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Old 04-21-2014, 05:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
At least some of it has to do with teaching at a university level and, hold on to your hat, pay. One side says "It isn't fair they get paid more than we do, after all PhD's are more special and they take longer to get" and the other side says "Well, we have the word doctorate in our degree too, and we are smarter than you."
But JDs are considered the terminal degree in their field (despite the existence of the SJD) so how would they have an issue getting paid well? I'm surprised. Law schools are not typically broke and MDs who teach are not underpaid. I know MFAs tend not to be paid a lot but I always assumed it was because art schools are not big generators of research dollars compared to some of the other departments.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:46 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
We have a friend who has both degrees and his take is that it is harder to get into law school and the actual classes are harder, however it is harder to graduate from a PhD program.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
One thing you learn in graduate school is not to take individual anecdotes too seriously . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
You also learn not to dismiss them out of hand simply because they do not agree with your preconceived notion, especially if you have no first hand knowledge yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
Just for the record, Dear Dr. Old Hag, I do have first-hand knowledge, I do! I have a PhD, and I have indeed managed lawyers in the Corporate World (which, by your logic regarding lawyers managing PhDs, qualifies me in both fields!).
How does that equal you to having the first hand knowledge of attending both schools, like the person who presented me with the anecdotal evidence?

My earlier argument was that my husband's law education was sufficient to conduct research on the same level as PhDs, as evidenced by him being in charge of an organization that currently conducts research published in peer reviewed articles, where he not only is in charge of PhDs but also participates in conducting research. That is not the same as claiming he had first hand knowledge of attending a PhD program.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:56 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
But JDs are considered the terminal degree in their field (despite the existence of the SJD) so how would they have an issue getting paid well? I'm surprised. Law schools are not typically broke and MDs who teach are not underpaid. I know MFAs tend not to be paid a lot but I always assumed it was because art schools are not big generators of research dollars compared to some of the other departments.
Law schools are far more common than medical schools, so medical schools are less likely to be on other professors' radar. Currently, law professors are better paid than professors in any other discipline at most universities. The difference is not insignificant, generally at least $25-30K yearly more than the next discipline, Engineering. And what is even more galling to many PhDs is that those better paid JDs often have no research requirement attached to that salary.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
Law schools are far more common than medical schools, so medical schools are less likely to be on other professors' radar. Currently, law professors are better paid than professors in any other discipline at most universities. The difference is not insignificant, generally at least $25-30K yearly more than the next discipline, Engineering. And what is even more galling to many PhDs is that those better paid JDs often have no research requirement attached to that salary.
Oh I see, I thought you were saying the opposite, that JDs were underpaid compared to PhDs and that's why they wanted to be called doctors, which made no sense to me. What you described is about what I thought. Richer graduate schools/disciplines (business, medicine, law and engineering, some science disciplines) tend to pay the best. That's what I thought. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:50 AM
 
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Interesting (figuratively and literally) how these kinds of threads tend to veer away from the original topic, as various posters grasp at threads (no pun intended) to try to extract themselves once having gotten the major topic pretty much wrong.

So here is the issue: the ABA has decreed that the JD and the PhD are equivalent degrees, because both take three years post-graduate.

This is manifestly incorrect, as numerous posters have demonstrated, the PhD taking typically six or seven years, and the JD taking only three. The subject of research was also mentioned, and posters who understand the concept of "contribution to knowledge" differentiate the level of research embodied by a doctoral dissertation from the relatively trivial level of research that goes into a law paper -- the difference is both of-kind and of-quantity.

Moreover, the federal OPM is on clearly on record as valuing the JD as though it were only a masters degree, and long-established tradition formerly called the JD an LLB, i.e., a second bachelors level degree. Further, the law degree is still called a bachelors degree -- in many cases a first bachelors -- in most of the English-speakig world outside the United States.

Really, given all of the above, and given that there are no prerequisites of any kind required for admission to law school -- the question should not be whether the JD is equivalent to the PhD, but rather whether the JD is really a graduate degree at all, or just a second bachelors much in the same way that a BA in English that I might receive would be a second bachelors.

So the arguments then switch to "yeah, but JDs make more money, and their career prospects are better." Although these arguments may or may not be correct, they have no bearing whatsoever on the supposed equivalence of the JD and the PhD. Frank Sinatra made a lot of money, and he had neither degree.

And then the suggestion that law courses are actually harder than graduate courses, which could only be thought true by someone who had never taken a graduate-level corse in measure theory, thermodynamics, electromagnetic fields, quantum mechanics, non-linear control, or anything with any real rigor (yes, I know that this doesn't apply to all fields in which a PhD is granted).

Bottom line: the ABA is clearly wrong, and probably quite self-serving and brazenly disingenuous (big surprise!).
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:55 AM
 
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The comparison is inapposite. Legal and medical professionals are required to be licenced to practice, whereas those with a doctorate in some non-professional area of academic discipline are not. With lawyers, the restrictions are even more stringent: lawyers are required to be a member of the bar of each court in which they appear, except on admission pro hac vice; and bar admission requirements are generally not reciprocal state to state.

There are legal specialty degrees, viz., Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of Law (J.S.D./S.J.D.); however these do little more than add letters to one’s curriculum vitae. In all my years as a lawyer, I never once had anyone ask what schools I attended, whether I graduated with honors, was editor of the law review, or clerked for a Supreme Court Justice. All anyone wanted from me was to deal with their legal problems; and for this they were quite satisfied with the "Esq." at the end of my name.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Phillips View Post
The comparison is inapposite.
For the record, let's remember that it was the ABA who made this inapposite comparison . . .
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:02 AM
 
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For the record, I cancelled my membership in the ABA thirty years ago.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:33 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
And then the suggestion that law courses are actually harder than graduate courses, which could only be thought true by someone who had never taken a graduate-level corse in measure theory, thermodynamics, electromagnetic fields, quantum mechanics, non-linear control, or anything with any real rigor (yes, I know that this doesn't apply to all fields in which a PhD is granted).
And yet many who have a PhD not only haven't taken those difficult classes either, but since the decision of whether or not to grant them a PhD is up to the issuing university, and there is no national test, there are great variations in the quality of those who do end up getting a PhD. At least with someone who passes the bar you know they have acquired a certain level of knowledge.

And again, when it comes to teaching at a university level, the JD should be treated as equal to a PhD. And, I do want to add, I have yet to meet a JD who insists on being called Doctor, or even wants to be called it.

(And, off topic, I have an MS in Geoscience, I know all about those graduate classes, despite my lowly EdD.)
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Last edited by Oldhag1; 04-21-2014 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:45 PM
 
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I've got a JD and an MS (with thesis requirement). Both from top 5 schools. I would put the JD at about an MS level (without thesis requirement).

Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
Kind of a self-serving statement, no?

http://apps.americanbar.org/legaled/...Statements.pdf
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