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Online Master of Legal Studies » Related Law and Legal Degrees » Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Online Juris Doctor Degree Programs for 2022
If you are looking for a flexible online law degree that enables you to sit for the bar exam, you might want to consider an online or hybrid program. Online Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree programs are a combination of online courses and on-campus instruction ideal for working professionals through an online hybrid or a weekend-based format . Read on to learn about the online J.D. programs approved by ABA and common admissions requirements, and compare different types of online formats to find the J.D. program best for you.
What Is a Juris Doctor?
Juris doctor is Latin for Doctor of Law . A Juris Doctor, J.D. for short, is a professional law degree and academic credential conferred by law schools upon graduation. This graduate degree enables you to sit for the bar exam and earn a license to practice law. It typically consists of 85 to 90 credits and takes three years of full-time study. It is considered “the first degree in law” by the American Bar Association (ABA) .
University of Dayton
School of law, online hybrid juris doctor.
The University of Dayton School of Law is providing wider access to a quality legal education through its Online Hybrid Juris Doctor program. The ABA-approved program prepares students to sit for the bar exam in most states.
- ABA-approved J.D. program
- Prepare to sit for the bar exam in most states
- Flexible online learning
Online and Hybrid J.D. Programs
Aspiring attorneys can earn their Juris Doctor degree through any of the 199 schools and programs accredited by ABA . Among these schools, only a few offer hybrid online J.D. programs that combine online courses with on-campus components. There are also law schools that offer fully online J.D. degrees, but none are approved by the ABA.
To determine which one is the best fit for you, consider your career goals, learning style and financial budget. Here are some ABA-approved law schools offering online and hybrid J.D. programs:
Weekend hybrid j.d., chicago, illinois.
Name of Degree: Weekend Hybrid J.D.
Enrollment Type: Part-Time
Length of Program: 4 years
- Bachelor’s degree
- Official transcripts
- LSAT scores
- LSAT writing sample
- Personal statement
- One letter of recommendation
- Character and fitness questions
- Qualifications for admissions to the BAR
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Online hybrid j.d., saint paul, minnesota.
Name of Degree: Online Hybrid J.D.
Length of Program: 3+ years
- Values statement
- Two letters of recommendation
Seton Hall University
Weekend online j.d., newark, new jersey.
Name of Degree: Weekend Online J.D.
Southwestern Law School
Part-time evening j.d., los angeles, california.
Name of Degree: Part-Time Evening J.D.
- 1-3 letters of recommendation
College of law, interactive online j.d., syracuse, new york.
Name of Degree: Interactive Online J.D.
Jacob d. fuchsberg law center, flextime hybrid j.d., central islip, new york.
Name of Degree: FlexTime Hybrid J.D.
- LSAT/GRE scores
The University of Dayton School of Law’s Online Hybrid J.D. program — one of the first to earn ABA approval — prepares you to sit for the bar exam without relocating for your studies. A bachelor’s degree and LSAT or GRE scores are required. This flexible program includes live, online classes, in-person learning sessions on campus and a two-semester-long legal clinic or externship experience.
- LSAT and/or GRE test scores
- Undergraduate Transcripts
- at least two professional letters of recommendation
- Personal Statement
- registered with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- Optional diversity statement
University of Denver
Sturm college of law, hybrid j.d., denver, colorado.
Name of Degree: Hybrid J.D.
University of New Hampshire
Franklin pierce school of law, concord, new hampshire.
Length of Program: 3.5 years
Why are There Only ABA-Approved Hybrid Online J.D. Degrees?
Attending a law school accredited by the ABA allows you to take the bar exam in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) . The ABA seal of approval means your school meets the association’s quality standards for legal education .
The ABA has yet to accredit any law school with courses offered entirely online. But as law schools increasingly expand into online instruction, the ABA has begun to issue waivers to hybrid programs –those that mix traditional campus learning with online courses–so they can apply for accreditation. With trained faculty and significant technological investment, distance learning proponents even argue that law degree programs can be completed exclusively online.
Attending an ABA-accredited school isn’t the only way to become a lawyer. In New York, California, 29 other states and the District of Columbia, you can sit for the bar exam with a law degree from a non-ABA accredited school . But it’ll likely be more complicated to enter law practice that way, as some employers look for candidates who have graduated from accredited institutions.
Before you decide to attend a school without ABA accreditation, be sure to research bar admission limitations and ensure that the school will provide you with adequate legal training to enter the field. You can also refer to the ABA’s Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements 2021 (PDF, 1.3 MB) , for guidance.
Typical Online Juris Doctor Curriculum and Outcomes
An online law degree should teach you to think critically and creatively, educate you on a variety of legal doctrines, and expose you to subjects ranging from economics to sociology to help broaden your perspective. This holds true whether your program is offered on campus or in the hybrid online format.
But there are differences between online law degrees, such as the time to graduation, the level of flexibility in your school schedule, access to externships and other outside opportunities, and admissions requirements.
Here are some common admissions requirements for J.D. programs:
- A bachelor’s degree. Most schools don’t specify student’s disciplines in college, but strong reading comprehension and writing skills are normally preferred.
- LSAT/GRE scores. Most traditional law schools accept only the LSAT; many hybrid and online programs accept either your LSAT or GRE score. In most cases, you must have taken the test within the past five years.
- Letters of recommendation (the number of letters varies but two is typically the minimum).
- Personal essay.
Program Courses and Areas of Focus
You can expect to take similar courses no matter the law school you attend. Some online and hybrid courses are taught by the professors who teach on-campus classes. Your J.D. curriculum may include:
- Torts doctrine
- Civil procedure
- Criminal law
- Constitutional law
- Intellectual property law
- Trial practice
- Legal analysis and professional skills
Steps to Complete Your J.D. Degree
- Meet GPA requirement: Graduation requirements typically include maintaining a minimum grade point average and completing the core curriculum.
- Complete externships: Some schools may have a minimum number of credit hours for experiential learning, which may take the form of externships, clinics and simulated courses in which you will be required to solve a legal problem as if you were practicing in the real world.
- Finish a capstone project: Another requirement is a capstone project on a legal topic to demonstrate your analytical, research and writing skills.
What Is a Juris Doctor Degree Equivalent to?
The answer to whether a juris doctor degree is equivalent to a Ph.D. is both complex and controversial . A Ph.D., called a doctorate, is the most advanced degree you can earn in many disciplines, typically taking five or more years to complete. You need a master’s degree before entering a Ph.D. program.
Many people view a J.D. degree as a functional, but not an absolute equivalent to a Ph.D. For one thing, a J.D. is not the highest law degree. You can earn a Master of Laws (LL.M.) or Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) after your J.D. Also, law schools require only a bachelor’s degree, not a master’s, for admission into a J.D. program.
But on practical terms, a J.D. is often viewed as the highest academic distinction for lawyers. Most U.S. law professors, for example, do not have a Ph.D. (PDF, 610 KB).
Is a J.D. Worth it?
A J.D. degree is a portal to more than just joining a law firm. People with legal training play a role in virtually every sector of the economy. They work at Silicon Valley startups in courtrooms and halls of academia and government.
The rigorous, analytical thinking that is the foundational skill of legal training can be an asset in many professions. President Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law. Dozens of CEOs for Fortune 500 companies hold J.D.s.
Law typically pays well, and it can pay extremely well at the highest levels of seniority and tenure. The top 10% of lawyers earn over $208,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The growing number of online or hybrid J.D. programs can make it possible for you to earn a law degree while you keep your current job. Distance learning opens up more schools to choose from.
The flip side is that the legal field can be grueling, intense and competitive. In 2021, there were 1.33 million actively practicing attorneys in the United States (PDF, 207 KB) , according to the ABA National Lawyer Population Survey. Many large corporations are trying to economize by cutting back on outside counsel and reassigning tasks to paralegals and legal assistants.
To ensure your J.D. degree is a worthwhile investment of money and time, have a clear career goal and think through how your preferred degree program will help you meet that goal. Once enrolled, take full advantage of externships, networking opportunities, and your school’s career resources. Earning a J.D. is an important, but still just one, step toward your legal profession.
FAQs on Online Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degrees
No. While there is no fully online J.D. degree program accredited by ABA, there are hybrid online J.D. programs available that combine the flexibility of online learning and the engagement of on-campus programs.
It’s not mandatory. However, if you want to be qualified to sit for the bar exam and practice law in certain states, a law degree accredited by the ABA may be a better choice.
A traditional J.D. degree typically takes three years to complete, while an online J.D. degree takes about three to four years in full-time enrolment.
Yes, if your law school is approved by the ABA and you successfully meet your degree requirements upon graduation.
Yes, some online law schools accept LSAT or GRE scores taken in the last five years. Students can decide to either submit their LSAT or GRE scores.
Generally, schools allow students to work while studying. Some of them may also offer part-time enrollment to provide more flexibility for students. However, students should also take into consideration the workload of each term and make sure they can meet the graduation requirements.
Students may check the accreditation status of programs or schools, the bar exam pass rate, concentrations available, online student support options, curriculum and workload required.
They are both postgraduate degrees. However, similar to Master of Legal Studies or other legal studies programs, Juris Master programs are designed for people who want to further their legal knowledge and may not want to become a lawyer or practice law.
Information on this page was last retrieved in November 2021.
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Best Online JD Programs at Law School for 2023
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Concord law school at purdue university global - online juris doctor.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law - Hybrid J.D.
Monterey college of law - hybrid online j.d., southwestern law school - part-time evening j.d., syracuse university - j.d. interactive, university of dayton school of law - online hybrid juris doctor, university of new hampshire - hybrid j.d..
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The 10 Best Online Schools for Doctorate in Law (Juris Doctor) Degree Programs 2023
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A Doctorate in Law is an optional academic feat for Law majors who seek advanced learning, specialize in research, and contribute to law literature. Juris Doctor degree holders–students who have completed three years in law school and may practice the profession– are eligible for admission to the Doctorate in Law degree program.
An Online Doctorate Degree in Law is generally research-intensive and usually requires an extensive doctoral thesis. On average, students finish the degree in three to four years. The Online Doctorate in Law degree is designed for adult learners who aim to go beyond the law practice and explore other competencies, including in the areas of scholarly research and publication, as well as teaching in academia.
