Anybody applying to a SJD program?


I do agree, but please remember that there's no Ph.D. in law taught in the US, unless you want to study international (public) law as part of the broader spectrum of international relations. the SJD is currently the highest degree in law, thus it all comes to what do you intend to teach upon completion of your studies...


There are PHD programs in US LAW School. It is just that you may not be interested. University of Washington in Seattle provides PHD degree. U may have a look at your need.
BTW, if you want to teach in US law school, those schools you applied are not good enough, so far, there are not many law schools' JSD or SJD would enter into US teaching market, only those who graduate from Yale, and Harvard, or Chicago, or Standford successfully land in law school .
After all, teaching JD to pass their bar examinations is the most important goal for them. Even you are good at researching, but not at teaching how to practice law, it is not practical for them to recruit you as a faculty.
Of course, going home is the best choice. A lot of countries recruit JSD or SJD as their faculty.
Good luck,.

<blockquote>I do agree, but please remember that there's no Ph.D. in law taught in the US, unless you want to study international (public) law as part of the broader spectrum of international relations. the SJD is currently the highest degree in law, thus it all comes to what do you intend to teach upon completion of your studies...</blockquote>

There are PHD programs in US LAW School. It is just that you may not be interested. University of Washington in Seattle provides PHD degree. U may have a look at your need.
BTW, if you want to teach in US law school, those schools you applied are not good enough, so far, there are not many law schools' JSD or SJD would enter into US teaching market, only those who graduate from Yale, and Harvard, or Chicago, or Standford successfully land in law school .
After all, teaching JD to pass their bar examinations is the most important goal for them. Even you are good at researching, but not at teaching how to practice law, it is not practical for them to recruit you as a faculty.
Of course, going home is the best choice. A lot of countries recruit JSD or SJD as their faculty.
Good luck,.
quote
Stagista11

"The UW School of Law is unique among US law schools in offering a Ph.D. in Asian and Comparative Law".

It's true indeed that UW offers a Ph.D. in law, but it's the only one as far as I know. I might be mistaken again, but I'm not aware of a Ph.D. in law in which you study the subject you want. I have read of some joint Ph.D. programs in Law and Economics, and a couple in Law and Religion...

"The UW School of Law is unique among US law schools in offering a Ph.D. in Asian and Comparative Law".

It's true indeed that UW offers a Ph.D. in law, but it's the only one as far as I know. I might be mistaken again, but I'm not aware of a Ph.D. in law in which you study the subject you want. I have read of some joint Ph.D. programs in Law and Economics, and a couple in Law and Religion...
quote
Stagista11

any news guys? can I ask you advise upon how to describe my proposed methodology?

wish you all a great new year

any news guys? can I ask you advise upon how to describe my proposed methodology?

wish you all a great new year
quote
dggc

Dude, the methodology for any given research proposal is highly dependent what is your research object, the variables you choose as your unit of analysis and the objectives you want to attain through the research (that is how you test your hipothesis)..I mean..it would be kinda of hard to do that without knowing what you are doing with the rest of the proposal..I really don`t know how to help you with that like this...

Dude, the methodology for any given research proposal is highly dependent what is your research object, the variables you choose as your unit of analysis and the objectives you want to attain through the research (that is how you test your hipothesis)..I mean..it would be kinda of hard to do that without knowing what you are doing with the rest of the proposal..I really don`t know how to help you with that like this...
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Stagista11

you have been of great advise anyway. I was just looking for what is meant for methodology. First time ever that I try to draft a SJD proposal...thanks again

you have been of great advise anyway. I was just looking for what is meant for methodology. First time ever that I try to draft a SJD proposal...thanks again
quote

Hi Stagista,
I agree that you'd probably be best with first working out basic details such as topic and questions before deciding methodology, but what you could do is when you are deciding your research qs, simultaneously consider what would be a good method to obtain the answers or data for those questions - then you have some idea of what methodology to adopt. Hope that helps.

