What is LLM?
LLM, or Masters of Legislative Laws, is a recognized postgraduate degree in law that can be pursued only after completing an LLB degree.
This 2 years duration course is generally pursued in specific specializations such as International Law, Corporate Law, Business Law, Criminal Law, etc. by doing extensive study and research to gain expertise in that particular area of expertise.
LLM Admissions are done on the basis of performance in the law entrance exams such as CLAT, LSAT, and other university-level exams such as IPU CET, DUET, etc. which usually occurs in the month of March to May 2020.
Key Highlights of LLM
- Full-Form: Masters of Legislative Laws
- Duration: 1-2 years (Full Time)
- Minimum Eligibility: LLB degree of 3 years or BA LLB/BSc LLB/BCA LLB degree of 5 years with a minimum of 50-60% aggregate scores
- Admission Process: Through Entrance Exams, followed by counseling or Personal Interview Round
- Top LLM Entrance Exams: CLAT, AILET, LSAT, ILICAT, IPU CET, BHU PET, TS PGCLET, etc.
- Top Universities: National Law Institute University, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), NALSAR University of Law, Delhi University, Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), National Law University, etc.
- Distance Education or Correspondence: Yes
- Online: No
- Distance Education Universities/Colleges: Annamalai University, Kurukshetra University, Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Kuvempu University, Karnataka State Open University, etc.
- Top LLM Specializations: LLM International law, LLM Human Rights, LLM Maritime Law, LLM Intellectual Property Rights, LLM Environmental law, LLM Taxation Law, LLM Corporate Law, LLM Criminal Law, etc.
- Average Course Fee: INR 1,80,000
- Average Annual Salary: INR 8,00,000-15,00,000
- Top LLM Jobs & Career: Advocate, Lawyer, Legal Counsel, Paralegal, Legal Associate, Legal Corporate Consultant, Magistrate, Judge, Assistant Professor, etc.
- Top Courses after LLM: LLD (Doctor of Laws), Advanced PG Diploma courses in a specific field of law.
LLM is mostly pursued by students who want to become an expert in one specific field of law so that LLM graduates can find employment in any of the sectors which require legal expertise and consultation.
Among 500 colleges that offer this course through regular mode, Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), NALSAR University of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia, among others are some of the highly reputed and popular colleges for LLM courses.
The following table lists some of the Top LLM Colleges in India according to the NIRF (National Institute of Ranking Framework) 2020 Ranking:
|NIRF Ranking||College Name||Admission Process||Average Total Fees||Average Placement Offer|
|1||NLSIU Bangalore||CLAT||INR 2,50,000||INR 15,00,000|
|2||NLU New Delhi||AILET||INR 1,40,000||INR 15,00,000|
|7||GNLU Gandhinagar||CLAT||INR 1,20,000||INR 8,00,000|
|8||Symbiosis Law School Pune||Written Test+Personal Interview||INR 1,65,000||INR 8,00,000|
|10||RGNUL Patiala||CLAT||INR 1,30,000||INR 6,00,000|
The average LLM fees vary upon colleges. In government colleges, it may be up to INR 1,00,000 and in private colleges, it may be up to INR 4,00,000. From Jamia Millia Islamia, students can complete LLM courses for just INR 18,000.
In terms of career options, students can be employed in legal services in both private and government sectors, apart from being a lawyer, advocate, legal counsel, and others with an average LLM salary of around INR 5-10 LPA.
What is the Eligibility for LLM?
LLM eligibility depends largely upon the college in which you are interested to take admission. Below mentioned is the basic eligibility criteria required for LLM Admissions:
- Students should have completed their graduation in law, and secured their law degree in either LLB/BA LLB/BBA LLB/BCom LLB/BSc LLB from a recognized college, institute or university.
- A minimum of 50-55% is a must in order to apply for an LLM course.
- Some colleges have also fixed their minimum percentage requirement for admission in LLM courses offered by them.
