November 18, 2017

What is a Juris Doctor Degree?

Here’s the definition of a juris doctor degree: it meansdefinition of a juris doctor degree doctor of Law in latin (though holders of the degree are never called “doctors”). Juris Doctor degree is the first professional degree in law.

The Program

Most programs leading to the J.D. degree are designed to provide the student with a general understanding of the American legal system, and the skills necessary to function within the system, principally as a lawyer, but also as a judge, legislator, arbitrator, executive, planner, and responsible citizen.

These skills include the ability…

  • to handle cases, statutes, and administrative regulations
  • to analyze factual situations carefully in order to sift the relevant from the irrelevant
  • to formulate and advocate issues in light of the relevant procedural and substantive law
  • to relate legal issues to the larger historical, sociopolitical, and economic context
  • to exercise sound professional judgmentdefinition of a juris doctor degree

The Case Method

Usually instruction is carried out by the case method, which involves interactive dialogue between students and their instructors. Some professors may use problem-oriented approaches and computer-assisted instruction to supplement the case method.

With a program that typically lasts 3 years, the J.D., for all intent and purposes, is really the foundation degree for the legal profession. Once you have received your J.D., you then need to go on and pass the bar exam for the specific state where you wish to practice as a lawyer.

It isn’t until you’ve passed the bar that you are officially a lawyer. Interestingly, if you pass the bar exam in Washington D.C., you are then eligible to practice federal law in any state.

But some don’t ever pass the bar, and enter the professional world without being a practicing lawyer, but fully trained as one with the Juris Doctor degree.

So, that’s the definition of a juris doctor degree — is this the degree for you?