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Studying Law in the USA

Updated: May 5, 2021

Law as a career is very prestigious and high paying in the US-be it a well-respected judge, a lawyer in a private firm, a legal counsel for a business, or a law consultant. However, students need to plan very seriously and should have enough financial strength to get through the course.

There are three types of degrees through which one can pursue law in US: 1.Juris Doctor 2.Master of Laws 3.Doctor of Juridical Science

Juris Doctor: Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree, at minimum. Prospective students don't need to take any undergraduate law courses or have prior experience with the judicial system. However, they will have to appear for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before applying.

Master of Laws:

An L.L.M. program takes one year to 1.5 months to complete with full-time study, and students may specialize in their interests, such as Human Rights Law, Environmental Law, Technology Law, or Taxation. A Master of Laws degree program is typically reserved for lawyers who've earned their law degrees outside the United States.

Doctor of Juridical Science:

It can be completed on a full-time basis in three years. An S.J.D. (the acronym for the Doctor of Juridical Science degree) qualifies students to work in academic settings as law professors. Applicants typically need to have either a J.D. (Juris Doctor) or an L.L.M. to qualify for S.J.D. programs. So, if a student wants to pursue law, they need to start with pursuing any undergraduate degree of their interest. Social Sciences majors are recommended, not because many universities prefer them, but because they will help the students to strengthen the basics. Just like L.L.B. is the first law degree that students pursue in law, in US, it is the degree of Juris Doctor.

The best options for a Bachelor’s degree for those who want to pursue law later are: Political Science International Relations Sociology Philosophy Criminology Anthropology

Typically, most foreign students pursue an L.L.M. degree in the US which is a nine month long graduate program designed primarily for foreign lawyers. For most foreign students, including those from India, the L.L.M. degree is also a license to take the bar exam in order to practice law in the US.

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