- There is no age limit as such specified in general, meaning students can pursue this course anytime in their career basis they have completed Bachelor of Laws from a recognized college or institute.
What is the LLM Admission Process?
Candidates who are interested to pursue this course are required to appear for a compulsory entrance examination, that provides LLM admission to the top law schools in India offering this course.
The entrance examinations are usually MCQ based, but there might be one section or a few questions that could be subjective. Ths syllabus of these exams usually consists of Legal and Law based questions judging candidate’s subject knowledge.
What are the LLM Entrance Exams?
Entrance Exams are an important aspect of LLM Admissions. To get into a good law school, a student should have a valid score or should have qualified the LLM entrance examinations.
LLM Entrance Exams Important Dates 2020:
|LLM Exam||Exam Mode||Application Period*||Exam Date*||Result Date*|
|CLAT||Online||January 1-July 1, 2020||To be Announced||To be Announced|
|LSAT||Online||Until July 5, 2020||July 19, 2020||To be Announced|
|AILET||Offline||January 15-June 30, 2020||August 2020||August 2020|
|ILICAT||Offline||May 1-June 1, 2020||June 10, 2020||After July 3, 2020|
|TS PGLCET||Offline||March 6-April 6, 2020||July 10, 2020||To be Announced|
|AP PGLCET||Computer Based Test||March 12-July, 2020||August 06, 2020||To be Announced|
|IPU CET||Online||March 3-July 20, 2020||To be Announced||June-July, 2020|
|BHU PET||Offline||January 30, March 21, 2020||August 16 – 31,2020||June-July, 2020|
*These dates may have been changed because of COVID 19 outbreak.
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What are the Top LLM Colleges?
There are more than 500 law colleges in India that offer this advanced master degree in the field of law. Some of these top colleges are located in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, etc.
The table below mention some of the top law colleges in India according to the NIRF 2020 Ranking offering LLM course:
|NIRF Ranking||College Name||Location||Average Total Fees||Average Placement Offer|
|1||National Law School of India University (NLSIU)||Bangalore||INR 2,50,000||INR 15 lakhs|
|2||National Law University (NLU)||New Delhi||INR 1,40,000||INR 15 lakhs|
|3||NALSAR University of Law||Hyderabad||INR 1,20,000||INR 14 lakhs|
|4||IIT Kharagpur||Kharagpur||INR 3,19,000||INR 6 lakhs|
|6||The West Bengal National University of Juridical Science (NUJS)||Kolkata||INR 1,44,000||INR 15 lakhs|
|7||Gujarat National Law University||Gandhinagar||INR 1,20,000||INR 8 lakhs|
|8||Symbiosis Law School||Pune||INR 1,65,000||INR 8 lakhs|
|9||Jamia Millia Islamia||New Delhi||INR 18,000||INR 6 lakhs|
|10||Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law||Patiala||INR 1,30,000||INR 6 lakhs|
|18||Indian Law Institute (ILI)||New Delhi||INR 92,000||-|
The table below shows differentiates between top law colleges in India in terms of course structure, fees, job opportunities, ROI, etc.
|Parameters||NLU, New Delhi||Symbiosis Law School||Gujarat National Law University|
|College Overview||National Law University, New Delhi was established in the year 2008 with the aim of providing quality legal education among students. It also offers many PhD courses, along with LLM courses.||Symbiosis Law School was established in the year 1970 in Pune, with the aim of providing enhanced degrees in research, learning, and teaching.||GNLU or Gujarat National Law University was established in 2003 in Gandhinagar which is based on the NLSIU Bangalore. It is one of the best law universities in India for LLM courses.|
|Specialization Offered||No||Yes; Family Law, Constitutional law, Criminal & Security Law, Business & Corporate Law, etc.||No|
|Duration||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|Top Recruiting Companies||Trilegal, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, P&A Law Offices, OYO, ICICI Bank, Herbert Smith Freehills, etc.||Indiabulls, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Lanco, Khaitan & Co., Nishith Desai & Associates, Seth Dua & Co., etc.||KPMG, SEBI, Bajaj Allianz, HDFC Bank, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh, QSC, etc.|
The majority of students who are interested to pursue LLM courses opt for government law colleges because of their low fees, high placement record, and credibility. Other than this, students who are interested to pursue LLM through distance learning can apply in colleges such as Annamalai University, KSOU, etc.
