PhD or SJD ( JSd?)


giovane86
Hello,

I am aware that this forum is about LLM guide and inquires.Nevertheless, I want an advice for my younger sister. She has already finished her Master's in private law ( commercial and business) from a French university.She had planned to apply for a British university for the PhD. Unfortunately, her husband ought to move to the USA for his job as a diplomatic attaché. Hence, she is considering to do her PhD in the states. Are there any American universities that offer PhD in law? Is JSD or Sjd ( whatever they call it) a good option for her? She is a mother for three and prefer to indulge herself in a research programme Not into a study programme ( Does jsd requires attendance for study classes such as those in LLM? ) What is your advice? Please help. Forgive my writing style, I am in a hurry and writing from an Iphone device.
Hello,

I am aware that this forum is about LLM guide and inquires.Nevertheless, I want an advice for my younger sister. She has already finished her Master's in private law ( commercial and business) from a French university.She had planned to apply for a British university for the PhD. Unfortunately, her husband ought to move to the USA for his job as a diplomatic attaché. Hence, she is considering to do her PhD in the states. Are there any American universities that offer PhD in law? Is JSD or Sjd ( whatever they call it) a good option for her? She is a mother for three and prefer to indulge herself in a research programme Not into a study programme ( Does jsd requires attendance for study classes such as those in LLM? ) What is your advice? Please help. Forgive my writing style, I am in a hurry and writing from an Iphone device.
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Stagista11
despite being currently the highest degree you can get in legal studies, a JSD (or SJD) is not equivalent to a PhD. A couple years ago Yale Law launched the first PhD program in law, which is nevertheless open to US JD-holders only. There are schools offering mixed doctoral programs covering also law (UCLA and Berkeley, for example). If I were you, I'd look into local schools, depending where you're staffed in your diplomatic duty.
despite being currently the highest degree you can get in legal studies, a JSD (or SJD) is not equivalent to a PhD. A couple years ago Yale Law launched the first PhD program in law, which is nevertheless open to US JD-holders only. There are schools offering mixed doctoral programs covering also law (UCLA and Berkeley, for example). If I were you, I'd look into local schools, depending where you're staffed in your diplomatic duty.
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giovane86
Thank you.
Thank you.
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Stagista11
If you decide to pursue a PhD in social sciences related to the study of law (e.g. sociology, anthropology or political science), I'll be glad to provide further guidance. Best of luck
If you decide to pursue a PhD in social sciences related to the study of law (e.g. sociology, anthropology or political science), I'll be glad to provide further guidance. Best of luck
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idodee
Although and SJD/JSD is not a PhD, it is the equivalent in most universities in the United States. Yale has the only pure-law PhD program I know, other institutions have interdisciplinary PhD programs (like Berkeley, Indiana and more).

The question is what are her future plans? An SJD from top US universities is the absolute equivalent to any PhD from another country, rest assured.
Although and SJD/JSD is not a PhD, it is the equivalent in most universities in the United States. Yale has the only pure-law PhD program I know, other institutions have interdisciplinary PhD programs (like Berkeley, Indiana and more).

The question is what are her future plans? An SJD from top US universities is the absolute equivalent to any PhD from another country, rest assured.
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Stagista11
a SJD might be considered close to a PhD outside of the US. In the US, the job market for PhDs and SJDs is quite different...
a SJD might be considered close to a PhD outside of the US. In the US, the job market for PhDs and SJDs is quite different...
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Jack13
a SJD might be considered close to a PhD outside of the US. In the US, the job market for PhDs and SJDs is quite different...


