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Study Law Abroad - the Definitive Guide

Traditionally the UK has attracted Indian students to its universities to study postgraduate programmes in Law.

Mahesh Ramani

“In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.” - Immanuel Kant

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Subject modules & entry requirements

Aristotle remarked - “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” 


As per a report published late last year, there are well over 3 crore pending cases in Indian courts. This means that as a nation we need a large number of competent lawyers who will be able to tackle the pending cases in addition to the new cases that get filed every day. With universities around the world offering attractive law programmes, the number of Indian students opting for a postgraduate degree in law abroad is steadily increasing.   


As per the QS Subject Rankings, 2015, the top five places to study a programme in Law are:

  • Harvard University
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • Yale University
  • New York University


Postgraduate programme options

The MA and the LLM are the most popular postgraduate qualifications offered in Law. Be it Criminology or Business Law or Intellectual Property Law a wide variety of subject combinations and specialisations are offered. In the USA, the MS in Criminal Justice is a popular programme.

How long will you study?

The duration of the programme varies from one year to two years based on the subject and the university.

What will you study?

Typically a postgraduate programme in Law incorporates modules in Criminal Law, Civil Law, Business Law and International Law. Additional modules are offered based on the specialisation selected by the student.  

View all postgraduate programmes in Law

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should ideally have an undergraduate degree in Law. Students looking to pursue a postgraduate programme in Law in the USA, Canada or Australia are also required to write the LSAT - Law School Admission Test. The LSAT is administered by the Law School Admission Council.

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate programme in Law.


The average cost of completing a postgraduate degree in Law ranges from INR 10 lakhs to INR 25 lakhs.

Subject specialisations

Some of the most popular postgraduate subject specialisations are:

Civil Law

Civil Law incorporates modules in areas like – Intellectual Property Law and Business and Commercial Law. View all postgraduate programmes in Civil Law.

Criminal Law

An oft-quoted line is – “A thousand guilty men can go unpunished, but not a single innocent man should be punished.”  Modules offers in Criminal Law programmes include – Criminal Justice, Criminology, Human Rights, Social Policy and Social Justice. View all postgraduate programmes in Criminal Law.   

International Law

With businesses no longer restricted to just one region and the crisis of immigrants reaching alarming levels, no incident good or bad remains isolated. In a strange way, everything seems interconnected. This is where a clear understanding of ‘International Law’ comes into play.

View all postgraduate programmes in International Law.

Legal Studies

‘Legal Studies’ is a broad term that covers a wide variety of subjects and incorporates ‘Law’ as an integral part of the curriculum. Common combinations include Banking and Law and Law and Criminology. View all postgraduate programmes in Legal Studies.

Public Law

‘Public Law’ is a popular specialisation, incorporating modules in Human Rights, Social Justice and International Law. View all postgraduate programmes in Public Law.

Some popular universities that applicants may choose to consider to study a postgraduate programme in Law are Bangor University, Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Sydney and University of Central Florida

Career prospects

A career in corporate or environmental law working for a reputed law firm is a great way to start one’s career and earn a good salary as well. Opportunities to work for NGOs and the government are also available. A wide variety of career opportunities are available for students of International Law. In India, an entry-level legal clerk makes between INR 2.5 lakhs and INR 3 lakhs a year. A legal clerk in a similar role in the USA earns around US40,000 to US$50,000 a year. Once again this is a clear indicator of why an international degree and a job abroad scores over studying and working in India.  


Setting aside great political leaders who werealso successful lawyers like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, some great legal minds in the modern era are Ram Jethmalani, Harish Salve and Soli Sorabjee.  

Professional associations


The All India Bar Association is the leading body representing India’s legal fraternity. It facilitates clear understanding among the various bar councils in India.

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Nupur Verma Nupur Verma,
Study abroad expert.
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