Are you a firm believer in justice?
Do you dream of being able to help and protect the rights of individuals?
Does the judicial system intrigue you?
If you said “yes” to all of this, then perhaps a Law degree just might be the right path for you.
What is Law?
Law is a set of rules and regulations established by the government to regulate the behaviour of the community it governs.
Laws are set in place to ensure citizens’ rights are protected, so that the community may be able to live a safe and peaceful life.
Essentially, the law’s job is to make sure that its people are safe from harm and carry out consequences to offenders who break the law.
Why Should You Study Law?
You Want to Help People
One thing that the lockdown from recent years had highlighted was the importance of regulatory oversight.
The applicability of certain laws were tested when conditions had to be adjusted to protect the greater society.
As a legal practitioner and the knowledge you would have attained from your studies, you have the opportunity to become the voice of the people in need.
In this profession, you will be given the chance to protect those who need to be protected, either by representing them in the court or even challenging the systems in place through legal proceedings.
Flexible Career Options
Your knowledge of the law gives you the flexibility to be part of any industry.
In addition, you will acquire several transferable skills as well.
As a law student, you will be required to use your skills in critical thinking, communication, and commit to reading a large amount of texts that you will need to analyse.
You will gain invaluable knowledge
The study you will undergo as a law student will not only land in a wide field of demand, but also dispense you with a paramount of knowledge.
By studying the rules and regulations that govern your country, you will be able to gain a better understanding of society as a whole.
Additionally, you also have the opportunity to focus and specialise on the various fields of law, which allows you to develop your academic skills further.
What are the Study Fields of Law?
Like many professions, there is a broad range of fields you may choose to specialise from. Here is a list of a numbered few
Animal Welfare Law
The main objective of this field is to protect animal rights.
The primary focus is to protect animals from mistreatment, neglect, and illegal sale of wildlife.
Banking and Finance Law
This field deals with the legal proceedings involved with bankruptcy, debts, and so on.
The main responsibility is to help clients make sound decisions while paying off or assessing their financial crisis.
Human Rights Law
Lawyers working in human rights aims to create a balance between government institutions and the individuals of society.
Their job would consist of ensuring that individuals are treated equally and are not faced with any discrimination that may infringe upon the individuals’ basic human rights.
Constitutional law is essentially what defines the roles and powers of government branches among the rights of the people.
Lawyers in this field fight to protect and defend their clients’ rights and liberties against the government.
Essential for businesses and organisations to operate, corporate lawyers are there to ensure a business complies with the necessary laws.
In corporate law, it encompasses handling mergers, patents, and various legal compliance.
This field of law deals with those whose conduct/actions are deemed threatening or harmful to the public, property, and moral welfare.
Penalties and rehabilitations are often presented to those who commit a violation of the law.
In this field, you can choose to represent the government as a prosecutor or represent an individual as a defence attorney.
Lawyers working in this field represent workers’ rights and the relationship between employers and employees.
Their main objective is to assist individuals with matters related to the workplace.
This field is responsible for overseeing environmental issues such as exploitive use of natural resources, pollution, deforestation, and seeking alternative energy sources.
What are the Popular Law Pathways?
This is how you can be a qualified lawyer in Malaysia:
Once you have completed your SPM or O-Level examination, you may enrol yourself either into a Foundation in Law, A-Level, AUSMAT, STPM, SACE, or others.
You will need to fulfil these entry requirements:
- SPM / O-Level: min. 5Cs including Bahasa Melayu
- UEC: min 3Cs, including English
The course can take up to 2 years to complete and costs from RM 14,000.
After completing this, only then may you move on to a Bachelor of Law.
Diploma in Law
Alternatively, a diploma course is also available.
You will need to fulfil these entry requirements:
- SPM / O-Level: Minimum 3Cs
This diploma programme takes up to 3 years for you to complete and costs RM 34,000.
Once you have completed your diploma programme, you can enter the second year of a law degree programme.
Degree in Law
There are 2 types of degree in law programmes in Malaysia.
Most degree programmes are 3 years and require students to sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) exam after graduation.
