Types of Law: Which Should You Study?


Law has always been a well-respected academic discipline. It is because a profession in law provides one with financial security, job security, and a prestigious position in society. Before deciding to pursue a law degree, thorough research on the various areas of law you can practise is required. Learn about the different types of law and where you can get a law degree in Malaysia.

What is law?

Law is a set of rules of conduct established and implemented by a controlling authority. With binding legal force, it plays a vital role in shaping politics, economics, and society. In addition, it serves as a framework to mediate disputes between individuals, ensuring that every person’s rights are well-protected in maintaining a free and peaceful society.

Fields of law

Prospective lawyers can pursue a career in a broad range of law practices based on their interests and ambitions. Here are the 21 major fields of law:

      1. Animal law

With nonhuman animals as the primary subject, the main objective of this field is to stand for animal rights. Lawyers in this field are responsible for providing legal defence to endangered wildlife, entertainment and companion animals, and livestock to expose inhumane treatment and facilities.

      2. Admiralty law (Maritime law)

Lawyers who work in admiralty law regulate disputes and trading in navigable waters. It includes resolving issues in maritime transport and disagreements between ships and sailors.

      3. Bankruptcy law

Bankruptcy refers to a legal proceeding whereby an individual or organisation faces insolvency and fails to settle outstanding debts. Bankruptcy lawyers assist their clients in making sound decisions throughout bankruptcy proceedings and assessments in paying off their debts.

      4. Banking and finance law

Banking and finance law oversees the regulation of financial institutions as well as their practices and business operations. Lawyers in this field are also in charge of ensuring that the interests of lenders and borrowers are met legally in all financial transactions.

      5. Civil rights law

Civil rights law serves to balance the interests of government institutions and individuals. Lawyers practising such law ensure that everyone receives equal treatment without discrimination and infringement of basic rights such as freedom of expression.

      6. Constitutional law

Constitutional law defines the roles and powers of different branches of government and the people’s rights. Constitutional lawyers protect and defend their clients’ human rights and civil liberties against the government. 

      7. Corporate law

Corporate law puts the rules and regulations required for corporations to form and operate. The primary objective of a corporate lawyer is to address the corporation’s legal administration by handling matters such as acquisitions, mergers, patents, and legal compliance.

      8. Criminal law

Criminal law dictates conduct perceived as threatening or harmful to the public, its property, and moral welfare. Accordingly, appropriate punishments and rehabilitation are proposed for individuals who violate the law. Here, lawyers play two primary roles. A prosecutor represents the public’s interests, while a defence attorney defends an individual faced with criminal charges. 

      9. Education law

Education law covers legal matters pertaining to schools and their students and staff. Education lawyers promote high-quality education for all students and handle issues such as students’ and teachers’ rights, discrimination in schools, and school safety.

      10. Entertainment law

Entertainment law focuses on issues of rights and royalties related to the entertainment industry. As such, lawyers in this area must know the ins and outs of the industry when working with performers and their managing team or company.

      11. Employment law (Labour law)

Employment law addresses workers’ rights and employer/employee relationships. The primary objective of employment lawyers is to assist their clients in confronting unfair treatment in workplaces. Besides that, employment lawyers are to represent their clients in matters relating to wages, harassment, and discrimination.

      12. Environmental law

Environmental law examines human interactions and the way they impact the environment. Legal professionals in this field oversee issues involving natural resource management, pollution, climate change, deforestation, and alternative energy sources.

      13. Family law

Family law is put in place to examine complex familial relationships and resolve family legal issues. Lawyers practising family law will work on marriage and divorce cases, child custody, adoption, and restraining orders.

      14. Health law

Health law focuses on legislation concerning the healthcare of individuals. Working in health law denotes that a lawyer is responsible for promoting legitimate healthcare services and representing clients in cases dealing with healthcare policies.

      15. Immigration law

Immigration lawyers provide assistance to immigrant clients throughout their naturalisation process and those who enter the country to seek refuge and asylum without proper documentation. Immigration law can also be combined with civil rights law when an immigrant’s constitutional rights are not being honoured.

      16. International law

International lawyers analyse international relations and how they affect the public and private sectors. In the private sector, lawyers may work in departments of transnational corporations dealing with trade and finance. Meanwhile, lawyers practising public international law may work trading between sovereign countries.

      17. Intellectual property law

Intellectual property law protects the creative works of individuals or businesses, be it tangible or intangible. Intellectual property lawyers ensure their clients maintain ownership over intellectual property fundamental and valuable to their companies and businesses. For instance, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets.