Edit - something else to consider is that you may find you'll need to change your methodology at any time. I know someone who had to change he could not get access to some data due to confidentiality.

Hi Stagista,
I agree that you'd probably be best with first working out basic details such as topic and questions before deciding methodology, but what you could do is when you are deciding your research qs, simultaneously consider what would be a good method to obtain the answers or data for those questions - then you have some idea of what methodology to adopt. Hope that helps.

Edit - something else to consider is that you may find you'll need to change your methodology at any time. I know someone who had to change he could not get access to some data due to confidentiality.
quote
Stagista11

This is another great piece of advise, and I thank you for that. My main concerns is that I've never heard of methodology with regard to legal research, whereas it was easy to find many tips on scientific subjects. I mean, law is supposed to be all about reading and studying. Once you're done with all the readings upon your chosen topic, you start writing down your dissertation/thesis. All that said, I was finally able to draft a 6 pages proposal (+ 2 pages of bibliography). As you correctly pointed out, I've also stated that my proposal might be change at suggestion of my -future- supervisor... thanks again guys

This is another great piece of advise, and I thank you for that. My main concerns is that I've never heard of methodology with regard to legal research, whereas it was easy to find many tips on scientific subjects. I mean, law is supposed to be all about reading and studying. Once you're done with all the readings upon your chosen topic, you start writing down your dissertation/thesis. All that said, I was finally able to draft a 6 pages proposal (+ 2 pages of bibliography). As you correctly pointed out, I've also stated that my proposal might be change at suggestion of my -future- supervisor... thanks again guys
quote
dggc

That's what I was trying to point out. Maybe that (revising bibiliography) is the adequate method for your research. I guess it would be a research object focused on a philosophical or a formal aspect of law. American Legal Scholarship, however, more than in anywhere else in the world, I'd risk saying, employs methods such as statistics, ethnography, direct observation, interviews, surveys, focus groups, and other ways of collection of empirical data in the study of law, rather than just theoretical work. I'm not saying this is adequate for your research, but as you can see those methods are far beyond 'reading and writting' and it just depends on what objectives your trying to accomplish with the research. My research for an instance is only possible through ethnography (direct observation + in depth interviews) because I am focused on informal organizational practices and their role in the sentencing process in my Criminal Justice System. I won't find informal practices in books. I'll have to find them by talking to and observing court agents in their routine and work environment. For the formal organizational aspects and procedure, books would do...see?

That's what I was trying to point out. Maybe that (revising bibiliography) is the adequate method for your research. I guess it would be a research object focused on a philosophical or a formal aspect of law. American Legal Scholarship, however, more than in anywhere else in the world, I'd risk saying, employs methods such as statistics, ethnography, direct observation, interviews, surveys, focus groups, and other ways of collection of empirical data in the study of law, rather than just theoretical work. I'm not saying this is adequate for your research, but as you can see those methods are far beyond 'reading and writting' and it just depends on what objectives your trying to accomplish with the research. My research for an instance is only possible through ethnography (direct observation + in depth interviews) because I am focused on informal organizational practices and their role in the sentencing process in my Criminal Justice System. I won't find informal practices in books. I'll have to find them by talking to and observing court agents in their routine and work environment. For the formal organizational aspects and procedure, books would do...see?
quote

Dggc, empirical research in legal studies is apparently the next big thing from what I have heard, so your research certainly sounds very relevant as well as effective! good foresight!

Dggc, empirical research in legal studies is apparently the next big thing from what I have heard, so your research certainly sounds very relevant as well as effective! good foresight!
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Oldtimer

Dggc, empirical research in legal studies is apparently the next big thing from what I have heard, so your research certainly sounds very relevant as well as effective! good foresight!


Correct. In fact, some Unis require the research to include some form of empirical analysis, i.e. Stanford. And, from what I understand, statistical analysis is one of the sexiest, which a smart applicant might exploit to secure admission.

