Overview of Master of Laws [LLM]:
L.L.M. or Master of Legislative Law is postgraduate Law course. The law is a rule or body of rules of conduct established and regulated by an authority. The duration of Master of Law is two years. Master of Law Degree is divided mostly into four or more semesters depending upon the Institute. As per Express News Service, dated – 19th Nov 2009, the duration of the Two Year L.L.M. (Master of Law) course could soon be reduced to one year. This was one of the recommendations made by the HRD Ministry’s Round Table on Legal Education. The maximum duration to complete this course may vary, as per Banaras Hindu University the course should be completed in maximum four years duration. L.L.M. course structure is based upon various specialisations. Correspondence or Distance Masters Degree Course is also offered by various Institutes, for example – Dr. Ambedkar Law College, Tirupati.
Law degrees in India are granted and conferred in terms of the Advocates Act, 1961, which is a law passed by the Parliament both on the aspect of legal education and also regulation of the conduct of the legal profession. Under the Act, the Bar Council of India is the supreme regulatory body to regulate the legal profession in India and also to ensure the compliance of the laws and maintenance of professional standards by the legal profession in the country. As such the Bar Council of India prescribes the minimum curriculum required to be taught in order for an institution to be eligible for the grant of a law degree. The Bar Council also carries on a period supervision of the institutions conferring the degree and evaluates their teaching methodology and curriculum and having determined that the institution meets the required standards, recognises the institution and the degree conferred by it. It consults the Universities in India and the State Bar Councils in this regard.
- The LL.M. program can be pursued only by those, who have successfully completed their under graduation in law i.e. L.L.B./B.L. Degree/5 Year LL.B. Degree Course under 10+2+5 pattern or an equivalent Degree from a recognized University with not less than 55% marks in the aggregate (50% in case of reserved Categories, i.e., S.C./S.T./Persons with Disability). Percentage and other criteria are mostly the same but may vary as per an institute’s policy.
- There is no restriction on the age for admission to most of the Master degree Law Courses offered through the mode of distance learning. In fact, a candidate with a graduate degree from any recognised university is eligible to earn Law Masters Degree through Distance Learning. Even candidates studying any other course through regular classroom module can opt for these Law courses.
- The admission procedure and mode of selection of various Law Schools may differ but the screening is based on the merit of the candidate. The intake for the LL.M. Degree Program varies depending upon the institute.
- Certain seats are allocated to Foreign Nationals. As per NALSAR, Foreign Nationals are exempted from taking the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). The admission shall be made on the basis of the academic record of B.L./LL.B. or equivalent Degree recognised by U.G.C./Association of Indian Universities with not less than 55% marks or equivalent grade and Copy of the Student Visa endorsement on the Passport.
Admission Procedure for L.L.M:
- Generally, universities offering LL.M. course conduct an Entrance Test for admission to the program. The application forms for this course are available in the month of May every year.
- Candidates can apply at colleges using their education qualification and by giving an Entrance examination if required by the University.
Advantages/Benefits of Master of L.L.M:
- Master of Law enables a candidate to gain specialised knowledge through research in a particular area of Law.
- An LL.M. degree enhances one's repute as LL.M. degree signifies advanced, specialised legal training and it also signifies that a person is qualified to work in a multinational legal environment.
- Lawyers can find employment opportunities in both public and private sector organisations. Most Lawyers prefer to become an advocate and practice law as a profession.
Specialisations in L.L.M:
Candidates can opt for specialisations in L.L.M while pursuing their general program in L.L.B. Here is the list of specialisations available:
- Constitutional Law.
- Family Law.
- Taxation Law.
- Corporate Law and Governance (including International Business).
- Criminal Law.
- Environmental Law.
- Human Rights.
- Insurance Laws.
- Intellectual Property Law.
- International Trade and Business Laws.
Top Colleges for L.L.M:
Entrance Exams for L.L.M:
Here is a list of the known Entrance Exams applicable for admission to L.L.M:
- CLAT - Common Law Admission Test is an All India Entrance Examination conducted by 11 National Law Universities for admissions to their under-graduate and post graduate degree programs (LL.B & LL.M).
- LSAT - Admission to Jindal Global Law School is done through the LSAT examination conducted by Law School Admission Council, USA conducted by Pearson VUE, through its affiliate in India.
- However, note that the National Law University, Delhi and National Law University, Orissa and the other private autonomous law schools conduct their own admission tests.
Entrance Exam Pattern for L.L.M:
- The entrance test paper contains around 150 questions which can be both objective and subjective in nature. The duration of the exam is 2 hours which also includes negative marking for objective type questions. The marks deducted are usually 1/4th of the marks allocated to the question.
- The marking scheme is not fixed for all the universities, it may vary accordingly.
- The long essay type generally contains 4 questions with 25 marks each.
- The syllabus for LL.M. entrance exam generally covers the following topic.
- Constitutional Law
- Legal Awareness
- Current Affairs
- Legal Aptitude.