Five-year LLB programs Vs. Three-year LLB programs

Many students ask questions regarding the pros and cons of five-year LLB programs and three-year LLB programs.

If you are still in 12th or have just passed 12th class, then the choice is pretty easy for you – just go for a 5-year integrated LLB program. Such programs will not only provide you a graduation degree (such as BA, BSc, B. Com, BBA, etc.), but will also give you a LLB degree.

Similarly, if you are already a graduate, then you should go for 3-year LLB course.

However, if you have already enrolled in a graduate course and are in the first year, and now are thinking of switching to a LLB course, then this article may be useful to you. Here we will compare the advantages and disadvantages of 3-year and 5-year LLB courses.

We hope that the information provided in this article will help you in making the right decision. So, let’s begin.

Table of Contents
  • Eligibility
  • Pros and Cons of the two options


It’s pretty simple. If you have cleared your 12th class, you are eligible to join any 5-year integrated LLB course. In most law colleges there is a minimum 45% or 50% board marks criteria.

However, you can only go for a 3-year LLB program if you are already a graduate. In most law colleges there is a minimum 45% or 50% graduation marks criteria. You can do LLB whether you did your graduation as a regular student or you were enrolled in distance learning program.

Pros and Cons of the two options

You should go for 5-year integrated course if:

  • you are clear in your life goals that you want to pursue a career in law. So, you have the WILL. But make sure that you also have the required SKILLS, i.e. you are socially aware, read newspapers and knows about what’s going on in India and other countries of the world, you have good communication skills, and are a good debater, and maybe you want to bring change in Indian system and society through law, and help people.
  • you don’t want to do a simple graduation degree like BA, B.Sc, B.Comm, BBA. Such courses may not help you much in getting a job, as there are hardly any campus placements. You will either have to go for higher studies and/or sit for various entrance examinations. However, doing a BA LLB, B.Sc LLB, etc. will provide you an added advantage. The law career options will also open in front of you.

You should go for 3-year integrated course if:

  • you want to get into a more conventional job like engineer, or doctor, and are looking for a law degree only as an added point in your resume. There’s no B. Tech LLB, or MBBS LLB course in India. So, if you want to become an engineer, and then do law, you cannot do it via any integrated course. You will have to do them separately – 4 years for B. Tech and then 3 years for LLB. Though it will take much more time, but many career options will open in front of you.
  • you are already doing your graduation and have already completed 1-2 years. It will be better to complete your graduation now. You can join a LLB course after graduation too. And as you will already be a graduate, you can also appear in various entrance examinations for graduates simultaneously, while doing your LLB. People who are doing 5-year integrated LLB course will have to wait 5 years before they become eligible to sit in these exams.
  • you already are well-settled in your job, but you want to go into politics or social work. LLB degree will help you a lot in this regard. It will definitely improve your social status, and capacity to help people. You may also file Public Interest Litigation (PILs) for various social and political issues.
  • you are not satisfied with your present career – maybe there’s not enough growth, maybe you think you are not suited to the present work you do, etc. Some people do LLB later on in their life because of these reasons. And there’s no age limit in LLB. You can become a lawyer at any time. And there’s no retirement age either. I know some people who did their LLB after retirement and are now practising lawyers. One of my friend did LLB from Faculty of Law, Delhi (DU), after doing his B. Tech from Punjab University (Punjab Engineering College), and then working in a MNC as IT engineer for 3 years. He’s a practicing lawyer now, along with his wife, who he met in DU too.

You can do LLB no matter what your stream was in 12th or in graduation.

One other added advantage of 3-year LLB program is that, it is solely focussed on law subjects. You will not have to study arts, commerce, or management subjects.

The best entrance exams and colleges for 5-year integrated LLB course are:

  • CLAT - for National Law Universities (NLUs). NLUs only provide 5-year integrated LLB courses.
  • AILET – for National Law University, Delhi
  • LSAT
  • Indian Global Law School
  • Government Law College, Mumbai
  • ILS Law College, Pune

The best entrance exams and colleges for 3-year LLB course are:

  • DU LLB – for Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Faculty of Law, DU only provides 3-year LLB course.
  • BHU UET – for Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University
  • LSAT
  • Government Law College, Mumbai
  • ILS Law College, Pune

Now you know all the pros and cons of the two methods available to you to get a LLB degree. Discuss these points with your friends and family, and introspect what you want. You will definitely make a right choice.

However, remember that the college you get into is as important as the course you pursue. The better the college, the better friends you will get (intellectual-wise), the better faculty you will get, and later on you will have a better chance to get a job.

Even more important than the college you join is the law knowledge and practical knowledge you acquire. Just having a good degree is not enough in this world. You need to have knowledge of your field, and that is possible only if you really like what you do. So, choose the law field only if you are really interested in it. That’s the most important thing of all.

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