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Old 04-21-2014, 12:56 PM
 
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A few comments:

I want to reiterate my claim that at the higher end law schools attract very intelligent people who end up doing academic type research. That doesn't make the J.D. equivalent to a Ph.D.

People who repeatedly flunk the bar exam and never become lawyers still have a J.D. degree.

But I would also add pointing to the requirements of science and engineering degrees doesn't invalidate the J.D. is a doctorate argument. The more relevant comparison would be social science or humanities degrees. And the requirements for those are still far steeper and cover far more intellectual depth than a J.D. degree.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I've only read the first 40 posts, but I've learned that usually nothing particularly noteworthy comes up later anyway. I have a few multiquotes, and my own input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnseca View Post
That is completely outrageous, and surprisingly illogical for an organization that claims to excel at logical thinking. A JD takes three years of prescribed courses and the passing of a single, fact-based exam. A phd currently takes an average of 7 years, can take more or less than 3 years of coursework depending on the department's individual requirements and judgement of the student's preparedness, then requires at least one, but usually more exams - in my case, I took two written exams and one oral examination, and that is typical for humanities phd's. Humanities phd's are also normally required to demonstrate proficiency in at least 2 European languages (and pass yet more exams to prove this).

Moreover, all of this comes only after a Master's degree, which is another 2 years, another big exam, and a thesis. If a JD takes three years and Master's takes 2, and you can only get a PhD after a Master's, how can JD possibly be equivalent to the PhD on time alone? It's more like the equivalent of a Master's and a half.

Finally, a dissertation requires making a unique contribution to one's field of study through original research, which is what truly sets it apart from and above the JD. The ABA is full of it. Sounds like a bad justification for why JD's should get the same salaries as PhD's in universities.
A PhD, even in the sciences, does not usually take 7 years beyond the master's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissSoBelle View Post
When I earned my master's, you were able to go right from the bachelor's to the Ph.D. You basically did the same amount of coursework as the master's and Ph.D. candidates, but skipped the master's thesis and did a Ph.D. dissertation. My brother did his Ph.D. (ancient history) in 5 years this way. I know that is fast, but it is possible.

The J.D. is a doctoral degree and used to be the terminal degree in that field, so that is what I think they are saying. Now I guess there is the LL.M. It is not a research degree like a Ph.D.
This is what my husband did to get his PhD in physics. In fact, he told me the people who dropped out after doing the coursework but not the research were awarded a master's. Don't know if that's still the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fnh View Post
So is medical school, really.

I collaborated with a German cardiologist who was earning his PhD after his medical degree. I remember him telling me one isn't addressed as "Doktor" there without an actual PhD, esteemed much more highly than the MD of simple medical practitioners.
Physicians in Germany and many other European countries go to "med school" right out of HS. I do recall reading that the last two years of HS in Germany are the equivalent of an AA degree in the US, but it's all apples to oranges with comparing other countries. Anyway, doctors in Germany have about the same preparation as nurse practitioners in the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
I think that a more accurate comparison is as follows: since no prerequisites of any kind are required to enter law school (which is not true of many other fields), and since the LLB is often a first degree in other English-speaking systems, the first year of law school (L1) is equivalent to a 30-credit undergraduate major, bringing everyone up to speed.

Thus, a third-year law student would be roughly equivalent to a second year graduate student who is pursuing an MA/MS or PhD. At this point, the grad student is just barely beginning to be capable of doing meaningful research at an archival, peer-reviewed standard. The PhD program continues well beyond this point to bring the student up to the appropriate standard, whereas the JD stops here. Consequently it is incorrect, in my opinion, to imagine that research done by a law student is in any way comparable to research by a PhD candidate - the 3L simply is not at a level where he or she can do serious research. Rather, he or she is generically at the level of a masters student.

Another difference concerns the application of the research to the accumulation of human knowledge. A 75-page law paper (and really, judging a paper by its length is an undergraduate kind of idea) mentioned above by another poster basically goes into the recycle bin after it is graded. In contrast, a doctoral dissertation is archived and indexed so that it can assume its position as a brick in the wall of knowledge; most dissertations yield several papers suitable for publication in peer-reviwed, archival journals.
Baloney! One must have an undergraduate degree to get into law school. Many master's and PhD programs do not require the bachelor's be in the same field.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post


Baloney! One must have an undergraduate degree to get into law school. Many master's and PhD programs do not require the bachelor's be in the same field.
And I say baloney to you, with mustard on it

If you enter a PhD program in, say, English, having taken no English courses as an undergraduate, you will be expected to do remedial work. Often, the remedial work will be required before admission to the program -- the student enrolls as "special" or as some equivalent.

