A degree course in Law has been and is still one of the most sought-after and widely respected courses to study at university.
For many, a law degree is the first step along the path to a career in the legal sector, often followed by a bar course at the Law development centre to become a practicing solicitor or barrister.
However, this is certainly not the only reason to study law at university. Law degrees are notoriously challenging, and for many students, the attraction lies in the unique combination of human interest and intellectual stimulation provided.
What is law? Law, or legal studies, comes into contact with almost every area of human life, touching upon issues relating to business, economics, politics, the environment, human rights, international relations and trade.
A degree course in Law is a useful way of preparing a student not only for specific legal careers, but for a broad range of professional roles and indeed, for life in general.
In most countries, law degrees take the form of an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) which allows you to go on to take the national Bar or Law Society qualifying examinations, in order to become a practicing lawyer. In some countries, a BA in Law (BL) or a BSc in Law is in place instead. Often, these alternative names are used interchangeably. However, some universities differentiate between LLB and BA Law programs, with the former focusing exclusively on law and the latter allowing students to take course modules in other subjects, with a focus on humanities.
While most LLM and JD programs are primarily aimed at preparing students for legal careers, it’s also possible to take graduate-level law degrees with a greater focus on academic research. These may be referred to either as a PhD in Law, Doctor of Laws, or Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD). It is also possible to do an intensive two-year law course, or vocational courses of varying length.
Course duration of a law degree
The standard degree takes four years. While the bar course at Law Development Centre (LDC) runs for two years.
Key subjects needed: All subjects offered in high school can qualify you to do a course in law at university. However arts subjects like literature, History, Geography are more preferred.
Law degree course content/ outline
At most universities in Uganda, teaching is through a combination of lectures, seminars, group work, presentations, class debates and ‘mooting sessions’ – practical law training in a courtroom setting to help students master important legal skills such as research and analysis, public speaking and argument formation.
Core teaching will focus on aspects of the subject including contract law, criminal law, property law and the legal foundations of the European Union. Options can embrace subjects including child law, labour law, human rights, bioethics, legal philosophy, current legal issues and environmental law.
Some universities also offer undergraduates the chance to combine study of law with modern foreign language learning. Many give students the chance to research and write a dissertation in the third or fourth year.
What to expect from a Law degree course
Like most academic degrees, law programs start with compulsory core courses, and more opportunities to choose law topics tailored to a particular career path later on.
Universities that offer Law courses
There are several universities that offer courses in Law. These include Makerere university, Nkumba University, Uganda Christian University (UCU), Kampala International University (K.I.U), Ndejje University, Islamic University in Uganda (I.U.I.U) among other Universities. In Uganda, the bar course is offered at Law Development Centre (LDC).