What is being taught at Graduate Schools of Juris Doctor(JD)?
J.D. stands for juris doctorate, and is a post-graduate doctorate degree for students seeking to become lawyers in the United States.
The curriculum of these schools tend to differ in the second and third year of the JD, however the first year generally teaches these courses:
1. Civil Procedure
2. Property Law
3. Contract Law
5. Legal Research and Writing
1. Criminal Law
2. Constitutional Law
- Legal Research and Writing
3. Legislation/Regulation or Electives
Subjects being taught, what courses, how JD in Law is different than the undergraduate program?
- Undergraduate programs in law are generally called pre-law programs. These include classes in legal philosophy, political science, american legal history, and so on.
- Students do NOT need to study pre-law to get into law school. Law schools will accept any undergraduate major from any accredited college or university, so long as students score well on their Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and have a good GPA.
What is the duration of Juris Doctor Courses?
- Generally speaking, a full-time J.D. student can complete the degree in three years. Depending on the school, however, there may be accelerated programs and/or summer courses, which allows for students to obtain their JD in under three years.
- Additionally, law schools across the US tend to run on semesters. This means a student will take four or five classes, between fifteen and twenty credit hours, a semester. There are two semesters in one year, so in total the student will complete six semesters of courses before graduating.
How do public versus private schools differ for JD programs?
- Top-tier schools, like Harvard, NYU, Yale, and Stanford, tend to be private. However, there are some very well-renowned public law schools as well.
Is it worth paying a premium for Ivy League JD Graduate Programs?
- This is a big debate, and depends on the person, specifically on the person’s finances. Ivy League law schools will be very expensive, sometimes around $200,000 a year. That said, a degree from an Ivy League school will almost always allow you to find a job at a large, high-paying law firm where repaying your loans will be easier.
- On the other hand, enrolling in a public school has its benefits. These schools are not as expensive and therefore have less loans. This will give a graduate the ability to pursue areas of the law they might not have been able to consider if they were hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, such as working in public interest, compliance, or pursuing other fields.
How much will JD Law Degree Cost?
- This depends entirely on the school as well. Private schools with good rankings like Harvard will cost around $90,000 a year, including tuition, housing, healthcare, etc. This averages out to around $270,000 after the three-year degree. On the other hand, a public school like University of Georgia, costs around $30,000 per year, all things included, and so averages out to be around $90-100,000 for the three-year degree.
Is previous work experience in Law helpful when applying for JD program?
- It may be helpful, but not necessary. Most law students will undergo an internship after their first year of school, so experience in a law related field is not expected before applying to law school. That said, a demonstrated interest in the law from previous employment in the field may help your application. Additionally, statistics show that students who take time off between their college graduation and their first year of law school to work do better, on the whole, then students who go straight from undergraduate to the JD degree.