There are many different types of law degrees available, from general law practices, to specialized fields, and even combination degrees. This article serves as an explanation of each type of degree and interesting facts to prepare those who are ready for a degree in law.
The Juris Doctor & Bachelor of Law Degrees
There are four basic types of law degrees available. The first, the Juris Doctor degree is the most common type of law degree throughout the United States and Japan. This particular degree is obtained only after a traditional three or four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited school and must be achieved before admittance into a prestigious law school. This type of degree is also a basic requirement for admission to the bar in all but seven states. The second law degree, the Bachelor of Law degree is more popular throughout Europe and other countries and is comparable to the Juris Doctor degree.
The Master of Laws Degree
The Master of Laws degree, which is the third type of degree, is rewarded to those who have at least five years of law study and possess a lesser degree, such as the Juris Doctor degree. This degree allows lawyers to concentrate in specific fields, such as taxation law, human rights law, commercial law, criminal law, labor law or environmental law.
The Doctor of Juridical Science & Philosophy in Law Degrees
The most prestigious types of law degrees available are the Doctor of Juridical Science and the Doctor of Philosophy in Law degrees. Those going for these elite law degrees must already possess a Master of Laws degree. Meant for those intending to teach law, the Doctor of Juridical Science is similar to the Doctor of Philosophy in Law degree, which is available in many countries. Both degrees feature a wide discipline of science and humanities courses. To achieve either degree, an individual must provide a successful dissertation, which is a thesis that the applicant must properly defend. The dissertation must also be a genuine contribution to the law field.
Joint Law Degrees
There are also joint law degrees available that allow students the ability to specialize in certain fields. For example, some schools will combine the Juris Doctor degree with a Masters in Business Administration degree for those who want to specialize in Corporate Law. The joint degrees provide great insight into specialized practices.
There are online colleges that offer associates and bachelor degrees in law where students will participate in standard law student programs that teach them how to analyze legal problems, develop legal strategies, research cases and execute legal responsibilities for clients, as well as client representation. Unfortunately, many states do not accept online Juris Doctor Degrees, so that is something to consider before applying to an online school.
The Costs and Earnings of Law Degrees
To achieve these types of law degrees will require many hours of long study, discipline and a ton of money--the tuition fees range from $5,000 to $35,000 a year. For acceptance into law school, students must begin the lengthy process at school, four years of undergraduate studies, take the Law School Admission Test, and then an additional three years of law based courses and programs for a Juris Doctor degree. Students must then pass the Bar Exam, a six-hour test, which, if passed, enables students to begin practicing law. Lawyer earnings can vary from state to state and practice to practice, family lawyers earning less than other practices. Generally, lawyers work 50 to 70 hours a week and earn roughly $100,000 a year.