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Old 05-23-2020, 01:39 PM
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Law Degree


What are the educational requirements to get a law degree in the US? Is it the same level as a Masters or a PH.D.?
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:27 PM
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The American law degree is the Juris Doctor (JD); which is a profesional doctorate, not a research doctorate. IIRC it's equivalent to a master's degree, not a PhD. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to law school. American law schools used to award the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and didn't always require a previous degree for, but that was phased out over the 20th century. I think the LLB was last awarded in the '60s by one of the Ivies

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Old 05-23-2020, 02:28 PM
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If you become a lawyer in the US you get a J.D. degree. A "juris doctor."

So yes, lawyers can be called Dr. X. That said I have never heard it done. Despite them technically having a doctorate I do not think most other disciplines with a doctorate seem them as such.

My dad was a lawyer. One of his sons (my brother) had a PhD. No one ever referred to my dad as doctor-X. My brother was regularly referred to as doctor-X.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:45 PM
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I'll add, and this comports with alphaboi867's post:

My understanding is a proper doctorate requires the person to advance human knowledge. They have to do something no one else has done before.

A law degree is not that. A lawyer has learned existing law. That matches to, at best, a Masters degree.

As such, I do not think most lawyers should be called "doctors" since their degree does not merit it. Are there PhD people in law? I dunno...probably. But that is a different thing.

Also, this is relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8rBDOMLtSU
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:00 PM
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Typically, as alphaboi867 wrote, you'll need a four-year B.A. or B.S. degree for law school admission in the United States. The J.D. is a doctorate, but any lawyer who referred to himself or herself as "Dr. Lastname" would be mercilessly mocked by peers. It's enough (or should be) for others to add "Esq." after your name. For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juris_Doctor

And here's more on the LL.B. degree: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Laws
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:20 PM
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My understanding is a proper doctorate requires the person to advance human knowledge. They have to do something no one else has done before.
How do you apply this to physicians? They're the people who most widely use the title of doctor. But I don't think their medical training is based on the premise that they are conducting original medical research.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:22 PM
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It's enough (or should be) for others to add "Esq." after your name.
Can you put Esquire after your name if you have a law degree? Or do you have to pass the bar?
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:34 PM
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How do you apply this to physicians? They're the people who most widely use the title of doctor. But I don't think their medical training is based on the premise that they are conducting original medical research.
Fair comment.

Doctors require hugely extensive training. Something well beyond what lawyers go through.

And, well, they are doctors. What else do you call them?

That said I wonder...is there something defined worldwide (or near enough) that says who gets to say they are a "doctor"?

Is there a law that prohibits people from calling themself a doctor? (I really do not know.) For example, I have no training or degree that would anyone would consider a doctor but can I say I am Dr. Whack-a-Mole without legal repercussion?
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:04 PM
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That said I wonder...is there something defined worldwide (or near enough) that says who gets to say they are a "doctor"?

Is there a law that prohibits people from calling themself a doctor? (I really do not know.) For example, I have no training or degree that would anyone would consider a doctor but can I say I am Dr. Whack-a-Mole without legal repercussion?
There's a unpleasant piece of history that the AMA doesn't like to talk about. Back in the thirties and forties they led a big push to set standards for what credentials were necessary for a person to be able to call themselves a physician and be legally able to practice medicine.

Doesn't sound like a bad thing, right? But the movement wasn't intended to raise the standards for American doctors. It was designed to create barriers to keep foreign doctors, many of who were fleeing Europe at this time, from being able to practice medicine in the United States and compete with American doctors.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:35 PM
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Can you put Esquire after your name if you have a law degree? Or do you have to pass the bar?
At one point in the recent past "esquire" or "Esq." was something you could put after your name if you needed something to put after your name and didn't have anything else. Lawyers, who felt they needed something after their names, appropriated this. In the legal field, in America, if you see an Esq. you can assume it's a lawyer. I know lawyers who would never, ever use it, and who kind of sneer at people who do. But if you put it after your name and you are not a lawyer, it's not like you can be disciplined for the unlawful practice of law just by virtue of using it. But, you know--don't.