Quick links, walden university, liberty university, abraham lincoln university, emory university, new york university, florida state university, the university of tulsa, california southern university, nova southeastern university, loyola university chicago, best online schools for doctorate in law (juris doctor) degree programs.
Methodology: We compiled a list of the 10 Best Online Schools for Doctorate in Law Degree Programs for 2021, listed in no particular order due to each school’s unique degree program and highlights. In exploring these features, we also mention the career opportunities for graduates who have acquired advanced knowledge and skills in the discipline. The following attributes were considered: Highlights each school’s accreditation details, required credit hours for program completion, admission requirements and retention rates, Programs designed to relay a better understanding of legal and ethical laws, public policy and legal trends to the working professional, Includes Dissertation/Doctoral study in Juris Doctor Law, Options in Concentrations; allowing students opportunities to expand on their current credentials, apply for advancements, or pursue a teaching career at the university level, 100% Online, Blended or Hybrid format options, Financial Aid options: Scholarships, Grants, Military Aid, Offers experiential learning through an effective online distance learning format by quality professors outstanding in the field of Doctorate Law (Juris Doctor), Based on prestigious and notability as an online school according to reputable academic resources. To learn more, please see our Methodology page.
ONLINE PH.D. IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE WITH A LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY CONCENTRATION
Program Standouts: The Ph.D. in Criminal Justice with a Law and Public Policy concentration at Walden University explores the contemporary practices and theories and national and global issues in the administration of criminal justice.
This online doctorate degree provides the necessary skills and knowledge a student needs to attract exciting new career opportunities, whether they want to pursue leadership roles in the current organization or start a new career in criminal justice. It is ideal for students who are interested in gaining an in-depth knowledge of the law or studying legal concerns in the workplace.
Students need to have 98 credit hours to earn this online doctorate program.
Campus Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Accreditation: Walden University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission
Retention Rate: 50%
Acceptance Rate: 100%
- A master’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Admission Application
- Writing Assessment
- Application Essay
- Official Transcript of Records
Program Core Components:
- The Nature of Crime and Criminology
- Policy and Analysis in Criminal Justice Systems
- Technological Solutions and 21st–Century Crime
- Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
- Leadership: Putting Theory into Practice in Criminal Justice Administration
Degree Outcomes: Graduates of this online doctorate program have the option to pursue career advancement in their current profession. They are able to evaluate the root cause of crime and its specific impact on the practice of law, procedures, and policies.
In addition, it has prepared them for a variety of positions, such as:
- private investigator,
- criminal investigator,
- director of emergency management,
- and other roles related to the law/criminal justice industry.
LEARN MORE ABOUT WALDEN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE WITH A LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY CONCENTRATION
ONLINE PH.D. IN PUBLIC POLICY
Program Standouts: Liberty University has a Ph.D. in Public Policy that provides the ethical background and skills that students or professionals need to mold the local, national, state, and local law in order to pursue peace and instill Christian values in the pursuit of happiness.
This online Ph.D. degree is suitable for individuals seeking to enhance their current credentials, strengthen their skills in policy research or put an emphasis on educating the next generation of law professionals.
It has five specializations, namely:
- Education Policy,
- Economic Policy,
- National Security Policy,
- Foreign Policy,
- and Social Policy.
Students need to have 60 credit hours to earn this degree in a span of three years, depending on the students’ timeframes of learning.
Campus Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Accreditation: Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Retention Rate: 84%
Acceptance Rate: 55.5%
- Official College Transcript of Records
- Application Fee
- Proof of English Proficiency
- Statement of Purpose
- Foundations of Statesmanship & Public Policy
- Foreign Policy, Globalization & Statesmanship
- Natural Law, The State & The Gospel
- Statesmanship, Federalism & Intergovernmental Relations
- The Founding Era & Constitution
Graduates of this online doctorate program are equipped with essential skills in law and governance. They are built upon their existing expertise in their chosen specialization and hone their craft to help create a better, secure and prosperous future for the nation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PH.D. IN PUBLIC POLICY
ONLINE JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE PROGRAM
Program Standouts: The Juris Doctor online program of Abraham Lincoln University is designed for individuals who want to practice law or those interested to pursue into one of the many legal fields that a Juris Doctor degree offers.
It is ideal for working professionals and provides students with increased flexibility without sacrificing their quality of education. They are able to learn the advanced analytical skills necessary to create legal documents, perform legal research, and investigate legal issues and concerns. The Juris Doctor of ALU requires 140 quarter units to earn this degree.
The university prides itself on the establishment of a rigorous, online law degree that provides competence in the educational goals of their law students.
Campus Location: Los Angeles, California
Accreditation: Abraham Lincoln University has received accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Retention Rate: 68%
Acceptance Rate: 81%
- Completed Online Application
- $50 Non-Refundable Application Fee
- Completed Online Assessment Test
- Current government-issued photo ID
- 500-1000 Word Personal Statement describing the professional and personal goals and explanation on pursuing a Juris Doctor degree
- Official Transcript of Records
- Criminal Law
- Contracts A and B
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Advanced Legal Research & Writing
Abraham Lincoln University’s law school graduates of the Juris Doctor program have the eligibility to become full members of the State Bar of California and are eligible to practice in California. They are able to understand the principles and theories of law, their relationships with others, and their limitations.
Graduates are prepared for a rewarding career as well as prepared for the California First Year Law Students’ Examination and California General Bar Examination.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE PROGRAM
ONLINE JD DEGREE
Program Standouts: The Juris Doctor program offered by the Emory Law of the Emory University provides empowerment to discern students’ legal path right from the beginning of their legal studies. The faculty handling the Emory Law are experts in their respective law careers and dynamic teachers in the learning environment.
The freshman year of studies immerses students in the language of the law, sophomore students have the opportunity in a one-week immersion in advocacy and a summer internship program, and the third-year students of this online doctorate program puts an emphasis on mentorship programs under the supervision of a dedicated 3L Career Center adviser.
Students will need 90 credit hours to earn this degree.
Campus Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Accreditation: Emory University has earned accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Retention Rate: 83%
Acceptance Rate: 18.5%
- $80 Non-refundable Application Fee
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Personal Statement
- Civil Procedure
- Introduction to Legal Advocacy, Research, and Communications I and II
- Legislation and Regulation
Juris Doctor graduates of Emory University have demonstrated an understanding and knowledge of procedural American Law and they are equipped with professional skills that are needed for ethical participation and competence as members of the legal professions.
In addition, they demonstrate competence in reasoning, problem-solving in a legal context, legal analysis, and legal research. A rewarding career awaits them in the private and government sectors that need legal expertise across different issues and concerns of the society.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EMORY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE JD DEGREE
ONLINE LAW DEGREE JURIS DOCTOR
Program Standouts: New York University has a Juris Doctor program that provides the most extensive range of law and business offerings in legal studies with specialized programs and outstanding programs in corporate law for individuals who are less interested in less traditional career pathways. The university provides an opportunity for exceptional students with a passion for pursuing high-level careers in business and law through the Mitchell Jacobson Leadership Program.
The NYU Law has a cutting-edge business and law set of coursework and curriculum that provides both corporate skills and effective collaboration with business students in an interactive learning environment. A wide range of academic services is focused on helping students succeed in their journeys such as:
- Office of the Career Services,
- Public Interest Law Center,
- and the Judicial Clerkship Office.
Campus Location: New York City, New York
Accreditation: New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Retention Rate: 85%
Acceptance Rate: 20%
- LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report
- $85 Non-refundable Application Fee
- Public Service
- Clinical Education
- Law & Business
NYU School of Law graduates are automatically granted the NYU Alumni Card that opens them a wide range of opportunities and benefits such as:
- Admissions Recommendations,
- Career Services,
- Law School Library,
- Law Alumni Association Membership,
- Alumni Authors’ Project, and many more services.
In addition, they are prepared in several career pathways in an array of investment banks, top law firms, government agencies, international organizations, and corporate headquarters.
LEARN MORE ABOUT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE LAW DEGREE JURIS DOCTOR
JURIS DOCTOR (J.D.) ONLINE PROGRAM
Program Standouts: Florida State University offers a Juris Doctor program through its College of Law. This doctorate degree is completed in an average of three years depending on the students’ timeframe of learning. It is specially formatted in traditional courses and develops to include the latest in interdisciplinary and theoretical analyses.
The university offers several learning opportunities for experiential learning and courses that enable students to be competitive and highly-skilled entrants into the business, law, and government sectors. Additionally, students have the option to enroll in any FSU’s joint-degree programs namely:
- Urban and Regional Planning and Law,
- Oceanography: Aquatic Environmental Science and Law,
- Sport Management and Law,
- Business and Law,
- Social Work and Law,
- Information and Law,
- Public Administration and Law,
- Information Technology and Law,
- or International Affairs and Law.
Campus Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Accreditation: Florida State University receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Retention Rate: 94%
Acceptance Rate: 36.8%
- Online Application Form
- $30 Non-refundable Application Fee
- Law School Admission Test or GRE
- LSAC Report
- Residency Form
- Optional but preferable requirements such as Academic Addendum, Diversity Statement, and Letter of Recommendation
- TOEFL and IELTS Requirement (For international students only)
- International Law
- Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law
- Business and Tax Law
Degree Outcomes: Graduates of this Juris Doctor program have a strong wealth of knowledge through FSU’s extensive and hands-on learning program. The hands-on learning experience in the Mock Trial and Moot Court programs equipped their graduates to be appellate and trial advocates.
They are provided the opportunity to hone their research and writing skills that are essentially useful when they navigate in different sectors of the society through promising legal professions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY’S JURIS DOCTOR ONLINE PROGRAM
JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE ONLINE
Program Standouts: The Juris Doctor program by the University of Tulsa is dynamically designed to prepare students to make an outstanding impact and excellence in legal and any related professions. They are administered by an outstanding faculty, robust experiential learning programs, and high-level scholarships. In addition, the university provides an unwavering commitment to professionalism and public service at the core values of the College of Law.
