The French Law Degree
In France, a law degree is earned by attending law school. Law school is a school within a larger university, not a separate entity. Being able to practice law in France requires a Bachelor in Law (LLB) and then at least a Master's degree in the field (LLM), although a doctoral level program (PhD in Law) is also available.
Earning a Law Degree in France
Because French law schools are within public universities, admission at the undergraduate level is not as selective as in private schools. However, admission does not mean success, and many students do not succeed in the rigorous programs.
The law school is divided into three programs. First, students attend a three-year Bachelor of law program (called “Licence de Droit”). This is followed by a two-year Master of Law program (LLM), and finally a three-year or more Ph.D. in law. Also, in order to enter the bar, students must also enter the bar school. Acceptance into bar school requires at least the first year of Master of law training.
Many students opt to attend school in France because of its low cost. Student restaurants and subsidized residence halls add to the affordability of attending school in France. The French academic year begins in September and runs through May or June, broken into a fall and spring semester.
France is appealing to law students also because of its high level of academics. Those who can speak French well enough to attend school can get an affordable education from some of the top schools and educators in the world of international education. Those who can succeed in the rigorous French law school programs are able to practice law throughout Europe with the foundation of the strong civil law training that comes from the French educational system.
In addition, many French law programs also study common law, so their graduates are well equipped to apply to the bar or gain professional entrance into other countries where civil law is not the main type of law practiced. This combination makes France an appealing country to consider when choosing a school in which to study law.