A law degree is a professional academic degree awarded for studies in law. These degrees are usually preparation for future legal careers. However, even though law degrees confer a legal education, they do not grant a license themselves. A licensed lawyer can apply for a law license from the provincial Barristers’ Office. A legal education is one of the requirements for admission to the Bar; however, it is not necessary for obtaining a law license.
Law degrees vary in structure and duration. The common format for taking a law degree course is a one-year program consisting of eight weeks of lecture and seminar study, plus the final four weeks of required classroom study. There are three types of law degrees – Juris Doctor (J.D), Bachelor of Law (B.L. or B.L. ), and Master of Law (M.L.). In addition, there are many specializations within these three law degrees: civil litigation, criminal litigation, international law, family law, and labor and employment cases.
Law degrees provide students with strong fundamental skills in all areas of law. For students enrolling in a law school, these courses are designed to prepare them for professional practice as well as work in the legal system. These include courses that cover topics such as contract law, property law, government regulation and litigation, intellectual property, family law, civil procedure, and trial preparation. While these courses may seem relatively academic, the real mark of a good law school is how its graduates apply their learned concepts and study law skills in real-world scenarios.
As with other universities and colleges, law degrees vary in the type of program they offer. A common type of program for law degrees at many colleges and universities is an LLM. An LLM program is a four-year graduate degree program, which is usually required of all students who wish to pursue a law career. An LLM is usually a joint course with another field of study, such as human rights, public health, or environmental law. An LLM can be challenging for first-time students.
There are also law degrees available that focus on specific legal topics. One of these is a criminal law degree, which addresses a variety of crimes and criminal legislation. Criminal law degrees can be very broad, covering everything from child abuse to white-collar crime. Other concentrations within this area include criminal justice and prosecution, immigration, family law, and even pornography offenses.
There are law degrees available in business law and management. Both these concentrations deal primarily with managing businesses, though some topics overlap between the two concentration areas. Business law degrees train students in the legal aspects of business operations, such as general business laws and intellectual property issues. Legal research and writing are also common law topics, and business law degrees teach students how to write effective legal documents and research papers.