The JD versus the LLB – Pros and Cons of Each

If you’re considering becoming a lawyer in Canada, you will have the choice between a few different types of law degrees. Two of the most popular are the Juris Doctor (JD) and the Bachelor of Laws (LLB). Each has its pros and cons, and both will be explored below.

One thing to note is that this information changes over time, but this information is correct as of 2019!

JD – Juris Doctor

The Juris Doctor is a graduate law degree created in the United States of America. It’s a very common degree for lawyers to pursue, and it has both benefits and disadvantages.

Working in the United States

The first pro of this degree is that it allows you to work as a lawyer in the United States. Most lawyers in the US have the JD designation and tend to overlook the LLB degree. So, if you’re hoping to eventually pursue your career goals in the United States, the JD is the degree option for you!

Seen as more prestigious 

Additionally, this degree is seen as mich more prestigious due to its popularity in the United States. Due to the prestige of the JD, you may want to consider pursuing this degree sot hat you’ll have an easier time finding jobs down the road.

Must take the LSAT 

One con however of the JD is that you must take the LSAT. The LSAT is a required exam for entering law school after completing your undergraduate degree. The exam is known for being difficult, and it requires tons of study time.

Must have a completed bachelors already 

Another con is that to get a JD degree you must have already completed a 4-year bachelors degree. This makes your postsecondary education more expensive, as the JD degree is an additional 3 years of schooling. Plus, it’s quite time-consuming.

LLB – Bachelor of Laws

The LLB is a widely recognized law degree in most countries, except the United States and more recently Canada. It is an undergraduate degree and consists of 4-5 years of study.

2 years of undergraduate study

One perk of the LLB degree is that you only need to have completed 2 years of undergraduate studies to enter the LLB degree. This is half the education required to enter the JD degree. So, less time spent in school!


A second pro is that you don’t need to take the LSAT. This saves you tons of time that you would’ve spent studying as well as lots of stress!

Fewer universities are offering the LLB

A con to this degree program is that the LLB is becoming less common in Canadian universities. Because of Canada’s proximity to the United States, we tend to align our views with theirs. So, since the United States prefers the Juris Doctor degree, Canadian universities are also heading in that direction.

Less “official”

The LLB is also recognized as much less official, again because the United States deems the JD to be much more prestigious. This could have an impact on your job prospects later in life, so it’s something to consider.

Deciding on a law degree is ultimately up to you. It’s important to assess all the pros and cons, as well as talk to a supervisor or academic advisor to get more information. Don’t move forward without doing your research!

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