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Lawyer Title (Overview: Professional Title & Abbreviations)

What is the Lawyer Title?

What is the title of a lawyer when writing their name?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our legal profession knowledge!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

What Is The Lawyer Title

When reading an attorney’s name, you may see many lawyer abbreviations after the person’s name.

What is the attorney at law title, you may ask?

There are different titles for lawyers and abbreviations depending on the jurisdiction.

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, represents individuals, and provides legal advice to others.

Lawyers, just like professionals in other fields, use a lawyer title after their name to indicate to the world that they are “lawyers” or are trained in law.

Let’s look at the main ones.

Lawyer Title Abbreviation

What are the different designations given to lawyers when they earn a degree?

Here is a list of the most common title for a lawyer:

  • J.D.
  • LL.M
  • J.S.D
  • LL.B
  • Combined Titles


J.D. is the abbreviation for “Juris Doctor”.

J.D. is a title given to a lawyer when he or she earns a bachelor’s degree from law school.

Even though the name says Juris “Doctor”, this is not a graduate degree or a doctorate.

It’s essentially an undergraduate law degree.

A student who is admitted to law school and completes the program will earn a J.D. title.

Typically, in most jurisdictions, a J.D. is a prerequisite for the individual to eventually be admitted to the local Bar Association and practice law.

The J.D. title as a degree for passing law school is relatively new.

Traditionally, the title earned for graduating from law school is LL.B.


LL.M refers to “Master of Laws”.

A Master of Laws (LL.M) is an attorney title earned by those lawyers who already have a J.D.

Typically, a lawyer will require advanced studies in a specific area of law, thereby specializing further in that field.


J.S.D. refers to “Doctor of the Science of Law”. 

J.S.D. is the equivalent of a Ph.D. earned in other fields when a person obtains a doctorate-level degree.

You can also refer to this as S.J.D. referring to Scientiae Juridicae Doctor in Latin.

Generally, a person looking to teach law or work in the legal “academics” will earn a J.S.D title.

Earning a doctorate means that the person is highly specialized in a particular area of the law.


LL.B stands for “Legum Baccalaureus” or “Bachelor of Laws”.

LL.B. is the equivalent of a J.D. typically used in common law jurisdictions.

To earn an LL.B., a student must be admitted to law school and successfully earn a bachelor’s degree.

Combined Titles

There are instances when a lawyer name title is combined with other titles.

For example, a university may offer a law degree along with a master’s in business administration.

In that case, the title for lawyer will be J.D., M.B.A. (Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration).


In the United States, we also see the title for lawyer as “Esquire” or “Esq”.

In the British Commonwealth countries and the United States, lawyers using Esquire or Esq as a title designate practicing attorneys.

Some US states do not permit lawyers to use the ESQ or Esquire title of a lawyer if they are not members in good standing of the local bar association.

According to the ABA Journal, in some states, unlicensed J.D.’s were disciplined for using ESQ title for attorney.

Historically, in England, the “Esquire” title was granted to someone between a Gentleman and a Knight.

Attorney At Law

In some jurisdictions, practicing lawyers will use “attorney at law” in their name to show they are authorized to practice law.

Using “attorney at law” is not as common as LLB, JD, or ESQ used in various jurisdictions.

You are more likely to see law firms use “attorneys at law” to generally refer to their lawyers and legal professionals.


In certain French civil law jurisdictions, lawyers will use the term “Maître” or “Me” before their name indicates they are lawyers.

For example, John Smith, the lawyer, will write his name as Me John Smith.

Maître in french can be translated to English as “Master”.

It’s like saying that the person is a “professional” or “expert” in the field of law.

Lawyer Title vs Title Lawyer

What’s the difference between Lawyer Title and Title Lawyer?

A “lawyer title” is not the same thing as a “title lawyer”.

A lawyer title or “title for lawyer” is a phrase used to refer to the abbreviations or titles lawyers use in their name.

For example, Susan Smith Esq., Mary Doe LL.B., or John Roberts LL.M., are different titles used by a lawyer after their name.

On the other hand, a “title lawyer” is a lawyer or legal professional specialized in verifying property titles.

For example, if you are in a real estate transaction, a title lawyer or real estate attorney will ensure that the seller has the legal title to a property, land, or other real estate property to convey to the buyer.

Lawyer Title Takeaways 

When you graduate from law school, what is your title?

 What are the different attorney abbreviations for their title?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Attorney Title

  • Lawyers use different titles in their name to indicate to the world and the public they are practicing lawyers or trained in law
  • JD, LLB, LLM, and JSD are different titles used by lawyers 
  • Esquire or Esq is used in some jurisdictions to refer to a “practicing lawyer” or an individual licensed to practice law
  • Some civil law jurisdictions use the honorary title “Maître” or “Me” for short in their name to indicate they are practicing lawyers
Bar Association 
Civil law 
Common law
Legal advice
Legal career 
Oral argument 
Real estate attorney 
Title company
Title lawyer

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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