Keystone logo
Find Your SJD Program

Find Your SJD Program

What to study
Where to study

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.

News and Articles

  • What are LLM and JD Degrees and Why Study Them?

    Aug 13, 2019

    While the Juris Doctorate ('JD') degree may be the most commonly known law degree in the US, it’s not the only one. Another popular degree choice among aspiring legal professionals? The Legum Magister ('LLM'). Here’s a closer look at these law degrees and why they are great paths to a career in law.

    Read more
  • 7 Tips for Applying to Law School

    Aug 21, 2019

    Have you finally decided on a career in law? Can you see yourself standing up in a packed courtroom defending the innocent and most vulnerable members of society? Are you inspired to make the world a better (and safer) place by prosecuting those who would do otherwise? Or would you like to sit on one of the highest courts of all, where you can help shape and uphold the standards of justice and liberty for generations to come? If so, then the first thing you'll need is a law degree. Thankfully, we've come up with a few pointers that will make the application process as easy as possible. Here are seven tips for securing yourself a place at law school.

    Read more
  • What is an SJD Degree and Why Study it?

    Dec 2, 2020

    If you’re interested in law or a law career, you may already be familiar with the Master of Legal Studies (MLS), Master of Laws (LLM), and Juris Doctor (JD) degrees. However, there is another increasingly popular option for law professionals who want to further their knowledge and achieve the pinnacle of legal expertise. It’s called the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD). Read on to learn more about this high-level law degree.

    Read more