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Old 04-18-2014, 07:54 AM
 
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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.


Stated very well. The only reasons the ABA made such a statement is to pump up the enrollment figures in US law schools, and to attempt to justify the outrageous fees charged by attorneys, the great majority of whom have no ethics and no clue as to how to handle even the simplest of matters brought before them until they have practiced law for at least ten years.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: New York City
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There is also an S.J.D., which is closer to a real doctorate, but few people have one.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
Kind of a self-serving statement, no?

http://apps.americanbar.org/legaled/...Statements.pdf
In my family, there are plenty of JD's and PhD's; and in one case, an internationally acclaimed lawyer who is presently in Europe working on a PhD in a field related to his area of expertise.

That having been said, not only is the ABA's ridiculous statement self-serving, and obviously made in a silly attempt to increase the marketability of young attorneys, but it also adds to the common peception that lawyers are all connivers who are always eager to bend the truth. A PhD, on the other hand, is perceived as a scholar in search of the truth.

It doesn't help the profession; not one bit.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
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The difficulty factor in achieving a PhD vs a JD isn't even comparable. I'll go one step farther. Most people with Clinical Doctorates such as my daughter's in Physical Therapy at least had to have a set prerequisite of classes primarily in the sciences before admission to grad school. Even in her situation, there wasn't the dreaded dissertation and all the research that was necessary to back it up. Getting a PhD is a really tough achievement.

Lawyers can major in almost anything (History, Political Science, Socialogy etc.) prior to law school. Some of the bigger partiers in college were the pre-law guys sowing their wild oats before the serious studying STARTED. I had several college classmates who went through the Business School (a smarter path for pre-law) as their undergrad prior to law. My grades were equal to or better than theirs and they blew through law school. I also had a close friend that was in Med. School at the time. Whenever, I felt down about my studies I'd look at what he had to learn on a daily basis and suddenly feel real good about my situation. I don't know how anyone can make it through Med. School (I must not have the IQ which is another topic thread). It's overwhelming. Law School? Not even close. PhD? A massive undertaking.

If there's a common denominator for most people who go into law, it's massive egos. Making this comparison with a straight face just backs that up.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:25 AM
 
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While I don't think the JD is academically comparable to the PhD, it was considered a terminal degree by many universities. It is still considered a terminal degree by some colleges and universities, but this is becoming less common. There are tenured professors in my PhD program with a JD as their highest degree, but they are older. It would be nearly impossible for someone with a JD to get a tenure-track position in a criminal justice program these days.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
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.
The law student does not spend years researching his topic. Nor, does he submit his research findings to a panel of PhD's; experts in his field, as well as a PhD level expert statistician, for approval.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
. . . it also adds to the common peception that lawyers are all connivers who are always eager to bend the truth. . . It doesn't help the profession; not one bit.
Or maybe it does. I want my lawyer to be a hell of a conniver -- that's what I pay him to do

But seriously, I enjoyed working with many lawyers over the course of my career, and found that most of them were fine people by any measure despite all the jokes.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:09 AM
 
Location: England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
In my opinion, your observation is just the motivation behind the pronouncement by the ABA. The goal would seem to be to pump-up the JD so that it is perceived as equivalent to the PhD so that faculty with only a JD would, in the view of the ABA at least, be held in higher esteem.

Regarding the JD being a terminal degree -- I disagree. In the United States the JD is the first law degree, not the terminal degree. It is more akin, hierarchically, to the BS in Engineering, for example -- entry to professional practice. The terminal degree in law would typically be the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) which is far advanced beyond the entry-level JD (see Yale, Harvard, Virginia, et al. regarding their programs).
To be honest I have never heard of the SJD degree, nor have I met anyone with it. In every academic institution I've ever been a part of, the JD has been considered a terminal qualification since it is at the doctoral level (a doctor of jurisprudence, or juris doctor, no?) In fairness this is only in business schools. I cannot speak of law school faculty qualifications.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
Or maybe it does. I want my lawyer to be a hell of a conniver -- that's what I pay him to do

But seriously, I enjoyed working with many lawyers over the course of my career, and found that most of them were fine people by any measure despite all the jokes.
True! I have a brother who is a brilliant lawyer, and gawd knows he can be manipulative as hell. His lawyer son, on the other hand, is equally brilliant, but has to keep that under wraps since it would destroy his credibility as a prolific author and frequent lecturer (often at ivy league institutes).

The son is also seeking a PhD; probably in hopes of improving both his knowledge base and his professional standing.

Hmm, but guess which one I call when it is time to talk "strategy?"

Last edited by pacific2; 04-18-2014 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dba07 View Post
To be honest I have never heard of the SJD degree, nor have I met anyone with it. In every academic institution I've ever been a part of, the JD has been considered a terminal qualification since it is at the doctoral level (a doctor of jurisprudence, or juris doctor, no?) In fairness this is only in business schools. I cannot speak of law school faculty qualifications.
For a long time a Master of Fine Arts was considered to be a terminal degree, although I have never heard anyone claim that it was equivalent to a PhD. So perhaps the question of whether the JD is a terminal degree or not is really irrelevant to the question of whether it is on par with a PhD.

More generally, universities can do just about anything they desire as a matter of administrative convenience. One of the best presidents of Duke University was Terry Sanford, who held only a JD. And then there was Milton Eisenhower (Dwight's brother), who held only a BA, but was a first-rate, fondly remembered president of Kansas State, Penn State, and Johns Hopkins.
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