Like, you know, there is (was?) a magazine called Esquire. It was not for lawyers.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:02 PM
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Can you put Esquire after your name if you have a law degree? Or do you have to pass the bar?
An innocent question, several years ago, which sparked a remarkedly heated debate:

Use of 'esquire' illegal?

And thr column referred to: How can I go about getting the title “esquire”?
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:07 PM
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If you become a lawyer in the US you get a J.D. degree. A "juris doctor."

So yes, lawyers can be called Dr. X. That said I have never heard it done.
My colleague-friend once jokingly insisted for a week or so that I address him as doctor, as he held a JD, and the word's in the name. I finally agreed on the condition he call me master, by the same logic. He stopped insisting.

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Old 05-23-2020, 05:16 PM
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I'll add, and this comports with alphaboi867's post:

My understanding is a proper doctorate requires the person to advance human knowledge. They have to do something no one else has done before.

A law degree is not that. A lawyer has learned existing law. That matches to, at best, a Masters degree.

As such, I do not think most lawyers should be called "doctors" since their degree does not merit it. Are there PhD people in law? I dunno...probably. But that is a different thing.

Also, this is relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8rBDOMLtSU
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Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
Fair comment.

Doctors require hugely extensive training. Something well beyond what lawyers go through.

And, well, they are doctors. What else do you call them?

That said I wonder...is there something defined worldwide (or near enough) that says who gets to say they are a "doctor"?

Is there a law that prohibits people from calling themself a doctor? (I really do not know.) For example, I have no training or degree that would anyone would consider a doctor but can I say I am Dr. Whack-a-Mole without legal repercussion?
Recent thread that discusses Ph.D. doctors and medical doctors: Use of the title "Doctor".

N. Piper, BA, LL.B., LL.B., LL.M.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:17 PM
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Typically, as alphaboi867 wrote, you'll need a four-year B.A. or B.S. degree for law school admission in the United States. The J.D. is a doctorate, but any lawyer who referred to himself or herself as "Dr. Lastname" would be mercilessly mocked by peers. It's enough (or should be) for others to add "Esq." after your name. For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juris_Doctor

And here's more on the LL.B. degree: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Laws
To make it even funnier, a common degree earned after the J.D., is the LL.M, Master of Laws. Often in the U.S., it's taken in Tax Law, but there are others issued. I guess it makes sense if the law school awarded a bachelor's of laws upon graduation. If the LL.M isn't enough, there's a Doctor of Juridical (Which my autocorrect already knew how to spell. Weird) Science, the S.J.D.

Talking to senior attorneys at the firm I used to work at, they wondered idly why the whole J.D. program didn't better resemble other professional Masters programs, like the MSW or MBA, and change the curriculum to a year of classroom and something like a 2,000 hour practicum. A two year program with significant clinical exposure, and then take the Bar Exam. They thought that would better prepare young lawyers for practice than the current system. Shrug.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:20 PM
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I think the LLB was last awarded in the '60s by one of the Ivies.
Yale, I think. In the US, at least. Has continued to be awarded in the Commonwealth countries.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:36 PM
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As such, I do not think most lawyers should be called "doctors" since their degree does not merit it. Are there PhD people in law? I dunno...probably. But that is a different thing.
There are definitely people with a JD/Ph.D., and I've even encountered a few MD/JDs. (A doctor AND a lawyer? Your mom must be really proud! )

Admission to an American law school requires a bachelor's degree, literally in anything, and the LSAT. Lawyers on this board can fill us in further.

https://www.lsac.org/lsat

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Old 05-23-2020, 05:39 PM
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Talking to senior attorneys at the firm I used to work at, they wondered idly why the whole J.D. program didn't better resemble other professional Masters programs, like the MSW or MBA, and change the curriculum to a year of classroom and something like a 2,000 hour practicum. A two year program with significant clinical exposure, and then take the Bar Exam. They thought that would better prepare young lawyers for practice than the current system. Shrug.
That assumes that the purpose of a law degree is the practice of law, and usually assumed to be private practice. Last time I checked, about one third of people doing a law degree didn't practise law. Can't remember where I got that cite from. And, there is a tremendous diversity in the practice of law (barrister work, solicitor work, corporate counsel, public law, family law, immigration law and so on), which is better prepared for by a three year degree in my opinion.

