Juris Doctor

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Juris Doctor

The degree awarded to an individual upon the successful completion of law school.

Juris doctor, or doctor of Jurisprudence, commonly abbreviated J.D., is the degree commonly conferred by law schools. It is required in all states except California (which includes an option called law office study) to gain Admission to the Bar. Gaining admission to the bar means obtaining a license to practice law in a particular state or in federal court.

Until the 1930s and 1940s, many states did not require a person to have a law school degree in order to obtain a license to practice law. Most lawyers qualified for a license by working as an apprentice for an established attorney for a specified period. By the 1950s most states required a law school degree. State legislatures established this requirement to raise the standards of practicing attorneys and to restrict the number of attorneys. The degree offered by most Colleges and Universities was called a master of laws (L.L.M.) degree. In the 1960s, as colleges and universities increased the requirements for a law degree, the J.D. replaced the L.L.M. as the primary degree awarded by law schools.

The specific requirements for a J.D. vary from school to school. Generally, the requirements include completing a minimum number of class hours each academic period, and taking certain mandatory courses such as contracts, torts, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law in the first year of law school. All states require that students pass a course on Professional Responsibility before receiving a J.D. degree.

Further readings

Morgan, Thomas D., and Ronald D. Rotunda. 1993. Professional Responsibility: Problems and Materials. 5th ed. Westbury, N.Y.: Foundation Press.

Tuttle, Cliff. 1995. "Juris Doctor: The Versatile Degree." Pennsylvania Law Weekly 18 (December 11).

Cross-references

Legal Education.

Juris Doctor (J.D.)

n. the law degree granted upon graduation by many university law schools with accepted high standards of admission and grading. This often supersedes the Bachelor of Laws in recognition that the law curriculum entitles a person to a graduate degree.

References in periodicals archive ?
Helen went on to get a master's in education and Virginia, a master's in mathematics and a doctor of jurisprudence.
King earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Texas State University in San Marcos in August 2007 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Baylor University School of Law in February 2011.
Bond holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she was Articles Editor of The Ohio State University Law Review.
Brooks graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1997 with a degree in Economics and earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law in 2000.
Wes Christian received his Bachelor of Science degree from West Texas State University in 1975 (now West Texas A&M University) and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law in 1978.
Stevenson holds a bachelor of science in building construction from Texas A&M University and a doctor of jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law.
O'Brien received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law.
with honors, from the University of Florida in 1979, his Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.
She obtained a Doctor of Education degree from Northern Illinois University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Trinity University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law.
Byman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, cum laude, from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Houston Law Center.
He earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, magna cum laude, from South Texas College of Law.

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