<blockquote>Dggc, empirical research in legal studies is apparently the next big thing from what I have heard, so your research certainly sounds very relevant as well as effective! good foresight!</blockquote>

Correct. In fact, some Unis require the research to include some form of empirical analysis, i.e. Stanford. And, from what I understand, statistical analysis is one of the sexiest, which a smart applicant might exploit to secure admission.
quote

Hello,

Methodologically, I would recommend the book "Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences". The book "Empirical Methods in Law" by Lawless et. al. is also a good starting point for those looking to get into empirical legal research.

As an aside, I have two thoughts on empirical legal studies as the "next big thing":

1. It is one of THE big things in U.S. legal scholarship and has been for about 20 years now; and

2. It is actually at something of a crossroads given, amongst other things, the number of new scholars entering the field who possess a less than fulsome grasp of empirical techniques and, importantly, their limitations. SJDs are not generally structured to teach this sort of thing - except by osmosis - and so I would highly recommend undertaking some sort of formal statistics training to compliment your SJD research.

Best of luck,

Paddy

Hello,

Methodologically, I would recommend the book "Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences". The book "Empirical Methods in Law" by Lawless et. al. is also a good starting point for those looking to get into empirical legal research.

As an aside, I have two thoughts on empirical legal studies as the "next big thing":

1. It is one of THE big things in U.S. legal scholarship and has been for about 20 years now; and

2. It is actually at something of a crossroads given, amongst other things, the number of new scholars entering the field who possess a less than fulsome grasp of empirical techniques and, importantly, their limitations. SJDs are not generally structured to teach this sort of thing - except by osmosis - and so I would highly recommend undertaking some sort of formal statistics training to compliment your SJD research.

Best of luck,

Paddy
quote

I have a question about terminology - I referred to data collected via interviews as empirical/qualitative data and a colleague disputed this use and said this type of data was better described as primary. Is there an actual difference or is it just same difference?

The other issue is, I have heard qualitative is more useful than quantitative in legal studies - and I understand statistics is in the latter. Is this true - or would it depend on what it is being used for?

Or is my current knowledge totally incorrect?

I have a question about terminology - I referred to data collected via interviews as empirical/qualitative data and a colleague disputed this use and said this type of data was better described as primary. Is there an actual difference or is it just same difference?

The other issue is, I have heard qualitative is more useful than quantitative in legal studies - and I understand statistics is in the latter. Is this true - or would it depend on what it is being used for?

Or is my current knowledge totally incorrect?
quote

Hello,

I suspect your confusion stems from the fact that there are in effect two answers to your question. First, any time you use data (ie. the number of gun crimes in each country) gathered from the real world you are, in a manner of speaking, engaging in empirical research. What most people mean when they are talking about "empirical research" (in law or elsewhere), however, is the manipulation of this data through statistical techniques. In reality, many empirical scholars would take this one step further and say that if you haven't run a regression (ie. you're only generating descriptive statistics: gun crimes per capita), you're not engaged in empirical scholarship.

Cheers,

Paddy

Hello,

I suspect your confusion stems from the fact that there are in effect two answers to your question. First, any time you use data (ie. the number of gun crimes in each country) gathered from the real world you are, in a manner of speaking, engaging in empirical research. What most people mean when they are talking about "empirical research" (in law or elsewhere), however, is the manipulation of this data through statistical techniques. In reality, many empirical scholars would take this one step further and say that if you haven't run a regression (ie. you're only generating descriptive statistics: gun crimes per capita), you're not engaged in empirical scholarship.

Cheers,

Paddy
quote

huh. you're not kidding when you recommend taking introductory stats. Thanks for that explanation - it clarifies alot!

huh. you're not kidding when you recommend taking introductory stats. Thanks for that explanation - it clarifies alot!
quote
dggc

I have a question about terminology - I referred to data collected via interviews as empirical/qualitative data and a colleague disputed this use and said this type of data was better described as primary. Is there an actual difference or is it just same difference?