Are you implying that pursuing a mixed doctoral program like those mentioned above guarantees more job offers than an SJD?
<blockquote>a SJD might be considered close to a PhD outside of the US. In the US, the job market for PhDs and SJDs is quite different...</blockquote>

Are you implying that pursuing a mixed doctoral program like those mentioned above guarantees more job offers than an SJD?
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Stagista11
There is very little doubt on this point. Besides, with a dual-PhD you are marketable beyond law schools
There is very little doubt on this point. Besides, with a dual-PhD you are marketable beyond law schools
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I suggest you just browse those schools websites providing JSD or SJD degree, you will find it out. We should base on what those websites provide to judge a degree is or is not a doctor degree.
I suggest you just browse those schools websites providing JSD or SJD degree, you will find it out. We should base on what those websites provide to judge a degree is or is not a doctor degree.



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Lawnut
If the question is whether or not a J.S.D. (S.J.D.) is a doctorate degree, The English meaning for J.S.D. is "Doctor of the Science of Law." I guess that means it's a doctorate degree. Also, since you have to take a minimum of three years of coursework and write a couple-hundred page dissertation, be reviewed by a panel multiple times, pass preliminary and final defenses of your paper, and also already have a Master's before you can apply to the program, I think that makes it a doctorate in anyone's book. Whether or not prospective employers are biased toward one or the other, I have no idea.
If the question is whether or not a J.S.D. (S.J.D.) is a doctorate degree, The English meaning for J.S.D. is "Doctor of the Science of Law." I guess that means it's a doctorate degree. Also, since you have to take a minimum of three years of coursework and write a couple-hundred page dissertation, be reviewed by a panel multiple times, pass preliminary and final defenses of your paper, and also already have a Master's before you can apply to the program, I think that makes it a doctorate in anyone's book. Whether or not prospective employers are biased toward one or the other, I have no idea.
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Stagista11
for your information, a SJD is supposedly 2-year long, the first of which is normally a LLM... which means that you have 12 months to carry out your research, defend your prospectus and then your dissertation. The SJD is not a PhD, and that's not something that varies from one employer to another. A PhD program in the US is 5-year long, with 2 full years of classes after which you may be awarded a master of arts (MA). Then you have your comprehensive exams, your prospectus defense and finally your dissertation defense... Call it the way you prefer, a SJD is not a PhD
for your information, a SJD is supposedly 2-year long, the first of which is normally a LLM... which means that you have 12 months to carry out your research, defend your prospectus and then your dissertation. The SJD is not a PhD, and that's not something that varies from one employer to another. A PhD program in the US is 5-year long, with 2 full years of classes after which you may be awarded a master of arts (MA). Then you have your comprehensive exams, your prospectus defense and finally your dissertation defense... Call it the way you prefer, a SJD is not a PhD
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idodee
for your information, a SJD is supposedly 2-year long, the first of which is normally a LLM... which means that you have 12 months to carry out your research, defend your prospectus and then your dissertation. The SJD is not a PhD, and that's not something that varies from one employer to another. A PhD program in the US is 5-year long, with 2 full years of classes after which you may be awarded a master of arts (MA). Then you have your comprehensive exams, your prospectus defense and finally your dissertation defense... Call it the way you prefer, a SJD is not a PhD


Are you kidding me? Excuse my French, but what you just said is complete bullshit. There is no JSD/SJD program in the US that lasts 2 year from which the first year is an LLM. NO such program. You are welcome to provide a name of the law school that has such program, but I will save you the time - there is no such program.

Second, even if the program lasts 2 years, in fact, I doubt that anyone has ever finished an SJD in 2 years. Some programs have minimum of 2 years in residence/coursework requirement before you can start working exclusively on your dissertation, most programs have 3 years minimum, so I highly doubt the data you provided.

Finally, an SJD might not be the classical PhD that most programs have, but it is an American/Canadian adaptation to a law doctorate program, which is usually pursued by foreign trained lawyers. As far as my knowledge and experience go, most employers and academic institutions throughout the world treat SJD/JSD as the exact equivalent of a PhD in other fields. Deal with it.

