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Studying and Practising Law Abroad

Choosing to study and practise abroad is an exciting opportunity that more and more students are considering. The viability of this option has increased as more and more universities offer different routes into practising – some easier than others.

The good thing about studying law at UK universities is that a lot of them offer the opportunity to study abroad in your penultimate year of university. This means that you can all the benefits of spending some time away from the UK, but without the commitment of studying law abroad full-time.

But if you decide to apply to international universities following your A-levels, you may well need to complete a conversion course should you wish to move back to the UK to practise.

Find out more about what it’s like to study abroad for a year with a UK university with Cassie’s insight into her own year abroad in Paris!

Should you study abroad?

>> Want to Study in the US? Read This!

>> Want to Study or Practise in Australia? Read This!

Why Should I Consider Studying Law Abroad?

Some of the other benefits of studying law abroad include:

Can I Practise in the UK After Studying Law Abroad?

If you studied law outside of the UK, but have not begun practising law, you can take the Graduate Diploma in Law, or the law conversion course, and join non-law graduates on the traditional UK path of becoming a lawyer. This is because the SRA do not recognise the majority of overseas law degrees as qualifying law degrees.

However, if you are an existing practising lawyer from overseas, you may well have to apply for the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS).

Where Can I Study Law Abroad?

All over the world! A good place to start when thinking about this hefty decision is to read our two guides on converting to law in the US and practising law in Australia:

It’s worth noting that in the US, law is a postgraduate course, meaning you must have completed at least a bachelor’s degree before applying.

What Are the Top Universities in the World for Studying Law?

According to the QS World University Rankings, these are the top world universities for law:

RankingUniversityCountryCoursesSpecific Requirements
1Harvard UniversityUSLaw graduates: LLM or SJD
Non-law graduates: JD (Juris Doctor) in US Law
Must have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Passed the LSAT or GRE tests; Passed the Bar exam for a particular state.
2University of CambridgeUKBA LawTypical offer: A*AA - find out more on our Uni-by-Uni comparison table (link below!)
3University of OxfordUKBA JurisprudenceTypical offer: AAA - find out more on our Uni-by-Uni comparison table (link below!)
4Yale UniversityUSJD (Juris Doctor), graduate programmeMust have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Must submit academic transcripts to the Law School Admissions Services JD Credential Assembly Service; Must pass the LSAT.
5Stanford UniversityUSJD (Juris Doctor)Must have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Must submit academic transcripts to the Law School Admissions Services Credentials Assembly Service; Must pass the LSAT.
6New York UniversityUSLaw graduates: LLM
Non-law graduates: JD
Must have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Must submit academic transcripts to the Law School Admissions Services Credentials Assembly Service; Must pass the LSAT.
7University of California, BerkeleyUSJDMust have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Must submit academic transcripts to the Law School Admissions Services Credentials Assembly Service; Must pass the LSAT.
8University of MelbourneAustraliaJDMust have completed a Bachelor’s degree in either a non-law degree or a law degree from a different legal system; Must pass the LSAT.
9London School of Economics (LSE)UKLLBTypical offer: A*AA - find out more on our Uni-by-Uni comparison table (link below!)
10Columbia UniversityUSJD or LLMMust have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Must submit academic transcripts to the Law School Admissions Services Credentials Assembly Service; Must pass the LSAT.
11University of ChicagoUSJD or LLMMust have completed a Bachelor’s degree; If a law graduate, must apply through transfer application process; Must pass the LSAT.
12Australian National UniversityAustraliaBachelor of Laws, JD or LLM
13University College London (UCL)UKLLBTypical offer: A*AA - find out more on our Uni-by-Uni comparison table (link below!)
14University of SydneyAustraliaUndergraduate: LLB, Postgraduate: JD, LLM
15National University of SingaporeSingaporeUndergraduate: LLB, Postgraduate: LLM
16University of New South WalesAustraliaUndergraduate: Law Dual Degree
Postgraduate: JD, LLM
17Georgetown UniversityUSJDMust have completed a Bachelor’s degree; Must submit academic transcripts to the Law School Admissions Services Credentials Assembly Service; Must pass the LSAT
18University of TorontoCanadaLLB or JDLaw degree graduates must apply to the National Committee on Accreditation for assessment of legal credentials; Must pass the LSAT.
19University of Hong KongHong KongLLB
20King's College London (KCL)UKLLBTypical offer: A*AA - find out more on our Uni-by-Uni comparison table (link below!)

Take a look at the UK universities’ entry requirements through our uni-by-uni comparison table!

See the Selection of Top LLB Courses

Can I Practise Law Abroad with a UK-Based Law Degree?

For the most part, yes – although you may well be required to take an exam to prove your comprehension of the new legal system you’re moving to practise in.

If you wish to move somewhere in the EU, you must join a bar or law society in the country you’re moving to.

If you would like to practise in the United States, you will have to take the bar examination or adhere to the admissions requirements put forward by the state you will be moving to. For example, if you wish to work in New York, you will have to sit the NY Bar Exam.

Similarly to the US, Australia also requires you to adhere to the admissions requirements of the state you wish to move to.

 

Author: Isabella Ford

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