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Old 04-17-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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Kind of a self-serving statement, no?

http://apps.americanbar.org/legaled/...Statements.pdf
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Washington State
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It does take the approximately same amount of time so it's pretty equivalent, just learning different subject matters.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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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.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:39 PM
 
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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.
Not really. Remember that just a generation ago the JD was called an LLB, a bachelor's level designation. In other words, it was thought to be a second bachelors degree rather than a PhD-equivalent. Even now, the OPM evaluates a JD as being equivalent to a masters degree in hiring for GS-9 positions.

A key difference is that the JD is not prerequisite based. For example: someone entering law school with a BA in English and someone entering law school with a BS in physics both graduate in 3 years. It is not possible for someone with a BA in English to get a PhD in physics in three years, and probably not possible at all for most even to enter a physics program. Another way to look at this is to ask whether all three years of a JD are really graduate-level education, given that anyone off the street (with an undergraduate degree) qualifies for the program.

A fundamental question concerns the student's contribution to knowledge -- it's not just a matter of completing certain course work. A student receiving a PhD has, at least in principle, made an unobvious contribution to human knowledge. This is quite a hurdle. There is no such requirement or presumption for those receiving JDs. This stage comes later, in post-JD law degrees.

Another fundamental difference is the time required, realistically. Hardly anyone actually completes a PhD in just three years. Often, it takes more like six, and often longer than that.

None of this is intended to be disrespectful of lawyers or JDs -- some lawyers, many lawyers, are absolutely brilliant, and certainly have the intellect needed for successful study at the PhD level. But the JD is clearly not the equivalent of the PhD despite anything that the ABA might imagine.

Last edited by Hamish Forbes; 04-17-2014 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
Kind of a self-serving statement, no?

http://apps.americanbar.org/legaled/...Statements.pdf
At least one US University concurs.

Practice-Based Doctoral Programs | The George Washington University
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
Not really. Remember that just a generation ago the JD was called an LLB, a bachelor's level designation. In other words, it was thought to be a second bachelors degree rather than a PhD-equivalent. Even now, the OPM evaluates a JD as being equivalent to a masters degree in hiring for GS-9 positions.
The JD was first awarded in the US in the late 19th century. When I was graduating from college, about a generation ago, the JD was the standard law degree not the LLB.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma_bear 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.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:06 PM
 
Location: USA
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In so many areas of education less has become the standard. Following that logic goes along with the JD now being equivalent to a Phd. There's no need to learn much of anything when a computer can do it. ...................................
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
The JD was first awarded in the US in the late 19th century. When I was graduating from college, about a generation ago, the JD was the standard law degree not the LLB.
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 . . .
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
They don't concur. They have clearly separated out the list of "practice based" doctoral degrees from the PhD's they offer.
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