UTulsa has three sets of accelerated degrees namely:
- Arts & Sciences + JD Accelerated Degree Program,
- OSU Undergraduate + JD Program,
- and Business + JD Accelerated Degree Program.
All joint and accelerated degrees are completed in six years depending on the timeline of students. Students need to have 88-125 applicable semester hours to earn this degree. UTulsa has one of the most selective admission processes in the country.
Campus Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Accreditation: The University of Tulsa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 40.8%
- Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year institution
- Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
- Character and Fitness Jurisdiction Requirements
- Two Letters of Recommendation to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- Personal Statement to TU Law via LSAC
- Registration with CAS
- Corporate and Commercial Law
- Sustainable Energy & Resources Law
- Criminal Justice
- Immigration Law
Degree Outcomes: Graduates are carefully guided and supported by UTulsa through their wide range of student services such as:
- Bar Support,
- Legal Clinics,
- Law Journals,
- Externships, and many other support services.
With a professional development office, graduates are ensured of a successful career in different sectors of society.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA’S JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE ONLINE
ONLINE LAW DEGREES: JURIS DOCTOR (JD) DEGREE PROGRAM
Program Standouts: California Southern University’s Juris Doctor program is suitable for individuals who prefer the convenience and flexibility without compromising their busy, working professions.
This online JD program is a rigorous and challenging program that puts an emphasis on ethical responsibility and analytical thinking capabilities. The rigorous program has the same case books and materials that many of the country’s most prominent law schools use.
Students will become part of a community that provides overall support and tools essential to the study of law and business. CalSouthern’s JD program requires 88 credits for degree completion. Students can earn this degree in as quick as 2 years depending on their pace of learning.
Campus Location: Costa Mesa, California
Accreditation: California Southern University received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
Retention Rate: 96%
Acceptance Rate: 13%
- Online Enrollment Application
- $75 Application Fee
- Official Transcript of Records of Undergraduate Coursework
- JD Assessment Questionnaire Completion
- Signed Enrollment Agreements
- Contracts I and II
- Legal Writing I and II
- Constitutional Law I and II
- Professional Responsibility
- Legal Research
Graduates of CalSouthern’s online JD program acquire an advanced set of knowledge of the traditional fields of law.
They are integrated with skills that are helpful in understanding and applying legal procedures, to comprehend legal principles, limitations of the law, and excel in the State Bar of California examinations. They have the eligibility to sit for the California Bar Exam.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE LAW DEGREES: JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE PROGRAM
JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE PROGRAM ONLINE
Program Standouts: Nova Southeastern University has a Juris Doctor program through the Shepard Broad College of Law. This comprehensive program equips students with a strong background in the principles, skills, and knowledge they need to become competent and trusted lawyers. It is designed to develop student’s communication skills, analytical capabilities, and the comprehension of professional ethics and responsibility that are primarily used in the practice of law.
The university combines innovative teaching methods to provide professional and dynamic programs for its students. Faculty members are from the practitioners in the South Florida area who specializes in dynamic coursework to bridge the gap between legal principles, theories, and practice.
All students must complete 90 semester hours to earn this degree. It takes three academic years to complete this program but may vary depending on the student’s timeline of learning.
Campus Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Accreditation: Nova Southeastern University has an accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Retention Rate: 79%
Acceptance Rate: 78.5%
- Online Admission Application
- LSAC Account Registration
- LSAT Report
- Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Account Registration
- Letters of Recommendation
- Legal Research and Writing I and II
- Business Entities
- Multistate Bar Exam Lab
Graduates of the Juris Doctor program continue their journey with clinical programs, fellowships, and active student bar association.
NSU is committed to providing career and continued professional development, and their thriving alumni community integrates blueprints and linkages for the next steps in their students’ career.
LEARN MORE ABOUT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S JURIS DOCTOR DEGREE PROGRAM ONLINE
WEEKEND JURIS DOCTOR PROGRAM
Program Standouts: The Juris Doctor program of Loyola University Chicago is a rigorous program combined with practical experience students need to rise above the competition. Students will work closely with world-class faculty to learn the foundations of the American legal system. The set of coursework under this program helps students learn to effectively apply the study of law to real-world challenging scenarios.
Students must complete 86 credit hours to earn a JD degree in Loyola. Experiential learning that is comprised of 6 credit hours is required to demonstrate the applied knowledge and skills of the students all throughout the program. All online courses are offered through the university’s highly interactive and collaborative online learning platform – Sakai.
Campus Location: Chicago, Illinois
Accreditation: Loyola University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 67.9%
- Completed Online Application Form
- LSAT Scores
- One Letter of Recommendation
- Law School Admission Test Exam
- Character and Fitness Questions
- Qualification for Bar Exam Admissions
- Administrative Law
Students who complete the JD program will earn the same rewarding opportunity to gain benefits from quality, world-class legal education at Loyola. They have achieved unwavering success in serving different sectors of society through promising career pathways in the government and private sectors.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO’S WEEKEND JURIS DOCTOR PROGRAM
Why should i earn a doctorate in law (juris doctor) degree.
Earning a Juris Doctor (JD) degree is an excellent option for anyone interested in learning more about the legal field and pursuing a career as an attorney. A JD degree provides the necessary skills and knowledge to practice law and a deeper understanding of the legal system.
The degree also offers a variety of opportunities for specialization and career advancement. Those with a Juris Doctor degree can also look forward to higher salaries, increased job security, and more job opportunities.
What can I do with a Doctorate in Law (Juris Doctor) Degree?
A Doctorate in Law (Juris Doctor) Degree is the highest degree in law and is typically required to practice law in the United States. With a Juris Doctor, you could pursue a career in legal practice by becoming a lawyer, a judge, or a law professor.
Additionally, a Juris Doctor can open up policy-making, advocacy, and legal consulting opportunities. You could also apply your degree to a career in government, business, or nonprofit organizations.
Do I need a Doctorate in Law (Juris Doctor) Degree to become a lawyer?
Yes, in most states in the United States, you must have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in order to become a licensed lawyer.
What is the average salary for an Attorney?
The average salary for an attorney in the United States is approximately $127,990 per year to upwards of $208,000 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure can vary depending on geographic location, experience, and other factors.
First ABA-approved online J.D. program to debut next fall
- St. Mary's University School of Law launching a five-year pilot program
- The school hopes to enroll students from under-served parts of Texas and beyond
(Reuters) - St. Mary’s University School of Law next fall will launch the first fully online Juris Doctor program approved by the American Bar Association.
The San Antonio law school unveiled the pioneering program Tuesday, saying it planned to enroll 25 students in the first cohort of the five-year pilot program. Nearly a dozen law schools now offer hybrid J.D. programs, in which a large portion of coursework is delivered online but which still require students to spend some time on campus. St. Mary’s new program is the first ABA-approved program to offer all credit-bearing courses online by design. (A small number of online J.D. programs have been around for more than a decade but lack the ABA’s seal of approval.)
“We’ve got to get it right – not only for these 25 students, but for the schools that will follow us with their own programs and for the American Bar Association, for having the confidence in us to give us permission to try,” St. Mary’s Law Dean Patricia Roberts said in an interview.
The online J.D. will take about four years to complete, and tuition will be comparable to the school’s existing in-person part-time program, which is currently $26,594. The first-year courses will be 50% asynchronous, meaning students can complete them on their own schedules, while the other half will be delivered in real time online.
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Roberts first asked her faculty to weigh the possibility of offering a hybrid J.D. program in August 2020, spurred, she said, not by the pandemic-induced move to online classes but because St. Mary’s has offered an online Master of Jurisprudence for five years. That meant the school already had professors with experience teaching online, Roberts said, noting that now the entire faculty has completed training in online teaching.
She said the school initially saw enhanced online offerings as a way to expand access to legal education for people in the under-served areas of South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, where there are no law schools. (Texas lawmakers have long discussed the possibility of a new law school in El Paso.) But the faculty committee quickly proposed the idea of a fully online program instead of a hybrid, arguing that requiring students to come to campus on a regular basis undermined its access and affordability goals.
The ABA approved St. Mary’s application for a waiver of its distance education limits in May, but the school did not release any information about its plans until this week. The ABA has in recent years been increasing the number of credits a J.D. student may earn online. Currently, J.D. students may take up to a third of their credits online, which translates to about 30 credit hours at most schools. Any J.D. program that exceeds those online hours must obtain special permission from the ABA. (The ABA has allowed law schools to exceed those distance education limits during the pandemic.)
Roberts said she believes the pandemic made the ABA more receptive to the idea of a fully online J.D. program, and she expects other schools to roll out similar programs in the coming years. St. Mary’s has pledged to provide the ABA with detailed data on the academic and bar exam performance of the online J.D. cohort.
“We talked about it and thought, ‘Well, somebody’s going to be first,’” Roberts said. “We might as well try it.”
For most law students, remote classes didn't make the grade - report
Is law school worth it in the pandemic? Some remote law students aren't so sure
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Karen Sloan reports on law firms, law schools, and the business of law. Reach her at [email protected]
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The 20 Best Doctor of Law/Juris Doctor Graduate Schools in 2023
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In 1902, Harvard Law School faculty suggested the name change from LL.B. to JD since it was a professional degree. Within a year, the University of Chicago was granted the world’s first JD degree. But it was only 1965 when the current requirement for JD applicants possessing a bachelor’s degree was made standard by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Indeed, the Juris Doctor (JD) or Doctor of Law degree has undergone several changes since the College of William and Mary granted the first Bachelor of Law degree in 1793. But the respect, recognition and prestige that came with earning a JD degree haven’t faded in more than two centuries. The 20 best JD programs in this list are definitely among the most respected, recognized and prestigious in the world!
The 20 Doctor of Law universities featured here were chosen based on the following factors:
- The university has regional accreditation from a US Department of Education recognized accreditation body and programmatic accreditation from the American Bar association.
- The highly selective admission process makes these universities the toughest to get into and maintain good academic standing.
- The rigorous academic curriculum results in their students’ comprehensive depth and breadth of knowledge of the law.
- The university is widely known for academic excellence, qualified faculty, and exceptional student support services, among other aspects that make an educational institution a truly conducive environment for advanced learning.
