Doctor of Law

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See also Wikipedia's article about "Doctor of Law".

Doctor of Law (JD) (Latin: Juris Doctor) is the primary degree offered by the law school. The majority of JD students go on to work in law firms. Others go into judicial clerkships and/or academia. It replaced the LLB, or legal bachelors', in the 1970s.

Is it a doctorate?

The JD is considered a professional rather than a true doctoral or even masters-level graduate degree; some of its holders elect to continue on and earn graduate LLMs and SJDs. Nevertheless, the degree was created in order that law graduates might feel they were on par with other professional school graduates, such as MDs. Still, it is not the practice in the US to call lawyers "doctors".

The debate still rages over whether a JD is a PhD-equivalent. Those in favor argue that the word "doctor" originally described lawyers, that universities were originally institutes of law, that the JD is a basic teaching qualification within law schools, and that university presidents, who must hold a doctorate, may serve with only a JD (like our own Lee Bollinger). Those against note the research emphasis of the PhD vs. the JD, for one. All agree that the SJD is effectively a PhD equivalent.