There is a general hierarchy to law degrees throughout the world. International law is also an option for interested parties, however the legal systems of other countries will not be taught in depth within all countries. The first steps are simple. Students will enrol in a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree program. This is typically completed after three years of full-time study. In addition to the Juris degree, many go on to undertake their Master of Laws (LL.M). Generally, the Juris degree, Master of Laws, and Doctorate make up the steps of law studies.
Master of Laws
This degree takes the information learned in the previous courses a bit further. A legal master’s degree is often considered to be the second tier of legal graduate degrees and added more specificity to the knowledge obtained in the Juris Doctor degree. This program can be intense, however one year full-time study allows students to focus on their specific area of law. This can vary from environmental issues to land and property rights.
Undergoing a Master’s degree in law is strongly desirable. Law, unlike other industries requires a specialization for the sake of competition within the field. A student enrolled in entertainment law will need a strong understanding of recording industry contracts or how intellectual property rights allow artists to work. This same lawyer cannot work well within an environmental agency unless charged with very general legal tasks.
Doctor of Juridical Science
By far the most advanced law degree one can obtained, the Doctor of Juridical Science program, is a full-time program that must be undertaken during a period of three years. Students who complete a Doctor of Juridical Science degree become established law professionals that are often much in demand. This also puts one in an academic position, where one is able to navigate both worlds: legal and academia.
The program relies on research and heavy study, so working for a period before going back into school could not only provide one with the experience needed to stay competitive within the working world, but also, it will provide the student with funding. Most lawyers who are able to complete this program will find the experience and study to be well worth their efforts, and more knowledge will ensure more success in any area of law.
Graduation and Work Options
Once these programs are completed, there are many job prospects for lawyers within the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of lawyers is only going to increase from 2015 to future years. Law firms and other corporations need lawyers to run basic operations. Globalization has made law a worldwide concern, and lawyers are often called upon to translate international law.
The world of compliance is very difficult to navigate; lawyers are tasked as compliance advisors and gatekeepers of sorts. The annual salary of lawyers is over six figures. Lawyers that graduate and do not desire to work in law full time can take on writing projects. Getting a Doctorate in law is especially helpful in this respect as it will add academic credibility to any work undertaken. Legal advisors are often needed to write about law advice for magazines and blogs throughout the internet.