20 BEST DOCTOR OF LAW/JURIS DOCTOR GRADUATE SCHOOLS
Yale Law School offers its JD students rich opportunities in learning about the law and writing for the law profession, independent research, and seminars. The extraordinary community that Yale has established since its early days in the 19th century continues to nurture students in their future legal careers. Many students work with faculty members as teaching and research assistants to pursue careers in the academe, research, and media.
- While Yale has a highly selective admission process, students become collaborators instead of competitors once accepted. All courses are ungraded during the first term, with subsequent honors/pass/low pass grading system. Students may also choose the credit/fail option, but neither class rank nor curve.
- Yale has several programs, centers and workshops that enrich the students’ lives through community service and scholarly work. Some programs prioritize underserved/underrepresented populations, such as the Access to Law School Program for minority, low-income and first-generation applicants.
- Small class sizes are maintained so that students can be provided with individualized programs of study. Only about 200 students are admitted for every entering class.
- Applicants are evaluated based on a holistic but selective admission process. Applicant components include an undergraduate degree with academic transcripts, personal statements and 250-word essays, letters of recommendation, and diversity statements. Applicants must submit a dean’s certification and standardized tests.
Yale has several law-focused centers that provide its students with valuable exposure to the real-life work of lawyers and their advocacies. Justice Collaboratory, Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Learning, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and Yale Center for Law and Philosophy are examples.
Students can interact with international students, visiting scholars, and legal experts. These are necessary to expand their professional perspectives in preparation for legal work.
Skull & Bones is among Yale’s most secretive and exclusive college clubs, with its typical members being student leaders, from team captains to political union members. Only 30 new members are admitted every spring term, and among its members are George Bush and George W Bush.
Stanford’s interdisciplinary philosophy in its JD program is based on its tradition of learning without limits. Students master legal doctrine and become proficient in their applications in a wide range of settings, from the government to business, education, and science. Graduates then have the knowledge and skills vital for success in whatever specialization they pursue.
- Students can apply for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program to fully fund their law education. Financial assistance through tuition fellowships, private loans and federal aid is available. About 75% of students receive financial aid.
- First-year students focus on the law basics and expand their perspectives of its theory and applications. The extensive coursework prepares them for the advanced – and extremely rigorous – curriculum of Stanford Law School.
- Three are required courses, and one is an elective course in winter. In the spring quarter, students tackle 12 or fewer elective units.
- Stanford covers most areas of study in law, including accounting, administrative, environmental and criminal law. Aside from the advanced academic coursework, students also participate in advanced clinics where theory meets practice. Students work in these clinics full-time, usually a quarter or more.
- Each class only has 30 students, maximum, to maintain active participation, individualized attention and academic excellence in the cohort.
- All students are guaranteed housing during their first year at Stanford.
- Candidates must submit a comprehensive resume, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. A diversity essay and two short essays from a list of four essay questions are optional.
Stanford’s student attorneys in its 11 clinics are unique in the legal profession – certified by the California State Bar and, thus, allowed to practice law with the guidance of mentors. Other opportunities for beyond-the-classroom learning are the Global Initiative and W. A. Franke Global Law Program. The Global Initiative takes law education on the move while the W. A. Franke Global Law Program provides a 10-week immersion and overseas study trips.
Stanford nourishes its students’ entrepreneurial spirit, so it isn’t surprising that 74 billionaires call it their alma mater! These include the founders of Google, Yahoo! and Hewlett-Packard.
Harvard Law School’s list of alumni reads like a who’s who of the United States’ best and brightest in politics and the judiciary! Rutherford B. Hayes and Barack Obama, both former Presidents of the United States, are shining luminaries. Such excellence in society isn’t surprising considering Harvard’s emphasis on academic excellence and community service.
- Students must establish a solid intellectual foundation during their first year that will ensure their success in their legal education. The curriculum covers the core principles, concepts and skills vital in legal practice, particularly in constitutional, criminal and civil law, among other areas. Students must develop critical and analytical thinking, communication, and reasoning skills.
- The January Experiential Term is a compulsory requirement for first-year students where they attend skills-based courses with an emphasis on practical training. Students also participate in the First-Year Ames Moot Court Program and other legal writing and research programs to develop their oral and written communication skills.
- Both section-based and faculty-led enrichment activities are available to first-year students. The section-based activities include law-related extracurricular activities, while faculty-led activities include ungraded reading groups covering many topics.
- Upper-level students choose from seven optional programs of study, including Criminal Justice, Law and Social Change, and International and Comparative Law. Every student must work with a faculty member in creating an academic program based on their specific focus.
- Third-year students are encouraged to engage in a capstone learning experience, such as clinical practice, advanced seminars, and writing projects.
- Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and submit a resume, personal statement, LSAT or GRE score, LSAC Report, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
Harvard Law School offers a JD curriculum with unequaled depth and breadth through 400-plus courses, workshops, and reading groups. Small class sizes, usually with less than 25 students, make learning more focused and productive. Students are also encouraged to adopt an international perspective via coursework, study abroad opportunities, and international fellowships.
Harvard started in a single-frame house with a small college yard. Today, its property holdings cover more than 4,000 football fields, but the main campus only covers 4%!
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago Law Review is the pride of students, faculty, and alumni partly because it is one of the five most-cited in the world. Students on the editorial team are selected based on their academic performance and writing capacity after their first year. Suffice it to say that admission into the review team is just as tough as admission into the law school itself!
- The three-year program is a full-time program with nine academic quarters. Evening and part-time enrollment aren’t allowed. Classes typically start in late September or early October, with classes ending in early June.
- Applicants must apply via the LSAC online portal and before the academic year before their planned term of enrollment. Work experience isn’t required but recommended, with 70% of incoming first-year students having 1-2 years of work experience.
- Small class sizes are maintained via a selective admission process. About 185 students enter the JD program every year; the entire JD program has about 600 students.
- UChicago encourages tolerance for all ideas, viewpoints and ideologies among its students and faculty members. Each of them also has the right to challenge these ideas intellectually and respectfully.
- Students choose from various clinical programs that bridge the gap between theory and practice. The Mandel Legal Aid Clinic allows students to participate in litigation-based and legislative work. The Environmental Law Clinic, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, and the Prosecution and Defense Clinic are other options.
- UChicago makes it possible for JD students to enjoy their stay through extracurricular activities. There are more than 60 student-led organizations and musicals, intramurals, and weekly breakfasts.
The capstone experience can be a judicial clerkship where students enrich post-graduation opportunities with established legal professionals. Graduates interested in it are assisted by the Office of Career Services and a faculty committee.
UChicago’s well-rounded curriculum also allows its graduates to pursue either a generalist or specialist approach to their careers.
The on-campus Mansueto Library can house up to 3.5 million volumes and serves as the location for the “Divergent” film.
Columbia Law School is among the world’s leading institutions in legal education and scholarship for good reasons. The distinguished faculty aren’t just educators but innovators. The curriculum also emphasizes innovation in how students think and actively encourages intellectual exchanges beyond their comfort zone and challenges the system.
- The three-year program first builds a strong legal foundation, particularly in the higher faculty skills vital for success in the rigorous program. The foundation curriculum covers the fundamentals of the areas of study in law, such as civil procedure, constitutional law, criminal law, and contracts.
- First-year students must take the Foundation-year Moot Course that develops their core legal skills, including creating and delivering arguments. Participation in extramural moot court competitions is also an effective way of developing these core skills.
- Second-year and third-year students build on their foundational knowledge and take advanced courses and electives. Clinics and seminars are more common, too, with topics touching on the various areas of the law.
- Students can explore areas outside of their program of study during the January Term (J-Term). Course examples include Conflict Resolution and Diplomacy, Bioethics Mediation, and Social Justice Advocacy.
- Aside from the required courses, students must complete a professional responsibility course, at least six experiential credits and 40 hours of pro bono work, and two writing credits.
- The areas of study include data analytics, leadership, social justice and human rights, aside from the typical courses on criminal justice, constitutional law, and business law.
- Students study abroad through 34 study-abroad programs, either in their second or third year.
- The JB program is a full-time commitment, and there are no evening, summer, part-time or distance learning options.
Establishing connections is the distinguishing characteristic of the JD experience at Columbia. Students make connections between their studies and legal practice, local and legal communities, classroom and clinic experiences, and present and future. Students may also enroll in classes at other colleges within Columbia and earn an international double degree.
Columbia is built on a former public hospital, the former Bloomingdale Asylum. The only remaining structure from the asylum is the Buell Hall.
University of Pennsylvania
Leges sine moribus vanae (Laws without morals are in vain). This is the underlying philosophy of Upenn’s Carey Law School and its professional programs, including the JD program. Here, students train as tomorrow’s lawyers with expertise across multiple disciplines, including business, health, and education, even in emergent fields.
- This is a full-time program with 86 credits for completion within six years of residency. Every student must complete six experiential learning credits; the Professional Responsibility course and the scholarly research and writing project. The Pro Bono requirement is also mandatory.
- The ABA-mandated experiential credits requirement can be fulfilled by choosing from nearly 60 courses classified as experiential. These credits may also come from externships, clinics and student projects like teaching and research assistantships.
- The scholarly research and writing project can either be a single long paper or a series of short papers that demonstrate analysis, style and organization.
- The minimum number of credits for full-time attendance is 12 credits every semester. But students can enroll in up to 17 credits per semester.
- Up to 12 credits are transferred JD degrees for graduate-level courses from other UPenn departments, but these must be proven useful in legal education.
- The maximum number of credits earned toward the JD degree from co-curricular activities is 22.
UPenn provides numerous enrichment opportunities for its students to expand their education and horizons. Students may take graduate-level courses, certificates of study, and even joint degrees in UPenn’s other schools.
The self-initiated, 70-hour pro bono work requirement is also a way of developing legal skills while committing to public service. The Toll Public Interest Center also serves as the hub for Carey’s public interest projects, including pro bono work.
UPenn was the first American college with strictly secular roots! The study of the classics was emphasized alongside the acquisition of practical competencies, a philosophy explained in Benjamin Franklin’s university founding document. If you want to know, its title is “Proposals Relating to the Youth of Pennsylvania.”
