In Canada and the United States, the Bachelor of Laws degree is the lowest and first professional degree in law and is issued by a law school. It is usually abbreviated LL.B. Possession of a Bachelor of Laws degree is usually the initial step in becoming licensed as a lawyer in those countries.
The use of the Bachelor of Laws degree is declining as many law schools now issue a Juris Doctor degree, which has identical qualifications.
A Bachelor of Laws program usually consists of three years of study and about thirty courses averaging about fifteen lecture hours per semester. The first year program is consistent throughout most programs and consists of Criminal Law, Torts, Contract Law, Legal Research & Writing, Personal Property, Real Property, Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law. There is usually one elective course during first year as well. Study in second and third years is usually less structured with a wider variety of available courses as well as more specialized areas of study.