Executive JD Degree Program Information

Oct 11, 2019

Executive J.D. programs are designed for students looking to study law for professional reasons, but don't intend to practice it. Learn how these programs differ from traditional J.D. curricula and explore careers in which they might prove useful.

Essential Information

Individuals in Executive J.D. programs investigate many of the same concepts as students in traditional J.D. programs, but don't necessarily complete the standard components, such as writing clinics. They may encounter classes such as contracts, torts, causes of action and statutory interpretation; however, Executive J.D. programs aren't accredited by the American Bar Association, so graduates aren't able to sit for the Bar Exam. Those working in such positions as operational manager, claims administrator or human resources manager may gain important legal insight from Executive J.D. programs.

Typically, an Executive J.D. program takes three years of part-time study to complete. Students may find that some programs are offered through distance learning institutions or offer specializations in such areas as technology and criminal justice.

Common prerequisites include a bachelor's degree in any subject. Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores may also be required. Some schools may require first-year students to enroll in a program orientation course.


Executive Juris Doctor

Executive Juris Doctor courses cover many topics, including American jurisprudence, ethics of legal practice, criminal law and public interest. Some possible course topics include:

  • Attorney conduct
  • Comparative law
  • Evidence
  • Dispute negotiation and resolution
  • Trusts and estates
  • Corporate law

Popular Career Options

The purpose of an Executive Juris Doctor is to further one's standing in an existing career. Individuals wishing to practice law must complete a traditional 3-year Juris Doctor curriculum approved by the American Bar Association. Those pursuing an Executive J.D. wish to learn more about the legal process to further their careers and employment prospects as:

  • Healthcare administrators
  • Accountants
  • Doctors
  • Business managers
  • Executives
  • Teachers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Some possible fields for Executive Juris Doctor graduates include human resources management and compensation and benefits management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected 7% growth for human resource management positions and 3% growth for compensation and benefits manager positions from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS noted that there will be demand for professionals with knowledge of federal and state laws related to employment, such as those applying to healthcare, occupational safety, retirement and compensation. Median annual wages in May 2018 were $113,300 for human resources managers and $121,010 for compensation and benefits managers.

While students who complete Executive J.D. programs won't be able to practice law, as graduates are unable to sit for the Bar Exam, they can use this degree to advance existing careers in such areas as healthcare administrators and accounting.

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