Difference Between JD and LLB

Due to the wide range of courses and opportunities available today, it can sometimes be confusing for students to choose their path. There are different professions and industries which have further differences in their own qualifications. As for practicing law, there are different courses popularly, JD, LLB, and LLM.


The main difference between JD (Juris Doctor) and LLB ( the Legum Baccalaureus) is that the Juris Doctor is a postgraduate degree, and the Legum Baccaleaureus is an undergraduate, bachelor, degree. In order to take the Juris Doctor course, students need to complete a three-year bachelor’s degree in LLB or any other subject.


JD- The Juris Doctor Degree is a professional postgraduate degree in Law. In common law countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia, the Juris Doctor degree is obtained by completing Law school. The degree was fabricated as a latter-day version of the old European doctor of law degree.

The Bachelor of Laws or the Legum Baccalaureus LLB is a professional undergraduate degree in law. This undergraduate degree is perceived in countries of common law, except for the United States. LLB is also the degree that is awarded by universities including India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Ghana, Pakistan, and Zambia.

Comparison Table Between JD and LLB 

Parameters of ComparisonJDLLB
EtymologyThe term includes a Latin origin that means Teacher of Law.The term includes a Latin origin that means Bachelor of Legal Letters.
Educational DemandFor pursuing JD, a prior three year graduate degree is necessary.For pursuing LLB, no prior degree is required. There are some exceptions.
DurationIt usually takes three years.It usually takes three to four years.
OriginIt originated in the UK, and was initially awarded in the early 20th century in the United States.It originated at the University of Paris, and later enforced at Oxford and Cambridge
PracticeIt is a demand for active law within the United States of America.Students are compelled to pursue another degree like LLM. There are some exceptions.

What is JD?

JD is thought of as a Juris Doctor or Doctor of Law or Doctor of Jurisprudence. It means teacher of law or teacher of legal knowledge in Latin. It is a knowledgeable postgraduate degree in Law. It replaced the Bachelor of Law degree in several common law countries, Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, to call a couple of. For active law in an exceedingly fully licensed means within the courts of the US, individuals majorly hold a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and then pass the bar examinations.

The course usually takes three years; however, some US schools provide an accelerated course, due to which it can be completed within two years. The schooling fees for the course vary from university to university and the way long a student takes to complete the course. The JD course comprises content that is more additional skilled and job-specific.

This is why JD is rather a more professional course and a requirement for practicing law. Students can also favor pursuing the LLM course after finishing JD. The US JD graduates can immediately appear for the bar examinations, and after clearing that can start practicing immediately. In contrast, in other countries, the students have to undergo training furthermore before applying for the license for practicing.

What is LLB?

The Legum Baccalaureus (LLB) is an undergraduate, bachelor, degree in countries, including Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. 

After completing high school at the age of 18, students can choose to pursue this course. The scholars can then ought to endure supplemental education together with specific coaching before they are eligible to practice law. In some countries like India, students need to pursue another degree before taking the LLB, and it is a second degree. After completion of the courses, the students are able to appear for the bar examinations and become licensed lawyers. 

A five-year course that integrates the LLB and BA or BSc Hons is also provided by some universities. The United States no longer provides the LLB degree. The course usually takes 3 to four years, but it can be completed in two years through some universities. However, in countries like India, students need to complete five years of education before they are eligible for bar examinations and a license for practicing law.

LLB provides the scholars a general introduction to the law and is an instructional course that offers a general introduction to the law. It’s steered that after completing LLB, students opt for further courses like LLM and training to qualify as a lawyer.

Main Differences Between JD and LLB

  1. Both the terms have a Latin origin, Juris Doctor means Teacher of Law, and Legum Baccalaureus means Bachelor of Legal Letters.
  2. JD is a postgraduate degree and requires a prior three-year bachelor’s degree, and LLB is an undergraduate degree that only requires completion of high school.
  3. The duration of the JD course is three years, and the duration of the LLB course is three to four years. However, in some countries, LLB courses may require five years.
  4. The JD course has its origin in the UK and was first awarded in the US in the early 20th century. Whereas the LLB originated at the University of Paris and later implemented at Oxford and Cambridge.
  5. For being eligible for the bar exam to gain a license for practicing law, JD is a requirement in the US and other common law countries. Whereas the LLB students have to pursue further studies and training (there are exceptions).


Both the courses JD and LLB are based on the common subject of Law. LLB is more of an introduction to the law and JD, the guide for practicing law. Both degrees have different entry levels and validity in different countries. Results have also shown that law students feel being pressurized and sometimes even develop anxiety or depression. This is why it is necessary for students to be focused but not completely burdened by the studies and pressure.


  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/psilr23&section=44
  2. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/INFORMIT.448721769854848
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