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Juris Doctor

Graduate-entry professional degree in law / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A Juris Doctor[1] or a Doctor of Jurisprudence[2] (JD) is a graduate-entry professional degree in law.[3] The JD is the standard degree obtained to practice law in the United States; unlike in some other jurisdictions, there is no undergraduate law degree in the United States. In the United States, along with Australia, Canada, and some other common law countries, the JD is earned by completing law school.

A Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts

It has the academic standing of a professional doctorate (in contrast to a research doctorate) in the United States,[4][5][6] where the National Center for Education Statistics discontinued the use of the term "first professional degree" as of its 2010–2011 data collection and now uses the term "doctor's degree – professional practice".[7][8] In Australia, it has the academic standing of a master's degree, granted an exception to use "doctor" in the qualification name,[9] and a second-entry baccalaureate degree in Canada.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

The degree was first awarded in the United States in the early 20th-century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degrees, such as the Dottore in Giurisprudenza in Italy, and the Juris Utriusque Doctor in Germany and central Europe.[18] The modern JD originates from the 19th-century Harvard movement for the scientific study of law, where it was first denominated an LLB. In the late 20th century, the awarding of the LLB degree was phased out in favor of awarding the JD. It traditionally involves a three-year program, although some United States law schools offer accelerated programs between 2 and 2.5 years. ABA Rules do not allow an accredited JD to be obtained in less than 2 years.[19][20]

To be fully authorized to practice law in the courts of a given state in the United States, the majority of individuals holding a JD degree must pass a bar examination.[21][22][23][24] The state of Wisconsin, however, permits the graduates of its two law schools to practice law in that state, and in its state courts, without having to take its bar exam – a practice called "diploma privilege" – provided they complete all courses required for the diploma.[25][26] Passing an additional bar exam is not required of lawyers authorized to practice in at least one state in the United States, to practice in some (but not all) of the "federal courts." Lawyers must, however, be admitted to the bar of the federal court before they are authorized to practice in that court. Admission to the bar of a federal district court includes admission to the bar of its associated bankruptcy court.[citation needed] Patent courts however require a specialized "Patent Bar" which require applicants to hold an additional degree specialized in certain scientific fields alongside their JD.[27]