What are the LLM Specializations?
LLM can be done in a number of specializations such as International law, Criminal law, Corporate law, etc. that students can choose based on their interest and practice they want to get into after the course completion.
Some of the highly pursued LLM specializations are mentioned below:
- LLM International Law: The course provides specific education in different fields of international law relating to different countries and organizations. LLM in International Law is a popular law specialization in India as it offers huge career opportunities and growth worldwide. ILS Law College, among others, are some of the best colleges to pursue this course.
|Average Fees||INR 2,00,000|
|Average Salary||INR 8,00,000|
|Top LLM International Law Colleges in India 2020|
- LLM Criminal Law: This course is for students who are interested to enter the field of criminal law and its application in the world. LLM Criminal Law provides an opportunity for the students to deal with actions of intentional harm to individuals, which, in a larger sense, are offenses against humanity. National Law Institute University, Bhopal, and Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai among others are some of the best colleges and institutes considered for this course.
|Average Fees||INR 3,00,000|
|Average Salary||INR 10,00,000|
|Top LLM Criminal Law Colleges in India 2020|
- LLM Corporate Law: The course is highly popular in the field of law which is designed to educate students about how the interaction between shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other stakeholders such as consumers, the community, etc takes place in the corporate world. LLM Corporate Law graduates can find jobs in corporate firms, courts/judiciary, law enforcement agencies, etc. National Law University, Jodhpur, and Mahatma Gandhi Law College, Hyderabad, among others are some of the top colleges to pursue this course.
|Average Fees||INR 3,00,000|
|Average Salary||INR 7,00,000|
|Top LLM Corporate Law Colleges in India 2020|
- LLM Taxation Law: The course specialized in different aspects related to taxation and the laws associated with it. LLM Taxation Law provides knowledge of different areas involved in tax is considered to be beneficial. The course is designed to be professional and career oriented that provides higher career options in the private and government agencies and corporations. ICFAI Law School and IIT Kharagpur, among others are considered the top colleges to pursue this course in India.
|Average Fees||INR 3,00,000|
|Average Salary||INR 6,00,000|
|Top LLM Taxation Law Colleges in India 2020|
- LLM Family Law: The course is meant for students who want to get expertise in Family law and various cases related to family matters. LLM Family Law is designed to help students in becoming a skilled family lawyer having a thorough knowledge regarding various matters such as divorce, family violence, child custody, abuse, financial settlement, and many other problems involving family. Symbiosis Law School, Pune, and KIIT Institute of Law, Bhibaneshaware, among others are considered the best colleges to pursue this law specialization.
|Average Fees||INR 2,00,000|
|Average Salary||INR 6,00,000|
|Top LLM Family Law Colleges in India 2020|
- LLM Labour Law: The course explores on an advanced level, both the individual- based and social angles, aspects of customary law, and sacred and statutory issues, etc. LLM Labour Laws are designed to instruct enrolled students in the concept, scope and capacity of work- related law, business essentials, statutory and non-statutory debate determination, etc. University of Law College, Bangalore and Sri RKM Law College, Chittoor, among others are some of the best colleges in India to pursue this course.
|Average Fees||INR 2,00,000|
|Average Salary||INR 5,00,000|
|Top LLM Labour Law Colleges in India 2020|
Other LLM Specializations:
|LLM Environmental Law||LLM Intellectual Property Rights|
|LLM Constitutional Law||LLM Business Law|
|LLM Maritime Law||LLM Human Rights|
What is the LLM Syllabus?
