What is a JD Degree?

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What is a JD Degree?

JD stands for “Juris Doctor” and a JD degree is a professional graduate degree in law education. This degree is required from allindividuals who want to practice law. In almost all states in the US, getting this degree would mean admission to the American Bar Association and eventually get a license to practice the law profession. The process of legitimizing the law profession starts with a bachelor’s degree in college. This will then be followed by a JD degree which usually lasts for about three years. The educational requirements and policies usually vary between different law schools when it comes to the JD degree. Some people refer to JD as “Doctor of Jurisprudence”.

It is said that it was only in the 1960s when the first JD degree was awarded and this happened in Harvard University. Further back in the 1930s and 1940s, no formal degrees were required for law practitioners. During those times, would-be lawyers served as assistants and apprentices in established law offices and with this experience they would be able to practice as legitimate lawyers. About a decade later, the generic law school degree became a requirement to practice the law profession. Before the JD degree was given, the LLB or bachelor of laws was its equivalent.

Getting a JD degree usually involves a variety of course work and in depth nclasses on civil procedures, contracts, criminal law, and TORTS among others. Students are also required to pass the Professional Responsibility Exam in order to be bestowed with the JD degree. The course details of this degree have no thesis requirements but may also involve several writing projects. This degree also aims to prepare students to have substantial training before they eventually practice as lawyers. Aside from the US, some law schools in Japan and Australia have similar educational pattern to the JD degree programs.

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