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Old 04-17-2014, 02:42 PM
bg7
 
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I've got both a PhD and a JD. From my experience, not comparable.

A JD is just like an extension of a BS or an MA. The same skill set works. You could do the JD course straight from HS as far as I'm concerned. Its a scam to make it a graduate degree, and wastes a lot of time and money. On the other hand, a PhD, with original research over years and an oral defense of your final work with critical Professors is an entirely different and much more challenging animal requiring a higher degree of intellectual development and understanding. The hardest thing about a JD is enduring law school boredom, and the hardest thing about becoming a lawyer is just the huge amount of temporary information retention required to pass a bar exam. Still, eminently doable.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
I must not be seeing everything -- where in this link does it assert that the JD is equivalent to the PhD?

There are lots of other kinds of doctorates -- for example the D.D. and D.Min in religiosity, doctorates in optometry, doctorates in physical therapy, etc etc -- but none is considered to be equivalent to the PhD, with the possible (grudging) exception of the EdD. The PhD is widely regarded as the highest university degree awarded in the United States.
You're right. I was reading it really quickly and I misread something. I'm sorry.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
Technically, you're correct. But Columbia and Harvard, for example, awarded the LLB until 1969, and Yale until 1971. The "upgrade" occurred for many lesser schools in the mid 1960s (I don't know when you graduated), and it was admittedly done mainly to assuage lawyers' vanity (like every other profession, I suppose). In many cases, earlier graduates could trade-in their LLB for a JD . . .
I graduated from college in 1987, about a generation ago.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Up North in God's Country
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Default JD vs Ph.D.

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.
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.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:57 PM
 
492 posts, read 505,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
I've got both a PhD and a JD. From my experience, not comparable.

A JD is just like an extension of a BS or an MA. The same skill set works. You could do the JD course straight from HS as far as I'm concerned. Its a scam to make it a graduate degree, and wastes a lot of time and money. On the other hand, a PhD, with original research over years and an oral defense of your final work with critical Professors is an entirely different and much more challenging animal requiring a higher degree of intellectual development and understanding. The hardest thing about a JD is enduring law school boredom, and the hardest thing about becoming a lawyer is just the huge amount of temporary information retention required to pass a bar exam. Still, eminently doable.
I do not agree. There is no thesis involved, but there is plenty of research in both school and in the legal profession. Not bachelor level at all, IMHO
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
You could do the JD course straight from HS as far as I'm concerned.
In a lot of countries you do go to law school after completing high school. For instance in the U.K. the LL.B. is a first degree (though you can also do a post-graduate entry level law degree in shorter time). Of course traditionally in British and European educational systems the first year of college has traditionally been covered in high school.

Quote:
Its a scam to make it a graduate degree, and wastes a lot of time and money.
One criticism I've heard - not sure it's fair - is that law school is a lousy trade school and a lousy graduate school.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by grilba View Post
I do not agree. There is no thesis involved, but there is plenty of research in both school and in the legal profession. Not bachelor level at all, IMHO
I think that you are missing the point. The kind of research that you do in law school and on the job as an attorney is pretty much the same kind of research that an undergraduate writing a term paper does. You are not making an original contribution to human knowledge. Likewise, the study and practice of law involves working with an existing body of knowledge rather than generating new knowledge, whereas academic research at the PhD level generates new knowledge and advances the frontiers. Two very different kinds of cats . . .
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
It does take the approximately same amount of time so it's pretty equivalent, just learning different subject matters.
No, it doesn't.
What are you talking about?
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
14,065 posts, read 9,796,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
I think that you are missing the point. The kind of research that you do in law school and on the job as an attorney is pretty much the same kind of research that an undergraduate writing a term paper does. You are not making an original contribution to human knowledge. Likewise, the study and practice of law involves working with an existing body of knowledge rather than generating new knowledge, whereas academic research at the PhD level generates new knowledge and advances the frontiers. Two very different kinds of cats . . .
That doesn't mean they aren't equitable, just that they are different. I've know people whose dissertation was based on meta-analysis, which is no different than what law students do. My husband had multiple 75+ page research papers in law school that required basically the same thing.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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In the sciences, which my field is in, you need to do original research whose validity and value is agreed upon by a committee of specialists in your field for a PhD. My friends who are lawyers merely took three years of courses (which right there makes law school less rigorous) and pass one bar exam, not a battery of pre-qual and dissertation defense orals.
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