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Author Topic: J.D/PHD  (Read 1451 times)

Justiceforall

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J.D/PHD
« on: November 12, 2007, 11:04:31 AM »
I am seeking some advice on clearing some confusion...

I still have ambition in going to law school however I see that my passion may  not necessarily be in law but in politics, sociology and philosophy. I've been going through a internal civil war trying to figure out what I want to do with my career weighing in the pros and cons of being a lawyer versus being a professor and concluded I probably will be seeking both in my graduate education.  I wanted to weigh in some different opinions on being a lawyer versus being a professor (pros and cons) and if I so choose to pursue both what steps would I need to take (in terms of the test to take, timelines, etc) I'm wondering how years would I be in school pursuing a JD (3 years) in terms of pursuing a masters and PHD (five six seven years?)


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Re: J.D/PHD
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 11:27:05 AM »
Professor of what? If we're talking  law professor than it would behoove you to  do extremely well on the LSAT so that you could get into a top school. 

There are many dual degree programs.  Have you thought of a LLM- masters of law? 

It seems like you're treating law school like it's an "end."  There are many other careers that you can pursue other than being an attorney with a JD. 

The other thing that I'd like to know is what type of law would you want to practice should you become an attorney.  There are firms/types of law where you'd need something other than a JD-  not just as a preference but as a requirement   

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Re: J.D/PHD
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 12:05:17 PM »
It really depends on the school and program, but if you're vigilant you can get through most in 6-7 years.

It's a pretty good deal, really, but you give up a lot on both sides to make it work (summer employment, proper TA'ing, free time to work on your dissertation).

I'd really make sure you want/need both before taking both on. Perhaps start with grad school, and see how that works out first?
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Justiceforall

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Re: J.D/PHD
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 01:33:11 PM »
Professor of what? If we're talking  law professor than it would behoove you to  do extremely well on the LSAT so that you could get into a top school. 

There are many dual degree programs.  Have you thought of a LLM- masters of law? 

It seems like you're treating law school like it's an "end."  There are many other careers that you can pursue other than being an attorney with a JD. 

The other thing that I'd like to know is what type of law would you want to practice should you become an attorney.  There are firms/types of law where you'd need something other than a JD-  not just as a preference but as a requirement   



Well the PHD will be in political science with a concentration in international relations

In terms of masters in law, what concerns me is that it seems my intrest in law is more in practicing then the actual love of the law. I really haven't explored the law itself to see if it is something I would have a passion for.

My main intrest in law is trial (personal injury/medical malpractice)  or criminal defense.

Thanks for the reply


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Justiceforall

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Re: J.D/PHD
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 01:37:39 PM »
It really depends on the school and program, but if you're vigilant you can get through most in 6-7 years.

It's a pretty good deal, really, but you give up a lot on both sides to make it work (summer employment, proper TA'ing, free time to work on your dissertation).

I'd really make sure you want/need both before taking both on. Perhaps start with grad school, and see how that works out first?

Well that is what is at the heart of it all...I can't decide which one I want to do so I figure I would attempt both. I really need to explore what practicing law is like compared to what I see on tv or what people keep telling me (You would be such a great attorney). Being a professor may not be the awesome life I'd assume either. I wish they had forums like this to explore graudate schools for political science.
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GoldenAfro

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Re: J.D/PHD
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 05:02:52 PM »
Well that is what is at the heart of it all...I can't decide which one I want to do so I figure I would attempt both.

In terms of the money and time you'll waste, you NEED to find out whether you want to do one or both of these.  If you really don't know and can't decide based on talking to lawyers and researching what you can do with a PHD, then maybe you should wait a little bit.  Several years of your life and a six-figure plus debt (potentially) are nothing to play with. Do you know what your research interests would be in your PHD field, beyond the broad category of political science or international relations?  Then again, it is your life; if you feel like just diving in is the best way to pursue your goals, advice from a random person on a message board shouldn't stop you.
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SER1906

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Re: J.D/PHD
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2007, 02:41:35 PM »
I know I'm a tad bit late...but I just recently found out about LSD.

On joint law and doctoral studies...There are a number of existing joint programs out there. You just have to locate them. For instance, NYU has a joint law and society program (approx 7 years to complete). Additionally, most law schools mention on their websites that they will allow for an individualized joint program of study. This is the approach I took, and will begin JD/PhD studies in 2008. (As a sidenote, I did learn through my research that, although schools tell you such an individualized arrangement is possible, it is a lot of work on their end, and many will just prefer to not work to create a new program just for one person. These programs require approval from academic deans from many university departments, and many other types of exceptions and approvals. Of the eight schools that I proferred my joint program to, six flat out said no, one was wishey-washey, and one was excited about it and seemed willing to work with me to explore further. I decided to go with this school).

To make such a curriculum work, I would think that your intellectual interests should largely overlap both fields. You mention trial and criminal defense on the law side, and then international relations on the poli sci side. At surface level (at least to me) those don't seem to intersect. Lack of intersection is a hard sell. I make this point because it's important to realize how 'tough' it is to get into PhD school. The law school that I'm attending has an acceptance rate of about 20% or so; the doctoral program I'm going to admits a much smaller percentage (I estimated between 5% and 10%; although, no data are made public). On average, the PhD programs I considered only bring in 2-3 new students each fall.

Aside from internally figuring out whether or not this is something that you really want to do, I would advise talking/meeting with JD/PhDs who are in the position that you see yourself in after everything is said and done. I found this to be extremely insightful. Also talk to current joint program students about their experiences. Hope this helps.

SER