Proper Salutations for a Juris Doctor

by Clint Hale; Updated September 26, 2017

With numerous types of doctoral degrees, from medicine to veterinary to law degrees, addressing a doctor can prove tricky. This is the case with juris doctors. Fortunately, there are hard-and-fast ways to address such doctors

Dr.

While most juris doctors don't commonly place a "Dr." in front of their titles, having received their doctor of law degrees, these professionals are officially free to claim the title. In day-to-day usage, however, most usages of the salutation are reserved for medical/veterinary doctors and professors.

Mr./Mrs./Miss

Typically, unless befitted with another type of doctoral degree (whether medical or of the Ph.D. variety), most juris doctors simply go by their gender-specific title.

Esq., Attn., Coun.

These three terms--which stand for Esquire, Attorney, and Counselor, respectively--can be used ONLY if a juris doctor has also passed the bar exam. That is because these terms are exclusive to those lawyers who have passed the bar exam, not just anyone with a law degree. Once having passed the bar, it's not uncommon for attorneys to end their name with a comma, followed by the Esq. or Attn. title.