New York University
NYU Law School trains its JD students to become versatile professionals with the personal and professional capacity for leadership in their chosen field. Graduates can become successful practicing lawyers, committed public servants, big-time entrepreneurs, and politicians with JD degrees. Such versatility results from NYU’s emphasis on critical and creative thinking, interdisciplinary and international perspective, and experiential learning.
- The first-year curriculum includes the traditional required courses and an elective alongside the Lawyering Program and the Legislation and the Regulatory State course. The latter, an especially-designed course, introduces students to the concepts, tools and materials that lawyers must possess for their success.
- The required courses include torts, criminal law, civil procedure, contracts and property and constitutional law. Students aren’t expected to memorize the law per se but, more importantly, gain an insightful understanding of its philosophy and practices.
- The elective course during the first-year studies can be any of seven choices, including constitutional law, income taxation, and intellectual property. This is designed to allow students to individualize their studies.
- The second-year curriculum emphasizes strong writing skills through faculty-led directed research or a seminar to complete the required analytic paper. Said paper can be published as a note in one or more NYU Law student journals and for jobs and clerkships applications.
- Advanced courses and clinics, and simulation courses are part of the second-year program of study.
- Students in their third year may tackle their clinic or colloquium requirements. NYU Law has over 40 clinics covering environmental law, capital punishment and international law, among other areas. The colloquium requirement consists of meta-seminars where students enrich their legal education through reading groups and scholarly discussions.
NYU Law’s Lawyering Program is unique in legal education because it teaches students real-world skills vital to success in the practice of law. The lessons cover financial literacy, client relations, and marketing, to name a few, that will soon become valuable for JD graduates/future lawyers.
NYU sends more students to foreign colleges and universities than any other American institution. Class 2020, for example, had 47% of its students study abroad.
University of California Berkeley
The JD program is UC Berkeley Law School’s cornerstone partly because it has produced many of the best leaders in its public and private sectors. Earl Warren, Pauli Murray, and Edwin Meese are notable alumni who learned under the program’s rigorous, experiential and engaging curriculum.
- The highly selective program accepts about 1% of applicants for every annual cohort. This means small class sizes are maintained, and students receive more individualized attention.
- Despite the restrictive admission, the diverse student body reflects UC Berkeley’s commitment to diversity in its various aspects. These include intellectual diversity, with students encouraged to present competing perspectives and rationally defend them.
- The first-year curriculum establishes the foundation of fundamentals in law necessary for advanced studies in the second and third years. There are four compulsory courses and a Legal Research and Writing course in the fall semester. Students take one compulsory course and the Written & Oral Advocacy course in the spring semester.
- The four required first-year courses are Contracts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Torts.
- The class sizes range from 60 to 120 students, but a small class with just 30-35 students.
- Students in their second and third year choose from a wide variety of Electives Skills Courses, which have different expectations than the regular courses.
- The clinic programs offer students the opportunity to put knowledge into practice and transform it into practical skills. Students choose from the Death Penalty Clinic, International Human Rights Law Clinic, and Environmental Law Clinic.
- Students in their first semester can participate in the Pro Bono Program and engage the community while learning lawyering skills. Choices include the Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS), Call for Necessary Engagement in Community & Timely Response (CNECT), and Berkeley Law Alternative Service Trips (BLAST).
Real-world focus is at the heart of the JD program, and it’s expressed in multiple ways, from student-run journals and clinics to university-sponsored think tanks and externships. Experiential education strengthens the solid theoretical foundation built from the first legal course.
The California Gold Rush may have started from a gold nugget found at the Bancroft Library.
University of Virginia
UVA’s School of Law is the country’s second-oldest continuously operating law school, with no less than Thomas Jefferson establishing it in 1819. Distinguished lawyers in the public and private sectors, from the government to business, technology, and health, have trained here! UVA instills the value of integrity, leadership, and community service and encourages the cooperative spirit that results in a strong network.
- The three-year program has small class sizes with a student-faculty ratio of about 7:1 and current enrollment at 942 students.
- Students learn through a broad range of opportunities, from intensive short courses and seminars to clinics, advanced theory courses and trial advocacies. Twenty-four hands-on clinics deal with different law areas and provide experiential learning complete with client interactions.
- Dual-degree programs, externships and study-abroad opportunities are also available. Research projects, both independent and faculty-led types, are also offered for both credits and experience.
- First-year students tackle two mandatory courses during the first and second semesters. Civil procedure, contracts, torts, and criminal law students are automatically enrolled. These are small section classes with about 35 students only.
- First-year students then move onto two mandatory courses – property and constitutional law – during the spring term. The second in a series of Legal Research and Writing is also taken at this time and 5-7 hours of elective courses.
- The second-year coursework includes patent law, federal courts, evidence, corporations, and regulation of the political process.
- Third-year students focus on independent and directed research and complete coursework in trusts and estates, remedies, land use law, and antitrust. The year-long Supreme Court Litigation Clinic is equivalent to four credits every semester.
The proof of UVA’s excellence in legal education is in the graduate outcomes – and UVA has the numbers to prove it ! According to ABA, the Class of 2020 had among the highest percentage of graduates hired directly after graduate school to federal clerkships or law firms with 500 or more lawyers.
UVA’s unofficial mascot is the Wahoos, originally an insult hurled at the football players but adopted by the school as its second mascot. The official mascot is the cavaliers.
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Academic excellence and intellectual rigor are the hallmarks of the student experience in UMich’s JD program. This is reflected in the structured curriculum, emphasizing theory and practice or didactic and experiential learning. Students must develop their critical thinking, analytical thinking, and communication skills to analyze complex legal issues.
- While the stereotypical first-year law experience focuses on the negative aspects, Umich students and alumni say otherwise! The first year is filled with positive experiences in both the educational and personal aspects.
- First-year students explore the fundamentals of the law with the guidance of credentialed professors and practitioners. Students must stand out in their oral and written communication skills, as well as establish advocacies.
- Second-year and third-year students choose from courses in the JD program, Law Quad, and other UMich schools. Graduation requirements include completing international, comparative, regulatory and statutory law, and ethics and professional responsibility. There’s a course on writing skills and a legal practice course that demands excellent writing skills.
- Students must meet UMich’s experiential education requirements through clinical work, externships or practice simulations.
- Internships and externships are available for students to expand their work experiences.
- Intramural moot court competitions aren’t compulsory but encouraged for experiential learning. The Henry M. Campbell Moot Court Competition is the oldest, but plenty of other options are too. Every moot court covers a specific area of studies, such as criminal law, child welfare law, and environmental law.
- Work and play make for the best UMich JD student, and there are plenty of student organizations with different interest areas, from hobbies and religion to politics and community service.
The program has a strong international perspective that manifests itself in multiple ways. Many faculty members are involved in international and comparative law, both in UMich and national and international institutions. Students can work and study abroad in places as diverse as Switzerland and Tanzania.
US Supreme Court Justices George Sutherland, William Rufus Day, and Frank Murphy are notable alumni. The bar passing rate is 93% and above, and the 10-month employment rate is about 98%.
Duke’s academic programs are known for their innovative curriculum and rigorous content, and its JD program isn’t different in these respects. The JD program screens candidates so that only the cream of the crop is accepted, which contributes to its impressive graduation outcomes. Indeed, your legal career starts here!
- Students earn 87 law credits comprising prescribed courses, electives and experiential learning requirements. At least 64 credits are required for regularly-scheduled courses.
- Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Property Law, Tort Law, and Legal Analysis, Research and Writing are the prescribed first-year courses.
- Students must also complete a 2-credit ethics and professional responsibility course marked as JD-Ethics on the Course of Study.
- At least two credits of the directed research paper must be completed as part of the Substantial Research and Writing Project Requirement (SRWP). This must be a student’s solo project but conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.
- Students must complete six credits (minimum) of the experiential learning requirement. This can be satisfied through clinics, simulation courses and externships.
- The 2-course professional development credits are required but don’t count toward the credits required to earn the degree.
- Duke’s upper-class curriculum blends legal coursework and practical skills courses, such as small study groups and clinics.
Duke Law has 11 clinical programs that complement its extensive externship opportunities. While the curriculum has a fairly structured design, students are provided with ample opportunities to build their program of study. The clinical program is notable for its public interest-centric services in several distinct areas that serve as the students’ training grounds in real-world lawyering.
Examples of these clinics are the Community Enterprise Clinic, Immigrant Rights Clinic, and Start-Up Ventures Clinic. The clinic program strengthens the idea that Duke is a community for and of lawyers! The lawyers here are in different careers, from lawyers-in-training to established lawyers in the academe, public service, and private practice.
Duke students burn benches when the Blue Devils win over the University of North Carolina! The bonfire happens at Abele Quad.
Offered at the Pritzker School of Law, Northwestern’s JD program is known for its practical philosophy and extremely competitive admission. Applicants with at least two years of work experience are strongly preferred, with the student profile showing such preference. More than 70% have more than two years of experience, while about 90% have at least a year of experience; the rest were accepted under special circumstances.
- Students must complete the academic requirements for 85 semester credits. The period of residence should not be less than six semesters but not more than seven semesters.
- At least a 2.25 cumulative GPA must be earned for graduation or a 2.0 GPA if two-thirds of all grades are at least C+.
- The required courses are Communication and Legal Reasoning I and II, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Torts, Property, and Legal Ethics. Students must also earn six credits from courses in the experiential learning list and a Perspective elective.
- The 22-credit first-year curriculum consists of mandatory courses and electives of six credits.
- First-year students take the required courses to establish a solid foundation in lawyering skills, including analysis, reasoning and writing. These courses are also designed to build a thorough understanding of the law’s policies, procedures and structures.
- Upper-class students must meet the advanced academic writing requirement by their second or third year in the program. Students may also apply to scholarly journals at this point.
Aside from being the oldest law school in Chicago, Northwestern Law is also a pioneer in offering a two-year JD program for international students. Candidates must be lawyers in their own countries as a minimum requirement. International students enroll in the required first-year curriculum to integrate as a cohort like their American counterparts. The second-year coursework consists of elective requirements.
