Law Students - Types of Law Degrees

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In this section you will find a definition and information on the three main types of law degrees: the Juris Doctor (J.D.), the Master of Laws (LL.M.), with the highest degree being the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.).


Types of Law Degrees

  • Doctor of Juridical Science or Doctor of Laws - Wikipedia

    The Doctor of Juridical Science is the highest law degree in the United States and is comparable to the Doctor of Philosophy for most other disciplines. The Doctor of Juridical Science program is research intensive and students are expected to know their research interests before beginning the application process.

  • Juris Doctor Degree - Wikipedia

    Students who want to practice law in the United States enroll in a Juris Doctor degree program. This degree can be earned after three years of full-time study. However, many J.D. programs are often combined with other master's degree programs in a specific facet of law, business or public policy and these programs take longer than three years to complete.

  • Master of Laws - LLM - Wikipedia

    The LL.M. (Master of Laws) is an internationally recognized postgraduate law degree. It is usually obtained by completing a one-year full-time program. Law students and professionals frequently pursue the LL.M. to gain expertise in a specialized field of law, for example in the area of tax law or international law. Many law firms prefer job candidates with an LL.M. degree because it indicates that a lawyer has acquired advanced, specialized legal training, and is qualified to work in a multinational legal environment.

  • Three Main Law Degrees

    There are three main types of law degrees available in the United States. The first law degree is the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and qualifies graduates to practice law in the U.S. The second advanced law degree is the Master of Laws (LL.M.), and the third degree is the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.). The S.J.D. is an uncommon law degree only offered by a handful of law schools.


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