completing a three-year LLB degree are as follows:

  • To join a 3-year LL.B course, candidates have to complete their graduation degree. The BCI (Bar Council of India) had previously set an age restriction of 30 years, however, in response to criticism from the Supreme Court, BCI agreed to raise the age restriction for the 3-year LLB programme from 30 years to 45 years. Later on, they eliminated this age restriction. Some individuals choose to study B.Com, B.Tech, BA, etc. after their 10+2 but eventually decide that they want to study law and this course is perfect for them.
  • Studying a 3-year LLB means an individual is studying double graduation. One, they choose to do their graduation and the other is this law course. Usually, when a candidate decides to change their subject to law, they study this LLB course.
  • The three-year LLB programme is lengthier than the five-year integrated LLB. For instance, 4 years of engineering plus 3 years of law school equals 7 years, or 3 years of BCom, B.Sc, or BA plus 3 years of law school equals 6 years. One to two years are wasted if candidates decide to pursue a three-year LLB programme.
  • One advantage is that the BCI has removed the upper age limit which means anyone can pursue law, including professionals with years of experience, students, graduates, and everyone else who wants to change their career path.
  • One of the key requirements for the three-year LLB degree is that students must have completed their graduation from a recognized university or college in India. This emphasizes the fact that a three-year LLB degree is not a postgraduate qualification, it’s a graduate degree.
  • Even though most students are aware of the five-year programme, many still choose a three-year programme to get a deeper understanding of their respective interest areas.
  • The formal 3-year LLB syllabus set forth by a law institute is not vast as compared to the syllabus of the integrated five-year LLB degree programme.
  • Because five-year integrated LLB students spend more time and have more experience in the field, it is seen as a disadvantage that students have less exposure to legal education in a three-year LLB degree.
  • Due to the inclusion of Moot Courts, research submissions, and Mock Trial Courts in college curricula, students have access to courtroom experience as well in a three-year LLB course, however, there are only a limited number of law colleges that provide moot court sessions, internships, etc. for their three-year LLB degree programme, therefore, students must carefully consider their choices of the law institutes before the application.
  • The good thing about this course is that because the students are already graduates, the various law institutes jump right into the challenging legal topics without wasting any time.
  • Within months of enrolling in the course, students master the IPC, Crpc, CPC, Labor Law, Company Law, and other topics that the five-year students typically study in their third or fifth year of law school.
  • The three-year LLB degree is also not very expensive as compared to the integrated five-year LLB course. The average course fee for the three-year LLB degree program ranges from INR 1 lakh to INR 4 lakh depending on the law institute of your choice.
  • Under the three-year LLB degree programme, students take part in internships with prestigious law firms, businesses, non-profit organizations, and the like to expand their understanding of the practical applications of the law.
  • The three-year LLB programme spans six semesters and the students feel less burdened due to lesser number of subjects, and the only focus is on core law subjects.

3-year LLB or 5-year Integrated LLB: Salary

Students who are deciding whether to choose 3-year LLB or 5-year Integrated LLB must have an idea of the salary structure that graduates can get after completing their degree. Both these law courses are very popular among students and the demand in the market is also high.

3-year LLB Salary

Job Roles

Average Annual Salary Range

Corporate Lawyer

INR 5,00,000 - 20,00,000

Judicial Services

INR 5,00,000 - 25,00,000

Legal Practitioner

INR 3,00,000 - 10,00,000

Legal Advisor/ Consultant

INR 4,00,000 - 15,00,000

Government Lawyer

INR 4,00,000 - 12,00,000

Legal Researcher

INR 3,50,000 - 12,00,000

Corporate Legal Counsel

INR 6,00,000 - 25,00,000

Legal Analyst

INR 4,00,000 - 18,00,000

Law Professor/ Academician

INR 4,50,000 - 20,00,000

Public Prosecutor

INR 4,00,000 - 15,00,000

5-year Integrated LLB Salary

Job Roles

Average Annual Salary Range

Litigation Lawyer

INR 3,00,000 - INR 15,00,000

Legal Consultant

INR 5,00,000 - INR 25,00,000

Corporate Lawyer

INR 6,00,000 - INR 20,00,000

Legal Analyst

INR 3,00,000 - INR 12,00,000

Legal Advisor

INR 4,00,000 - INR 18,00,000

Intellectual Property Lawyer

INR 5,00,000 - INR 20,00,000

Government Lawyer

INR 4,00,000 - INR 15,00,000

Human Rights Advocate

INR 3,00,000 - INR 12,00,000

International Law Specialist

INR 8,00,000 - INR 30,00,000

In-house Counsel

INR 6,00,000 - INR 25,00,000

3-Year LLB or 5-Year Integrated LLB: Which is Better

Deciding on your career path in this field must depend on your priorities. If you are certain that you want to make a career in law, then the 5-year LLB programme is the best option for you. This course will not only save one year of education as compared to 3-year LLB programmes but will also offer the same educational merit.