Northwestern is among the country’s most innovative institutions, impacting millions of people! Its therapeutics innovations, for example, impacts more than 10 million patients. Northwestern earns $2.2 billion in revenue from its intellectual property and patents.
University of California – Los Angeles
UCLA’s JD program has all the hallmarks that make the public research university among the best in the country. A tradition of innovation, a close-knit community, and world-renowned faculty contribute to the conducive learning environment. The faculty and student body diversity contribute to the intense but respectful intellectual discourse in and out of the classroom. Plus, UCLA has competitive tuition with plenty of financial aid options, so students graduate with little to no debt!
- Students attend a week-long orientation program designed to ease their transition into the rigorous lifestyle that law students demand. The orientation also introduces students to the fundamentals of the learning process in the JD program and encourages students to start thinking as lawyers and advocates.
- The first-year curriculum is a formative program of study emphasizing foundational subjects. Constitutional Law, Labor Law, Federal Taxation, Evidence and Remedies are required courses. Students who become well-versed in their fundamentals will also become the foundation for their clinical and experiential courses.
- The importance of effective communication skills is that students must complete the Legal Research and Writing course. Students gain effective writing skills relevant to legal research, presentation and advocacy, usually in small classes to encourage camaraderie-based learning.
- The Modes of Legal inquiry seminars strengthen the students’ grasp of the law by analyzing cases in different areas of the law.
- The Lawyer-Client Relationship course is also mandatory due to its crucial lessons in maintaining a good lawyer-client relationship. Pro bono services are part of the experience.
- Upper-class students choose from a wide range of advanced classes, specializations and clinics that will challenge their intellect. Six units of experiential courses combined with a Professional Responsibility course complete the experience.
UCLA offers an exceptional range of student support services in line with its commitment to student success. Examples are the academic support workshops, GAT study groups, academic counseling, and Constitutional Law Section 9.
Law students can experience extreme stress during finals week, but there’s a stress-relieving solution! The Midnight Yell allows all UCLA students to shout at midnight as loud as they can, a way of relieving stress or taking a break from the books!
Cornell Law School may be among the country’s smallest top-tier programs, but therein lies its primary strengths! About 200 students graduate every year with exceptional legal knowledge and lawyering skills. The graduate outcomes are impressive, too, with most students passing the bar and being hired in large law firms and other prestigious companies.
The JD program has about 600 students, so there’s a close-knit community of learners that thrive on collaboration, not competition. As Cornell says, they are serious about the legal profession but certainly not stuffy, elite in its rankings but not elitist.
- The admissions committee considers several factors in the acceptance of candidates. Aside from the applicant’s academic record (GPA) and LSAT scores, candidates are evaluated based on their letters of recommendation, personal statement and resume. Community involvement, extracurricular activities and work and research experience are valued, as is the diversity statement.
- The faculty members are respected in their field of expertise, with many holding academic chairs and published authors of law books in their subject areas.
- First-year students are placed in small classes or sections to encourage collaborative learning.
- The 28-credit first-year required courses are Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Lawyering, Torts, Criminal Law, and Property. The single elective course should be taken in the spring semester to sample a specialization.
- The second-year curriculum has no mandatory courses, but degree requirements must still be complied with. Students, however, are well-advised to take the Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Evidence and Federal Income Taxation courses.
- The third-year program of study emphasizes specialization or diversification based on the student’s interest. Electives and seminars are abundant, but students must meet certain degree requirements.
Cornell has more than 20 practicum courses and clinics designed to gain practical lawyering skills. Examples include the Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic, Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, and Gender Justice Clinic.
Students choose a concentration during their third year of studies, too. The choices are Advocacy, Business Law and Regulation, Conflict Resolution, General Practice, Law, Inequity, Structural Exclusion, Public Law, and Technology and Law.
Cornell’s current Ithaca location would not have happened if not for its founder’s mugging experience at Syracuse!
Georgetown University Law Center assures its JD students of exciting experiences, thanks partly to the university’s proximity to the nation’s political powerhouse, literally! The US Capitol and Supreme Court are a short walk from the university, and numerous international firms, law firms, and non-government organizations are in Washington, DC Didactic coursework becomes more exciting when its real-world applications are right at your doorstep!
- Students earn 85 credits to graduate and earn the JD degree. The recommended number of credits per semester ranges from 10 to 16 credits.
- The full-time program is designed to complete three academic years or six semesters. The typical classes are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but upper-class students may also have classes during the evenings and weekends.
- Students must meet the required number of credits and then choose from a wide range of elective courses for credits. These electives are intended to build an individualized program of study. There are more than 500 courses to choose from if you’re wondering.
- First-year students complete 30 credits of mandatory courses to build their foundational knowledge and skills in preparation for advanced upper-class studies.
- Georgetown has Curriculum A and Curriculum B for its first-year full-time students, but both feature the same number of credits and grading curve. The traditional Curriculum A is similar to the typical program of study in major law schools and is undertaken by four sections. The innovative Curriculum B adopts an integrated approach to legal education.
- There’s also an evening program that can be completed in as long as four academic years.
Georgetown takes pride in its intellectual community, where debates, discourses, and scholarly activities are encouraged. Students can have a direct hand in shaping history, too, such as drafting legislation and assisting lawyers in preparing for Supreme Court hearings.
There’s a Georgetown tradition that students must never walk down, much less stand on, the middle of the Georgetown seal in the Healy Hall entrance or risk not graduating.
Vanderbilt Law School only accepts around 175 students to its annual JD program cohort with its highly selective admission process. With more than 84% of its Class of 2020 obtaining full-time, long-term employment nine months after degree completion, it’s also an impressive success rate among the universities.
- Students are required to pursue the JD degree on a full-time basis. The minimum number of credits taken should be ten credits per semester. Students must also be on a residential status for six semesters or equivalent for students who require more than said period.
- The number of credits required is 88 semester hours with a GPA of 2.0 or above. A maximum of five credits can be from credit-bearing extracurricular activities. A minimum of 65 credit hours must be from regular classes in the Law School, but students applying for the Order of the Coif must earn 66 graded hours, minimum.
- Students must take full responsibility for meeting all the degree requirements, from planning to completing them, but faculty and staff members are ready to assist. Good moral character, payment of financial obligations, and favorable recommendation from the faculty are required to stay in the program and earn the degree.
- Completing a 3-credit seminar course can satisfy the mandatory research paper requirement, but there are also other methods. Students may pursue a topic unrelated to the seminars but must also comply with the supervised research project requirement.
Students enjoy a balance between studies and play through active participation in one or more of the 45 student organizations. Social events complement the lectures, seminars, and presentations organized by these organizations.
There’s also the opportunity to become part of the highly-regarded Vanderbilt Law Review, the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, and the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.
The campus landmarks are named after notable people whose contributions to Vanderbilt are recognized via these structures. The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center (BCC), for example, is in honor of Joseph Johnson, the university’s first Black student.
University of Texas – Austin
Texas Law’s highly selective admission – 17.5% for the Class of 2022 – results in its JD students receiving intensive, comprehensive, and workplace-ready legal education. More than 90% of graduates secure full-time, long-term employment nine months after earning the degree, and it does not include the success of solo practitioners.
The student body is among the youngest, too, with the average age being 24, while out-of-state students comprise one-third of the student population. Texas Law must reserve 65% of its first-year slots for Texas residents as required by state law.
- Students earn 86 credit hours, of which 65 credits must be from regular classes, including cross-listed courses, seminars and clinics. A maximum of 21 credit hours are from non-regular coursework, including internships, non-law graduate-level classes, DRS offerings, and undergraduate-level language classes.
- The three-year JD program requires full-time commitment due to the intensive and intense legal training, which has been described as transformative and substantive.
- First-year students spend their time building the foundation of their legal education with courses in civil procedure, constitutional law and criminal law. The coursework develops advanced critical thinking and analytical skills that allow students to ” think like a lawyer” in the words of Texas Law.
- Second-year and third-year students can individualize their program of study based on their interests and aspirations in law and its related fields. While there are required courses, elective courses personalize each student’s legal training.
- Required courses include Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts, Legal Analysis and Communication, Constitutional Law, and Civil Procedure: Investigation, Prosecution and Bail to Jail.
- Students must obtain a cumulative GPA of 1.90 to graduate.
Students can expand their educational horizons by taking courses in other schools in UT Austin or pursue a dual degree in Texas Law. There are study abroad opportunities, too.
UT Texas has a deep love for animals! The Tower Girl, a falcon living at the UT Tower, and Domino, the campus cat, are considered university icons. Domino is even a well-loved pet among students and faculty who feed and take care of it.
Washington University in St. Louis
WashULaw is among the oldest continuously operating law schools in Missouri and, through the years, has established a reputation for brilliance in legal education. Many of its alumni have attained prominence in government, business, and the judiciary, such as Michael Cherry, Richard B. Teitelman, and Luther Ely Smith.
- The three-year JD program is a full-time program covering a wide range of legal courses.
- Students earn 86 credit hours with at least 67 credits earned in Law Classroom Units (LCUs) or regularly scheduled courses.
- The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.00 to earn the JD degree.
- First-year students must complete three doctrinal courses every semester and the Legal Research Methodologies and Legal Practice courses. Most courses are taught in small sections of about 45 students each. The Legal Research Methodologies and Legal Practice courses are taught in workshop-style classes. The professors also provide specific feedback on every student’s writing and research project.
- The required courses are Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Contracts, Torts, Property, Legal Practice, Legal Research Methodologies, and Negotiation. Most of these courses have four credits, while others only have 1-2 credits.
- Upper-level students complete 45 credit hours with a program of study that reflects their interests and goals. But there are requirements, too, in writing, ethics and professional skills. Faculty members guide course selections.
- Students’ participation in moot court competitions is strongly encouraged. The Giles Rich Moot Court Competition and Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition are the most popular.
- The Judicial Clerkship is an externship experience to remember for students because of the real-world exposure to civil and criminal litigation.
