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Dual LLB/Juris Doctor (JD) with Columbia University, New York

Lawyers qualified in more than one jurisdiction are increasingly in demand around the world

After successfully completing the first year of the LLB Law programme, you may apply to transfer to the dual degree programme that leads to a Bachelor of Laws honours degree from UCL and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University in New York. The Juris Doctor (or J.D.) is the American equivalent of the LLB.

A maximum of three students per year are permitted to transfer onto this double degree programme. Selection is based on academic merit and will have major financial implications for the students involved. Students who have undertaken more than one year of study in the US (secondary or higher education) will not be eligible for the programme. Students who have applied to Columbia previously will need to disclose this as part of the application process as this may affect their eligibility for the programme. Final decisions on eligible applicants are made in consultation with Columbia University in line with their requirements.   

Students in the dual degree programme spend two years at UCL and a further two years at Columbia Law School in New York. After completing all four years of study, successful candidates will be awarded the LLB and J.D. degrees.

Applicants who are interested in this dual degree programme should apply through UCAS for admission to the LLB Law programme. In the first term of year 2, UCL Laws will inform you of the procedures for applying to transfer to the dual degree programme. Transfer is not guaranteed.

All our undergraduate programme degrees are compliant with the Common Protocol on the Academic Stage of Training for the purposes of qualifying as a solicitor or barrister. All of our programmes are compliant with the QAA subject benchmark statement for law and contain the "Foundations of Legal Knowledge" subjects as well as the skills associated with graduate legal work such as legal research. 

Qualifying as a Barrister or Solicitor in England & Wales

1.    Solicitor

Please note that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’) is bringing in a new, independent centralised assessment for all would-be solicitors on 1 September 2021 (the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (‘SQE’)). Transitional arrangements apply to anyone who, by 21 September 2021, has completed, started or accepted an offer of a place on a qualifying law degree and starts the course on or before 31 December 2021, so that applies to students who start their degree at UCL Laws in September 2021. Anyone who falls within this group will have until 31 December 2032 to qualify as a solicitor under the existing routes, as long as the courses remain available (i.e. undertaking the Legal Practice Course and a 2-year training contract) or through the SQE route. 

The routes to qualifying as a solicitor will change for students starting the Law degree programmes at UCL (and elsewhere) from 2022. You will need to undertake the Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination (SQE) to qualify as a solicitor. Your law degree will not exempt you from the SQE assessment, but the foundations of legal knowledge subjects studied on your degree at UCL Laws (criminal law, contract & tort law, property law, public law (including constitutional law, administrative law & human rights), equity & trusts, EU law) will be assessed in the new SQE 1 exam (in addition to other areas of law and practice). In order to qualify as a solicitor after your degree at UCL Laws, you will need to complete:

•    SQE1 on legal knowledge
•    SQE2 on practical legal skills and knowledge
•    two years' full-time (or equivalent) qualifying work experience
•    pass the SRAs character and suitability requirements.

You will find further information about the SQE on the SRAs website (link above). For more information you should refer to the SRA website.

2.    Barrister

In order to become a barrister, the requirement to complete the academic component of Bar training will not change. There are three components to training to become a barrister. These are:

the academic stage;
the vocational stage; and
the pupillage (work-based learning). 

Subject to approval, the Bar Standard Board’s (‘BSB’) only regulatory involvement in undergraduate law degrees which started in or after academic year 2019/20 will be the continuing requirements that law degrees are compliant with the QAA subject benchmark statement for law and that degree courses contain the "Foundations of Legal Knowledge" subjects as well as the skills associated with graduate legal work such as legal research. All our undergraduate programme degrees are compliant with the QAA subject benchmark statement for law and contain the "Foundations of Legal Knowledge" subjects as well as the skills associated with graduate legal work such as legal research. For more information you should refer to the BSB website.

  • Please note: this programme is not available through UCAS. There is no opportunity to express a preference for this dual degree programme at the initial application stage.
Year 1

Prior to the start of teaching, you will be required to complete some pre-course reading for the Laws’ Connections induction course (approximately 15 hours). This will be sent to you prior to the start of the academic year. You may also be asked to complete some pre-course reading for some of the year 1 modules. When you join UCL laws, you will start with a two-week induction programme: Laws' Connections: Legal Doctrine and Contemporary Challenges.

Laws' Connections is designed to be an inspiring introduction to the study of law here at UCL Laws, and to the role of law in addressing social challenges. It has two elements:

  1. Introduction to the Study of Law
  2. Case Studies

In the case studies on topics such as climate change, homelessness, the gig economy, medical accidents and the family home, we shall think hard about the role of lawyers and law in addressing significant social problems and introduce some important legal ideas and concepts, and also some important legal skills. You shall also get to know the people you will be studying with for the coming years. 

You will take four compulsory modules during year one of the programme:

  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Property Law I
  • Public Law
Year 2

During year two of the programme, you will take four compulsory modules:

  • European Union Law
  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
  • Property Law II
  • Tort Law
Years 3 & 4

During years three and four, you will study on the J.D. programme at the Columbia Law School at Columbia University in New York. You will be required to pay the relevant fees to Columbia University.

Visit the Columbia Law School website for more details