Studying Law opens numerous doors for you to learn almost every aspect of human life. In legal studies or Law, students tackle a lot of fields of specializations. It provides you the appropriate skills needed to develop a career path towards politics, economics, diplomacy, business, and education.
If you’re planning to take a law degree, here are the things you need to know:
The American Bar Association (ABA) states that to be admitted to Law school, the applicant must be a graduate of any Bachelor’s degree. The degree should be awarded by an institution duly accredited and recognized by the United States Department of Education. ABA has no specifications on the recommended undergraduate degree but it has been noted that the common pre-law degrees of admitted law students include Business, Economics, English, Mathematics Philosophy, and Political Science.
Another hurdle in the path to studying Law is passing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Law schools require applicants to take the LSAT. LSAT includes multiple-choice questions that involve matters in legal work, critical thinking, reading comprehension, analysis, and other relevant subjects to the study of Law. Admission officers use the test scores in evaluating the applicant’s knowledge and competency in completing the school’s Law program.
Types of Law Degrees
The law school offers various programs and postgraduate degrees depending on the country’s standard in its Legal education system. In the US, there are generally three different types of law degrees you can earn.
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
This program is the US recognized degree for an individual to practice law. Typically, a J.D. degree is 3-years long for full-time students and may take 4-years for students working part-time. Core courses such as Criminal Law, International Law, and Civil Procedure are the usual subjects taken during the first year, while electives and other advanced subjects can be taken during the succeeding years.
Master of Laws (L.L.M.)
J.D. degree holders can pursue further education and obtain specialization in a particular field of Law. The Master of Laws (L.L.M.) is the law degree next to Juris Doctor. This master’s degree would usually take a year to complete for a full-time student. This allows a J.D. degree holder to specialize and prepare for the specific area of expertise in the practice of law.
Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)
This the highest level of law degree that one can earn in the US. Only individuals with Juris Doctor degree and Master of Laws degree are qualified for a Doctor of Juridical Science Program. S.J.D. programs can be accomplished in three full-time years. This degree will confer eligibility to individuals who would want to pursue a career in the academe.
A Doctor of Juridical Science involves intensive research work. It is recommended for students who would want to continue education with S.J.D. to be familiarized with their research interests before applying for the program. The program covers dissertation writing, defense, and completion.
Degrees and certificate programs
There are other existing types of law degrees that are not following the usual continuing education trend in law school. These are Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) and Master of Jurisprudence. These programs are usually taken by individuals who do not intend to practice Law, rather would want to enhance their understanding of the legal system.
Moreover, several law schools offer certificate programs designed for professionals working in certain fields related to Law. These are additional educational attainments that are relevant to professions that are assisting the legal system and law enforcement.
If you’re planning to take a law degree, these are the things you need to know. There are various possibilities of career paths when you pursue law school. Best of luck as you decide to choose your path in studying Law!