Every upper-class JD student can tailor their legal education based on their interests and aspirations through a combination of clinics, externships, and joint degrees. WashULaw has 11 clinics, seven externship programs, and seven joint-degree programs aside from the wide variety of electives to choose from. The concentrations offered contribute to the individualized program of study, too, with choices like Commercial and Consumer Law, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, and Bankruptcy.
During the 1918 flu pandemic, the Red Cross used WashU’s Graham Chapel to make masks on a large scale.
BU Law is a truly progressive school! Aside from being the second-oldest law school in The Bay State, it was also among the first who admit students regardless of their race and gender. This was a revolutionary idea – the late 1870s – when minorities and women were barred from most law schools. The tradition of excellence and acceptance is as strong as ever in its rigorous JD program.
- The 85-credit program has a full-time program of study that should ideally be completed in three academic years.
- The extremely competitive admission process ensures a low faculty-student ratio that, in turn, means students benefit from an individualized educational experience. Faculty mentors are assigned to every student aside from the usual faculty advisors.
- First-year students start their legal training nearly as soon as they enter a classroom, an early start that will get them “thinking like a lawyer.” The coursework emphasizes basic mastery of legal doctrines, legal writing and research skills, and procedures in civil and criminal law. The 1L Lawyering Program is the venue for the acquisition of these skills.
- Second-year and third-year students build on their foundational knowledge while acquiring more advanced lawyering knowledge and skills.
- More than 200 courses cover various topics, from federal taxation to international human rights. Students also choose from several concentrations, including Intellectual Property, Health Law, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Transactional Law, and Risk Management & Compliance.
- Students develop workplace-ready skills in and outside the classroom. Aside from the challenging didactic coursework, students also take on experiential learning experiences, including moot court and mock trial competitions, externships and clinical programs.
Students can combine their JD degree with another degree and, thus, expand their career options. BU Law has 17 dual degree programs and partnerships with foreign universities.
BU established its Law School in 1872, the second school in its system. BU Law is the first law school that introduced entrance requirements and the three-year curriculum in legal education.
University of Southern California
The USC Gould School of Law is one of the country’s oldest law schools, with its origins traced to 1896. Through the years, it has evolved to become an outstanding law school that offers an exemplary JD Program with a challenging curriculum. Graduates are known for their work ethic, proficient understanding of the law, and extensive entry-level lawyering experience.
- Students earn 88 units to earn the degree, and 64 units must be from regularly scheduled courses. Externships, practicums, independent research projects, and journals aren’t counted toward these 64 units. Students also earn 37 upper-division graded units as part of the degree requirements.
- This three-year program is designed to be completed within six semesters as a full-time student.
- Students must meet the upper-division requirement in experiential learning through six units from a law clinic, a simulation course, or a field placement.
- Students who want to remain in good standing in the JD program must achieve a 2.90 cumulative GPA.
- With its selective admission process, USC Gould maintains a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. This figure is instrumental in maintaining the supportive, collegial and close-knit community of law students in all its programs.
- The coursework, however, is rigorous due to its emphasis on experiential learning and interdisciplinary approach. Students aren’t limited to their JD coursework but can also access USC Gould’s abundant opportunities in dual degrees, study abroad and clinics.
- The application requirements are the electronic application and application fee; CAS report with transcripts, LSAT scores and letters of recommendation; GRE scores; personal statement; and resume.
USC Gould has a customizable curriculum so that every student has a unique course of study. Students choose an area of concentration, work with clients during their externship and clinic experiences, and even earn certificates.
Although the GPA cutoff for every class’s top 10% is published, there are no individual class rankings. Students in the top 10% become members of the Order of the Coif.
Look up at the Gwynn Wilson Student Union building, and you will see a monkey gargoyle tumbling his nose at Rufus von KleinSmid’s bust! The reported reason: the building’s architect squabbled with the past university president!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the jd degree.
Known as the American law degree because of its origins, the JD degree is a three-year professional degree considered as the minimum educational level for lawyers. In a way, this is a professional doctorate, but it isn’t a research doctorate, so JD degree holders aren’t conferred the “Doctor” title.
Graduates of JD law programs must take the bar exam and pass it before practicing law. While there are still no bar exams for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, many states have already adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). These states include Alabama, Alaska, District of Columbia, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia, and Washington.
Facilitated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the UBE is a standardized bar exam for aspiring lawyers who want to practice law. The UBE score can be applied in the jurisdictions that adopted it, but every jurisdiction usually has additional licensure requirements. Note that the term “uniform” in UBE is a misnomer since each jurisdiction has responsibility for certain areas of the exam and its requirements, including:
- Passing scores, including the MEE and MPT scores
- The period when the score will be accepted (validity period)
- Eligibility requirements and the number of time an individual can take it
- Additional educational level and jurisdiction-specific exams
The JD degree is also different from the esquire designation and the LLM degree. The term “esquire,” as used in American society, means a lawyer with an active bar membership and who can practice law. The JD degree is the first step toward becoming an esquire – you need to pass the bar after graduation to earn the old-fashioned title.
Lawyers typically earn a Master of Laws (LLM) degree with a JD degree. The LLM degree has a more specialized and concentrated focus than the JD degree, too, since students gain additional training on specific areas of the law. The one-year LLM degree programs may offer concentrations in corporate law or international law. Many LLM programs also have a theoretical approach and, thus, require their students to finish a thesis.
What are the benefits of a JD degree?
While the JD degree is among the most challenging professional degrees, its rewards are also fulfilling, both financially and non-financial sense. The law profession is among the most respected in modern society, with lawyers being held in high esteem for their integrity, extensive knowledge, and professionalism.
Lawyers also have a reliable professional in that jobs tend to be in abundance for, after all, there are always laws that must be upheld! There are also many specializations to choose from, so it’s possible to shift to another specialization for more rewarding job opportunities.
Lawyers are among the highest-paid professionals with a median annual wage of $126,930 per year (May 2020). Lawyers may also receive stock options, professional fees, and retirement savings plans as benefits depending on the company and type of work. JD degree holders also have other career options, such as becoming a law teacher, working as a law consultant or compliance officer, and pursuing a writing career.
But it’s also important to seek realistic expectations about the cost of a JD degree! Tuition and other college fees are the biggest concern, followed by the time, energy, and effort needed to complete the rigorous program.
What’s the typical time-to-graduate period?
The typical JD program can be completed in three years for full-time students. But it can take at least four years for a part-time student to earn the degree.
But some universities offer an accelerated two-year program like Columbia, Fordham, Rutgers, and Drexel. Students can start their first year in the JD program in these institutions after completing their third year of undergraduate studies.
What Is the typical curriculum for JD programs?
The curriculum focuses on the law and its various areas, including:
- Constitutional law
- Civil procedures
- Contract law
- Criminal law
- Property and real estate law
- Business law
- International law
The rigorous didactic coursework demands above-average oral and written communication skills and critical and analytical thinking skills. Students must participate in classroom discussions actively, perhaps even engage in productive debates with their fellow learners. Internships are also common in most schools offering a JD program.
Many of the best law schools also allow students to simultaneously pursue the JD degree and another graduate degree, usually complementary. The most common examples are JD with a Doctor of Philosophy (JD/Ph.D.), JD with a Masters of Business Administration (JD/MBA), and JD with a Masters of Public Policy (JD/MPP).
What are the common requirements for admission into a JD program?
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. There’s no specific study area, but most law students have an undergraduate degree in English, business, journalism, philosophy, or political science.
- Minimum Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores are required for admission in most institutions.
- A minimum GPA on the bachelor’s degree, perhaps with minimum grades on specific subjects like English composition, too.
- Letters of recommendation, personal statements or statements of purpose, and official transcripts
Note that most law schools have a selective admission process. Applicants will be evaluated based on their overall past performance and future potential based on their GPA, LSAT score, and community involvement, among other factors.
Dr. Jared Goff Chief Editor
Top Online Juris Doctorate Programs
Also sometimes known as the doctor of jurisprudence, the juris doctorate (JD) degree serves as lawyers' primary professional preparation (and prerequisite) for taking the bar exam and obtaining licensure to practice law. A professional rather than a research doctorate, the JD affords both broad and specialized knowledge of the legal system and cultivates skills in legal writing and analysis, court procedure, and public speaking.
JD graduates typically pursue lucrative careers as lawyers, judges, consultants, or professors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lawyers earned a median annual salary of nearly $123,000 in 2019 -- a figure several times higher than the national median for all professions.
Top Juris Doctorate Programs Online
What is a juris doctorate.
The JD serves as the terminal professional degree for legal studies. Like on-campus equivalents, an online JD degree typically takes about three years to finish and requires students to complete core and specialized coursework, internships, and a legal paper.
Most online JD students pursue this degree as a prerequisite for taking the bar exam and becoming lawyers, although other professionals become arbitrators, hearing officers, law professors, and judges. The JD can also serve students seeking careers in business, consulting, and politics. Read on to learn more about the personal and professional benefits of an online JD.
Why Get a Juris Doctorate?
Pursuing a JD provides various advantages, including access to the bar exam, a professional community, and diverse practice areas. The JD also typically yields career and salary advancement.
- Meets Education Requirement for Bar Exam: Most states require aspiring lawyers to complete their JD before taking the bar exam and applying for state licensure.
- Doctoral-Level Expertise: As a doctoral-level terminal degree, the JD meets or exceeds the educational expectation for legal professionals. This degree also provides useful expertise regarding a complex discipline and system.
- Diverse Practice Areas: Due to industry segmentation, law professionals can pursue several specialty areas, including retirement law, family law, tax law, and policy.
- Professional Community: Law school offers many opportunities to network with other legal professionals and students. These connections often prove useful when graduates search for jobs and clients.
- Earning Potential: Lawyers earn salaries far above average. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $123,000 for lawyers in 2019.
Accreditation for a Juris Doctorate
The U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes various national and regional accrediting agencies which evaluate the academic rigor and quality of U.S. higher educational institutions. Eligible students at schools bearing institutional accreditation from these agencies can receive federal financial aid.
Higher-caliber, academic schools typically maintain regional accreditation, while professional and religious schools often hold national accreditation. Most schools and employers consider national accreditation less prestigious than regional accreditation. Keep in mind that regionally accredited schools typically only accept transfer credits and degrees from other regionally accredited schools.
