Law School: The Degree
The Juris Doctor (J.D.) is a graduate degree; it normally takes J.D. candidates three years to complete the law school curriculum. Law schools typically require entering students to have a bachelor's degree, but beyond the B.A., there are no specific requirements for admission into law school. Generally, law schools seek applicants who possess the ability to read, research, and write effectively, because these attributes are essential to the study and practice of law. Successful applicants have usually taken a number of undergraduate courses which demonstrate, develop, and engage these abilities.
Many highly-specialized career paths exist within the practice of law, but the J.D. itself provides generalist training. Although certain law schools may be known for their particular programmatic strengths (for example, corporate law, tax law, or public interest law) and range of courses and electives, J.D. candidates are trained as generalists and become specialists by practice. Specialized training typically takes place once a law school graduate accepts employment with a firm, agency, company, or judge.