Students have to study some common papers in the 1st semester but from 2nd semester there are few subjects according to the specialization selected by the students. As part of the course, students also undergo an internship with Law Firms.
The weightage of internal and external marks are, generally, 60% and 40% respectively. The teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials, and presentations. The internal assessment depends upon the performances of the students in presentations, tutorials, seminars, viva, projects, assignments, etc.
When it comes to the LLM syllabus, different universities may have a different program structure but generally, the subjects and topics covered as part of the curriculum are similar. Below is an overview of the general course structure and syllabus for LLM.
|Law and social transformation in India||Law and social change, Religion, community and the law, Women and the Law, Children and the law||The subject is designed to create awareness of Indian approaches and economic problems in the context of the law as a means of social control and change amongst people.|
|Constitutionalism||Principles of constitutionalism, Federalism as an aspect of constitutionalism, New challenges to constitutionalism, Justice delivery system in India||The objective is to study how far does the constitutionalism of India is being achieved in Indian Legal System|
|Legal research and methodology||Precepts, Hypothesis and research work, Techniques and methodology, Conduct of research||This course introduces various methodologies of research in the legal field.|
|Judicial process||Nature of judicial process, Special dimensions, Judicial process in India, Constitutional amendments||This course aims to study the nature of the judicial process and the roles of judges as policymakers.|
|Human Rights and Humanitarian Law||Human rights and jurisprudence, international human rights law, Protection and enforcement of human rights in India, Human rights education||This is a specialization course and deals with aspects of Human rights and various laws framed to ensure basic human rights to every citizen.|
|Alternative Dispute Resolution||Evolution and concept of ADR, Arbitration law in India, International commercial arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation and negotiation, Practical trainings in ADR||This is an elective that focuses on dispute resolution without a trial.|
|Intellectual Property Rights||Nature, emergence and development of IPR’s, Copyright law & neighboring law, Patents law, Law relating trademarks, Law relating to designs and geographical indications, Historical background||It is a specialization which deals with trademark laws and intellectual property rights.|
|International Trade Law||WTO and International trade law, Regulation of IT in India, Settlement of IT disputes, International sale & carriage of goods, International investment laws, International commercial arbitration||This is an elective course that focuses on international trade laws and conflict resolution on matters of trade between parties of different nations.|
|Corporate Law||Law of corporate management & governance, Consumer protection laws, Regulation of capital markets & foreign investment, Corporate taxation, Banking & insurance laws, Law of corporate finance & securities regulations||This course studies how different stakeholders in a company such as directors, creditors, consumers, and the environment interact with each other.|
LLM is the only recognized Master of law degree in India. Many students after LLB go for PG Certificate and PG Diploma courses of 1 year duration to gain expertise in that particular field. Some students like to go for an MBA to enter the management scenario in the field of law.
Below we have discussed some of the highly pursued degrees, apart from LLM after completing their graduation in law.
- LLM vs PG Diploma:
Here are a few of the differences between these two law degrees.
|Level||Postgraduate/Master level||Postgraduate Diploma|
|Course Objective||To provide quality education and training to the students in different fields and specialization of law to have a successful career in the legal domain.||To specialize in one particular field of law like Intellectual Property Rights, Trademark Law, etc. to enhance their knowledge and skills for a successful career in that|
|Specializations Offered||International law, Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Rights, Maritime Law, Property Rights, Human Rights, etc.||Taxation Laws, Labour Laws, Criminal Justice, Cyber Law, Patent Practice, Paralegal Practice, Human Rights, etc.|
|Average Fees||INR 1,50,000||INR 80,000|
|Average Salary||INR 8,00,000||INR 5,00,000|
|Distance Education||Yes, from NLSIU, NALSAR, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Dr. BR Ambedkar University, etc.||Yes, from IGNOU, BHU, Bangalore University, University of Hyderabad etc.|
- LLM vs MBA:
MBA is another top option after completing a Bachelor in Law, because of its wide career options and higher salary.