The other issue is, I have heard qualitative is more useful than quantitative in legal studies - and I understand statistics is in the latter. Is this true - or would it depend on what it is being used for?

Or is my current knowledge totally incorrect?


Yeah.. I think there is a confusion here:

Empirical refers to the use of concrete data (not just theoretical). It may be quantitative or qualitative in nature.

Primary/Secondary data refers to the way that data is collected or how the researcher obtained it, that is, if you are using a database from the US Bureau of Statistics..you are using secondary data, because as a researcher you did not generate/produce/collect (this is a disputed term) it yourself, but you are using another source. It goes to considerations such reliability of data, the methodology previously used by whoever collected the data, etc.

Therefore, interviews are definately empirical, qualitative data and may or may not be primary (usually they are).

Usefulness of quantitativeXqualitative data in social sciences is a debate started in the 19th century that is still alive, up to date and tiresome to me personally LOL. In my opinion, you got the right view on it: it depends on what you are doing.

You don't need interviews to find out the percentage of black, male, young americans who are incarcerated or to verify what kind of bias the criminal Justice System has overall. But if you are tryin' to analyze qualitative trends on that matter, perception of Judges, for example, they won't be accessible by numbers. Gzz I just wrote too much..LOL

<blockquote>I have a question about terminology - I referred to data collected via interviews as empirical/qualitative data and a colleague disputed this use and said this type of data was better described as primary. Is there an actual difference or is it just same difference?

The other issue is, I have heard qualitative is more useful than quantitative in legal studies - and I understand statistics is in the latter. Is this true - or would it depend on what it is being used for?

Or is my current knowledge totally incorrect?</blockquote>

Yeah.. I think there is a confusion here:

Empirical refers to the use of concrete data (not just theoretical). It may be quantitative or qualitative in nature.

Primary/Secondary data refers to the way that data is collected or how the researcher obtained it, that is, if you are using a database from the US Bureau of Statistics..you are using secondary data, because as a researcher you did not generate/produce/collect (this is a disputed term) it yourself, but you are using another source. It goes to considerations such reliability of data, the methodology previously used by whoever collected the data, etc.

Therefore, interviews are definately empirical, qualitative data and may or may not be primary (usually they are).

Usefulness of quantitativeXqualitative data in social sciences is a debate started in the 19th century that is still alive, up to date and tiresome to me personally LOL. In my opinion, you got the right view on it: it depends on what you are doing.

You don't need interviews to find out the percentage of black, male, young americans who are incarcerated or to verify what kind of bias the criminal Justice System has overall. But if you are tryin' to analyze qualitative trends on that matter, perception of Judges, for example, they won't be accessible by numbers. Gzz I just wrote too much..LOL
quote
dggc

Oh! And one last thing: If you are interested in engaging in statistical training look for Mario Triola's Manual (it is for undergrads and starts from the basics). It's huge but makes it really easy to learn. Also, rather than using those ridiculous calculators, focus on learning how to use SPSS and STATA because these softwares do most of the work, graphics, charts, etc..As long as you understand concepts, you don't need to learn how to actually calculate a regression. Though I did take formal training, it's really no big deal and can be done on your own..

Oh! And one last thing: If you are interested in engaging in statistical training look for Mario Triola's Manual (it is for undergrads and starts from the basics). It's huge but makes it really easy to learn. Also, rather than using those ridiculous calculators, focus on learning how to use SPSS and STATA because these softwares do most of the work, graphics, charts, etc..As long as you understand concepts, you don't need to learn how to actually calculate a regression. Though I did take formal training, it's really no big deal and can be done on your own..
quote

I have enrolled ina n SJD and have designed my thesis so that it can be provide an income at the end.

Professorship does not need to be the goal. If the prosective Doctor investigates common problems in the legal wokforce it may be that senior management awaits.

There are doctrinal methodolgies where you can decide how many lawyers will fit on a pin head or you can use a different methodology such as the grounded theory method.

The GT method can identify problems in legal practice and can form solutions to problems.

