Law Schools: A Degree of Status

Early in the 1960s, a small number of law schools began to issue the Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree in stead of the standard Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.). Soon a few holders of the J.D. discovered that they got job offers ahead of mere LL.B.s solely on the basis of their impressive-sounding degree. The significance was not lost on the American Bar Association, which endorsed the new degree with uncharacteristic haste. J.D.s have proliferated ever since. Without fanfare, more than 109 of the 150 accredited law schools in the U.S. have now switched. Last month Harvard...

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