Australian University Ranking |

A Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a postgraduate tertiary qualification that is considered to be of equivalent or equal value to an undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. Some authorities on the matter even consider a Juris Doctor degree to be a superior qualification when compared with a Bachelor of Laws. This is mainly because a Juris Doctor degree can assist with preparing students from disciplines – other than the law – to pursue a career path in the legal field.

It also enables students to develop, acquire knowledge of, and learn the core legal fundamentals that are required for a profession related to the law. Plus, it enables students to learn legal dispute resolution skills, as well as obtain, review and analyse key information relating to the core values of the justice system. In addition to this, Juris Doctor students are also provided with the capacity to gain access to invaluable internship opportunities, while also completing industry-standard, research-based legal projects and assignments. 

Further, students working to get their online Juris Doctor qualification will be able to complete their postgraduate law qualification online, rather than attending on-campus, in-person, face-to-face lectures, tutorials and seminars. This, of course, can save students precious time, by fitting in with their busy life schedules and other personal and professional commitments, as well as allowing students to study when, where and how it suits them best. 

Juris Doctor Course Units and Areas of Study

When studying to complete a Juris Doctor degree, the main areas of study that students will be asked to complete are, of course, predominantly related to law and legal studies. As such, a Juris Doctor degree’s course units will usually include core subject areas.

These areas include legal theory, legal dispute management and resolution, and international law, as well as fundamental, foundational units including constitutional law, property law, contract law, criminal law, administrative law, and torts law. Additionally, students will often be allowed the opportunity to undertake elective areas of study as well – for example, human rights law, workplace law, law reform, policy and social change units, and legal negotiation, for instance. 

Juris Doctor Graduate Career Options and Salary Expectations

The career pathways available to a graduate of a Juris Doctor degree are decidedly lucrative – with salary expectations exceeding those of many other professions. The minimum, lowest-paid entry-level annual wage a JD graduate can expect to receive is, needless to say, considerably higher than the Australian minimum wage.

Further, the potential salary for a successful pursuant of a career in the legal field – particularly if they reach the level of High Court Judge, for example – can even exceed figures up to $400,000 Australian per annum! But what exactly are the different roles available in the legal field, and what are their respective salary expectations? Just read on to learn more.


A lawyer, whose primary role is to give legal advice, draw up contracts, and sometimes, appear in court, can expect to earn at the very least an entry-level annual salary of $95,000 per annum, with the potential to earn up to approximately $145,000 per year. 


A Barrister, who is predominantly employed to represent clients at court appearances, can have an annual salary expectation of approximately $65,000 per annum for an entry-level role, and up to more than $110,000 annually for more experienced Barristers.


Magistrates essentially perform a similar type of role to court judges – that is to say, presiding over court matters, and determining the outcomes of court trials – albeit, at a slightly lower level. As such, magistrates tend to earn slightly less than judges – on average, between $70,000 to sometimes more than $300,000 per year. 


A court judge is arguably the highest level role available in the field of law, and, certainly, one of the highest-paid career paths for a graduate of a Juris Doctor degree. Essentially, a high court judge who appears in the Supreme Court of Law, for example, can expect to earn upwards of $400,000 per year. This is without a doubt, a very strong draw card for ambitious students of the law – particularly those who are attracted to career paths offering high salaries. 


A Juris Doctor degree comes with a wide array of perks, and whilst it can be a quite challenging and theory-rich endeavour, the number of opportunities available is sure to make that a worthwhile challenge to undertake.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *