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JD Degrees

Juris Doctorate

A Juris Doctorate degree is considered to be a professional law degree. It provides thorough academic training for those who are interested in becoming lawyers. The Juris Doctorate is approved by all American law schools, and is a prerequisite before one can take the Bar exam. The degree has replaced the Bachelor of Law degree that was its official predecessor. Just like any other degree, there are certain conditions that must be met before a student can earn his or her J.D. First and foremost, a minimal B grade average must be maintained and shown from previous educational experience (college transcripts, etc). In addition, one must have scored at the 70th percentile or above when they took the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). In addition, most law schools also look at other factors such as previous life experience, the ability to write thoroughly, and other things as well. Most students earning their Juris Doctorate must arrive as their first experience in law school. In other words, many schools will not take transfer students, as they want a clean slate to work with and mold into fine lawyers.

In most cases, it takes about three years to earn a Juris Doctorate. Just like other degrees, many schools place a time limit on completing the degree. Anything over six academic years is considered invalid, and often a waste of time by many institutions. Most states require the J.D. in order to practice law within the United States, however both California and New York are among those who do not require it, but to remain a lawyer, one must only practice law within that state if they do not receive their Juris Doctorate degree. There are many other law degrees available aside from the J.D. such as the LL.M. (Master of Laws), so it is really up to the individual which category of law degree they intend to earn. Unlike doctors who must present a thesis, most law students need to learn how to actually practice the ins and outs of law instead. Many schools require that all students undergo at least a year long research program or real life work experience before the degree can be granted.

The Juris Doctorate is intended for those who want to practice general law. If someone prefers to be involved in only one aspect of law, such as tax law for example, other forms of degrees are encouraged. This way, once the student is ready to become a lawyer, they know all of the legalese needed to do so in a fair and prodigious manner that shows they know the correct laws for that particular subject. Of course like any law degree, earning the Juris Doctorate is very intensive. Students will get to know the many thousands of laws that are on the books within the United States. How to speak in a courtroom as well as etiquette and dealing with clients are also covered. The J.D. is a very intensive degree designed for those who want to enter into the exciting world of practicing law.

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