Also an acronym for Juris Doctor, the American law degree. Students
receive this degree after successfully completing three years of law
school; graduates must then take the bar exam to be entitled to
practice law. Some lawyers maintain that the JD was invented so
that lawyers could have a doctorate and therefore feel self-important,
and others maintain that JD programs provide a good background in law but
very little training in the sorts of things that lawyers do every day
(like standing up in a courtroom, or taking a deposition). Modern law
schools attempt to solve this problem by offering moot
courts, classes in public speaking, and the like.
The JD degree is sufficient for almost every lawyer, but students who want to carry legal studies even further can pursue the LLM or SJD.