Doctor of Law

Definition - What does Doctor of Law mean?

Doctor of Law is the degree awarded to graduates of law schools. In most jurisdictions, achieving a Doctor of Law degree is a prerequisite to gaining admission to the bar.

Justipedia explains Doctor of Law

In the United States, a legal education involves achieving a four-year bachelor’s degree followed by a three-year Doctor of Law degree. In every American state besides California, those who wish to gain their license to practice law must be awarded a Doctor of Law degree before they are allowed to sit for the bar exam.

While all lawyers outside of California are Doctors of Law, a person may possess the Doctor of Law degree without being licensed to practice. Before a law school graduate can claim to be an attorney at law, they must be admitted to the bar.

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