Commonwealth countries generally have a three year degree, coupled with a year of articles to a senior lawyer, for those who want to practise law. That strikes me as a better balance of preparing for both the depth of knowledge and the practicalities of law.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:41 PM
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There are definitely people with a JD/Ph.D., and I've even encountered a few MD/JDs. (A doctor AND a lawyer? Your mom must be really proud! )
One former premier of Quebec was both a lawyer (served as Attorney General before becoming Premier) and a doctor. I heard that he once said that of all the things he did, being an ER doc was the one that gave him the most personal satisfaction.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:47 PM
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As such, I do not think most lawyers should be called "doctors" since their degree does not merit it. Are there PhD people in law? I dunno...probably. But that is a different thing.
The terminal degree (Ph.D equivalent) for law is the DOctor of Juridical Science and is abbreviated as SJD
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:52 PM
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That assumes that the purpose of a law degree is the practice of law, and usually assumed to be private practice. Last time I checked, about one third of people doing a law degree didn't practise law. Can't remember where I got that cite from. And, there is a tremendous diversity in the practice of law (barrister work, solicitor work, corporate counsel, public law, family law, immigration law and so on), which is better prepared for by a three year degree in my opinion.

Commonwealth countries generally have a three year degree, coupled with a year of articles to a senior lawyer, for those who want to practise law. That strikes me as a better balance of preparing for both the depth of knowledge and the practicalities of law.
My sister's BFF got a law degree, and found the theory fascinating but the practice much less so, and worked as an attorney until she got the loans paid off. I don't even think she has her license any more.

One of my Facebook friends is a college classmate who also went to law school, and she is licensed in both pharmacy and law and works in the legal department of a health insurance company. She also said that law school was about 10,000 times easier than pharmacy school, and she married her (now ex-) husband and had her first child while she was in law school!

I have heard that some law schools are doing combination programs like JD/MBA, JD/MPH, etc. usually during the summer, or they go an extra year and get the combined degree at the same time.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:36 PM
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There are definitely people with a JD/Ph.D., and I've even encountered a few MD/JDs. (A doctor AND a lawyer? Your mom must be really proud! )
One of my college roommates earned a JD, and later got a Ph.D.; he now teaches at a law school.

(And, to the poster who noted that you generally need a bachelor's in something, but not necessarily something specific, to get into law school in the US, his bachelor's degree was in Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies.)
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:26 PM
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FWIW, in Quebec a lawyer is properly addressed as Maître, which I guess means master. Sounds about right to me.

In Germany it is illegal to call yourself doctor unless you have a German PhD or one recognized by Germany. American PhDs are so recognized but Canadian ones, although earned in exactly the same way, are not. I am not sure about physicians.

My DIL has an MD and then an MPH (public health) as a higher degree. Go figure.

I know two mathematicians with PhDs who then went on to get law degrees and get admitted to the bar. They both besically practice mathematics although one of the two actually practices public interest law on the side. The other one just got interested in the law, but never practiced. He explained to me once that law is the glue that holds society together and he was interested. He is, incidentally, the professor who drew me into math.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:43 PM
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Calling someone "Dr." because they have a J.D. degree is technically correct but no one ever does this in the United States. I often append "esq." to the names of other lawyers in written professional correspondence but I would never append it to my own name. To do so would be pretentious and rude.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:50 PM
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We don’t use it at all in Canada. I’ve seen it in some old court decisions (50 years or more), but it’s not used.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:17 PM
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At one point in the recent past "esquire" or "Esq." was something you could put after your name if you needed something to put after your name and didn't have anything else. Lawyers, who felt they needed something after their names, appropriated this. In the legal field, in America, if you see an Esq. you can assume it's a lawyer. I know lawyers who would never, ever use it, and who kind of sneer at people who do. But if you put it after your name and you are not a lawyer, it's not like you can be disciplined for the unlawful practice of law just by virtue of using it. But, you know--don't.
I wasn't asking about the legal issues. I was asking about the custom. Does putting an Esq. after your name imply you have a law degree or does it imply you have passed the bar?
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:45 PM
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The American law degree is the Juris Doctor (JD); which is a profesional doctorate, not a research doctorate. IIRC it's equivalent to a master's degree, not a PhD. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to law school. American law schools used to award the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and didn't always require a previous degree for, but that was phased out over the 20th century. I think the LLB was last awarded in the '60s by one of the Ivies

