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 ?
She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2016 and is currently a member of the Young Lawyers Section of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division of the Baltimore City Bar Association, Defense Research Institute and the Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc.
She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in journalism and has a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Ballew earned a BBA in accounting from the University of Oklahoma, a Juris Doctorate from the Oklahoma College of Law and a Masters in Taxation from the University of New York.
Currently, Bramble is a member of the Utah State Bar as well as earned both his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah.
Garelli has a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages and International Business from Florida State University and a Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School.
Knight has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Houston and a juris doctorate from the South Texas College of Law.
Her bachelor's degree and juris doctorate both were earned at the University of Minnesota.
Ernest has an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources and Marketing from Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, Indiana; a Juris Doctorate with an emphasis in Corporate and Employment Law from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana; and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky.
Price earned her Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University School of Law.
Yeager received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Albany and earned his juris doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.