P.S: Just in my school there are very accomplished individuals who are in their 4th, 5th and even 6th (!!!) year of SJD. They wrote extensively, their dissertations are well worked on and revised, and I believe that if that's not an indicator of equivalency to a PhD, I don't know what is.
<blockquote>for your information, a SJD is supposedly 2-year long, the first of which is normally a LLM... which means that you have 12 months to carry out your research, defend your prospectus and then your dissertation. The SJD is not a PhD, and that's not something that varies from one employer to another. A PhD program in the US is 5-year long, with 2 full years of classes after which you may be awarded a master of arts (MA). Then you have your comprehensive exams, your prospectus defense and finally your dissertation defense... Call it the way you prefer, a SJD is not a PhD</blockquote>

Are you kidding me? Excuse my French, but what you just said is complete bullshit. There is no JSD/SJD program in the US that lasts 2 year from which the first year is an LLM. NO such program. You are welcome to provide a name of the law school that has such program, but I will save you the time - there is no such program.

Second, even if the program lasts 2 years, in fact, I doubt that anyone has ever finished an SJD in 2 years. Some programs have minimum of 2 years in residence/coursework requirement before you can start working exclusively on your dissertation, most programs have 3 years minimum, so I highly doubt the data you provided.

Finally, an SJD might not be the classical PhD that most programs have, but it is an American/Canadian adaptation to a law doctorate program, which is usually pursued by foreign trained lawyers. As far as my knowledge and experience go, most employers and academic institutions throughout the world treat SJD/JSD as the exact equivalent of a PhD in other fields. Deal with it.

P.S: Just in my school there are very accomplished individuals who are in their 4th, 5th and even 6th (!!!) year of SJD. They wrote extensively, their dissertations are well worked on and revised, and I believe that if that's not an indicator of equivalency to a PhD, I don't know what is.
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grumpyJD
That sounds about right to me. The people I know who completed their SJDs took longer than 2 years because they were teaching in law schools while completing their SJD degrees. It is a terminal research degree in law, on par with a PhD.
That sounds about right to me. The people I know who completed their SJDs took longer than 2 years because they were teaching in law schools while completing their SJD degrees. It is a terminal research degree in law, on par with a PhD.
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Interalia
I'm currently a doctorate student.
An SJD is regarded as a professional doctrorate. It may - though not always - contain a coursework component. The focus is generally on the more practical side of law. This is just a general rule of the thumb and varies from institution to institution.

A PhD is a research degree. In many universities, phDs might not even be administered by the law school per se but by the central graduate school. It is entirely based on thesis. It is also more academic (or some might say airy fairy) and usually - as have been mentioned above - more geared towards cross disciplinary studies. I have friends doing socio-legal/empirical projects. Even my more black letter friends have some philosophical component in their thesis. I am personally working on a thesis which combines law and philosophy.

I don't know about SJDs but it is theoretically possible to complete a law phD in 2 years. I have never seen it being done though. Most people take 3-4 years.

Both the SJD and phD are doctorates and qualify you to teach.

Hope this helps.
I'm currently a doctorate student.
An SJD is regarded as a professional doctrorate. It may - though not always - contain a coursework component. The focus is generally on the more practical side of law. This is just a general rule of the thumb and varies from institution to institution.

A PhD is a research degree. In many universities, phDs might not even be administered by the law school per se but by the central graduate school. It is entirely based on thesis. It is also more academic (or some might say airy fairy) and usually - as have been mentioned above - more geared towards cross disciplinary studies. I have friends doing socio-legal/empirical projects. Even my more black letter friends have some philosophical component in their thesis. I am personally working on a thesis which combines law and philosophy.

I don't know about SJDs but it is theoretically possible to complete a law phD in 2 years. I have never seen it being done though. Most people take 3-4 years.

Both the SJD and phD are doctorates and qualify you to teach.

Hope this helps.

