Law Schools » Law Careers » Law-related Careers » Jurist



A jurist is a professional who studies, develops, applies the law. The word "jurist", can technically be applied to anyone having a thorough knowledge of law, is usually used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage. In most Europe’s countries any person who possesses a degree in law is called a jurist.

American lawyers usually use the word only to refer to a judge.

Other English speaking countries

There is no alternative word for "jurist" in English-speaking countries outside the U.S. Members of the general public are largely unaware of the term and are probable to confuse it with "juror". Within the legal society usage of "jurist" is generally restricted to prominent judges or academics. Apart from this people working in law are generally described as "lawyers" or solicitors if they are practicing law, or as correspond to a more specific branch of the legal profession, such as barrister or advocate, judge or law professor.

Continental Europe

In some of Continental Europe, a person with a degree in law may be called a jurist. Being a jurist does not necessarily mean that one has the privileges usually attributed to "attorney" or "solicitor". Often there are two classes of qualified lawyers, those at the "jurist" level and those known as barristers or advocates who may act in the highest courts. Law students are also commonly called jurists.