Good law schools are typically accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). To determine accreditation status, consult the ED's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Schools .
Courses for a Juris Doctorate
JD programs provide comprehensive understanding of the legal discipline and system. Core curricula cover many legal studies topics, including constitutional law, civil procedure, international law, and torts. Most programs also include coursework on professional ethics, criminal law, business law, and legal writing.
JD students may take some general courses in politics or government or complete some specialized coursework in a chosen concentration. Specialized courses may cover topics such as immigrant advocacy, international and comparative law, or entertainment and media law. Most JD programs also incorporate an internship or practicum that meets state licensure requirements. To graduate, candidates usually must complete a publishable paper.
See below for common coursework in JD programs:
Typically part of first-year law school requirements, these courses focus on infringements of rights that lead to liability based upon fault. Courses often cover assault and battery, trespassing, false imprisonment, and privileges. This course also surveys negligence-based tort categories such as limitation of duty, standard of care, causation, and comparative negligence. Enrollees learn about survival, wrongful death, damages, and strict liability. This foundational course familiarizes law students with liability fundamentals needed to understand and prepare prosecution or defense for many lawsuits.
This core course examines the law, history, and development of the U.S. Constitution. Learners assess constitutional principles and interpretation and analysis methods. This course also explores the Constitution's basic doctrine dictating rights protection and governmental structure. Enrollees discuss topics including religious freedom, due process, separation of powers, and equal protection.
International Trade Law
Focused on international trade legal policy and practice, this course covers policy issues including trade and national security, globalization and protection of environments and local cultures, and labor and human rights issues. This course also explores practical topics such as antidumping, intellectual property rights, services and agriculture trade, and foreign competition. Future lawyers and aspiring international trade professionals benefit from this course.
Exploring the steps and stages of civil litigation proceedings, this core course discusses subjects such as the right to a jury trial, disposition without a trial, appeals and post-trial motions, and pleadings. The course also typically covers jurisdiction, diversity cases, and preclusive effects of judgments. Civil procedure helps aspiring legal professionals understand how to counsel clients in civil litigation.
Law programs typically require legal internships that allow students to gain on-the-job skills and apply knowledge acquired during coursework. Many programs require students to complete case work through a law clinic before undertaking a full internship that may entail representing clients. Internships typically include a classroom component in which legal interns engage in reflective writing and discussion, receive faculty supervision and mentorship, and cultivate advanced litigation skills.
How Much Do Juris Doctorate Graduates Make?
Many JD graduates obtain prestigious, high-paying legal careers as lawyers, arbitrators, and judges. Legal salaries vary considerably based on position, credentials, employer, and industry. Typical median salaries for these professionals fall into the $64,000-$123,000 range, according to the BLS. On the lower end of the scale, arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators made a $63,390 median salary in 2019.
Meanwhile, judges, hearing officers , and lawyers often earn over $120,000 annually. Judges typically possess considerable professional experience as lawyers. Professionals interested in education often pursue careers as law professors. Postsecondary teachers ' pay differs considerably based on position level, but BLS data indicates that these professionals earned a median annual salary of $79,540 in 2019.
Some JD graduates qualify for career and salary advancement by completing various specialized legal certification or master of laws programs.
Career and Salary Outlook for a Juris Doctorate
Many JD graduates obtain prestigious, high-paying legal careers as lawyers or judges. Due to high numbers of law school graduates, these positions are typically competitive. However, JD graduates can also work as court officers, mediators, or consultants. Other professionals pursue careers in fields such as taxation, business, public administration, or politics.
See below for descriptions of common law-related careers for online juris doctorate students.
- Lawyer : Tasked with providing legal counsel and representation to individuals or organizations facing legal issues, lawyers boast advanced legal knowledge and expertise. Also called attorneys, lawyers interpret laws and judicial decisions and advise clients of legal rights and obligations. Interacting frequently with colleagues, clients, and judges, these professionals need advanced communication skills. Preparing and presenting legal documents and cases also requires sophisticated skills in research, analysis, legal writing, and public speaking. Lawyers often specialize in fields such as tax law, family law, or intellectual property law.
- Arbitrator, Mediator, and Conciliator : These professionals serve as intermediary communicators who help disputants reach mutual agreement without using the courts system. This process typically begins by meeting with disputants to clarify concerns and needs and to explain the arbitration process. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators schedule appointments, interview witnesses, analyze relevant laws and documents, and prepare settlement agreements. Mediators do not offer binding decisions, while arbitrators and conciliators may.
- Judge and Hearing Officer : Overseeing court legal processes, these professionals perform various duties, including conducting hearings and negotiations and making legal decisions. Typical tasks include researching legal issuings, reviewing court documents, overseeing court procedures, and evaluating evidence. Judges and hearing officers also compose legal opinions, juror instructions, and legal decisions. Local and state judges may hold titles such as county court judge, justice of the peace, or municipal court judge.
- Postsecondary Teacher : Often employed as professors at universities or technical colleges, postsecondary teachers design courses, prepare and teach lessons, and mentor students. These professionals also typically collaborate with colleagues and administrators to fulfill various administrative tasks and duties. Meanwhile, many professors produce and publish research and writing that contributes original knowledge to their fields of expertise. Professors at larger universities typically spend more time on research activities, while smaller schools' faculty often carry larger teaching workloads.
Scholarships for a Juris Doctorate
Prospective students can save on education expenses by qualifying for the many need-based, performance-based, and identity-based scholarships available for law school students. Eligible juris doctor program candidates may qualify for the sample scholarships below. Scholarships do not require repayment.
Turco Muñoz Domestic Violence Survivor Scholarship Who Can Apply : Students in law, social work, or related fields who want to help domestic violence victims may apply. Candidates need related advocacy experience in roles such as paralegal, social worker, advocate, or investigator. Applicants must submit a resume and recommendation letter. Amount : $1,000
Arent Fox Diversity Scholarship Who Can Apply : Second-year law students belonging to underrepresented groups and attending ABA-accredited U.S. law schools may apply. Eligible applicants must demonstrate strong academic performance, excellent communication skills, and leadership ability. Scholarship recipients must express eagerness to work at Arent Fox upon graduation. Amount : $20,000 and a salaried position at Arent Fox
Arthur Lockwood Beneventi Law Scholarship Who Can Apply : U.S. citizens enrolled in accredited U.S. law schools and maintaining 3.25 minimum GPAs may apply. Application requirements may include transcripts, recommendation letters, a list of extracurricular activities, and a 1,000-word personal statement outlining career objectives. Amount :$2,000
Pi Gamma Mu Scholarship Who Can Apply : Pi Gammu Mu members within their first two years of graduate study in criminal justice-related fields may apply. Applicants submit resumes, personal statements, three recommendation letters, and official transcripts. Amount :$1,000-$2,000
California Sea Grant State Fellows Program Who Can Apply : California university students nearing completion of a graduate degree and specializing in marine law, conservation, public policy, or stewardship of coastal environments may apply. Applicants submit transcripts, two curriculum vitae (personal and academic), an education and career-goal statement, and two recommendation letters. Amount : $2,400-$46,860
#1. THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL OF LAW
Located in San Diego, Thomas Jefferson School of Law trains lawyers and legal scholars in technological innovation and global issues. While the school does not offer an online JD degree, its 60-unit online JSD program provides an attractive option for current legal professionals who want to transition into academia.
The JSD program takes 3-5 years to complete, with most candidates receiving 20 transfer credits from their master’s degrees. Upon entering the program, candidates take six units of coursework in research methodology, dissertation writing, and American jurisprudence. They complete their dissertations afterward. The program includes independent research and writing guided by a supervisory panel and dissertation advisor.
Applicants to the program must hold both a JD and an LLM, JSM, or MSL. They must also have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in their master’s program. Admission requirements include a resume, personal statement, and transcripts. Thomas Jefferson is accredited by the State Bar of California
#2. UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON
The University of Dayton is home to one of the first online JD degree programs accredited by the American Bar Association. UD’s hybrid program employs a combination of live instruction, interactive video classes, and online course materials. Students attend ten on-campus learning sessions during the four-year program.
UD provides comprehensive training for future lawyers with a broad base of traditional core courses based on the Socratic method. First-year students take part in the Legal Profession Program, a course sequence that builds essential lawyering skills. Final-semester students tackle a simulated legal problem in a capstone course. A semester-long externship affords the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Additionally, students may undertake concentrations in a variety of subjects, including human rights law, criminal law, and business law.
Accepted applicants at UD achieved a median undergraduate GPA of 3.48 and a median LSAT score of 151. All applicants need to submit LSAT or GRE scores, transcripts, and a personal statement. Transfer students can receive credit for up to 30 semester hours.
Here are some ABA-approved law schools offering online and hybrid J.D. programs: Loyola University School of Law Weekend Hybrid J.D. Chicago, Illinois Name of Degree: Weekend Hybrid J.D. Enrollment Type: Part-Time Length of Program: 4 years Credits: 88 Concentrations: N/A Admission Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Official transcripts CAS report
Concord Law School at Purdue University Global - Online Juris Doctor 10100 N Santa Monica Blvd Suite 300 Los Angeles, CA 90067 United States Save School Concord Law School at Purdue University Global is a public, nonprofit school within the Purdue University system.
quick links best online schools for doctorate in law (juris doctor) degree programswalden universityliberty universityabraham lincoln universityemory universitynew york universityflorida state universitythe university of tulsacalifornia southern universitynova southeastern universityloyola university chicago ***** best . . .
(Reuters) - St. Mary’s University School of Law next fall will launch the first fully online Juris Doctor program approved by the American Bar Association.
20 BEST DOCTOR OF LAW/JURIS DOCTOR GRADUATE SCHOOLS Yale University : 127 Wall Street, New Haven, Connecticut : 203-432-4992 JD Program Yale Law School offers its JD students rich opportunities in learning about the law and writing for the law profession, independent research, and seminars.
Top Online Juris Doctorate Programs Also sometimes known as the doctor of jurisprudence, the ...