Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: lstudent on April 01, 2004, 03:27:57 PM

Title: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: lstudent on April 01, 2004, 03:27:57 PM
OK, if someone could answer this for me...
By earning your JD, Doctor of Jurisprudence,
are you technically a doctor, in much the same way as
a PhD-holder is a doctor?  And if so, has anyone ever known any attorneys who went by this, even though
it would be ostentatious?
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: Revenant on April 01, 2004, 04:22:34 PM
Who'd want to be a Dr. when they can be an Esquire. :)

Actually, it'd be cool to be considered a doctor as well as a half-knight, though I'm not sure if it actually works that way.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: karenw911 on April 01, 2004, 08:07:13 PM
It's still makes me smile, some 2 years later, to see mail coming for my husband with Dr. in front of it...

Karen W.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: Meltdown on April 01, 2004, 08:49:25 PM
This is a great question! I wish I could help, but I don't know any lawyers, sorry. I'll be watching tho! I bet some lawyer will say a doctorate is a doctorate, so lawyers are really doctors!

Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: dta on April 01, 2004, 08:56:27 PM
Even though I plan to get a JD, I certainly hope JD != PHD. So much more field expertise and hard, original research is required to obtain a PHD.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: Revenant on April 01, 2004, 09:21:13 PM
Even though I plan to get a JD, I certainly hope JD != PHD. So much more field expertise and hard, original research is required to obtain a PHD.

Despite the fact that I plan to get a JD, I certainly hope JD = PHD.  So much more brainless and unfulfilling citation checking if you make Law Review. :)
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: jgruber on April 02, 2004, 08:14:11 AM
A JD is a doctoral degree although many -- especially those who do not have a JD -- think of it as not quite legitimate.  It is my understanding that law degrees were originally bachelor's degrees; that may be why they are questioned by some.  That and the fact that the more advanced law degree is called a masters.
But as someone said a doctorate is a doctorate.

And you can use the title doctor if you have a JD.

But think about it.  Do you want someone rushing up to you to ask if you're a real doctor when someone needs medical help?  Hmmm.  That could be a good thing.  You wouldn't be an ambulance chaser, you'd be an ambulance chasee!   :D
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: 50 Lifter on April 02, 2004, 09:09:34 AM
The equivalent of the PhD for lawyers is the JSD, or Juridicial Science Degree.  It is a post-graduate degree that requires graduate coursework and the completion of a dissertation.  Lawyers who attain this degree are thought of as "Doctors".
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: dta on April 02, 2004, 03:34:30 PM
now *that* sounds legit. if you don't have to defend a doctoral dissertation to get your degree, your degree is not *really* a PhD equivalent degree. For a JD all you have to do is write a paper one semester. Big whoop. I mean - I'm sure it will be a challenge but it's not nearly on par with everything that goes into and leads up to a doctoral dissertation defense.

Thanks for the info though lifter. It's nice to see there is an equivalent in law.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: JG on April 02, 2004, 03:41:27 PM
Quote
Even though I plan to get a JD, I certainly hope JD != PHD. So much more field expertise and hard, original research is required to obtain a PHD.

Since I have a Ph.D. (after six years!) and plan to get a JD, I also certainly hope JD != PHD as well.

As for the "calling yourself doctor" thing, I don't do it even with a Ph.D. except in purely academic situations.  I'd certainly never do it with a JD.   I've found it's better to have people find out (in some other way) that I have a Ph.D. and be impressed than for them to hear me call myself "Dr.", assume I have an MD, and then find out I don't.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: dta on April 02, 2004, 03:53:56 PM
hey JG, just curious. What's your PhD in?
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: JG on April 02, 2004, 04:47:55 PM
It's in genetics.  I know, it's odd that I'm going to law school with my background.  If I do biotech patent law, it will make sense, but I'm not sure I want to do that.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: CaliforniaLaw on April 02, 2004, 04:59:13 PM
Hey JG,

I am a molecular biologist who use to be with a large biotech doing pathway research.  Now I am going for my JD with an interest in IP law, not necessarily in biotech.  Public International Law & Corporate Law are also areas I want to explore.

Any idea where you'll be going?  I am sent in a deposit to Santa Clara University.

Good luck.
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: JG on April 02, 2004, 05:14:47 PM
Hi CaliforniaLaw,

It's always good to hear about other biologists making the jump into law!  I don't know about you, but I'm very happy about the fact that I'm never going to run a gel or do a miniprep again for the rest of my life.   I'm going to Wash U.--a full scholarship, family in St. Louis, and a desire to move back to the midwest made it an easy choice.

I'm going to keep an open mind about my options in law school and not just go into IP because it's the obvious thing.  I wasn't crazy about being a scientist, and if I'm going into a second career, I'm going to make sure I like it.

Good luck at Santa Clara!
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: stillwaiting on April 02, 2004, 05:56:18 PM
I feel like not many people realize there are advanced degrees beyond the JD--or maybe its just me ! But seriously I dont think it is a degree that many people are familiar with. How long does it generally take to complete a JSD?
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: 50 Lifter on April 02, 2004, 10:32:38 PM
To answer your question stillwaiting, the JSD takes about the same amount of time as the PhD in most cases.  The coursework may take only one - two years, but the candidate may take many more years to complete the dissertaion.  I would guess that most finish in 4 to 6 years total.  Very few schools offer the degree and those that do are highly selective, normally only accepting those who hold an LLM form the same intstituion to which they are applying.  It's true that very few people actually pursue the degree as it isn't really necessary for any particualr employment, academic or otherwise. 

The other more common post-JD is the LLM, which you may already know about.  This degree can be obtained if you wich to do study and research into a particual area of the law, and can improve a lawyers viability as a potential law educator.  It can also help to oercome the stigma of a JD from a "low ranked" school.  You will notice that many law professors may have JD's from sub top 20 schools, but have an LLM from a top 20.  It can also be helpful if you want to make yourself more desirable to employers in a particular field of law.

Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: lstudent on April 03, 2004, 09:18:29 PM
I think I'll have 10,000 business cards printed up that read:

Dr. John Doe, J.D.

(I'm not serious!)
Title: Re: are lawyers, with their JD, really doctors?
Post by: schoomp on April 04, 2004, 01:06:05 PM
I think I'll have 10,000 business cards printed up that read:

Dr. John Doe, J.D.

(I'm not serious!)

After school is done, I might go along that route except mine will say "Works cheap - lots of loans" and be on a cardboard sign while I am sitting at a busy intersection!