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Author Topic: What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s  (Read 1407 times)

frontosa

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What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s
« on: July 02, 2004, 03:41:33 PM »
I'm currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. I will finish my doctorate just before I begin law school.  I'm trying to decide where to apply but I have no idea how law schools view Ph.D.'s Does it help? Does it hurt? How much? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers.

Duner

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Re: What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2004, 03:59:35 PM »
they'll think you're a professional student who's afraid of entering society. you're going to have to make an effort to explain why you need both a phd and jd. i don't think it's going to help you. but i'm curious as to what others' opinions are.

jgruber

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Re: What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2004, 04:03:54 PM »
I think it will depend on what your field of study is and what else you've done in your life.

If you look like a professional student, that might hurt.

If you're an old fart like me who's worked a million years, it could show you're on a life long quest and would help.

dta

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Re: What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2004, 04:05:52 PM »
I think it will absolutely help tremendously. LS proffs don't care if you don't enter the "real world". Look at them! They're proffs for god's sake! I think they would look at your PHD as a sign that you might be on a law proff track - professional academia. And if they think that, it's certainly not a detriment.

I think having a PhD will show your commitment to academia and your ability to push through the really hard and tough times that inevitably occur during pursuit of such an advanced degree. Hence, law school will have nothing on you. It's definitely a feather in your cap that most won't have.

curious - what is your phd in?

lexylit

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Re: What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2004, 04:09:08 PM »
this isnt uncommon at all. people switch for a number of reasons but one big fat one is the job market is *&^%. law schools understand this (and many number among their faculty some profs who got a PhD first and then a JD and ended up teaching). gear your PS accordingly-- make sure you come off as someone interested in the law for various reasons and committed to making a go at it, not just a hyperspecified intellectual.

a friend of mine went right into nyu law from his phd-- hes like a tax history expert, has written a couple books, plans to teach.if your field is realted to LS, show how; if its pretty unrelated then build a case for yourself as someone making a career change later in life, just like any applicant who has been doing something un-law-y since undergrad.

JG

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Re: What do Law Schools Think of Ph.D.'s
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2004, 08:54:08 PM »
I have a Ph.D.  in genetics,  and I'm going to law school in the fall.  I think the Ph.D. was a minor plus, though my numbers were pretty good too.  I think it was important that I gave a pretty convincing (and true) story about how my Ph.D. work got me to the point of deciding to go to law school.   I'm more worried about what potential employers will think of me (professional student) than I was about what the law schools would think.

Good luck!