Which Bachelor’s Degree is Best for Law | Regenesys Law School

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Are you interested in practising as a legal professional? A bachelor’s degree in law is a prerequisite to practising law in South Africa and elsewhere. 

When you start looking for a law degree that will suit you, you might find that the plethora of degrees you find on the internet seem daunting, as might the number of institutions offering them. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best bachelor’s degree for law.


  • Practising law in South Africa
  • Is an LLB degree the only way to get to practice law?
  • Which is better – a BA Law or a BCom Law? 
  • Which bachelor’s degree is best for law? 
  • Your next step

Practising law in South Africa

First, to practise law in South Africa, you need an undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from an accredited public or private institution, so check whether the degree you are considering is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (Saqa). Degrees that have been approved by the Council on  Higher Education (CHE) and registered on Saqa have a unique ID that can be verified online with ease.

An LLB degree is the most common way to start the journey to practising law in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa. It is a four-year degree, and its structure may vary from one institution to another. In South Africa, its learning outcomes must be approved by the CHE. 

Is an LLB degree the only way to get to practice law?

If you are a graduate who already holds a different degree, you may apply to start the LLB degree from first year, depending on the major subjects of your first degree. Some institutions still emphasise the need for great matric results in addition to your undergraduate degree.  

BCom Law and BA Law graduates – as well as those with degrees in other disciplines – can spend an additional two years completing a truncated LLB degree prior to signing up for articles, professional body exams and applying for admission to practise as attorneys or advocates. Those who take this route are required to study for at least five years with an accredited institution, compared with four years for the LLB.

Bachelor of Laws

Which is better – a BA Law or a BCom Law? 

The Bachelor of Commerce in Law is self-explanatory in that it focuses on the commercial aspects of law. If you want to work in corporate law, this degree is fit for purpose. In addition to majoring in subjects such as law of succession, family law, constitutional law, law of persons, and criminal law, you can choose secondary majors such as taxation, management, accounting, financial management, investment management, and other commercial subjects. That is the flexibility that comes with this alternative path. 

A Bachelor of Arts in Law, on the other hand, prepares you to work in family law, constitutional law, human rights law, or international law, depending on the majors you choose, given what is offered at the institution you pick. BA students often couple their law courses with majors such as politics, psychology, sociology, criminology, and language. 

The foundation of these degrees will certainly be helpful in your journey towards an LLB degree. When you apply to do an LLB post another undergraduate degree, you can request credit for the law modules you have already completed provided they are similar to the LLB ones. Once you have completed the LLB, you might also decide to go on to do a master’s degree.   

Which bachelor’s degree is best for law? 

A Bachelor of Laws degree is the shortest and most focused route to becoming a lawyer, as it is a four-year qualification. However, if you need a broader background for other fields plus a solid grasp of general law subjects, start with a BCom or BA with law majors, and then spend an additional two years completing the LLB. 

Note that after completing the LLB degree you have to spend another two years serving articles (as a candidate attorney) and write professional exams before you can be admitted as an attorney or  advocate.

Your next step

If it’s a Bachelor of Laws you need, check out Regenesys Business School’s qualification, which caters for the needs of legal professionals who want to set themselves apart, building crucial graduate attributes into your learning, as well as giving you the opportunity to practice  the concepts you learn in activities based on real-life situations. Find out more about Regenesys’ School of Law here.

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PDM Editor | Regenesys Business School

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