Juris Doctor: Courses, Eligibility Criteria, Colleges

By Neha Kumari Updated On - Mar 02, 2021 04:22 PM

Here are the details that you will need to abide by to pursue a Juris Doctor course from one of the law colleges in the world. Check out the eligibility criteria for the course along with the types of courses under JD.

The degree of Juris Doctor abbreviated as JD is also known as the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. It is a professional undergraduate degree in law and comes among the several Doctor of Law degrees. The course of Juris Doctor is usually offered in the countries of Australia, Canada, and the United States. Students have to complete law school in order to receive the degree of Juris Doctor which posses the academic standing of a professional doctorate in the United States of America, in contrast to a research doctorate. JS is considered as a master's degree in Australia, and in Canada, it is accounted for as a second-entry, a baccalaureate degree.

In the United States, a Juris Doctor degree is considered to be the highest degree in law and it was a replacement to the degree of Bachelor of Law originally. A Juris Doctorate degree is a portrayal of professional recognition of the holder possessing a degree of the doctoral level in law. JD replaced the Bachelor of Law (LL.B) degree soon enough and established itself as a much more advanced and modern course than LLB. Candidates seeking admission to Master of Law (LLM) in the United States are required to have a degree of JD, despite it being a doctorate degree. The degree of Juris Doctor is completed over a period of three years.

Eligibility Criteria for Juris Doctor (JD)

In order to get admission to the course of Doctor of Jurisprudence, candidates have to meet the JD eligibility criteria set for the degree. The eligibility criteria for Juris Doctor (JD) degree vary from college to college and it also depends upon the country in which the candidate seeks admission. All the conditions that a candidate has to fulfil so as to be able to pursue the degree of Juris Doctor are explained in detail below.

  • The most common condition of eligibility for JD across all universities in all countries is that the candidate must possess an undergraduate degree in law or legal science.

  • It is not mandatory to have a bachelor’s degree in a field that is related to law. Any undergraduate degree that can prepare the student by imparting education which bears on the practice of law will suffice.

  • The candidate has to score passing marks in all the exams of the undergraduate level. Any compartment exam will not be entertained and the student will not be considered for JD admission.

  • After completing their graduation, candidates will have to appear for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

  • The marks scored by the candidate in LSAT will be considered while shortlisting him/ her for the course of Juris Doctor at various colleges.

  • Candidates will have to apply at each college separately. They must check if the college which they have targetted for admission has set any further eligibility criteria for JD admissions.

Types of Courses in Juris Doctor

The course of Juris Doctor offers several specialisations which the students can choose according to their preference and requirement. The purpose of a Juris Doctorate degree is to ensure that the student is prepared with a well-rounded and in-depth knowledge of the legal system and the laws that govern it. Students pursuing the course of JD will have to take general courses as well as the core subject coursework that apply to their area of interest. Some of the courses that candidates enrolled in a JD programme will get to choose from are given below.

  • Torts

  • Civil Procedures

  • Contract Law

  • Constitutional Laws

  • Courtroom Procedures

  • Criminal Law

  • Civil Law

  • Property and Real Estate Law

  • Public Law

  • Business Law

  • International Law

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Countries Offering Juris Doctor

The degree of Juris Doctor is offered only in some selective countries. That, however, does not limit students from all over the world to apply for the course of Juris Doctor. Many law aspirants from India who plan on pursuing higher studies abroad also get enrolled in the JD course as opposed to the traditional Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) programme. The demand for JD has been on a constant rise since the past few years. The countries that offer the JD degree are given below.

  • Canada

  • The United States of America

  • Australia

  • Japan

  • Hong Kong

Top Colleges Offering Juris Doctor Course

Here is the list of top colleges that offer a Juris Doctor course. Click on the links to explore the colleges.

College Name

College Location

Yale University

New Haven, USA

Harvard University

Cambridge, USA

University of Chicago

Chicago, USA

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, USA

Stanford University

Stanford, USA

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, USA

New York University

New York, USA

Columbia University

New York, USA

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, USA

Career Scope After Juris Doctor

There are many job opportunities that students can avail after completing a degree in Juris Doctor. Some of the most popular and sought after job roles for which graduates with a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) degree are recruited are given below.

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