What is an EJD?

I recently became aware of the professional acronym, EJD. Since I am a lawyer, I was curious to learn about this new certification, which I deduced had something to do with legal education due to the familiar JD for Juris Doctor for law degree. The EJD is an academic degree that allows its holder to work in law and non-law related fields, but does not allow the practice of law as an attorney. It is offered by online / distance schools, Concord Law School of Kaplan University, Taft Law School, British-American University and Newport University. While these schools may be accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, the EJD degree offered is not recognized by any bar association and graduates are not able to sit for a bar exam in any jurisdiction.

Concord Law claims the trademark “EJD”. It’s website provides (or provided): “The Executive JD (EJDsm) is a unique degree program pioneered by Concord Law School. The Executive Juris Doctor program provides individuals with an interest in the law, or those whose career would benefit from advanced legal knowledge, the opportunity to participate in law school courses without the regulatory hurdles associated with becoming a member of the Bar.

The program attracts a wide range of professionals including business people, health care administrators, and teachers who appreciate the challenging curriculum and interaction found at Concord Law School. Through their studies, they gain a sophisticated knowledge of the law and sharpen their analytical reasoning and communication skills.

The Executive Juris Doctor program is a 72-unit, three-year, part-time program. After the first year, during which the EJD students take the same foundational courses required of the Juris Doctor student, there is a great deal of flexibility in course selection. In the second and third years, EJD students are encouraged to construct a curriculum plan centered on their interests and career needs. Enrollees also have somewhat more flexibility in their pace of study as they are not required to adhere to the strict guidelines of the State Bar of California.”

There is nothing that matches the practice of law to provide a comprehensive understanding of it and how it is practically applied. After all, it is said that the law is an elephant and practitioners are blind men trying to define what the elephant is, each looking at different aspects of the elephant. Although each has an interpretation different from the other, none of them are wrong. It is not enough to merely study the law, but one must practice it in order to understand it and how it is interpreted.

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