However, there are also 4-year law degree programmes available.
These programmes include a professional year and offer students exemption from CLP.
You will need to fulfil these entry requirements for the law degree programme:
- STPM: min. 2Cs
- A-level: min. 2Es
- AUSMAT/SACEi: min. ATAR 50
- UEC: min. 5Bs
- Foundation: min. CGPA of 2.00
The degree courses cost from RM 39,000.
After taking your CLP, you may then begin chambering, or pupilage, at a law firm.
This stage is basically your internship phase, and it lasts for 9 months.
Once you’ve finished with your chambering, congratulations!
You’ll then be called to the Malaysian Bar and officially be admitted as an advocate and solicitor.
What are the Skills Required to Study Law?
There are no set rules as to what soft skills you need to qualify for in order to study law.
However, you may find there a number of skills that can come in useful if you were interested in pursuing law as your degree.
Communication: You must have the ability to communicate effectively, whether to your peers, faculty, the judge, or your client.
Research: As a student or a lawyer, you’ll need to rely on your research skills to create a strong foundation for your argument.
Critical Thinking: One of the key skills to have is the ability to look at facts, information, and other sources objectively and form a judgement from it.
Reading: Part of a lawyer’s time is spent reading, whether it’s case studies, past judgements, or research papers.
Organisation: Having good organisational skills will enable you to handle large amounts of material and paperwork without making a mistake that can affect your case.
Top Law Universities in Malaysia
Taylor’s law school is recognised by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia.
Its faculty and student body members are committed to generate public benefit through legal education and make Taylor’s Law School to be the country’s leading private law school.
- Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Recognised as the most popular institution for Law, Brickfields Asia College (BAC) has a track record of producing more than 10,000 law graduates.
It is one of the only two private institutions that run the CLP course and test.
- Foundation in law
- LLB (Hons) (3+0), University of London International Programmes
- LLB (Hons) (1+2) UK University
- LLB (Hons) (2+1) UK University
UOW Malaysia KDU is recognised by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia, and also considered to be the “gold standard” of undergraduate law degrees.
It has a world ranking of 171- 180 in QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.
- Foundation studies (Art and Technology)
- Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (3+0) External with University of London UK
Things You Need to Know About a Law Career
As mentioned above, you’ll need to complete a professional exam before you can be considered a qualified lawyer.
Certificate of Legal Practice (CLP)
This exam is conducted by the Legal Professional Qualifying Board of Malaysia.
It is a 9-month course consisting of 5 papers.
These include General Paper, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Professional Practice.
The main examination is held in July.
If you were to fail two subjects in this exam, you would need to sit for all 5 papers again.
You are only allowed to sit for the papers 4 times before having to re-register for CLP and pay for the full tuition again.
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
BPTC is a course taken in the UK for students aspiring to be barristers in England and Wales as well as advocate and solicitor in Malaysia.
BPTC can be completed in 1 year as a full-time student.
To be an eligible candidate, you would need a qualifying Law Degree, a 7.5 score in each section of your IELTS, registered with one of the Inns of Court, and have passed your Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT).
You would need to pass all your units in this course, as well as the 12 sessions with your Inn (see Inns of Court above).
After this, you may begin your pupilage in the law firm of your choice.
During this time, you will gain knowledge and experience by shadowing a senior lawyer.
You will also be required to complete a course on Ethics and Professional Standards, as well as provide 14 days of legal aid.
Some law firms value the BPTC more than the CLP because that is more aligned with their objectives.
Popular Law-related Jobs
When you have graduated as an official advocate and solicitor, you are now free to apply for your preferred choice of employment.
According to JobStreet, here are a few positions currently available for Law graduates:
- Legal Executive
- Junior Legal Executive
- Audit Junior
- Junior Admin Clerk
As you enter into the world of legal profession, you can expect to have a lot of hard work cut out ahead of you.
However, as you continue to gain experiences and build your own reputation, you may be able to apply for higher paying jobs.
According to Payscale, the average base salary you can expect to earn in a year as a lawyer can start from RM 41,437.
We hope you found this article helpful!
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