Help!! PhD or SJD!!!


Kerfuffle
We seem to be going around in circles here - partially agreeing and disagreeing with each other's views :).

But I would like to reiterate, a SJD is not higher than a PhD, but is equivalent and in some respects arguably lower than a PHD. I base this opinion on:

A. the fact some (indeed not all) US institutions may not offer a SJD with the same structural vigour as their PhD programmes i.e. a standard five year research programme with teacher training and formal learning. A friend of mine pursued an SJD at Indy Law (not Bloomington which Mary is interested in) and simply had to be in residence for two semesters and submit within three years.

B. The SJD is less recognisable than the PhD...now, of course, this doesn't mean the SJD is inferior in terms of quality and intellectual vigour, but it does mean in terms it is less valuable if a lawyer returns to a country where the SJD is unheard of. Coincidentally, I know of one American lawyer pursing a PhD in the UK who had never heard of the SJD.

The reason so few graduate for the SJD is not due to its 'higher' nature but rather simply the lack of demand for it.

While I respect your opinions Hedek, you're providing the OP with some misinformation here. I.e. you assume a US PhD involves two years of reseach (it doesn't), and earlier in your posts (which you edited) you assumed a PhD was affiliated to research in philosophy and thus should only be pursued if one is interested in legal history/philosophy
(there is relation between a PhD and philiosophy).
We seem to be going around in circles here - partially agreeing and disagreeing with each other's views :).

But I would like to reiterate, a SJD is not higher than a PhD, but is equivalent and in some respects arguably lower than a PHD. I base this opinion on:

A. the fact some (indeed not all) US institutions may not offer a SJD with the same structural vigour as their PhD programmes i.e. a standard five year research programme with teacher training and formal learning. A friend of mine pursued an SJD at Indy Law (not Bloomington which Mary is interested in) and simply had to be in residence for two semesters and submit within three years.

B. The SJD is less recognisable than the PhD...now, of course, this doesn't mean the SJD is inferior in terms of quality and intellectual vigour, but it does mean in terms it is less valuable if a lawyer returns to a country where the SJD is unheard of. Coincidentally, I know of one American lawyer pursing a PhD in the UK who had never heard of the SJD.

The reason so few graduate for the SJD is not due to its 'higher' nature but rather simply the lack of demand for it.

While I respect your opinions Hedek, you're providing the OP with some misinformation here. I.e. you assume a US PhD involves two years of reseach (it doesn't), and earlier in your posts (which you edited) you assumed a PhD was affiliated to research in philosophy and thus should only be pursued if one is interested in legal history/philosophy
(there is relation between a PhD and philiosophy).
quote
Hedek
you assume a US PhD involves two years of reseach (it doesn't)

That is correct. This is the official minimum amount of semesters that most universities require you to attend (and I provided a link to the GSAS Ph.D admission page as an example). It typically lasts more but it is not an obligation.

Professor Bebchuk (probably one of the greatest legal minds of his generation) obtained his Harvard LLM in 1980, his SJD in 1984, his MA in economics in 1992 and his Ph.D in Economics only one year later in 1993. As far as I know it was not a honorary degree therefore he had to actual work and submit a thesis to obtain it.
http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/index.html?id=6

and earlier in your posts (which you edited) you assumed a PhD was affiliated to research in philosophy and thus should only be pursued if one is interested in legal history/philosophy.

I interpreted "Ph.D" in the common american sense: a non-law graduate level research degree, typically taken by lawyers in the field of philosophy or economics as these are arguably the 2 most useful fields for a prospective law professor.
When I realized Mary12 was talking about a US Ph.D in law, I edited my message to avoid any confusion between the use of the abbreviation "Ph.D" which is commonly used for law in Europe. A "US Ph.D in law" is something unusual which I had indeed never heard of before.
<blockquote>you assume a US PhD involves two years of reseach (it doesn't)</blockquote>
That is correct. This is the official minimum amount of semesters that most universities require you to attend (and I provided a link to the GSAS Ph.D admission page as an example). It typically lasts more but it is not an obligation.

Professor Bebchuk (probably one of the greatest legal minds of his generation) obtained his Harvard LLM in 1980, his SJD in 1984, his MA in economics in 1992 and his Ph.D in Economics only one year later in 1993. As far as I know it was not a honorary degree therefore he had to actual work and submit a thesis to obtain it.
http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/index.html?id=6

<blockquote>and earlier in your posts (which you edited) you assumed a PhD was affiliated to research in philosophy and thus should only be pursued if one is interested in legal history/philosophy. </blockquote>
I interpreted "Ph.D" in the common american sense: a non-law graduate level research degree, typically taken by lawyers in the field of philosophy or economics as these are arguably the 2 most useful fields for a prospective law professor.
When I realized Mary12 was talking about a US Ph.D in law, I edited my message to avoid any confusion between the use of the abbreviation "Ph.D" which is commonly used for law in Europe. A "US Ph.D in law" is something unusual which I had indeed never heard of before.
quote
Kerfuffle
Hedek, PhDs in the US take much longer than 2 years - just ask any PhD student (the average age of completion is 37, the mean completion time is 5 years).

Most residence requirements are beyond two years (at least extending to three years), your link seems to be exception, particularly as the standard Harvard PhD in Economics stipulates 3 years of residency and completion in five.
http://www.economics.harvard.edu/graduate/phd

Just because a Professor completed a PhD after attaining an MA the year before means nothing - he could have been registered for his PhD many years prior, as is often the case.

Anyway, I better stop debating this issue and continue working on my own doctorate.
Hedek, PhDs in the US take much longer than 2 years - just ask any PhD student (the average age of completion is 37, the mean completion time is 5 years).

Most residence requirements are beyond two years (at least extending to three years), your link seems to be exception, particularly as the standard Harvard PhD in Economics stipulates 3 years of residency and completion in five.
http://www.economics.harvard.edu/graduate/phd

Just because a Professor completed a PhD after attaining an MA the year before means nothing - he could have been registered for his PhD many years prior, as is often the case.

Anyway, I better stop debating this issue and continue working on my own doctorate.
quote
I'm currently doing my SJD in Australia. Here the SJD and PhD are described as equivalents.

The difference is in the type of assessment. The SJD is a combination of coursework and thesis. masters level course work and thesis of about 60-70000 words.

PhD's can be three or four years in length (full-time).

The advantage of the Australian system is that the stringency of education is relatively homogenous and the standard is high because with few exceptions the universities are government owned.

The value of completingf an SJD is that it provides expertise in a particular area of law.

I have designed my own thesis so that it will be commercial. The anticpated resultant expertise will cover the field of management and law. The thesis is an action study. All these attributes should provide a set of marketable skills.
I'm currently doing my SJD in Australia. Here the SJD and PhD are described as equivalents.

The difference is in the type of assessment. The SJD is a combination of coursework and thesis. masters level course work and thesis of about 60-70000 words.

PhD's can be three or four years in length (full-time).

The advantage of the Australian system is that the stringency of education is relatively homogenous and the standard is high because with few exceptions the universities are government owned.

The value of completingf an SJD is that it provides expertise in a particular area of law.

I have designed my own thesis so that it will be commercial. The anticpated resultant expertise will cover the field of management and law. The thesis is an action study. All these attributes should provide a set of marketable skills.
quote

Reply to Post

Related Articles

Post-LLM Careers in Academia are Abundant

Jul 15, 2019

Whether through a PhD or J.S.D., there are well-trodden paths into academia for LL.M. graduates, but the competition for jobs is intense

More Articles

Hot Discussions