Also an acronym for Juris Doctor, the American law degree. Students receive this degree after successfully completing three years of law school; graduates must then take the bar exam to be entitled to practice law. Some lawyers maintain that the JD was invented so that lawyers could have a doctorate and therefore feel self-important, and others maintain that JD programs provide a good background in law but very little training in the sorts of things that lawyers do every day (like standing up in a courtroom, or taking a deposition). Modern law schools attempt to solve this problem by offering moot courts, classes in public speaking, and the like.

The JD degree is sufficient for almost every lawyer, but students who want to carry legal studies even further can pursue the LLM or SJD.

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