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What the difference between JD and ESQ.

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J.D. refers to a post graduate university degree "Juris Doctor".  It means Doctor of Laws.  It is awarded after three or four years of study after the award of an undergraduate degree - B.A. or B.S,, for instance.  Curiously, although the majority of lawyers were awarded J.D. degrees, few demand they be referred to as Doctor, although they are entitled to do so.


Esquire or Esq. is an unofficial designation for a person who has been admitted to the bar in a state and is authorized to practice law in that state.  There are lots of people who have J.D. degrees who do not practice law.  Not all people who are authorized to practice law have J.D. degrees.  In some states, a person may be admitted to the bar with Bachelor of Law degrees or after "reading the law" for a designated period of years under the supervision of a lawyer.  In some states, admission to the bar is automatic if a person graduates from a state's university school of law with a J.D. degree.  Most  lawyers will have been required to pass a bar examination before being authorized to practice law. 

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