The table below shows major differences between these two highly pursued master degrees:
|Discipline||Laws and Legal Studies||Business, Management & Administration|
|Course Overview||LLM provides higher education and training to law students in a particular field of law or specializations that helps them to achieve a standard knowledge in a specific field.||MBA is a master degree in the field of business and management studies. It is aimed for students who are enthisiarics to make a career as a manager or enter the diverse field of management in a corporate environment.|
|Eligibility||LLB, BA LLB, BBA LLB, BSc LLB or BCom LLB. Having an LLB degree is a must to pursue LLM.||Any degree in any specialization at graduation level|
|Specialization Offered||Criminal Law, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Rights, Maritime Law, Human Rights, International Law, etc.||Marketing, Human resources, International Business, Finance, Data Science, IT, etc.|
|Average Course Fees||INR 1.8 LPA||INR 12 LPA|
|Average Salary||INR 8 LPA||INR 20|
|Common Job Positions||Legal Consultant, Legal Counsel, Advocate, Lawter, Paralegal, District Judge, etc.||Finance Manager, Business Consultant, Management Trainee, Business Analyst, etc.|
Source: Official College Websites & Quora
What are the LLB Jobs & Career Options?
In the contemporary world, law is an important aspect required to maintain order in a community. From the products we buy at supermarkets to traveling abroad, everything involves some sort of legal contract between two parties, or more. Law has seeped in every aspect of our lives, thus making it one of the more in-demand career choices.
In the competitive world that we live in, it is required to have a specialized degree in law to land some of the top-notch and lucrative jobs. Hence an LLM degree is a must-have for a promising career in legal services.
After course completion, some obvious career options are in the legal field, both in public, private, and government sectors. Some of the major LLM job profiles and their job description and LLM salary is given below:
|Job Profile||Description||Average Salary|
|Advocate||Advocate is a key profession in the legal career in India. To perform his duties, he must have a lot of knowledge of the laws and plenty of experience in human behavior and psychology.||INR 6 LPA|
|Magistrate/Judge||It is the most cherished position in a legal career or in the judicial system in India.||INR 12.10 LPA|
|Notary||Notary, also known as Notary Public, is a qualified and experienced lawyer appointed by the state or central government recommended by the court.||INR 3 LPA|
|Oath Commissioner||Oath Commissioner all known as Commissioner of Oath is a freshly qualified lawyer appointed by the Registrar of High Court under the provisions of Law.||INR 4 LPA|
|Trustee||A Trustee is under a legal obligation to administer a property for a specified purpose.||INR 4 LPA|
|Legal Document Reviewer||A Legal Document Reviewer/Derivative’s job is to negotiate and review various kinds of legal documents and draft responses, ancillary documents etc.||INR 6 LPA|
|Legal Consultant/ Associate||A Legal Consultant/Associate assists in contract summarization, contract management, legal research, drafting, litigation and research-related projects.||INR 6 LPA|
Apart from India, students who are interested to make their career in a developed nation like Canada, US, Germany, etc. can also pursue LLM from Abroad, that not only will provide them international exposure, but also better career prospects and salary scale.
Legal Associates and Law Professionals are some most sorted and highest-earning jobs in the world. Yes, the journey is difficult, but there are ample opportunities in the legal field to serve as Lawyers, Advocates, Consultants, and Advisors.
Other than this, there are options of becoming Magistrate, HC Judge, Law Officer, and other prominent members of the law, employed mainly in the government sector.
Candidates can also get hired in Banks, Railways, Regulatory Bodies, Life Insurance Firms, Excise Departments, and many more. Students interested in teaching can divert their career by becoming a Lecturer, Assistant Professors or Associate Professors, etc. after qualifying national tests such as UGC NET, among others.
