Can a graduate apply for the LLB

LL.B. and now?


Until the Bologna reform, anyone who sees their future in law only had the option of studying law for a state examination or training with the state, for example as a senior judicial officer. It's different today. Universities, technical colleges and even distance learning universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees for lawyers. But what about them and what about future prospects?


LL.B what is it?

An LL.B is a Bachelor of Law or a Legum Baccalaureus and was introduced at many universities and technical colleges at the beginning of the millennium as part of the Bologna reforms. These Bachelor and Master courses are not all structured in the same way, but are usually based on a similar “modular principle”.

A part of law, usually with a focus on civil law and / or public law, is mixed with another course of study. Regular combinations here are business and law, psychology and law, or taxes and law. But there are also much more unusual combinations in which linguistics, political science or theology are mixed up with law.

The LL.B is thus a full bachelor's degree that can be completed either at a technical college (FH), a university or a distance learning university (FHS).


LL.B how does it work?

In contrast to the classic state examination, in which only the final grades are important, the LL.B. As a classic bachelor's degree, it is structured in such a way that the grades are included in the final grade during the course. Unlike the state examination, the course is not concluded with an all-encompassing final examination, but with the preparation of a bachelor thesis.

The exact structure of the course varies from offer to offer, but as a rule it is about 6-7 semester courses, which are often supplemented by a practical semester in which no classic events are attended, but work in a company or institute is in the foreground. Depending on the course of study, basic legal knowledge is first imparted and then in-depth depending on the focus. For example, a Bachelor of Law Business Law course initially builds on both legal and economic fundamentals and then deepens commercial law, corporate law and the like on the legal side. In turn, criminal law no longer plays a de facto role here.

The application is the same as for other bachelor's programs and has to be submitted to the universities themselves. There is no central allocation. The “Numbers Clausus” is therefore always dependent on the university; at many universities or technical colleges, the courses are even admission-free.


LL.B. what can you become with it? - Career opportunities and possibilities

Anyone who decides to study of whatever nature does so in order to be able to work in a certain direction later. The question therefore arises which job prospects and which goals an LL.B. offers. In the case of the Bachelor of Laws, it must of course also be clarified how it looks in comparison to the classic state examination.

Compared to fully qualified lawyers with two state exams, it must first be established that certain legal professions are not open to a bachelor's or master's degree candidate and cannot be opened without a state examination. These are primarily the classic legal professions of judges, public prosecutors and also lawyers with legal representation. In addition, the profession of notary is only open to graduates of the classic law degree.

Conversely, this also means that all other jobs are also open to Bachelor and Master students, at least in theory. But what about the job opportunities really?

In Law firms It will usually be difficult for Bachelor and Master students to gain a foothold as they cannot appear in court. You can only work as paralegals internally or in the back office of the lawyers. It is precisely these jobs that are usually taken over by young associates and research assistants, at least in large law firms. The classic law firm, which also primarily represents its clients in court, is therefore not a suitable employer for graduates of the modern course. Of course, exceptions also confirm the rule here.

Related industries are more suitable employers. Tax consulting firms or Management consultancies are employers who also, and in some cases, even have a need for lawyers who also have skills that go beyond law. For example, the management consultancy Pricewaterhouse Coopers, or PwC for short, states that they employ both fully qualified lawyers and graduates from courses such as business law. At the interface between law and business, applicants who have been trained in both need not hide from fully qualified lawyers.

Also in Associationsthere is always a great need for lawyers. Since legal representation is not in the foreground here either, these jobs are per se also suitable for graduates of a bachelor's degree. However, some associations are obviously still having a hard time recognizing the new qualification, and positions are often only advertised for fully qualified lawyers. In many cases it is still worthwhile to send in an application as a graduate of a newer course of study, because often only the advertisements are always based on the same model or the legal degree apart from the state examination was either not yet known or not considered at all.

Also at State and in authorities there are jobs that are not only advertised for lawyers with two exams. As a rule, however, a distinction is made between “higher service” and “upper service”. The higher service can only be reached as a fully qualified lawyer and in some cases also as a master’s degree, while the higher service is also available to lawyers with first state exams and to Bachelor’s graduates.

It looks bad for lawyers without a state examination in the science out. Although there are lecturers at the universities of applied sciences who are also not fully qualified lawyers, these are in the minority and rarely exclusively employed at the universities. The traditional universities still only employ fully qualified lawyers in their chairs. However, this is usually not that tragic, as the decision for the bachelor's and master's degree is usually based on the desire to start working earlier and not spend eternity at the university.


LL.B and done?

The Bachelor of Law is obviously at least a conceivable alternative for those who do not aspire to the classic legal professions. Does that mean that after six semesters, graduates can get jobs that are comparable to others after several years of study, two years of legal clerkship and two exams?

Here it depends again. There can actually be cases in which a lawyer with two poor state exams at the end of his studies does worse on the job market than an applicant with a good LL.B. and a little practical experience. However, this is not the normal case. As a rule, graduates of the Bachelor of Law should also complete a Master in this subject. Often this is also possible part-time, but the prerequisite for this is of course a job at all and then its compatibility with studying alongside.


However, if you really want to plunge into working life after completing your Bachelor of Law, you can of course try and, after successfully looking for a job, continue your training in the company or learn additional skills. After all, the more distance and work experience there is between it and a new application, the less important it is, and the job references and experiences come to the fore!


LL.B. in summary: pros and cons


  • Low study time / costs
  • Classic legal professions are not opened
  • Earlier entry into the labor market
  • Smaller breadth of job offers
  • Less chance of failure
  • Less known on the job market
  • “Niche training” at the interface between law and business
  • Further training opportunities are limited (no specialist lawyer etc.)
  • Better study conditions through smaller "classes"
  • Lower average salaries


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