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As stated by James Hall and Langdell, two people who were involved in the creation of the J.D., the J.D. is a professional degree like the M.D., intended to prepare practitioners through a scientific approach of analysing and teaching the law through logic and adversarial analysis (such as the casebook and Socratic methods).[121] It has existed as described in the United States for over 100 years, and can therefore be termed the standard or traditional J.D. program. The J.D. program generally requires a bachelor's degree for entry, though this requirement is sometimes waived.[122]

Replacement for the LL.B.

An initial attempt to rename the LL.B. to the J.D. in the US in the early 20th century started with a petition at Harvard in 1902. This was rejected, but the idea took hold at the new law school established at the An initial attempt to rename the LL.B. to the J.D. in the US in the early 20th century started with a petition at Harvard in 1902. This was rejected, but the idea took hold at the new law school established at the University of Chicago and other universities and by 1925 80% of US law schools gave the J.D. to graduate entrants, while restricting undergraduate entrants (who followed the same curriculum) to the LL.B. Yet the change was rejected by Harvard, Yale and Columbia, and by the late 1920s schools were moving away from the J.D. and once again granting only the LL.B, with only Illinois law schools holding out. This changed in the 1960s, by which time almost all law school entrants were graduates. The J.D. was reintroduced in 1962 and by 1971 had replaced the LL.B., again without any change in the curriculum, with many schools going as far as to offer a J.D. to their LL.B. alumni for a small fee.[97]

Canadian and Australian universities have law programs that are very similar to the J.D. programs in the United States. These include Queen's University, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Victoria, Université de Moncton, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, University of Windso

Canadian and Australian universities have law programs that are very similar to the J.D. programs in the United States. These include Queen's University, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Victoria, Université de Moncton, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, University of Windsor, University of Ottawa, University of Western Ontario, York University[127] and University of Toronto[128] in Canada, RMIT and the University of Melbourne in Australia.[3] Therefore, when the J.D. program was introduced at these institutions, it was a mere renaming of their second-entry LL.B. program and entailed no significant substantive changes to their curricula.[129] The reason given for doing so is because of the international popularity and recognizability of the J.D., and the need to recognize the demanding graduate characteristics of the program.[130] Because these programs are in institutions heavily influenced by those in the UK, the J.D. programs often have some small scholarly element (see chart above, entitled "Comparisons of J.D. Variants"). And because the legal systems are also influenced by that of the UK, an apprenticeship is still required before being qualified to apply for a license to practice (see country sections below, under "Descriptions of the J.D. outside the U.S.").

The traditional law degree in Australia is the undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB); however, there has been a huge shift towards the JD in the past five years, with some Australian universities now offering a JD programme, including the country's best ranked universities (e.g. The University of New South Wales,[131] the University of Sydney,[132] the Australian National University,[133] the University of Melbourne[134] and Monash University[135]).

Generally, universities that offer the JD also offer the LLB, though at some universities, only the JD is offered, and only at postgraduate levels. Due to recent changes in undergraduate degree structuring, some universities, such as the University of Melbourne,[136] only allow law to be studied at the postgraduate level, and the JD has completely replaced the LLB.

An Australian Juris Doctor consists of three years of full-time study, or the equivalent. The course varies across different universities, though all are obliged to teach the Priestley 11 subjects as per the requirements of the state admissions boards in Australia.[137] JDs are considered equivalent to the LL

Generally, universities that offer the JD also offer the LLB, though at some universities, only the JD is offered, and only at postgraduate levels. Due to recent changes in undergraduate degree structuring, some universities, such as the University of Melbourne,[136] only allow law to be studied at the postgraduate level, and the JD has completely replaced the LLB.

An Australian Juris Doctor consists of three years of full-time study, or the equivalent. The course varies across different universities, though all are obliged to teach the Priestley 11 subjects as per the requirements of the state admissions boards in Australia.[137] JDs are considered equivalent to the LLBs, and still need to fulfill the same requirements practical legal training for admission as a lawyer.

On the Australian Qualifications Framework, the Juris Doctor is classified as a "masters degree (extended)", with an exception having been granted to use the title Juris Doctor (other such exceptions include Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dentistry and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). It may not be described as a doctoral degree, and holders may not use the title "doctor". Along with other extended master's degrees, the JD takes three to four years following a minimum of a three-year bachelor's degree.[9][138]

The J.D. degree is the dominant common law law degree in Canada, replacing the traditional LL.B. degree prominent in Commonwealth countries.[139] The University of Toronto became the first to rename its law degree from LL.B. to J.D. in 2001. As with the second-entry LL.B., in order to be admitted to a Juris Doctor program, applicants must have completed a minimum of two or three years of study toward a bachelor's degree and scored high on the North American Law School Admission Test.[140] As a practical matter, nearly all successful applicants have completed one or more degrees before admission to a Canadian common law school,[141] although despite this it is, along with other first professional degrees, considered to be a bachelor's degree-level qualification.[14] All Canadian Juris Doctor programs consist of three years, and have similar content in their mandatory first year courses. The mandatory first year courses in Canadian law schools outside Quebec include public law (i.e. provincial law, constitutional law, and administrative law), property law, tort law, contract law, criminal law, and legal research and writing.[142] Beyond first year and other courses required for graduation, course selection is elective with various concentrations such as commercial and corporate law, taxation, international law, natural resources law, real estate transactions, employment law, criminal law, and Aboriginal law.[143] After graduation from an accredited law school, each province's or territory's law society requires completion of a bar admission course or examination, and a period of supervised "articling" prior to independent practice.[144]

