JD vs LLB: Difference and Comparison

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 other differences in their qualifications. As for practising law, there are popular courses, JD, LLB, and LLM.


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Key Takeaways

  1. JD is a professional doctorate in law, while LLB is an undergraduate law degree.
  2. JD is a more comprehensive degree that includes practical training, while LLB focuses more on the theoretical aspect of law.
  3. JD is primarily offered in the United States, while LLB is offered in many countries worldwide.


JD stands for Juris Doctor, which is a professional law degree in the United States. It is a graduate-level degree that is earned after completing an undergraduate degree in any field. LLB stands for Bachelor of Laws, which is an undergraduate law degree in many countries outside of the United States, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


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.

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

Comparison Table

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 takes three years.It 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 was 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 considered a Juris Doctor Doctor of Law or Doctor of Jurisprudence. It means teacher of law or teacher of legal knowledge in Latin.

The course takes three years; however, some US schools provide an accelerated system, due to which it can be completed within two years. The JD course comprises content that is more additional skilled and job-specific.

The US JD graduates can immediately appear for the bar examinations and, after clearing that, can start practising immediately. In contrast, in other countries, the students have to undergo training furthermore before applying for a license for the practice.


What is LLB?

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

In some countries like India, students need to pursue another degree before taking the LLB, which is a second degree. After completing the courses, the students can appear for the bar examinations and become licensed lawyers. 

Some universities also provide a five-year course integrating the LLB and BA or BSc Hons. The United States no longer provides the LLB degree.

LLB provides scholars with 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 studies 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 requiring a prior three-year bachelor’s degree, and LLB is an undergraduate degree that only requires high school completion.
  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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