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.

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Gordon earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University and her juris doctor from Emory University School of Law.
He received his Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas and was recently appointed to serve a term as a commissioner of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
This program will be known as a 3+3 Early Admission Program and the Juris Doctor will be awarded on successful completion of the required 84 course credits of Law schoolwork and all other Juris Doctor requirements (typically after three years as a full-time student at Rutgers Law School).
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A South Carolina native, he received his bachelor's degree from Clemson University before earning his juris doctor at the University of Tennessee.
Their only child, Erika Bianca, is taking up the Juris Doctor program at Ateneo de Manila University.
Fitzsimmons earned a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech.
Arthur holds a bachelor's from Syracuse University and a juris doctor from American University.
Nicole is currently in her third year of the Juris Doctor degree program at the Peter A.
McCormick holds a bachelor of arts degree from Davidson College (N.C.) and a juris doctor from New York University School of Law.
The new President and Chief Executive Officer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University, a Juris Doctor degree from Creighton University and a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University.