Executive JD Degrees

Individuals with an undergraduate degree who are looking for an understanding of the law without the ability to practice could consider earning an Executive Juris Doctor degree. Executive J.D. programs are shorter and more flexible than traditional law programs. Read on to learn about the admission requirements, typical curriculum and career info for graduates. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Are Executive J.D. Programs Different from Law School?

Executive J.D. programs are specifically designed for students with a background in a field outside of law. Like traditional law programs, Executive J.D. programs provide you with legal knowledge, but you won't be qualified to practice law or sit for any state's bar exam. Executive J.D.s are often a good option for people who have a strong interest in law, but don't want to practice as an attorney. You can also enroll in these programs to improve your communication and critical thinking skills.

Student Background Students typically have a background outside of law
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree, or an equivalent number of college credits
Common Courses Civil procedure, torts, legal writing, constitutional law, contracts
Online Availability Almost all programs are fully available through online and distance learning programs
Educational Outcome An advanced knowledge of law and legal practices
Job Outlook (2016-2026)8% growth (for lawyers)*
Median Salary (2018)$120,910 (for lawyers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do I Need to Enroll?

As a normal applicant, you'll need a 4-year degree from an accredited university. You can also qualify as a regular applicant if you only hold an associate's degree, provided that you complete enough credits that would equal or exceed the number required for a bachelor's degree.

Those admitted to an Executive J.D. program on a special basis comprise a small fraction of all applicants. Special admission is for students who don't meet the normal admissions criteria but show promise to excel in an online program. If you're looking to enroll as a special applicant, you'll need to meet certain standards for pre-legal education specific to the legal requirements in your state. Special applicants must also be evaluated by faculty before acceptance.

What Will I Learn?

The first year of an executive program will cover contracts, torts, criminal law and legal writing. During the second year, you'll learn about constitutional law, civil procedure, property rights and business organizations. Because Executive J.D. programs provide more flexibility, you'll also be able to take electives that cover:

  • Property law
  • Rules of evidence
  • Dispute resolution
  • Health care law
  • Labor
  • Intellectual property
  • Trusts
  • Uniform commercial code

Can I Earn My Executive J.D. Online?

Executive J.D. programs are offered almost exclusively online or through distance learning. Typically, they are designed for busy professionals who are seeking a law education in a flexible format.

As an online student, you may be able to specialize your study in a general, technology or criminal law track. Coursework may be delivered in the format of video lectures, and writing assignments and quizzes will be taken online. You can communicate with professors and fellow students via online chats. You'll also have the same online access to law libraries that traditional law school students do.

Can I Practice Law After I Earn My Degree?

You will not be qualified to practice law or sit for the bar exam in your state after completing an Executive J.D. program. However, you will be able to use advanced knowledge of legal practices within the context of your chosen profession to better inform your business and professional decisions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • William Mitchell College of Law

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Saint Paul
  • Willamette University

    Campus Locations:

    • Oregon: Salem
  • Whittier College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Whittier
  • Western State College of Law at Argosy University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Fullerton
  • Western New England University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Springfield
  • Yeshiva University

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • West Virginia University

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Morgantown