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Stagista11
check webistes like GW, UCLA, Northwestern just to mention few, and read about their JSD/SJD requirements. Besides, people can take as long as they want to finish their dissertation, yet that does not change the fact that the program is supposed to be 2-year long and, with very few exceptions, has no funding... if you can afford to pay tuitions for 5+ years. lucky you. As for employment upon graduation, go check AALS records on placement, then we talk about whether a JSD is equivalent to a PhD...
check webistes like GW, UCLA, Northwestern just to mention few, and read about their JSD/SJD requirements. Besides, people can take as long as they want to finish their dissertation, yet that does not change the fact that the program is supposed to be 2-year long and, with very few exceptions, has no funding... if you can afford to pay tuitions for 5+ years. lucky you. As for employment upon graduation, go check AALS records on placement, then we talk about whether a JSD is equivalent to a PhD...
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Stagista11
Yale Law offers the first PhD for US JD holders. The program is 3-year long, which means JD + PhD = 6 years... and that's because the coursework is completed with the JD... by the way, I'm a PhD student in the US and I've a US LLM
Yale Law offers the first PhD for US JD holders. The program is 3-year long, which means JD + PhD = 6 years... and that's because the coursework is completed with the JD... by the way, I'm a PhD student in the US and I've a US LLM
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Interalia
Besides, people can take as long as they want to finish their dissertation,


That's not accurate. There are time limits. The time limit in my university is 4 years to complete baring exceptional circumstances.
<blockquote>Besides, people can take as long as they want to finish their dissertation, </blockquote>

That's not accurate. There are time limits. The time limit in my university is 4 years to complete baring exceptional circumstances.
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Stagista11
I was just replying to the user claiming to know people in their 5th or 6th year of SJD... at Northwestern they admit few (2-5 was the average, but it might not be accurate anymore) SJD applicants, and they need to speed things up, since their acceptance is de facto conditional on finding a supervisor with whom (and under whose guidance) to work
I was just replying to the user claiming to know people in their 5th or 6th year of SJD... at Northwestern they admit few (2-5 was the average, but it might not be accurate anymore) SJD applicants, and they need to speed things up, since their acceptance is de facto conditional on finding a supervisor with whom (and under whose guidance) to work
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idodee
AALS statistics do not prove anything, because:
1. Foreign trained lawyers are inherently disadvantaged and less competitive than American graduates and,
2. PhD graduates are usually American JD grads and thus have adavantage, and -
3. Most SJD/JSD graduates go back to their home-countries to teach. As a matter of fact, to teach in a US law school, an SJD probably will not help you any more than an LLM would, just because there is much ignorance and information gaps inside the US law teaching market. For instance, a snippet from Northwestern SJD program brochure - "Admission to Northwestern Laws SJD program is limited to non-US students who intend to teach law in their home
country"

I am not trying to convince you, just to show some facts that most people are not aware of.
AALS statistics do not prove anything, because:
1. Foreign trained lawyers are inherently disadvantaged and less competitive than American graduates and,
2. PhD graduates are usually American JD grads and thus have adavantage, and -
3. Most SJD/JSD graduates go back to their home-countries to teach. As a matter of fact, to teach in a US law school, an SJD probably will not help you any more than an LLM would, just because there is much ignorance and information gaps inside the US law teaching market. For instance, a snippet from Northwestern SJD program brochure - "Admission to Northwestern Law’s SJD program is limited to non-US students who intend to teach law in their home
country"

I am not trying to convince you, just to show some facts that most people are not aware of.
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idodee
By the way, some SJD programs are fully funded, like those of NYU and Chicago that pay a nice stipend. Other school offer financial aid. But to be honest, top law schools in the UK and in Europe in general charge tuition for law PhDs (check LSE, Oxford and Cambridge. Nothing is free). Scholarships are available, of course, but so is the case in the US (most of my classmates are funded).
By the way, some SJD programs are fully funded, like those of NYU and Chicago that pay a nice stipend. Other school offer financial aid. But to be honest, top law schools in the UK and in Europe in general charge tuition for law PhDs (check LSE, Oxford and Cambridge. Nothing is free). Scholarships are available, of course, but so is the case in the US (most of my classmates are funded).
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