SJD

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The highest law degree is often referred to as an SJD (also JSD) which is the abbreviation of the Latin Scientiae Juridicae Doctor (Juridicae Scientiae Doctor).  This translates to Doctor of Juridicial Science or Doctor of the Science of Law.  In the US, where the degree is most common, the SJD is the equivalent of a PhD in law. SJDs are usually completed after a student or legal professional has completed a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and/or a Master of Law (LLM).

Like a PhD, an SJD is meant for students with a passion for legal scholarship who wish to pursue careers in academia or as public officials.  SJD candidates are expected to make substantial contributions with their research to the existing body of legal knowledge. The conference of an SJD occurs after a candidate has successfully completed significant research. In most SJD programs, successful completion includes both the submission of dissertation of publishable quality and an oral defense of the candidate’s research.

In order to pursue an SJD, prospective candidates must apply to their chosen program and demonstrate their aptitude for legal research. While some programs accept candidates who hold only an LLB, many require applicants to have completed an LLM or other graduate-level law degree.

SJDs are prestigious and rigorous courses of study.  Most SJDs are completed within three years.  Successful SJD candidates can expect to work as academics or legal professors, or in high positions within public office or government.

You can learn more about Doctorates in Juridicial Science by reading more about the programs listed below.  Use the contact form on the individual program pages to contact the programs’ admissions officials for more information about requirements and applications.

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Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)

SMU Dedman School of Law
Campus Full time Part time 5 years August 2018 USA Dallas + 1 more

The degree of Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) is the highest post-graduate law degree offered by the Dedman School of Law. The S.J.D is primarily a research and writing degree (as opposed to a course-oriented degree such as the LL.M. degree) during which the S.J.D. candidate conducts extensive postgraduate-level legal research with a view toward submitting an acceptable doctoral dissertation of publishable quality within a five-year period. This program is intended for highly qualified candidates seeking a legal academic career or a high level, policy-oriented governmental or inter-governmental position. [+]

SJD 2017/2018. The degree of Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) is the highest post-graduate law degree offered by the Dedman School of Law. The S.J.D is primarily a research and writing degree (as opposed to a course-oriented degree such as the LL.M. degree) during which the S.J.D. candidate conducts extensive postgraduate-level legal research with a view toward submitting an acceptable doctoral dissertation of publishable quality within a five-year period. This program is intended for highly qualified candidates seeking a legal academic career or a high level, policy-oriented governmental or inter-governmental position. Within a five-year period from first matriculation as an S.J.D. candidate, the S.J.D. candidate must satisfy the following requirements: Completion of the two-year probationary period described above. Submission of a doctoral dissertation of at least 80,000 words but no more than 100,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding Bibliography, Front Pages, Table of Contents and any Annexes or Appendices) on a coherent, analytical, and focused theme of a substantially legal nature; or submission of an equivalent doctoral dissertation in the form of a series of interrelated articles/chapters on a more general topic, but which collectively comprises a topically coherent volume. The dissertation must constitute the original work product of the S.J.D. candidate. The dissertation must represent and show evidence of substantial doctoral-level research work. The dissertation must display significant legal analyses on a doctoral-level subject. The dissertation must be of a publishable quality according to acceptable U.S. law review standards. The dissertation must make a substantial contribution to the advancement... [-]

LL.M. to S.J.D

UConn School of Law
Campus Full time September 2018 USA Hartford

The LL.M. to S.J.D. Program is intended for individuals who have demonstrated evidence of superior scholarly potential and who are engaged in, or plan to pursue, careers in academia, government service, or the judiciary. [+]

The LLM to SJD Program is intended for individuals who have demonstrated evidence of superior scholarly potential and who are engaged in, or plan to pursue, careers in academia, government service, or the judiciary. Candidates accepted into the Program must have the ability to conduct sustained and original academic or professional research at a high intellectual level, culminating in the submission of a doctoral dissertation. With rare exceptions, we are unlikely to admit any more than one or two candidates per academic year, in order to ensure sufficient attention for the demanding task of successfully completing a doctoral dissertation. In rendering admissions decisions, preference is given to the Law School’s own LL.M. graduates, although applications from external candidates are welcome. S.J.D. candidates are expected to spend the first two academic semesters of the Program in residence at the Law School. Because all candidates will have completed an LL.M., however, there is no other required coursework apart from the S.J.D. dissertation. Admission To be eligible for admission to the LLM to SJD Program, an applicant must: - have obtained or be enrolled in a program leading to the equivalent of an advanced law degree (normally an LL.M.) from either an accredited law school within the United States or a recognized university outside of the United States, which advanced degree must be obtained prior to matriculation in the S.J.D. program meet the English Language Requirements for S.J.D. Admissions set out below; and - obtain the agreement of a UConn Law School full-time... [-]

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Suffolk University Law School
Campus Full time Part time September 2018 USA Boston

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree is a post LL.M. degree that is awarded upon the completion of an in-depth, publication-quality, dissertation which makes an original and creative contribution to the legal literature. [+]

SJD 2017/2018. The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree is a post LL.M. degree that is awarded upon the completion of an in-depth, publication-quality, dissertation which makes an original and creative contribution to the legal literature. An SJD candidate must be in residence for one academic year during which time he/she must meet with his or her Committee Chair on a regular basis (at least once every month) to discuss the candidate's progress and future steps in the research process. The candidate should periodically submit written drafts to the Committee Chair for review, comment, and revision. The candidate should also periodically consult the other members of the committee for research advice and feedback on writing progress. After the period in residence, an SJD candidate may continue his or her research away from the law school. During this time, the SJD candidate must continue to communicate regularly with his or her Committee Chair (e.g., several times per semester) to discuss the student's progress and future steps in the research process. An SJD candidate must submit a written progress report every semester, both while in residence and while away from the law school. Attendance at classes, programs, or conferences relating to the candidate's research may be recommended or required by the Committee Chair. An SJD candidate may audit JD courses with the approval of an Associate Dean. An SJD candidate may be required to present his or her research at a faculty colloquium (either as a work in progress or a finished... [-]

Doctor of Juridical Science

KoGuan Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Campus Full time 3 years September 2018 China Shanghai

The Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.; in Latin, Scientiae Juridicae Doctor) Program, modeled on the Ph.D. programs in other disciplines, is designed for those seeking to pursue academic careers as teachers and scholars [+]

The Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.; in Latin, Scientiae Juridicae Doctor) Program, modeled on the Ph.D. programs in other disciplines, is designed for those seeking to pursue academic careers as teachers and scholars of law. This highly selective program is open only to applicants who possess a distinguished prior academic record in law, show promise of outstanding scholarship, and demonstrate a high potential for completing a scholarly dissertation of required quality. The S.J.D. Program provides a unique opportunity for outstanding international law graduates to study at the KoGuan Law School. Students with outstanding academic credentials are welcome to apply to our S.J.D. program. S.J.D. candidates must have completed a LL.M. degree or equivalent in China or a foreign country. Each S.J.D. candidate will be assigned a primary faculty supervisor with expertise in the student's research area and two additional faculty members who form the student's doctoral committee. The S.J.D. program normally takes a minimum of three years. It will involve one to two semesters of course work. The student must successfully pass written and oral examinations in the general field of study before formal admission to candidacy. The student will be asked to prepare a research proposal, which must be accepted before research on the dissertation begins. The S.J.D. student's faculty committee will assess the student's progress, make recommendations, and hold an oral examination on the final draft of the dissertation. [-]