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The degree of Bachelor of Laws is the principal academic degree in law in most common law countries. It is abbreviated LL.B. - LL. is abbreviation for the plural legum (of laws); thus LL.B. stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. In the United States it is sometimes called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account for the double L.


After completion of this degree, graduates are generally qualified to apply for membership of the bar or law society (a test is often required and maybe an apprenticeship).


In the United States the LL.B. and J.D., are three year graduate degrees taken after completion of a four-year undergraduate degree. Foreign law graduates must often study to receive an LL.M., the masters degree equivalent, before qualifying for bar admission procedures. In the United States the LL.B. has mostly been replaced by the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, although the form and structure of the degree is little changed.


In most of the Commonwealth, the LL.B. remains the qualifying degree for the practice of law, though some universities award the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.). In the universities of Oxford and Cambridge the principal law degree is a B.A. in Law (or "Jurisprudence" for Oxford), the B.C.L. and LL.B. (recently renamed LL.M.) being postgraduate degrees not needed to practice law. Some universities in the United Kingdom and New Zealand offer variations of this degree, such as LL.B.(Europe), which generally take four years to complete and include a wider range of topics as well as some degree of specialisation.


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