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My father, who had never gone to college at all (depression-era poverty) qualified for a local night law school, Willamette School of Law, and got an LLB after 3 years of night school courses, in the very early 60's I think. This was in Portland, Oregon. His degree was later upgraded to a JD if I remember correctly without him needing to do anything. That law school was later absorbed by Lewis & Clark College (or University by then?). He passed the bar on his first try. He did all this while working full time and supporting his family of four (my mother also worked). I am very proud of both my parents.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:59 PM
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I know someone who completed medical school, but didn't do an intern year, and who never took the medical boards, and all along, wanted to practice medical malpractice law. Part of what is hard about malpractice law is getting the required number of MDs to sign off on the case-- you have to get actual MDs, and it helps if you have people in the specialty, to say that yes, the doctor in question made a gross error no one with training should have made in that particular case (nothing unusual, etc., etc.) It's worlds easier to see if there is a case, and then to go to the right doctors, and address them at their own level, if you have done three years of med school.

This guy was really far-thinking. He majored in English (law schools love English majors, because they do more reading and writing than pre-law students), minored in biology, took the hardest math available, and took six semesters of college Latin after taking two in high school, and then testing out of two in college. How many people take a year of a language in high school, and then test out of a year in college? He did, because he spent the summer between his senior year of high school, and his first year of college taking Latin 102 (second semester intensive) at summer school.

It must have been boring as watching tomatoes grow, but it was smart, and he proved that he was the type of student who could plow through whatever he needed to for his future plans. When he asked for an English major and a biology minor (kind of unusual combination, and would mean some heavy semesters and some summers, and having more than the required number of credits to graduate), he could point to the summer he made an A in intensive Latin when he was barely 18.

My cousin the orthopod introduced me to him (I think she was hoping we'd hit it off. We're Facebook friends, anyway). She says he keeps good doctors honest, and makes bad ones lie until they get caught. She likes him. She DOESN'T like the doctor-culture ("the thin white line") pressure to keep other doctors out of tight spots-- not that anyone would ever lie about gross malpractice (the doctor at fault), but someone might be expected to say they saw someone come in on time when they were, in fact, late. The fact that there are lawyers like him out there, who know the culture of doctors, affect it, and help keep it honest. That's what my cousin likes. I'm willing to bet the best doctors all do. And my cousin has Good-Doctor awards.

Not all malpractice lawyers are ambulance chasers. There are malpractice lawyers another doctor might suggest you visit, and that's the kind he is. He is "in" with the doctors, because he speaks their language, and knows what they went through to get where they are, and understands that most of them want to help people, not earn huge salaries. The huge salaries just help with the fact that they will be paying student loans until their kids are in high school.

He also understands how malpractice insurance works, and tries to negotiate settlements that don't end up in good doctors with one screw up in an unusual case (they probably shouldn't have taken, but let's hope they learned) from losing their insurance. He has no patience with bad doctors, though, which includes incompetent doctors; over-arrogant doctors who don't think patients have rights; and burned out doctors, who might once have been good, but need to move on.

Or so my cousin says. And I trust my cousin like a sister.

But FWIW, this non-ambulance chaser does NOT call himself "Dr."
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:01 PM
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My father, who had never gone to college at all (depression-era poverty) qualified for a local night law school, Willamette School of Law, and got an LLB after 3 years of night school courses, in the very early 60's I think. This was in Portland, Oregon. His degree was later upgraded to a JD if I remember correctly without him needing to do anything. That law school was later absorbed by Lewis & Clark College (or University by then?). He passed the bar on his first try. He did all this while working full time and supporting his family of four (my mother also worked). I am very proud of both my parents.
This fairly well-known attorney, now deceased, also went to law school without having obtained a bachelor's degree first. In her case, she went to night school and often brought a nursing infant with her.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Morphonios
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:32 PM
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FWIW, in Quebec a lawyer is properly addressed as Maître, which I guess means master. Sounds about right to me.

