LLB, Bachelor of Laws, and LLM, Master of Laws are both legal degrees serving similar purposes of legal services. But there holds a slight distinction which parts them away. LLB is an undergraduate degree that is the first step towards becoming a practicing lawyer. LLM is a postgraduate degree that offers specialized knowledge in a particular area of law. This article explores the distinction between these two degrees which are similar and it drives the legal aspirant to choose their career path.

What is LLB?

LLB stands for Bachelor of Laws and Undergraduate Degree. This degree provides students with a foundational understanding of basic legal principles and practices. The primary objective is to instill the students with the knowledge and necessary skills to practice or pursue a career in law. Understanding various legal systems, principles of justice, analytical thinking skills, and communication skills are the basic requirements for legal reasoning and problem-solving in this degree.

Course structure and duration

The course structure of LLB typically covers subjects such as constitutional law, criminal law, tort law, contract law, and many more depending upon the specification and jurisdiction. This LLB degree spans 3-4 years of full-time study, where the time frame varies by country.

Eligibility criteria for admission

To enroll in the LLB program, students need an eligibility criteria for admission of completing secondary education with a certain grade point average of 40-45%. There are some entrance exams like DULLB, APLAWCET, AILET, KLEE, and RULET to get into some of the best law colleges and universities in the country. The entrance exams are managed by National or State-level organizations.

Career Paths after LLB

After completion of an LLB degree, graduates have a wide range of paths to pursue. This depends upon the personal interest, strength, and legal system of the country. Here are some of the common career paths for the LLB graduates:

LLB graduates may join law firms either as associates or partners. They can become practicing lawyers, and handle a wide range of legal matters for individual clients or corporate entities. They have the option to choose a specialized area such as criminal law, corporate law, family law, or intellectual property law.

2. Judiciary Services 

NLB graduates can pursue further studies or examinations to qualify for judiciary positions. NLB graduates qualifying for these judiciary examinations can preside over legal proceedings, and interpret and apply the law to ensure justice is served.

3. Corporate Counsel 

LP graduates can be appointed as corporate counsels to provide legal advice and guidance on matters of corporate law. These corporate lawyers give guidance in matters such as contracts, compliance, intellectual property rights, employee laws, labor laws, and corporate governance. They help the companies navigate legal issues and minimize risks in any further proceedings.

LB graduates can choose to become law professors or lecturers at universities and law schools. They can conduct legal research and publish scholarly articles or books. They can play a vital role in shaping the next generation of legal representatives or professionals representing individuals or corporate entities. This helps in contributing an advancement of legal knowledge across the various generations to come.

5. Public Sector 

The public sector is one of the best career paths having a huge demand for the LLB graduates. They can work in various government agencies and departments at local, state, or national levels. They serve as prosecutors, public defenders, legal advisors, or policymakers contributing to the development and improvement of laws and regulations. They can even formulate and implement regulations that serve the public interest.

6. Entrepreneurship

LLB graduates can choose to start their own legal practice or consulting firms they offer legal advice and suggestions to the clients independently they can specialize in niche areas of law targeting specific clients and often this service is based on the demographics or psychographics these help in an innovation of new approaches to delivering the legal services

H2: What is LLM?

LLM stands for Master of Laws a postgraduate academic degree. The primary objective of this degree is to provide advanced legal education in specialization-specific areas of the law. The LLM curriculum deepens the understanding of legal principles, theories, and practices beyond the foundation level attained in their undergraduate studies.

Specializations and duration

LLM degree offers a wide range of specializations. These are not limited to international law, commercial law, human rights law, engineering law, intellectual property law, and more. The duration of this LLM degree spans 1 or 2 years of full-time study. The time limit might vary across different countries.

Eligibility criteria for admission

For students to pursue an LLB program, the eligibility criteria should be an undergraduate law degree or equivalent qualification such as an LLB or JD. Some programs may also require relevant work experience, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, or proficiency in the language of instruction. There are entrance exams like CLAT, URAT, PG, TS PGLCET, and AP PGLCET conducted by a consortium of law universities at state and national levels to get into the best law colleges or universities.

Career Paths  after LLM

LLM graduates based on their specialized knowledge and skills are offered diverse career opportunities. Here are the common career paths that are available for those graduates:

LLM graduates specializing in certain areas of law can choose their careers in legal practice. They can join firms as associates or partners specializing in international law, corporate law, intellectual property law, or human rights law. Along with pursuing the career these graduates can enhance their expertise in marketability in these specialized areas.

