Master of Laws (LLM) vs Juris Doctor (JD): Which is better for you?

Both Master of Laws (LLM) and Juris Doctor (JD) are master degrees in Law, what is the different between them?

Master of Laws focuses on cultivating students’ ability to research and study in various legal fields and to solve legal problems, including understanding and studying many important legal fields such as international law, Australia common law and commercial law. This course aims to develop students’ critical thinking and argumentative skills and strengthens them through experience gained through research projects and internships.

The Juris Doctor program strengthens students’ understanding of the Australian legal system and explores the responsibilities and ethics of the legal profession so that students can meet the requirements of practicing layers in Australia.

Studying Law in Australia

The Western Sydney University offers Master of Laws (LLM) and Juris Doctor (JD) to both domestic and international students to learn more about the Australian Legal System and the wider legal community.

Master of Laws


Duration: 1-2 years

Start times: July and March

Campus: Parramatta South

Tuition fee: International student – AUD$33,352/annum

Course structure

This course provides two directions of study:

  • International Governance
  • Testamur Major

In the two-year LLM program, for example, students are required to complete 160 credits, 50 of which are core courses. If the student chooses International Governance, he/she needs to take 40 credits of International Governance course, and the remaining 70 credits need to be selected from the list of alternative subjects. If the student chooses the Testamur Major, the remaining 110 credits are selected from the list of alternative subjects.


Students without legal background can apply for the LLM. The length of the program depends on the students’ academic background and work experience. Details are explained in the course information below.

The LLM provides students with valuable internship opportunities, where they will be supervised and guided by legal practitioners to transform knowledge into skills and experience into specialties.

If you graduate from LLM, you will have the opportunity to work in foreign affairs, international organizations, business and industry. After graduation, you can become a diplomat, a lawyer, or a policy analyst

(Western Sydney University)

Juris Doctor (JD)


Duration: 3 years

Start times: July and March

Campus: Parramatta South

Tuition fee: International student – AUD$39,904/annum

Course structure

Juris Doctor (JD) is a three-year degree program that requires the completion of 240 credits in six semesters over three years with 40 credits per semester.

In the first year, students will focus on the basics of law, such as fundamentals of Australian law, criminal law, contracts, legal analysis and criticism, tort law, alternative dispute resolution, government and public law, etc.

In the second year, students will continue to study various types of law and develop professional ethics, knowledge and skills in the application of professional studies, such as professional responsibility and legal ethics, legal philosophy and methodology, and remedies.

In the first semester of the third year, students will take courses: Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure and Evidence, while the remaining two courses can be selected from the JD alternative subject list; In the second semester, students will choose four courses from the JD Alternative subject list.


The JD program of the University of Western Sydney is accredited by the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB).

*The LPAB is responsible for determining eligibility and fitness to apply to be a solicitor in New South Wales; Accreditation of academic law courses and practical legal training courses in NSW; To appoint a notary public in New South Wales; And maintaining the rolls of solicitors and notary public in New South Wales.

Juris Doctor (JD) accepts applications from students with no legal background who have completed a bachelor’s degree program or equivalent in a non-legal background.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in legal research projects to lay a solid foundation for their future careers, which will be of great benefit to those considering a PhD in the future. Also, students can gain real professional and industry experience through internships with partners and related organizations of the University of Western Sydney.

Juris Doctor (JD) graduates may consider careers as lawyers, law librarians, arbitrators or mediators

(Western Sydney University)


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