For instance the GT research commences with the question: What's your problem?

Whereas the standard doctrinal research starts with: "This is your problem!

GT research is akin to troubleshooting whereas the doctrinal method is akin merely to setting down the rules.

When considering a thesis:

i) do something you're interested in

ii) ensure that the many years hard work will provide a good goal (make sure the goal includes money)

It may be that your thesis is exactly the kind of research that a company is willing to pay money for...

I have enrolled ina n SJD and have designed my thesis so that it can be provide an income at the end.

Professorship does not need to be the goal. If the prosective Doctor investigates common problems in the legal wokforce it may be that senior management awaits.

There are doctrinal methodolgies where you can decide how many lawyers will fit on a pin head or you can use a different methodology such as the grounded theory method.

The GT method can identify problems in legal practice and can form solutions to problems.

For instance the GT research commences with the question: What's your problem?

Whereas the standard doctrinal research starts with: "This is your problem!

GT research is akin to troubleshooting whereas the doctrinal method is akin merely to setting down the rules.

When considering a thesis:

i) do something you're interested in

ii) ensure that the many years hard work will provide a good goal (make sure the goal includes money)

It may be that your thesis is exactly the kind of research that a company is willing to pay money for...
quote
Stagista11

just sent my application to Fordham. I guess it will take quite a long time before having an official feedback, the deadline being May 1. Still concerned for funding-related issues...

just sent my application to Fordham. I guess it will take quite a long time before having an official feedback, the deadline being May 1. Still concerned for funding-related issues...
quote
nrathi

I am posting in this thread almost 2 years late and most of you must already be deep into your SJD/PHD research by now! I must however thank all the participants in this research for throwing light on the legal research as well as qualitative research methodology. I am even more glad because till now I was also puzzled with this and the fact that you say empirical research is much welcome in legal research, I think my efforts in empirical research in India won't go waste and would rather add to my profile.

I am an LLM grad from LSE (2012) and presently a fellow with the Maternal Health Task Force of the Harvard School of Public Health. I wish to apply for SJD in the coming months and as of now not sure about my topic - esp since I have worked a lot on maternal health now and need a bit of a change, so still shuffling through topics. I wanted to ask a question though - I cleared my LLM with a Merit in all subjects except one. I also got merit in both my dissertations. Though I am 25, I have a lot of work experience and have been published in newspapers and magazines. Albeit no academic publication yet, I am planning on sending my dissertations thesis to journals soon.

I want to know what is the selection criteria for top law schools in the US? Does one have to be at the top of one's class to get into the best SJD/PHD colleges? Because though above average throughout, I haven't exactly been a topper in academics. (partly because I also never cared to come top in the class)

Also, roughly what is the right time to start applying for SJD?

Thanks in advance!

I am posting in this thread almost 2 years late and most of you must already be deep into your SJD/PHD research by now! I must however thank all the participants in this research for throwing light on the legal research as well as qualitative research methodology. I am even more glad because till now I was also puzzled with this and the fact that you say empirical research is much welcome in legal research, I think my efforts in empirical research in India won't go waste and would rather add to my profile.

I am an LLM grad from LSE (2012) and presently a fellow with the Maternal Health Task Force of the Harvard School of Public Health. I wish to apply for SJD in the coming months and as of now not sure about my topic - esp since I have worked a lot on maternal health now and need a bit of a change, so still shuffling through topics. I wanted to ask a question though - I cleared my LLM with a Merit in all subjects except one. I also got merit in both my dissertations. Though I am 25, I have a lot of work experience and have been published in newspapers and magazines. Albeit no academic publication yet, I am planning on sending my dissertations thesis to journals soon.

I want to know what is the selection criteria for top law schools in the US? Does one have to be at the top of one's class to get into the best SJD/PHD colleges? Because though above average throughout, I haven't exactly been a topper in academics. (partly because I also never cared to come top in the class)

Also, roughly what is the right time to start applying for SJD?

Thanks in advance!
quote

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