In Germany it is illegal to call yourself doctor unless you have a German PhD or one recognized by Germany. American PhDs are so recognized but Canadian ones, although earned in exactly the same way, are not. I am not sure about physicians.
I know that in Germany there have always been formal rules about being able to advertise professions+qualifications like "Arzt", "Doktor", "Ingenieur", "Professor", and so forth on those little plaques outside your office, as well as against making up non-existent degrees. But I am curious how this PhD stuff is enforced in practice. And do they let you off with a warning if you pass a quick oral examination, or do you owe them a 100-200 page dissertation?

Quote:

My DIL has an MD and then an MPH (public health) as a higher degree. Go figure.
As I explained in the other thread, "doctor" is merely an element of the names of these various degrees. Of itself it does not mean some degree is higher or lower or whatever. Someone at some point is just formalizing various names or titles (eg even in Germany I'm not sure a medical "archiatrus" is necessarily as qualified as a medical "doctor", despite the suggestive name!)

Latin 101: (some relevant words)

doctor = someone who teaches [presumably qualified to teach a subject]
magister = master
medicus = pertaining to medicine
scientia (as in SJD, ScD) : knowledge

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Old 05-24-2020, 11:21 AM
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I wasn't asking about the legal issues. I was asking about the custom. Does putting an Esq. after your name imply you have a law degree or does it imply you have passed the bar?
To me, it implies that you passed the bar and hold an active license to practice law in, at least, some jurisdiction. The proper post-nomial for a law degree would be the degree. i.e., Falchion, JD.

I'm not sure there is a clear rule, although there is an old article in the ABA Journal about at least one state bar disciplining unlicensed JDs for using "Esquire".

I also think that Esquire is only appropriate when used in connection with your actual legal practice. I see it used on official correspondence (and fundraising appeals from my law school). I don't think "social" or routine personal correspondence would use Esquire (unlike "Dr." as a prefix or "M.D" or "Ph.D." as a post-nomial). But that may just be my personal impression.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:42 AM
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Why unlike Dr/MD/PhD? If I am jotting off some personal correspondence, I do not see the need for anything more formal than "Dear Carol" (this was covered in the other thread) or even without the term of endearment. Not Dear Dr. Carol, M.D. Same for friends who are licensed to practice law; last one I communicated with was on the phone, and the first words were more or less "Hi, good morning; how are you?"

Granted this might work differently with strangers, but then that would not be "social" correspondence.

Last edited by DPRK; 05-24-2020 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:46 PM
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This fairly well-known attorney, now deceased, also went to law school without having obtained a bachelor's degree first. In her case, she went to night school and often brought a nursing infant with her.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Morphonios
A few states still allow someone to take the bar exam and become a lawyer by "reading the law"--- basicallly an extended apprenticeship under the mentoring of an experienced lawyer---without even attending law school.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readin...odern_practice

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Old 05-24-2020, 01:53 PM
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Why unlike Dr/MD/PhD? If I am jotting off some personal correspondence, I do not see the need for anything more formal than "Dear Carol" (this was covered in the other thread) or even without the term of endearment. Not Dear Dr. Carol, M.D. Same for friends who are licensed to practice law; last one I communicated with was on the phone, and the first words were more or less "Hi, good morning; how are you?"

Granted this might work differently with strangers, but then that would not be "social" correspondence.
The first Christmas after I graduated, all of the Christmas cards I got from classmates were addressed to Near Wild Heaven, R.Ph.



This was in 1994, when people still sent them.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:38 PM
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Why unlike Dr/MD/PhD? If I am jotting off some personal correspondence, I do not see the need for anything more formal than "Dear Carol" (this was covered in the other thread) or even without the term of endearment. Not Dear Dr. Carol, M.D. Same for friends who are licensed to practice law; last one I communicated with was on the phone, and the first words were more or less "Hi, good morning; how are you?"

Granted this might work differently with strangers, but then that would not be "social" correspondence.
Yeah, I don't know what word I was looking for. My point was that it would be entirely proper to address a letter to Dr. Jane Smith or Mr. & Dr. Smith. Indeed, it would be the norm.