Use of the "J.D." designation by Canadian law schools is not intended to indicate an emphasis on American law, but rather to distinguish Canadian law degrees from English law degrees, which do not require prior undergraduate study.Use of the "J.D." designation by Canadian law schools is not intended to indicate an emphasis on American law, but rather to distinguish Canadian law degrees from English law degrees, which do not require prior undergraduate study.[116] The Canadian J.D. is a degree in Canadian law. Accordingly, United States jurisdictions other than New York and Massachusetts[145] do not recognize Canadian Juris Doctor degrees automatically.[146][147] This is equivalent to the manner in which United States J.D. graduates are treated in Canadian jurisdictions such as Ontario.[148] To prepare graduates to practise in jurisdictions on both sides of the border, some pairs of law schools have developed joint Canadian-American J.D. programs. As of 2018, these include a three-year program conducted concurrently at the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy,[149] as well as a four-year program with the University of Ottawa and either Michigan State University or American University in which students spend two years studying on each side of the border.[150] Previously, New York University (NYU) Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School offered a similar program, but this has since been terminated.[151]

Two notable exceptions are Université de Montréal and Université de Sherbrooke, which both offer a one-year J.D. program aimed at Quebec civil law graduates in order to practice law either elsewhere in Canada or in the state of New York.[152][153]

York University offered the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence (D.Jur.) as a research degree until 2002, when the name of the program was changed to Ph.D. in Law.[154]

J.D.s are not generally awarded in the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.). Instead, a J.M. (Juris Magister) is awarded as the counterpart of JD in the United States, the professional degree in law in China.[155] The primary law degree in the P.R.C. is the bachelor of law. In the fall of 2008 the Shenzhen campus of Peking University started the School of Transnational Law, which offers a U.S.-style education and awards both a Chinese master's degree and, by special authorization of the government, a J.D.[156]

Hong Kong<

The J.D. degree is currently offered at the Chinese University of Hong Kong,[157] The University of Hong Kong,[158] and City University of Hong Kong. The degree is known as the 法律博士 in Chinese, and in Cantonese it is pronounced Faat Leot Bok Si.[159] The J.D. in Hong Kong is almost identical to the LL.B. and is reserved for graduates of non-law disciplines, but the J.D. is considered to be a graduate-level degree and requires a thesis or dissertation.[160] Like the LL.B. there is much scholarly content in the required coursework. Although the universities offering the degree claim that the J.D. is a two-year program, completing the degree in two years would require study during the summer term.[161] The JD is, despite its title, considered to be a master's degree by the universities that offer it in Hong Kong,[162][163][164] and it is positioned at master's level in the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework.[165] Neither the LL.B. nor the J.D. provides the education sufficient for a license to practice, as graduates of both are also required to undertake the PCLL course and a solicitor traineeship or a barrister pupillage.[166]

Italy

In In Italy the J.D. is known as Laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza.[167] In the Bologna process framework, it's a Master's-level degree.[168] It comprises 5 years of coursework and a final dissertation.[167] Graduates are awarded the title of "dottore magistrale in giurisprudenza" and are qualified to register to any Italian bar in order to fulfil the 18-months training required to sit the qualification examination.[169]

Japan

In Japan the J.D. is known as Homu Hakushi (法務博士).[170] The program generally lasts three years. Two year J.D. programs for applicants with legal knowledge (mainly undergraduate level law degree holders) are also offered. This curriculum is professionally oriented,[171] but does not provide the education sufficient for a license to practice as an attorney in Japan, as all candidates for a license must have 12 month practical training by the Legal Training and Research Institute after passing the bar examination.[172] Similarly to the US, the Juris Doctor is classed as a "Professional Degree" (専門職) in Japan, which is separate from the "academic" postgraduate sequence of master's degrees and doctorates.[173][174]

MexicoTo become a licensed lawyer, a person must hold the Licenciado en Derecho degree obtainable by four to five years of academic study and final examination. After these undergraduate studies it is possible to obtain a Maestría degree, equivalent to a master's degree. This degree requires two to three years of academic studies. Finally, one can study for an additional three years to obtain the Doctor en Derecho degree, which is a research degree at doctoral level.[175] Since most universities and law schools must have approval from the ministry of education (Secretaría de Educación Pública) through the general office of professions (Direccion General de Profesiones) all of the academic programs are similar throughout the country in public and private law schools.

Philippines