LLM graduates may choose career paths in judicial or legal administration so they can be qualified for positions as judges magistrates administrative law judges or legal advisors in government agencies courts or international organizations with their knowledge and updation in the relevant case studies so they can handle complex legal issues and make informed decisions

3. Academia & Research

LLM graduates who are interested in pursuing more depth and knowledge can choose to become legal scholars, researchers, or professors at universities and law schools. They can have the freedom to conduct research, publish scholarly articles, books, and columns, and teach courses related to their area of specialization, which contributes to the wider generations to step into the world of law.

4. Corporate Counsel & Compliance

Many corporations businesses and firms hire LLM graduates as in-house counsel or compliance officers. They provide legal advice on complex regulatory compliances, issues, draft contracts, and managers and ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations that are time being in force.

NLM graduates can explore a diverse range of career paths such as legal consulting, mediation, consolidation, arbitration, or legal entrepreneurship. They can leverage their advanced knowledge in the specification offering or contribute to various clients with innovative approaches to delivering legal services.

6. Government & Public Policy

Law graduates are offered various opportunities in bodies like government agencies, legislative bodies, or policy research organizations. They can work as legal advisors, legislative analysts, or policy experts and contribute to the development and implementation of laws and regulations at local, national, or international levels.

Key Differences between LLB and LLM

Educational focus and depth

  • LLB is an undergraduate degree that provides a foundational understanding of legal principles and practices. The focus is mainly on fundamental concepts of law including constitutional law, criminal law, contract law, and tort law.
  • LLM is a postgraduate degree designed to provide advanced legal education and specialization in specific areas of law. LLM deepens the understanding of particular legal fields such as international law, corporate law, human law, or intellectual property law.

Duration and structure

  • LLB degree spans over 3-4 years of full-time study at the undergraduate level. This is a combination of core legal subjects, electives, and practical training factors.
  • LLM spans over 1 to 2 years of full-time study at a post-graduation level. This includes coursework, seminars, research products, case studies, and internships tailored to the chosen area of specialization.

Career opportunities post-completion

  • LLB graduates can pursue careers as legal counsel, policymakers, teachers, legal advisors, judges, or independent practicing lawyers.
  • LLM graduates have enhanced career opportunities in their specialized areas as legal counsel, research scholar, professor, corporate counsel, or NGO judicial department, leveraging their advanced knowledge and expertise in specific areas.

Choosing the Right Path for You

The following are the factors when choosing the LLB or LLM, that makes the right path for you:

  • Personal interests and passion for law and legal studies. 
  • Career goals and aspirations within the legal profession. 
  • Analyze the potential career opportunities and growth prospects post-completion of LLB or LLM.
  • Research into the specific requirements of LLM and LLB programs. 
  • Seek insights and solutions from the alumni, peers, professors, and seniors to understand the in-depth levels of the LLM and LLB and their prospects. 
  • Ideate on whether a broader foundation or specialized expertise is a desired career prospect. 
  • Take notes and consider the financial implications such as tuition fees and potential return on investment in LLB or LLM. 
  • Reflect on your options for long-term objectives and how each degree aligns with them so that you can choose the right path for your legal course.


Both LLB and LLM degrees offer education on legal services, yet with some distinction that can impact the career prospects for the students going either way. Seek advice and suggestions from peers to pursue a degree that aligns with your interests. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can I pursue an LLM without an LLB degree?

Some institutes or universities may accept related degrees or extensive legal experience but generally one needs to complete an LLB or equivalent to pursue an LLM degree.

  1. Can LLM graduates practice law?

Yes, LLM graduates can pursue practice law based on the varied requirements of varied jurisdictions. Additional examinations, certifications, and related qualifications are necessary.

  1. Are there online options for pursuing LLB or LLM degrees?

Yes, there are online portals available from many universities and institutions for students to pursue LLM and LLB degrees.

  1. Can LLM graduates pursue law internationally, or there are any limitations based on jurisdiction?

Based on the different regulations and compliances, LLM graduates can practice law internationally. Additionally, they need to meet certain requirements or pass exams depending on the jurisdiction.

  1. Are there any differences between pursuing an LLM in person or online?

Networking opportunities, practical experiences, access to resources, and tangible contact with peers and alumni will be the basic differences between in-person and online LLM degrees.

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