Law school is completely different, as a student who has taken no law courses but has a BA/BS in any subject enters the program with the same exact standing and expected time-to-completion as any other student. For this reason, the first year of law school may be thought of as another year at the undergraduate level, its purpose being to bring students up to the level expected for admission to any legitimate graduate program.

For example, if you apply to a doctoral program in math, you will most certainly be required to have more or less the equivalent of an undergraduate major, at least the core courses. Without this background, if the department likes you, you may be granted admission under some special provision, but you will need to take a boatload of undergraduate courses, and your expected-time-to-completion will be greater than the ETTC for someone entering with an undergraduate major in math.

Last edited by Hamish Forbes; 04-21-2014 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post


A PhD, even in the sciences, does not usually take 7 years beyond the master's.
I think that everyone understands this. Any disparity arises from the ambiguity as to whether a masters is required or not -- four or five years past the masters, six or seven past the BA/BS, typically. And, by the way, humanities degrees often take longer than science degrees.

Many of the "good" graduate schools do not admit people who seek only the masters. As you point out, it is sometimes given as a "fail" or "incomplete" PhD.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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Also length alone isn't the primary difference. A Ph.D. is still a higher degree even if it's completed 3 years after the B.A.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:37 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Baloney! One must have an undergraduate degree to get into law school. Many master's and PhD programs do not require the bachelor's be in the same field.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
And I say baloney to you, with mustard on it

If you enter a PhD program in, say, English, having taken no English courses as an undergraduate, you will be expected to do remedial work. Often, the remedial work will be required before admission to the program -- the student enrolls as "special" or as some equivalent.

Law school is completely different, as a student who has taken no law courses but has a BA/BS in any subject enters the program with the same exact standing and expected time-to-completion as any other student. For this reason, the first year of law school may be thought of as another year at the undergraduate level, its purpose being to bring students up to the level expected for admission to any legitimate graduate program.

For example, if you apply to a doctoral program in math, you will most certainly be required to have the equivalent of an undergraduate major. If the department likes you, you may be granted admission under some special provision, but you will need to take a boatload of undergraduate courses, and your expected-time-to-completion will be greater than the ETTC for someone entering with an undergraduate major in math.
She is correct, there are many Master's programs that do not require a specific undergraduate degree or subset of coursework.

Want to Change Careers? These Masterís Programs Offer the Smoothest Jump | What You Make of It.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
I think that everyone understands this. Any disparity arises from the ambiguity as to whether a masters is required or not -- four or five years past the masters, six or seven past the BA/BS, typically. And, by the way, humanities degrees often take longer than science degrees.

Many of the "good" graduate schools do not admit people who seek only the masters. As you point out, it is sometimes given as a "fail" or "incomplete" PhD.
The person I quoted said seven years beyond the master's for a PhD in humanities. So no, everyone does NOT understand that.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
She is correct, there are many Master's programs that do not require a specific undergraduate degree or subset of coursework.

Want to Change Careers? These Masterís Programs Offer the Smoothest Jump | What You Make of It.
Directly from the source you cite: "However, even though many masterís programs accept people with unrelated bachelorís degrees, it wouldnít be smart to go into graduate-level classes blind. Which is why most grad schools require career changers to take certain prerequisite courses prior to applying."


Try it in math, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and the like and see how far you get.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
She is correct, there are many Master's programs that do not require a specific undergraduate degree or subset of coursework.

Want to Change Careers? These Masterís Programs Offer the Smoothest Jump | What You Make of It.
That was a good list, and I will add, many people with degrees in math and various sciences get PhDs in engineering.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
Directly from the source you cite: "However, even though many masterís programs accept people with unrelated bachelorís degrees, it wouldnít be smart to go into graduate-level classes blind. Which is why most grad schools require career changers to take certain prerequisite courses prior to applying."


Try it in math, physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and the like and see how far you get.
Nonetheless, she was correct.
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