And it would seem a bit pretentious, but not inappropriate, to address it to Jane Smith, M.D. (But NEVER Dr. Carol, M.D., because you don't use both the prefix and the post-nomial!). But I can't imagine that you would ever get a Christmas card to John Doe, Esq.
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:17 PM
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Calling someone "Dr." because they have a J.D. degree is technically correct but no one ever does this in the United States. I often append "esq." to the names of other lawyers in written professional correspondence but I would never append it to my own name. To do so would be pretentious and rude.
Definitely agree. I've seen some lawyers put it after their names on their own business cards, and have to roll my eyes a bit.

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I wasn't asking about the legal issues. I was asking about the custom. Does putting an Esq. after your name imply you have a law degree or does it imply you have passed the bar?
The latter, in my experience.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:22 PM
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The law degrees in the U.S are J.D. (LL.B.), LL.M., and S.J.D. (LL.D.).

The American Bar Association has ruled that lawyers who hold a J.D. may use “Doctor” as a term of address so long as they are not trying to mislead anyone regarding their qualifications, such as by implying medical expertise (like Doctor Phil does).

“Esq.” is not regulated by the legal profession. Anyone and everyone may use it. The justice system may intervene if you are using it to imply that you are a licensed lawyer when you are not.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:19 PM
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The American Bar Association has ruled that lawyers who hold a J.D. may use “Doctor” as a term of address so long as they are not trying to mislead anyone regarding their qualifications, such as by implying medical expertise (like Doctor Phil does).
DPhil does not imply medical expertise --I assume that's what you meant--- unlike Dr. med. aka M.D. But, again, even being a medical "doctor" does not automatically mean one is licensed, registered, and board certified, which are the non-misleading qualifications in this case.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:36 PM
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DPhil does not imply medical expertise
I didn't say "D.Phil." I said "Doctor Phil." The professional name of public huckster Phillip Calvin McGraw. This guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_McGraw

Quote:
--I assume that's what you meant--- unlike Dr. med. aka M.D.
No, I mean qualified to give medical advice, which usually means licensed to practice medicine, at minimum.

(See, this is one reason why I find it useful to distinguish abbreviations from non-abbreviations with a ".")
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  #39  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:17 AM
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At one point in the recent past "esquire" or "Esq." was something you could put after your name if you needed something to put after your name and didn't have anything else.
I addressed this topic 3½ years ago.
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In the U.S., I think "Esquire" has always been a courtesy title like "Mister" available to any male. In the U.K. I think it is now treated similarly, although once it was available only in specific instances, such as
  • the eldest sons of knights and their eldest sons in perpetuity
  • the eldest sons of younger sons of peers and their eldest sons in perpetuity
  • esquires of knights constituted at their investiture
  • person holding a military commission of Captain or higher
  • persons assigned certain high ranks by the King, including Justice of the Peace (and Groom of the Stool )
  • barristers (but not solicitors)
  • chiefs of a clan, or lords of a manor
  • foreign noblemen
  • doctors of any faculty
  • holders of an office, such as herald, entitled to wear a livery collar
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:40 AM
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Yeah, we've definitely discussed "Esq." before. It certainly isn't universally used in the legal profession.

And the profession—meaning the standards and ethics bodies of the profession—don't care how it's used outside of the profession. Non-lawyers are free to call themselves "Esq." so long as they aren't practicing unlicensed law.

In my direct experience, women lawyers are more likely to write "Esq." after their own names (as opposed to someone else addressing them). That's because of societal gender bias. Many women found they needed some way to indicate that they were the lawyers in the room. Otherwise, people would look to men in the room as the people in charge.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:16 PM
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Specialist dentists like endodontists and orthodontists usually get an extra MS degree. So they list John Doe DDS MS or DMD MS.
  #42  
Old 05-25-2020, 05:21 PM
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There are definitely people with a JD/Ph.D., and I've even encountered a few MD/JDs. (A doctor AND a lawyer? Your mom must be really proud! )[/url]
My retinal specialist has an MD from Harvard and a JD from Oxford (earned while a Rhodes Scholar). No PhD, though - the slacker....
  #43  
Old 05-25-2020, 06:20 PM
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I didn't say "D.Phil." I said "Doctor Phil." The professional name of public huckster Phillip Calvin McGraw. This guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_McGraw
I am no fan of the guy. Not even a little bit.

