York Uni Law School launches American-style Juris Doctor postgrad law degree

Avatar photo

By CJ McKinney on

No, it doesn’t qualify you to work in the States

Image credit: The University of York

The University of York is launching a new three-year law master’s modelled after the US Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

York’s law school will offer the LLM Law (Juris Doctor) degree from September 2020. University bigwigs say that the curriculum will be “much closer to what it is really like to work as a lawyer” than competing courses.

Almost all American lawyers have a JD degree, which is a three-year postgrad course focusing on the reality of legal practice.

The York version of a JD is also heavily focused on preparing students for working in law firms. The law school says that it will be all about problem based learning, a fancy name for group work.

Professor Scott Slorach, director of learning and teaching, said that “we are the only law school in the UK which has built our LLM Law (Juris Doctor) around PBL and immersing students in their final year in a simulation of the work of a commercial legal practice. This means that client problems are in front and centre of the student’s learning”.

Find out about LegalEdCon North and secure your Early Bird place

Wanna-be JDs will need a 2.1 undergraduate degree and to pass a formal interview. It will be a qualifying law degree for the purposes of qualifying as a barrister or solicitor. In other words, students with a non-law undergraduate degree could use the JD as a sort of combined law conversion course and law masters.

It will not, despite the US-style branding, qualify students to practise law in the US. York already offers an accelerated two-year LLB to students who have an undergrad degree under their belt.

Professor Caroline Hunter, head of York Law School, said “this will be the first LLM Law (Juris Doctor) in the UK”. That’s if you don’t count the Juris Doctor degree offered by Queen’s University Belfast, although that is described as a “professional doctorate” rather than a masters.

York Law School has about 220 undergraduate students. It was placed at number 18 in the UK in a recent Sunday Times law school ranking.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories

BPP Law School launches new two-part BPTC

Exclusive: Shorter, flexible option will allow students to pause their studies after completing stage one

Sep 17 2019 8:51am

Accountancy giant Deloitte in ‘SQE training contract’ first

First ten up for grabs from today

Sep 10 2019 10:29am

SQE creators Crispin Passmore and Julie Brannan to speak at LegalEdCon North

Duo to articulate vision of new framework in practice

Sep 26 2019 9:47am