What Are The Different Types Of Law Certificates One Can Acquire In The Us?

Posted by LSAC on December 30th, 2020

Law offers one of the broad disciplines that students can choose from. But if you wish to practice law in the US, in most cases, you will need a Juris Doctor or JD degree in your hand. But, that doesn’t mean that a JD degree is the only degree one can acquire by studying law. 

In fact, a person who wants a law degree but doesn’t want to practice the law can opt for a post-JD degree. Even those who want to have a career in the law field but do not want to practice law have certain degrees made for them.  

So, now without further ado, let us take a look at all the types of law certificate that one can acquire in the US. 

Juris Doctor (JD):

JD degree exhibits that a person holds a doctoral degree in law. This degree can be earned upon graduating from law school. One can acquire a JD degree from both ABA-accredited law schools and non-ABA-accredited law schools. 

But most states require the candidate to have a JD degree only from ABA-accredited law schools because it exhibits that a student has received the best legal education. 

Master of Law (LLM):

If you wish to master in a certain area of law field, then you can opt for LLM after a JD degree. One can opt for one year of full-time LLM or two years of part-time LLM to complete the study. 

Almost every law school provides LLMs with comprehensive concentration options that extend from admiralty laws to urban affairs. 

LLM can be the best option for an international student who wishes to know how the law is practiced in the US.

Doctor of juridical science (SJD):

SJD is the highest level of law degree that you can acquire in the US. But in order to gain SJD, one has to go through JD and LLM. 

SJD is a two-year full-time program that is research-intensive. The candidates are required to generate a thesis that presents the current legal knowledge.

An SJD holder can pursue a career as a legal scholar or a law professor. 

Certificates for Non-lawyers

If you do not wish to practice law but still want to enhance your knowledge in the legal system, then you can opt for Master of Legal Studies (MLS)/ Master of Science in Law (MSL) or Master of Jurisprudence (MJ). 

In fact, there are many certificate programs crafted for professional like:

Human resource certificate

Certificate in disability legal studies

Health care compliance certificate

Bottom line

So, there you go. These are some of the prominent law degrees that one can acquire in the legal field regardless of what their future career plans are. But, you must know that having a law degree in hand can assist you in landing jobs at almost any type of working setup. 

Cameron Martin is the author of this article. To know more about Doctor of Science of Law (JSD or SJD) please visit our website: lsac.org

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