In terms of higher education, students can go for an LLD (Doctor of Law) degree that will help them to establish their career in the field of legal research and teaching. This 3 year duration course will really help to make a solid ground in one particular field of law specialization such as Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Family Law, Taxation law, etc. and earn higher salary and compensation.
Ques. Can I do LLM without LLB?
Ans. No, it wouldn’t be possible for a student to pursue LLM courses if he/she does not have a Bachelor’s degree in Law, as it provides them a background to be able to carry your advanced studies at master level.
Hence, to have some knowledge of law and legal studies it is important to have an LLB degree to pursue LLM.
Ques. Which one is considered more valuable: 1 year LLM degree or 2 years LLM degree?
Ans. Both these degrees are well recognized by UGC and regulated by Bar Council of India. Hence, it totally depends on the perspective of an individual.
You can save time and one academic year by pursuing a 1 year LLM, but you can gain much more knowledge by pursuing a 2 years duration LMM course.
If you are interested in just getting a degree and gaining a higher qualification, then 1 year LLM would be perfect for you, but if you want to gain deeper insight and knowledge for your own interests and career, then a 2 year LLM degree is the one for you.
In terms of jobs, both the degree provides the same career prospects and salary scale since the type of jobs largely depends not on course duration but the type of socialization, student’s industry experience, and his/her capabilities.
Ques. Which subject will be best for the LLM course?
Ans. LLM offers various specializations that students can opt-in either the second semester (in case of 1 year LLM course) or second year (in case of 2 year LLM course). Some of the highly pursued and top courses are:
- Criminal Law
- International Law
- Corporate Law
- Family Law
- Maritime Law
- Taxation Law
- Property Law, etc.
Ques. What is LLM full form?
Ans. The full form of LLM is Master of Legislative Law. Some people get confused and think it's a Master of Laws, but LLM is a master of law degree. It's full form is not Master of Laws.
Ques. Which is the best college for LLM in India?
Ans. According to NIRF Rankings, some of the top LLM colleges in India are:
- National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore
- National Law University (NLU), New Delhi
- IIT Kharagpur
- Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad
- Symbiosis Law School, Pune
- Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
- National Law Institute University, Bhopal
Ques. Which books are best for the LLM CLAT Entrance?
Ans. There are several books available in the market for LLM Entrance Exams that you can refer to. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Law of Torts by Ratanlal and Dhirajlal
- Law of Torts by R K Bangia
- The Indian Penal Code by Ratanlal and Dhirajlal
- Indian Contract Act by Dr. Paras Diwan
- Legal eagles by Indu Bhan, etc.
Ques. Which degree is better for lawyers: MBA or LLM?
Ans. LLM is only pursued by students who want to study more and gain more knowledge in one of a specific law subject such as Family Law, Maritime Law, taxation Law, Human Rights, etc. Also, it provides better job opportunities in the private job sector.
However, an MBA degree is peculiarly for students who are interested in the management and business administration field. Not many people like to go for an MBA degree after completing LLB, but students can still choose this career path if they want to divert their career in the management industry rather than the legal industry.
Ques. What are the top universities in India offering 1 year LLM courses?
Ans. Below are mentioned some of the top law colleges and universities in India offering 1 year LLM course:
- Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
- National Law Schools/Universities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Raipur, Gandhinagar, etc.
- Indian Law Institute, Delhi
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - LLM in Access to Justice
- Azim Premji University, Bangalore - LLM in Law & Development
- TERI University, New Delhi - LLM in Environment & Natural Resources Law
Ques. Are there some changes in the LLM Admissions because of COVID-19 crisis in India?
Ans. Many top LLM Entrance Exams such as CLAT, AILET, etc have been postponed and their registration process is delayed because of the coronavirus situation and lockdown extension in India. Now, probably these exams will be held in the month of June-August, 2020. Final dates will be announced soon and notifications will be sent to the registered candidates.