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Old 04-18-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
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.
Incorrect. My husband had three papers published in peer-reviewed, archival journals while in law school. He has had many, many more published since, including ones not associated with the law. He has a couple of PhD's that work under him right now, they are currently doing analysis, research, and publication for the federal government.

I gave the page count to make the point that it wasn't some little term paper.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:42 AM
 
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I should also add the "credit hours" argument is absurd.

For example the Master of Divinity degree has 90 credit hours. By that logic shouldn't it then also be a doctorate?

British Ph.D.'s have traditionally been based on research/dissertation alone - your dissertation proposal was basically your application to the program. While one usually has to do a masters first it is possible to go from a bachelors into a Ph.D. So it's not impossible to have a Ph.D. say 3 or 4 years after your undergrad, but one is still contributing original research to the field.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacific2 View Post
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.
Years, probably not, but at good law schools they do have a certain number of papers that must be approved by a panel of JD's (sometimes ones who also have PHDs) and experts in their field. I will concede the PhD level expert statistician is probably not involved, but then again I imagine some PhD programs don't have them either.

And please, admit there are some inferior PhD programs out there that have very weak standards. I've read a couple of approved dissertations in my time that were drivel or full of significant errors, faulty research, and far fetched, unsupported conclusions.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
And please, admit there are some inferior PhD programs out there that have very weak standards. I've read a couple of approved dissertations in my time that were drivel or full of significant errors, faulty research, and far fetched, unsupported conclusions.
Mail-order ones? There is definitely shoddy research that goes through the cracks but it's hard to think of Ph.D. programs that are the equivalent of say, Thomas Cooley.

Last edited by King of Kensington; 04-18-2014 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
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It is called Juris Doctor for a reason.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:52 PM
 
Location: England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
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.
Correct an MFA is considered a terminal degree whilst not being a doctorate. For accreditation purposes it is theoretically equivilent to doctorates, though your point is noted.
A JD on the other hand is considered a terminal degree and it is considered functionally equivalent to the PhD in terms of hiring, tenure and promotion in every program.

I would say it depends on how you determine what par is. Law school is difficult, and the bar can be very tough in some states, but it different from those of us who had to do the dissertation thing. That is a different kind of hell I suppose.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:22 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
It is called Juris Doctor for a reason.
Then how do you explain the fact that it's only relatively recently that it came to be called that? People who got their law degrees in the first roughly 60 years of the 20th Century didn't have JD after their names.

Do you even understand what this thread is about? There's no way a law degree is equivalent to a PhD. An MA, maybe. But not a PhD.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Who cares, really?

Which one is the easier path to more money is what I care about. :-)
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
My husband had three papers published in peer-reviewed, archival journals while in law school. He has had many, many more published since, including ones not associated with the law. He has a couple of PhD's that work under him right now, they are currently doing analysis, research, and publication for the federal government.
Your husband may very well be a phenomenal person -- some lawyers indeed are -- and I believe you when you say that he is. But to pretend that the standard that he met and that you cite is typical of a law student is simply absurd. Are you indeed suggesting that this is indeed typical? If so, where are the resulting tens-of-thousands of law papers published each year? More generally, it is temporally impossible that he could have accomplished any research in three years of law school chopped into semester courses that is even remotely comparable to what he might have accomplished in six-year or more years as a doctoral candidate; there simply is not enough time.

I am curious -- have you, yourself, been through a PhD program? If you had, you would understand what I am saying. Have you been through law school, or is this vicarious?

It's interesting that you cite his work in the Federal Government. As I posted earlier, the Federal Government's OPM values a JD as being the equivalent of a masters degree. Look this up if you don't believe me.

Whether he has various people working under him now is of no relevance whatever to whether the JD is on par with the PhD, especially in a governmental administrative position where managers are chosen on a number of criteria that often do not apply in the private sector. I would hope that these underlings function at a certain level of professional autonomy. In other words, one need not be a subject-matter expert to have a management or administrative role, especially in the Government, nor does one even need to be professionally competent in the field that he is managing. Think of a symphony conductor -- does he or she have greater expertise in playing the cello, say, than the cello player? The management of highly skilled, highly educated people is very different than the management of a chain gang or of bag-boys in your local grocery store.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:48 PM
 
2,885 posts, read 3,396,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Which one is the easier path to more money is what I care about. :-)
This is a good point -- law school is an easier path, and it could result in more money down the road (or not -- things don't look too good at the moment for new grads, or for old grads who don't make partner).
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