Guide to Studying Law in Malaysia

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the employment of lawyers will increase by 6% by 2024. A perfect opportunity to choose a course in Law.
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Are you considering studying law in Malaysia? If so, you are about to enter an exciting field that is rich in opportunities. There are many areas that you can focus on when studying law. You will soon find out that there will always be a need for lawyers to provide legal services, no matter where in the world you are. For more information on law, check out our study guide on the subject.

After you finish studying law in Malaysia, you will have the opportunity to pursue a legal career in Malaysia, or take your skills to another country. Your law studies in Malaysia will prepare you for a host of rewarding possibilities. The first step is to find a university that will meet all of your expectations.

6 best universities to study law in Malaysia

When you study, you will have to sit down and carefully consider all the potential universities in Malaysia that are available for you. We want to make your research a little easier for you, so we’ve put together a list of 4 top universities in Malaysia that offer law courses, based on international and national ranking systems, as well as another 2 notable institutions that we think you should check out:

  • Universiti Malaya

  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

  • Taylor’s University

  • Universiti Utara Malaysia

  • Brickfields Asia College

  • Advance Tertiary College

 

Top universities based on QS World University Rankings

The QS World University Rankings is one of the world’s most trusted and authoritative ranking systems. Only 301 universities across the globe were included in the 2018 QS scale for the subject of law – and guess what? Malaysian universities made the list! Let’s check them out:

Universiti Malaya

According to the QS scale, Universiti Malaya (UM) is in the Top 150 worldwide for the subject of law. UM’s faculty of law is the first of its kind in Malaysia, with a history dating back to 1972. Law graduates are qualified to enter the High Court of Malaya as an advocate and solicitor after appropriate training. UM’s law students also get to listen to lectures and seminars by visiting academics from countries such as Australia, the UK and USA.  

UM

Bachelor of Laws degree

  • Duration: Minimum 8 semesters

  • Intakes: September

  • Estimated fees: RM 7,056

 

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has dedicated centres for research in law, and in 2014, even won the International Space Law Moot Court Competition in Paris, France. UKM’s law faculty also has strong partnerships with the Judiciary, the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA), Bar Council and many other industry players under its student development programme.

UKM

Bachelor of Law (Hons) degree

  • Duration: 4 years

  • Intakes: June and September

  • Estimated fees: RM 7,120

 

Top universities based on the SETARA ranking system

Designed and conducted by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), SETARA is a rating system that evaluates Malaysia’s universities and university colleges based on their institutional profiles, teaching and learning, research capacity, services and income generation. Here are a few universities that were awarded 5 stars (classified as ‘excellent’ institutions) in the latest (2017) ratings:

Taylor’s University

Taylor’s University’s Law School is first of Malaysia’s private institutions to become a member of the International Association of Law Schools, which is a global community for legal education. The university believes that society is the heart of the law, and is therefore very engaged in community outreach. At the same time, these community service activities allow students to practice what they have learned in the classroom.

Taylor's University

Bachelor of Laws degree

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Intakes: April and August

  • Estimated fees: RM 101,400

 

Universiti Utara Malaysia

MQA recognises Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) as a mature university along with its good-quality education. UUM’s Bachelor of Law degree programme is unique compared to others that are solely focused on law, because it integrates management courses as well.  UUM also offers a separate Bachelor degree that combines law with philosophy and business.

UUM

Bachelor of Law (Hons) degree

  • Duration: 8 semesters

  • Intakes: June and September

  • Estimated fees: RM 4,400

 

Other notable universities / colleges in Malaysia

Besides the universities mentioned above, here are 2 others that are widely known as premier higher learning institutions for law.

Brickfields Asia College

Winner of The BrandLaureate’s Best Brand in Legal Education award, Brickfields Asia College (BAC) offers a wide variety of law programmes in collaboration with many of the world’s best universities. Some of their collaborators include the Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University, Nottingham Trent University and more. Students may choose to study all 3 years in Malaysia (this type of programme is called 3+0), or finish part of their studies in the university abroad (either 1+2 or 2+1).  

BAC

Bachelor of Law (Hons) degree

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Intakes: January, April, June and September

  • Estimated fees: RM 33,000 – 100,000 (depending on type of programme)

 

Advance Tertiary College

The Advance Tertiary College (ATC) has not only been acknowledged by the University of London as the most successful private law school in the world, it is also currently the largest of its kind in the region. ATC offers the University of London’s Bachelor of Laws programme which students can complete fully in Malaysia, for the same qualification at lower costs.

ATC

University of London Bachelor of Laws degree

  • Duration: 3 years

  • Intakes: August

  • Estimated fees: RM 68,050

 

Choosing the law school that is best for you

So, which university should you go to? Here are a few points to consider:

  • Location. The place should be a practical one. You will have to ask yourself if you want to live on campus, or rather rent a room nearby. Do you want to live in Malaysia’s beautiful capital Kuala Lumpur, or maybe closer to the beach?

  • Tuition fees.  The cost of the law programme is of great importance as well. Are the fees affordable for you?  If the programme is too expensive, are there scholarships you can apply for?

