Comparison of JD and LLM
1. Different Degree Level
LLM applicants must have obtained a Bachelor Degree in law, for example,JD degree or a local law undergraduate degree; JD Law courses are equivalent to undergraduate courses in China, but in fact, for the American students, before studying JD courses, they must have obtained a college degree. So the U.S.JD degree is more like a unique degree between undergraduate degree and graduate degree.
2. Different Length of Study Time
LLM degree courses have only one year time study while JD degree needs three-year study. For JD, students have to learn a variety of basic law courses during the first year, and after completing all the compulsory courses, they determine their own direction of study on which field of law that they will specialize in. After that, the second year's study will be adjusted with the direction. Therefore, the second and third's study is quite related to their future work and interests.
3. Different Career Direction
LLM course itself has a very practical emphasis, which has a very significant work of the professional guidance and help for students graduating in law. And LLM degree has an advantage in time because the course has shorter hours when compared to China's two to three years'Master program. Therefore, LLM students are more suitable to return China to work, thus LLM learning makes them have a more influential law study background and helps them to lay a more strong practical basis.
In comparing, the JD students have more opportunity to work in America. JD is a formal legal training in the United States which enables students to have a more comprehensive understanding about U.S. law. Compared with LLM degree, JD is a more systematic study. JD degree recipients may participate in any U.S.state's Bar exam to become a practicing lawyer in the state, which unlike the LLM students have many restrictions. Therefore, JD students can get more opportunities to work than LLM students in the United States.