The Bachelor of Law aims to allow you to:
- acquire good knowledge of the main disciplines of Swiss positive law : private law, public law, criminal law, social law and procedures;
- understand the growing interactions between Swiss and international and european law as well as analyse foreign legislations using a comparative approach (comparative law) ;
- develop critical and analytical skills by looking at law through the perspective of other disciplines: history of law, philosophy of law, legal methodology, sociology of law, etc.
Bachelor of Law (BLaw)
30 April. If you require a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.
At UNIL, the following Master's programmes are open without further conditions to holders of the Bachelor of Law (BLaw):
- Master of Law (MLaw)
- Master of Law (MLaw) of the Universities of Zurich and Lausanne
- Master of Law (MLaw) in Criminology and Security
- Master of Law (MLaw) in Judicial Careers
- Master of Law (MLaw) in Legal Issues, Crime and Security of Information Technologies
- Master of Law (MLaw) in Law and Economics
- Master of Arts (MA) in Public Management and Policy
- Master of Arts (MA) in Tourism Studies
Law studies open the door to all the legal professions, such as barrister, notary, corporate lawyer and public authority employee, as well as careers in the courts and in international organisations and businesses.
Career prospects depend partly on the choice of Master’s course.
Areas of activity
Most barristers remain generalists, working in small firms and practising at the bar. Others specialise in a particular field of law (commercial law, tax law, etc.) and mainly provide advice to businesses. Barristers generally begin their career as salaried employees in a firm, before setting up on their own or as part of a partnership.
Notaries advise and assist their clients impartially, particularly in drafting contracts for property transactions, marriage, inheritance or company formation. Notaries in French-speaking Switzerland must work independently.
A common route to appointment as a judge is for lawyers to work in the registry of a court (such as a district or cantonal court, or those that deal with cases involving leases or minors), and then, if appropriate, to spend a period in the public prosecutor’s office as a deputy. The next step would be appointment as an investigating judge, public prosecutor or presiding judge of a district court. Others opt to qualify as a barrister.
The Faculty offers lawyers a Master of Law in Judicial Careers, which is particularly well suited to training future judges.
Private companies and public authorities
Outside the judicial sphere, certain state authorities and insurance firms, positions for lawyers that only involve practising the law are limited, as not every company has its own legal department. Corporate lawyers will therefore often have to work in areas such as financial and administrative management, staff management, commercial management or sales, and will find themselves in competition with holders of other qualifications, particularly in economics. Lawyers will therefore need to make good use of other skills they have acquired on an individual basis, such as language skills and/or commercial experience, knowledge of IT or community activities.
Trade unions, political parties and some non-governmental organisations or associations hire lawyers. Moreover, like other graduates with a qualification in the humanities, lawyers can look for a position in communications (such as journalism or public relations), the arts or diplomacy. As mentioned above, non-academic skills play an important role.
Every two years, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (OFS) conducts a survey on graduate employment, one year after students have completed their course. View the results for Law graduates online:
- “Premier emploi après les études” (“First job after graduating”) survey on employment among Swiss university graduates
- De l’UNIL à la vie active (From UNIL to working life) – results of the survey for UNIL graduates specifically