The legal profession and its practice has a lot of abbreviations and terms, one of the most popular is JD, so what does JD stand for?
What does JD stand for?
JD is the abbreviated form of Juris Doctor or Doctor of Jurisprudence and refers to the title conferred when one is awarded a professional degree in law after successfully graduating from law school.
What is a Juris Doctor?
A jurist doctor is a title used to describe someone who has been awarded an academic degree in law from years of study at the University on the various branches of law.
A Juris Doctor is expected to be knowledgeable in several areas of law including constitutional law, the law of torts, criminal law, family law, law of contract, Jurisprudence among several areas of law.
Esq vs JD – The Difference
These two terms are both refer to lawyers. The major difference between Esquire and JD is that an Esquire has a license to practice law after writing and passing a bar exam while a JD only has a law degree but no license to practice law.
How to become a Juris Doctor
To earn the title JD, one must have graduated from an accredited law school. To reach such a feat, you would need a good graduating GPA, good LSAT scores and the financial muscle to get accepted into some of the best law schools in US or a law school of your choice in your country. You will also need to make sure you get good grades to make the graduation list in order to be awarded your law degree and with it the Juris Doctor title.
Is a Juris Doctor a Lawyer?
Juris Doctor and Lawyer may both mean the same depending on how both are defined. While the term lawyer is generally used to address both graduates of law and practicing lawyers, a more rigid definition of a lawyer refers to a person who has graduated from law school but doesn’t yet have a license to practice law.
A practicing Lawyer is more appropriately referred to as an Attorney. In that sense, a lawyer and a JD are one and the same.
Can a Juris Doctor practice law?
The legal profession, like many other professions is closely regulated and only licensed lawyers are allowed to practice. As a JD isn’t called to the bar, one is not authorized to practice the noble profession of law as a JD.
Juris Doctor career prospects
While a Juris Doctor may not be able to practice the law profession, Juris Doctors have career paths filled with great prospects.
Juris doctors can find employment as:
- Legal advisors in business organisations, public, private sector or NGOs.
- Patent Examiner
- Other respected and rewarding positions.
Juris Doctor Salary
The average salary of a Juris Doctor degree holder in the United States is $93,000 according to payscale.
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