But, IIRC, he does hold a doctorate degree. He no longer is licensed to practice anywhere in the US (that I am aware of) but doesn't holding that degree allow him to say he is "Dr." Phil?

To be clear, the guy is a huckster and I am not trying to defend him...he has caused harm IMO and should be reviled. But if he has the degree and it has not been revoked then isn't he still a doctor?
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:32 PM
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But, IIRC, he does hold a doctorate degree. He no longer is licensed to practice anywhere in the US (that I am aware of) but doesn't holding that degree allow him to say he is "Dr." Phil?
It depends on what degrees you feel entitle a person to call themselves a doctor, which is the topic of the thread.

McGraw is not a medical doctor and has never had a medical degree. He has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He was never able to practice medicine. He did have a license in Texas to practice psychology but he gave it up in 2006. For legal reasons, he has stated he does not practice psychology and what he does is give advice.

So should he be calling himself a doctor? In my personal opinion, no. If he's just giving advice, he should not be doing so while identifying himself as a doctor. Identifying himself as a doctor implies he is following some set of professional guidelines. McGraw has no more right to call himself a doctor than Miss Manners or Dear Abby has.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:15 AM
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I am no fan of the guy. Not even a little bit.

But, IIRC, he does hold a doctorate degree. He no longer is licensed to practice anywhere in the US (that I am aware of) but doesn't holding that degree allow him to say he is "Dr." Phil?

To be clear, the guy is a huckster and I am not trying to defend him...he has caused harm IMO and should be reviled. But if he has the degree and it has not been revoked then isn't he still a doctor?
The question isn’t whether he is entitled to use the title. The question is how he uses it. And he uses it to falsely imply expertise and authority he doesn’t have. He is using the title in a way that harms people. I don’t care what degrees he holds; that’s reprehensible.
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  #46  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:28 PM
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[...]
Is there a law that prohibits people from calling themself a doctor? (I really do not know.) For example, I have no training or degree that would anyone would consider a doctor but can I say I am Dr. Whack-a-Mole without legal repercussion?
There is such a law in Germany and in Austria, that much is sure. Some political careers have been cut short by the misappropiation of a doctor title. In Austria the wife of a doctor can call herself Frau Doktor, but I do not know if the husband can do the same in reverse (but I would guess so). The Austrians have a tendency to suffer from acute Title-itis.
In Italy (and Argentina, by extension) almost everyone is a doctor (dottore...). In Italy it is less an academic title as an expression of respect, if I understand the use correctly. In Argentina it is a matter of missing academic records, I have been told (by a jealous Spanish doctor with a "real" title).

To answer the OP: one law degree is not enough. You need 90 degrees to make a right lawyer. That has never happened so far.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:52 PM
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To late to edit: the use of dottore in Italy. Anyone with an academic title is called dottore or dottoressa. This often confuses foreigners.
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  #48  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:55 PM
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The question isn’t whether he is entitled to use the title. The question is how he uses it. And he uses it to falsely imply expertise and authority he doesn’t have. He is using the title in a way that harms people. I don’t care what degrees he holds; that’s reprehensible.
I am 100% with you on not being a fan of the likes of Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz. It is my opinion that they cause harm and do so solely to enrich themselves.

That said, if he has a doctorate then I think he can put "Dr." before his name until/unless that changes.

My brother was a doctor of physics. While he never fussed over people calling him "doctor" he would sign formal documents as "Dr. XXX XXXXX".

Personally, I think Dr. Phil's degree should be revoked.
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  #49  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:11 PM
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That said, if he has a doctorate then I think he can put "Dr." before his name until/unless that changes.
There's no certificate that licenses fraud. If he is using "Dr." in a fraudulent manner, it doesn't matter if he has a degree certificate with "Dr." on it.
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  #50  
Old 05-26-2020, 02:27 PM
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There's no certificate that licenses fraud. If he is using "Dr." in a fraudulent manner, it doesn't matter if he has a degree certificate with "Dr." on it.
Since when is "Dr." a certificate that denotes anything other than a level of education achieved?
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