Law (academic)

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While Law is a part of society, the academic study of law, both as a science, that is, jurisprudence, and by students preparing to be lawyers is taught in the United States at specialized postgraduate law schools. In other countries the course of study is different, for example, in England, prospective lawyers simply major in law as an undergraduate, or take a special one year course in law (the Common Professional Exam) after having majored in some other discipline.

The education of a lawyer is partly taken up with general principles of law and partly with the laws and procedures of the jurisdiction the law school is located in, that information being necessary for passing the bar in a specific jurisdiction.

Lawyers are sometimes called by other names, as in England where the profession is divided between solicitors and barristers or solicitor and advocate in Scotland. Sometimes they are also called notaries (not to be confused with notary public which is an individual who is licensed to act as a witness to certain transactions, take oaths and authenticate signatures). Legal practitioners are professionally trained in the United States at graduate schools of law leading to the J.D. degree (Juris Doctor). In other countries legal education is considered to start at the undergraduate stage taught in faculty of law leading to the LL.B. or B.C.L. degrees. Note that in Canada the LL.B. generally requires a previous undergraduate degree to study. Law is an undergraduate degree mainly in civil law countries. Most of these schools also have advanced legal degrees such as the LL.M. and the J.S.D. degrees. Many persons who attend law school never practice law but use their knowledge of law in another profession.

See also jurisprudence

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