Esq vs JD
Studying law as a subject and choosing to make a career or profession in the field of law is challenging, rewarding, and very interesting. However, no other profession has so many designations for individuals than those acquiring expertise in law. One can be a L.L.B, Esq., J.D, attorney, lawyer, or a barrister with little variations in areas of expertise and the educational qualifications earned. Two designations that confuse most people are Esq and JD when they see these terms on visiting cards of experts or professionals. There are similarities and overlap between JD and Esq though there are also differences that will be highlighted in this article.
Esq is a title used by attorneys for themselves to write at the end of their names in visiting cards. The full form of Esq is Esquire that is a British term and an honorary title to refer to men with a high social rank. The title is said to have been developed in 14th century in England and continues to be used for people of high social rank such as a Knight or an Earl. In US, Esq has come to be associated with a person who has studied law and is eligible to start his practice in a law court. However, as it is a courtesy title, it is rarely used by attorneys for each other and only people who are not lawyers themselves choose to refer to lawyers as Esq.
J.D is an academic degree just like PhD as it is called Juris Doctor and awarded to students studying law in law schools across the country. However, attorneys rarely use this abbreviation for themselves and prefer to use the term only in academic circles. Lawyers who are also prolific writers and get their papers published in law journals like to use this degree mentioned against their names in these publications.
What is the difference between Esq and JD?
• J.D is a formal academic qualification and a degree similar to that of doctorate in other subjects.
• J.D is referred to as Juris Doctor and used by attorneys in academic circles only.
• Esq. is an honorary title used for all those who have studied law and eligible to practice law in courts.
• Esq. has British roots where it was used to refer to men of high social rank.
• Esq. can today be used in US by both men as well as women attorneys.
• Both designations cannot be used by a lawyer at the same time.
• It is common for attorneys to add the suffix Esq. at the end of their name in their visiting cards.