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

Rajneesh Shukla
Rajneesh ShuklaUpdated On: September 28, 2022 04:26 pm IST

One of the biggest dilemmas in the career of a law aspirant is to decide the right career path along with the course. This article helps candidates in understanding the better choice between a 3-year LLB and a 5-year integrated LLB programme.

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

The judiciary, one of the core components of democracy, is essential to the functioning of the judicial system. LLB, or bachelor of legislative law, is a degree that can be earned in a 3 or a 5 year programme. Students who complete a three-year LLB course graduate with a bachelor's degree in the fundamental areas of law. A five-year LLB, on the other hand, combines a law degree with a bachelor's degree in the arts, humanities, commerce, science, or engineering.

The decision of whether to enroll in a three-year LLB programme or a five-year integrated BA LLB, BBA LLB, or B.Com LLB programme sometimes baffles prospective law aspirants. This article seeks to dispel students' misunderstanding and present a clear solution that will assist them in choosing the best course of action.

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 (Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law), BBA LLB (Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Law), and B.Tech LLB are the courses that 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 enroll in this course after graduating; it is not a postgraduate degree.

A 5-year LLB curriculum is an integrated course. 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 specialties 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

Students must have received a minimum aggregate of 45% in their graduate final exam.

The majority of colleges base admission decisions on entrance examinations like the LSAT India, however, admissions are also done on merit-basis.

Students must have completed their 10+2 with at least a 50% grade point average in order to be admitted to a 5-year integrated LLB programme.

Students who want to enroll in this programme must take entrance tests 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

Reputation of a three-year LLB programme depends on the university or college where the course is taken which means that those who want to practice law should enroll in one of the most esteemed law institutions of higher learning, which will offer them a wealth of job prospects.

In addition to employment options in law, a 5-year LLB degree also provides opportunities in other fields depending upon the specialization opted by a candidate for example - BA LLB, B.Com LLB, B.Sc LLB, BBA LLB, etc. Aside from this, the benefits of this programme are higher to 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

Following graduation, students can get eclectic job opportunities based on their interests and long term career goals. A few of the popular job profiles after completing a three-year LLB course are: Legal Advisor, Lawyer, Advocate (after passing AIBE exam), Legal officer, corporate counsel, etc. 

One of the major benefits of this degree is that candidates can save time and focus on only core law subjects that will be taught to them during the course. This way they can gather more legal internship experience without compromising on their syllabus.

In an integrated five-year LLB programme, students do not need to complete three years of graduation in any stream before beginning three more years of law school. In this instance, students completed the programme in five years, consolidating their 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 its five-year LLB programme, but after receiving criticism from the Supreme Court, the age restriction was raised to 22 years.

Disadvantages

One of the major drawbacks of the three-year LLB course is that its curriculum focuses more on the theoretical aspect of learning rather than the practical learning. This provides law students with less chance to practice their learnings through simulated real-life scenarios.

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

Pros and Cons of 5-year LLB 

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

  • The degree is an integrated course, so students don't have to graduate twice—after three years in any stream and then another three years of law—instead, they will obtain a combined LLB degree after completing the programme in five years. 
  • It provides students with a variety of subjects based on their selected specialization (for instance, BA LLB, BBA LLB, B.Com LLB, etc.), along with core law subjects from the first semester of enrollment.
  • 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:

  • The pursuit of a three-year LLB course is made after earning any graduate degree, and it is essential that the student has done so in order to be qualified for a three-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. There are some persons who choose to pursue engineering, B.Com, BA, or any other course for that matter, but subsequently decide they want to follow law as a career option; such applicants can enroll 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. 
  • 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.
  • With the removal of the upper age limit, anyone can now 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 - 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 LLB in India

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 degree in law.

College Name

Location

Chandigarh University (CU)

Chandigarh, Punjab

Amity University

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

Aurora's Legal Sciences Institute (ALSI), Bhongir

Nalgonda, Telangana

Bhai Gurdas Group of Institutions (BGGI)

Sangrur, Punjab

Apex University

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Ansal University

Gurugram, Haryana

Symbiosis Law School (SLS)

Pune, Maharashtra

Government Law College (GLC)

Mumbai, Maharashtra

ILS Law College

Pune, Maharashtra

Jindal Global Law School

Sonipat, Haryana

Top Colleges for 5 Year Integrated LLB in India

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

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIP)

Dwarka, Delhi

University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES)

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Symbiosis Law School (SLS)

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Teerthanker Mahaveer University (TMU)

Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh

Jaipur National University (JNU)

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Amity University

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT)

Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Alliance University

Bangalore, Karnataka

National Law School of India University (NLSIU)

Bangalore, Karnataka

Noida International University - NIU

Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh

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

Top Private Law Colleges in India

Find below some of the best law schools in India that offer placement assistance, innovative teaching methods, and modern infrastructure for extensive learning

College Name

Location

Aurora's Legal Sciences Academy, Hyderabad (ALSA)

Hyderabad, Telangana

SAGE University

Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Lovely Professional University (LPU)

Jalandhar, Punjab

Amity University

Mumbai, Maharashtra

The ICFAI University

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Institute of Law Nirma University (ILNU)

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The three-year and five-year integrated LLB degree programmes come with a variety of perks of their own; it all relies on the type of Institute where the programme is being pursued and how much effort is put forth. Make sure to put in all the effort and instill the necessary knowledge to assist you achieve the more important objectives. These law courses offer larger employment opportunities and wonderful perks.

Given that you have chosen a reputable institution to further your education, your employment as a practicing lawyer will not significantly change despite variations in the two law programmes. Both courses are offered by reputable institutes in India, and both degrees are highly sought after and provide a variety of prospects for all aspiring law students. To pursue a fascinating career in law, you only need to put forth constant effort and have faith in your own abilities.

In case you are someone who is on the lookout for the best law college for themselves, you can fill our Common Application Form (CAF) or give a call on the toll-free student helpline number 1800-572-9877. Through this, you will be able to apply to multiple colleges with just one form and you will also be counselled by our admission experts. Also, in case of any queries, write them in the QnA zone.

Stay tuned with CollegeDekho for more information on entrance exams for law courses and colleges.

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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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