  • Reputation. The most important factor is that you should select a university with an excellent reputation where you will be sure to learn the ins and outs of the legal world. A highly qualified university will make sure that you are well-equipped for any legal job.

You can use Easyuni to compare universities that offer law courses, read reviews and see their tuition fees, to help you decide on which university is the best fit for you.

Areas of law practice that you can study

Besides the tough choice of picking a university, there is another decision you need to be aware off. Law is a broad field and there are many areas that you can specialise in, such as:

  • Advertising law

  • Criminal law

  • Family law

  • Business law

  • Constitutional law

Besides the above, there are many others. You don’t have to choose an area to specialise in right now, but it might be wise to start reading about them. That way, you can steer yourself in the right direction when you start to study law in Malaysia. This will help you achieve your main goal as you prepare yourself for a rewarding career in law. The following sections cover some other questions you might have about studying law in Malaysia.

How to pursue law studies after SPM?

After completing SPM or O Levels, you might be wondering how and where to begin your journey in the field of law. If you’re still unsure about it, no worries! Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plan out your education pathway:

  • Step 1 – Pass SPM. Aim to get credits or higher in English, Bahasa Melayu and History

  • Step 2 – Study a pre-university programme, such as A-Levels, STPM or Foundation. Some universities also offer Diploma programmes leading to their Bachelor degree programmes

  • Step 3 – Study and complete a Bachelor’s degree in law

  • Step 4 – If not covered in your Bachelor programme, sit for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) exam, which is stretched out over a period of 9 months

  • Step 5 – Begin your chambering (also called pupillage) at a law firm. Chambering is basically an internship, and generally lasts for 9 months

  • Step 6 – Congratulations! You have received your ‘call to the bar’. Usually, this is an official ceremony where you finally get accepted as a qualified lawyer. Now, you can practise law in Malaysia

But wait, the journey doesn’t have to end here! If you still want to further your education in law, many Malaysian universities also offer postgraduate law courses. So, without further ado, here are the steps you can continue taking in your pursuit of justice:

  • Step 7 – Study for a Master’s degree in law. To qualify, you will need to have passed your Bachelor of Law with a minimum CGPA of 3.00. Some universities may require you to have a few years of working experience as well.

  • Step 8 – Take a Doctoral degree in law! To take this step, you will need a relevant Master’s degree. You may also opt to take the PhD programme directly after your Bachelor studies if your results are very good.

Note: Make sure that all the programmes you study are recognised by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board (LPQB)

How long is a Bachelor’s degree in law?

The duration of study for a Bachelor’s degree in law (abbreviated as LL.B) depends on whether it includes a professional year or not. The professional year embeds the CLP exam into the curriculum, so that students don’t have to take it after they graduate from their Bachelor programme. If the CLP exam is not included in your programme, you have to take it after you get your Bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for chambering in Malaysia (refer to previous section). Generally, a Bachelor’s degree programme is:

  • 3 years if the programme does not include a professional year

  • 4 years if the programme includes a professional year

What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements vary depending on the institution, but typically the criteria for a Bachelor’s degree in law are:

  • SPM or O Levels – passed with minimum of 3 credits including English, and

  • Foundation or Diploma – passed with a minimum CGPA of 2.00, or

  • STPM or A Levels – minimum 2 principal passes, or

  • Any other qualifications that are deemed equivalent by the university

How much does it cost to study law?

Similar to entry requirements, universities charge differently for their Bachelor law degree programmes. Typically, fees are much more affordable in public institutions compared to private ones. As a general estimate, the price range according to type of university is as below:

  • Public universities – RM 4,000 – 7,200

  • Private universities – RM 60,000 – 100,000

What subjects will be studied?

Good law courses ensure that students have a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Here are examples of a few topics you might cover in a general law degree programme:

  • Legal Methods

  • English and Malaysian Legal System

  • International Human Rights and Humanitarian law

  • Criminal Procedure

  • Mooting (simulation of a court proceeding)

What are the career options?

There are many job opportunities available for students after they graduate. The table below will give you an idea of careers that you can take up and their estimated salaries.

Career

Average monthly income

Law Lecturer

RM 4,500

Attorney

RM 5,000

Office Manager of Law Firm

RM 6,000

Partner of Law Firm

RM 8,000

Of course, the amount you ultimately earn depends on which stage of your career you are in, such as whether you are fresh in the field, or an executive or senior with years of work experience behind you. Your reputation in the field may also influence your pay. For example, well-known attorneys can make as much as RM 19,000 monthly!

Be prepared for the journey

Are you ready? Studying law is an intense field of study as it requires you to read more, brush up your communication skills, be more organised and work harder. Becoming a full-fledged lawyer means that you have to complete at least a Bachelor’s degree, pass the CLP exam and chamber for 9 months before you are allowed to practise. The journey to enter the world of courtrooms and civil codes may be a long one, but remember – long journeys are always the most rewarding ones.

Want to know more? Feel free to get in touch with us.

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