The most conventional route to becoming an Attorney-at-Law is by first obtaining a Bachelor of Law Degree ("LLB") through the Truman Bodden Law School (the "Law School") of the Cayman Islands or another recognised law school or University. Completing the LLB takes three years for full-time students and approximately five to six years for part-time students. Under the Legal Practitioners (Students) Regulations (2017 Revision) (the "Student Regulations"), Regulation 5 (1), the Director of the Law School may admit any person who:
- has attained the age of eighteen years or will attain that age in the year in which he seeks admission; and
- has achieved the requisite standard of general education (set out in Schedule 2 of the Legal Practitioner's Regulations).
Preference in the granting of admission shall be given first to those persons who: (i) satisfy the above conditions; and (ii) possess the right to be Caymanian (as defined in the Immigration Law (2015 Revision)).
If you intend to undertake a law degree from another institution, you will need to check whether it meets the requirements of a Qualifying Law Degree ("QLD") or an equivalent qualification recognised by the Legal Advisory Council (the "Council") under the Student Regulations, a QLD course must cover legal research skills and the following subjects:
- Criminal Law
- Contract Law
- Constitutional & Administrative Law
- Tort Law
- Equity & Trusts
- Land Law (together, the "Core Subjects")
The requirement for completion of the academic stage is a lower second class degree (i.e. 2:2). Due to the high competition for training contracts or articles of clerkship, students who have not obtained an upper second class degree (i.e. 2:1) may find the process challenging. Additionally, students must pass the Core Subjects, in no more than four attempts in order to earn a QLD. For more information on admission to the Truman Bodden Law School of the Cayman Islands, please visit their website at http://www.lawschool.gov.ky/.
Students who have not taken the standard LLB can still become an Attorney-at-Law through other routes. For example, students with undergraduate degrees in subjects other than Law, may be eligible to enrol in the Graduate Diploma in Law course ("GDL") or the Common Professional Examination ("CPE"), which are available through a variety of course providers in the United Kingdom. The GDL/CPE are generally one year full-time courses or two year part-time courses, which covers the Core Subjects and confers a QLD on passing. These programs are not available at the Truman Bodden Law School.
More information on the GDL and CPE programs can be found on the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority's website at http://www.sra.org.uk/students/conversion-courses/cpe-gdl-providers.page.