What Is JD Degree?

A Juris Doctor, often abbreviated as JD is a professional degree in law, primarily offered in the United States as a pathway to bar exams. It has gained popularity internationally, and many universities in other countries such as Canada, Australia and Singapore have followed suit to offer similar programmes. It is a postgraduate level qualification most commonly pursued by individuals aspiring to become lawyers in the United State. The JD degree is typically obtained after completing a rigorous and comprehensive three-year programme of legal education at an accredited law school, though its accelerated counterparts only require 2 years of study.

The JD programme provides students with a solid foundation in various areas of law, including constitutional law, criminal law, contract law, tort law, property law, trusts law and more. It equips students with the necessary legal knowledge, analytical skills, and critical thinking abilities required to practise law effectively. The curriculum of a JD programme often mimic the assessment specifications of the bar exam the law school is situated.

During the JD programme, students engage in a combination of classroom lectures, seminars, and practical experiences. They learn to interpret and apply legal principles, conduct legal research, write legal documents, and argue cases. Some law schools also offer clinical programmes that provide hands-on experience working on real legal cases under the supervision of experienced attorneys.

Upon graduation, JD degree holders from an ABA-approved law school are eligible to take the bar examination in any US jurisdiction, which is a standardised test required to obtain a licence to practise law. After passing the bar exam, individuals can practise law in various settings, such as law firms, government agencies, corporate legal departments, public interest organisations, or pursue careers in academia or other legal-related fields.

The JD degree serves as the entry-level professional degree for legal practice and is a prerequisite for becoming a practicing attorney in most US jurisdictions. It signifies the successful completion of legal education and the acquisition of the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the complex world of law and contribute to the legal profession.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.