      18. Military law

Military law covers codes and rules that govern military personnel. A practising lawyer in this field needs to be well-versed with the military system to represent servicemen and servicewomen in the armed forces in legal cases.

      19. Personal injury law

Personal injury lawyers provide counsel to clients who have experienced injury physically, emotionally and mentally. Experts in this area work on cases involving unintentional wrongdoings, malpractice, negligence, and wrongful deaths.

      20. Real estate law

Real estate law covers the ownership, tenant rights, and development of land or a building. Real estate lawyers review contracts of residential or commercial transactions and represent clients impacted by inadequate quality concerning housing and living conditions.

      21. Tax law

Also known as revenue law, the tax law provides a legislative framework to civilians and governments participating in the country’s taxation system. Tax lawyers assist their clients by bringing clarity to the complex tax system.

Which law is best to study?

If you are looking for a lucrative law career, corporate law may be the perfect option. A corporate lawyer plays a significant role in the formation and administration of a business by providing legal advice. With the increasing number of companies emerging each year, corporate lawyers are highly sought after. Hence, they are handsomely paid to help companies negotiate the best deals and navigate difficult situations.

According to Salary Expert’s survey data, the average salary of a corporate lawyer in Malaysia is RM188,921 per year. An entry-level corporate lawyer with one to three years of experience earns an average salary of RM131,173 every year. Meanwhile, a senior-level corporate lawyer with more than eight years of experience receives an average pay of RM237,195 per year.

However, profitable returns may not be the reason that motivates everyone to pursue a career in law. Some people study law because they believe it is their noble calling to uphold justice and help the weak. For example, if you are passionate about helping students receive equal education rights regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sex, specialising in education law may be the right option. Similarly, if you strongly believe that animals deserve a voice and a life free from exploitation, you can consider pursuing a career in animal law.

The important thing is to consider what excites you the most and what you are passionate about. Think of how you can make a difference and enhance others’ lives when you become a qualified lawyer. 

Types of law courses in Malaysia

There are several types of law courses offered in private institutions and public universities in Malaysia. They range from the typical Bachelor of Laws which focuses on the foundation study of law, to a Bachelor in Laws and Commerce, which covers the legal and commercial aspects of a business and trading, and a Bachelor in Syariah and Law, which grants graduates expertise in Islamic judiciary. 

Upon completing a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), graduates are qualified to be admitted to the Malaysian Bar by gaining a pass in the Malaysian Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the United Kingdom. Graduates with LLB  qualifications from selected universities in Australia and New Zealand are allowed to sit for CLP in Malaysia.

Where to study law in Malaysia?

If you want to pursue a law degree, UOW Malaysia KDU offers an internationally accredited Bachelor of Laws (3+0) programme with the University of London, UK. It is the sole external law degree that the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia recognises. Besides that, students are allowed to complete the programme at their own pace with a maximum of three sittings and five years and take the exam in different locations worldwide.

To enrol in this programme, you must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. A-Levels: 2Ds, or
  2. STPM: 2Cs with a minimum CGPA of 2.00, excluding General Paper, or
  3. UEC: 5Bs and 5 SPM credits inclusive of English, or 8Bs and a credit in English at the SPM level, or
  4. SAM / AUSMAT: Attain an ATAR score of 80

Any other qualification is subjected to evaluation upon acceptance by the University of London on a case-by-case basis.

To be qualified for the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP), you must meet the prerequisites below:

  1. Obtain a minimum of 5 Credits inclusive of Bahasa Malaysia in SPM or its equivalent in one sitting, or
  2. Obtain a minimum of 2 Principal Passes at STPM level or its equivalent in one sitting, or
  3. Awarded with at least a Lower Second Class Honours law degree

GCE A-Levels, STPM, and any other qualifications are subject to acceptance.

In addition to that, local students must achieve at least Band 4.0 in the Malaysian University English Test (MUET). Meanwhile, international students must pass Band 6.0 in The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), score a minimum of 60 marks (IBT) or 488 marks (PBT) in TOEFL, or a minimum of 59 points in PTE Academic. UOW Malaysia KDU offers additional English modules if you do not meet the English language requirements.

Conclusion

Law comprises a number of practice areas for prospective lawyers to choose from based on their interests and aspirations. With that, UOW Malaysia KDU’s law programme provides an engaging learning environment and real-world educational experience to help students reach their fullest potential. Hence, our programme is a perfect choice who desire to pursue a law degree.

Should you have any queries about our program, get in touch with us for assistance or to find out more!

If you’re still deciding whether or not to pursue a law degree, maybe this article will help – ‘Why Should You Study Law In Malaysia: 10 Strong Reasons’

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20 May 2022

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