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 ?
Kim earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Law School, and Masters of Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Koener earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Linguistics from the University of Florida and her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and master of arts degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Mississippi, and the juris doctor degree from Mississippi College.
Bainto obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law and was the recipient of the Evelio Javier Leadership Award in 2012.
She received a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.
She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and a Masters in National Security Strategy from the National War College of the National Defense University.
She has a Juris Doctor degree from Lewis & Clark Law School and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.<br />Please send your announcements for DJC People to djcpeople@djcOregon.com.
Education: He earned dual graduate degrees of a master's in economics and a Juris Doctor degree with high honors from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 1995.
Israel earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctor degree with honors from Rutgers University School of Law.
Joe is a Certified Public Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from The University of Texas at Arlington and earned a Juris Doctor degree in Law from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.
Faver received a juris doctor degree from Baylor University in 1948 and became a practicing lawyer and state judge until his retirement in 1985.