A Law Degree and its Program Levels
If one wishes to practice law, then they certainly need a law degree to officially practice it. The proper knowledge of the law comes when one studies it as a subject. In order to acquire the knowledge, there are certain divisions of a law degree that must be kept in mind. It all depends on your preference and interest that you may select one aspect over the other. Commonly, there are three basic types of a law degree that are available to the students in the United States of America. The Juris Doctor degree program (JD), Master of Laws (LLM) and Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) are the law program levels that the people who are interested in law may acquire.
- For a JD program, the requirement is to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, some letters of recommendation, worthy scores of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and an up to date resume.
- For a Master’s program, the eligibility was reserved for people already practicing law outside the US or the ones with their JD within the United States.
- For a Doctor of Juridical Science program, the prerequisite is to either have a JD or LLM degree along with a professional practice experience. Even a thesis proposal is a requirement too.
- All the program levels consist of having a specialization in either environment, technology, human rights or tax law.
- The program length is usually one to three years of study.
- Writing a dissertation is also one of the necessary requirements of completing any of the programs.
To initiate practice
Before the students of a Juris Doctor degree program get the permission to practice, they must first pass the bar exam. The bar exam differs in each state as each state administers the exams on its own. Even then, all the candidates are required to have acquired the degree from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association. The licensure may be pursued by the lawyers from the state where they are interested to practice law.
Job Scope & Salary Details
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the employment rate of attorneys will see a rise of up to 10 percent till the year 2022. The competition will be quite aggressive as there is an increase in the number of graduates from law schools recently. Around 130,000 to 140,000 dollars is the annual average salary of a lawyer in most of the firms in the United States.
Lawyers are mostly hired by the government agencies as well as most of the law firms and agencies. While the doctoral graduates usually work for a major law school, where they teach as well as write papers. A 19 percent increase in the employment of professors is also reported in the year 2022 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 120,000 to 130,000 dollars is recorded to be the annual salary of a post secondary law teacher, which is quite tentative.