However, if you want to gain experience in a different field of education or if you are not sure about pursuing law, you 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. Either way, you should weigh your options carefully as time is vital and it is important to invest your resources wisely in the field of education.

Top Colleges for 3-year and 5-year LLB

The 3-year and 5-year Integrated LLB courses come with a variety of perks of their own but it also depends on the type of law college where the programme is being pursued and how much effort has been given. These law courses offer larger employment opportunities and wonderful perks.

Best Colleges for 3-year LLB

Here is a list of the best colleges in India that offer LLB to all law aspirants. Candidates can shortlist any of these colleges for pursuing their undergraduate law degree.

College Name

Location

National Law School of India University

Bengaluru

National Law University

New Delhi

NALSAR University of Law

Hyderabad

The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

Kolkata

Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi

Indian Institute of Technology

Kharagpur

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University

Lucknow

Aligarh Muslim University

Uttar Pradesh

National Law Institute University

Bhopal

The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law

Punjab

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University

New Delhi

National University of Study & Research in Law

Ranchi

National Law University and Judicial Academy

Assam

National Law University

Odisha

Army Institute of Law, Sector-68

Punjab

Indian Law Institute

New Delhi

Shanmugha Arts Science Technology & Research Academy

Tamil Nadu

Lovely Professional University

Punjab

Best Colleges for 5-year LLB

Candidates who are hunting for the best colleges for 5-year law courses can check the list below. Here are some of the leading law colleges in India that offer 5-year integrated law degrees.

College Name

Location

National Law School of India University

Bengaluru

National Law University

Delhi

NALSAR University of Law

Hyderabad

The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

Kolkata

Gujarat National Law University

Gujarat

Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi

Indian Institute of Technology

Kharagpur

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University

Lucknow

Aligarh Muslim University

Uttar Pradesh

Banaras Hindu University

Varanasi

National Law Institute University

Bhopal

Siksha `O` Anusandhan

Bhubaneswar

Symbiosis Law School

Pune

Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology

Bhubaneswar

Christ University

Bengaluru

Nirma University

Ahmedabad

Alliance University

Bengaluru

Also Read: Know about the Scope and Course Options After Class 12th Arts

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FAQs

What is the minimum age requirement for 5-year LLB programmes in India?

The Bar Council of India (BCI) previously had a 20-year-old age restriction for a 5-year LLB study. Later, in response to criticism from the Supreme Court, the Council raised the age restriction to 22 years. The Council finally did away with the restriction on admissions based on age, though. As a result, there is currently no age restriction on entry to the five-year LLB programmes.

What kind of law is in greatest demand?

The most in-demand practice areas in the field of law are as follows:

  • Litigation
  • Real estate law
  • Intellectual property
  • Commercial law
  • Family Law
     

What are some of the top LLB fields in India?

A few of the top LLB career domains in India are as follows:

  • Criminal Lawyer
  • Civil Lawyer
  • Corporate Lawyer
  • Advocate
  • Cyber Lawyer
     

Is CLAT mandatory for the LLB course?

It depends, if you want to pursue a five-year integrated LLB degree programme then you must pass the CLAT exam in order to get admission in NLUs or top-tier law institutes in India, however, CLAT is not mandatory for the three-year LLB degree programme.

Can I complete LLB in two years?

No, the Bar Council of India (BCI) only recognizes the three-year and the five-year LLB degree programmes in India.

Is a three-year LLB postgraduate degree?

No, a three-year LLB is not a postgraduate degree programme. It is an undergraduate degree program that requires you to be a graduate in order to pursue it.

Which is better, a three-year LLB or a five-year LLB?

The 5-year LLB degree is your best choice if you are confident that you want to pursue a career in law right after your class 12th. When compared to a 3-year LLB programme, the five-year integrated LLB course not only offers the same educational benefit but also saves one academic year. Moreover, the employment opportunities are more with a five-year LLB degree.

Can I take admission in the three-year LLB course after class 12th?

No, it is mandatory for the candidates to complete their graduation in order to be eligible for admission to the three-year LLB degree course.
 

Do I need to take the entrance exam for the three-year LLB course?

No, law entrance exams are not mandatory for admission to the three-year LLB degree programme. However, few institutes and states like Maharashtra conduct entrance exams for admission to the three-year LLB course.

Which is a better option, LLB or BA LLB?

Both the BA LLB and the LLB are excellent programmes with nearly equal employment opportunities. Their eligibility i.e Class 12 for BA LLB and graduation for LLB, is the sole significant distinction between the two. Apart from that, BA LLB being a dual degree has a wider career scope than LLB. Candidates who wish to pursue their career in arts along with a law degree can pursue the BA LLB degree programme.
 

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