SJD or JSD Applicants


grumpyJD
Hi everyone! Since I can't see any current thread on the topic, I decided to start one. Is anyone else considering applying to an SJD/JSD program this year? It would be great to share information and stories.
Hi everyone! Since I can't see any current thread on the topic, I decided to start one. Is anyone else considering applying to an SJD/JSD program this year? It would be great to share information and stories.
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Alain
Hi, which schools are you considering? A friend plans to apply next year, but is worried about whether it's worth it (for an academic career in Europe, in that case).
Hi, which schools are you considering? A friend plans to apply next year, but is worried about whether it's worth it (for an academic career in Europe, in that case).
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grumpyJD
That's the big question-- it's not just the school but finding the right faculty mentors. I prefer to stay in a a bigger city, fwiw. I am not even dreaming of HYS. I would be ecstatic with Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, Chicago, or even Georgetown or UCLA. Having said that, I am not limiting myself to the US. Toronto, McGill and UBC would be great too. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss in more detail. I'm still waiting on some of my grades from this term so that might alter my choices too.
That's the big question-- it's not just the school but finding the right faculty mentors. I prefer to stay in a a bigger city, fwiw. I am not even dreaming of HYS. I would be ecstatic with Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, Chicago, or even Georgetown or UCLA. Having said that, I am not limiting myself to the US. Toronto, McGill and UBC would be great too. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss in more detail. I'm still waiting on some of my grades from this term so that might alter my choices too.
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grumpyJD
Anyone applying for SJDs this year? Just wondering when we can expect to hear back...
Anyone applying for SJDs this year? Just wondering when we can expect to hear back...
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grumpyJD
Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle?
Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle?
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LouS
Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle?


Hello guys, I have applied to NYU SJD and still waiting for their decision. I was wondering what is your opinion as regards NYU SJD v. Cambridge/Oxford Ph.D, considering that I am interested in international law. Which one would you prefer and why?
[quote]Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle? [/quote]

Hello guys, I have applied to NYU SJD and still waiting for their decision. I was wondering what is your opinion as regards NYU SJD v. Cambridge/Oxford Ph.D, considering that I am interested in international law. Which one would you prefer and why?
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jjjxxx
Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle?


Hello guys, I have applied to NYU SJD and still waiting for their decision. I was wondering what is your opinion as regards NYU SJD v. Cambridge/Oxford Ph.D, considering that I am interested in international law. Which one would you prefer and why?


It's hard to speak in general terms which university is better for SJD/PhD. I think it depends more on which supervisor you prefer to work with. and the general academic approaches of NYU, Cambridge and Oxford are different, so it would also depends on which approach you like better. also, where would you prefer to work afterwards, US or Europe...that aside, if you prefer city life, NYC would be a far more interesting place to spend the next 4 years.
[quote][quote]Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle? [/quote]

Hello guys, I have applied to NYU SJD and still waiting for their decision. I was wondering what is your opinion as regards NYU SJD v. Cambridge/Oxford Ph.D, considering that I am interested in international law. Which one would you prefer and why? [/quote]

It's hard to speak in general terms which university is better for SJD/PhD. I think it depends more on which supervisor you prefer to work with. and the general academic approaches of NYU, Cambridge and Oxford are different, so it would also depends on which approach you like better. also, where would you prefer to work afterwards, US or Europe...that aside, if you prefer city life, NYC would be a far more interesting place to spend the next 4 years.
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joeyman365
Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle?


Hello guys, I have applied to NYU SJD and still waiting for their decision. I was wondering what is your opinion as regards NYU SJD v. Cambridge/Oxford Ph.D, considering that I am interested in international law. Which one would you prefer and why?


I agree with jjjxxx, it's a personal decision. In my experience, one of weaknesses of an SJD is you will be studying at a school where many faculty believe the pinnacle degree is a JD. They see SJD students a "foreigners" rather than scholars or equals. This means that SJD students aren't prioritised for things like course selection or resource allocation. Also, very few older professors have done a doctorate and so they may find it hard to relate to the challenges their students face. That said, both of those issues can be overcome by choosing a supervisor who is excited about your work and recognises that value of a doctorate in law.

One of the weaknesses of a PhD from Oxford/Cambridge is that there is no course/reading requirement, students jump right in to writing. At the SJD programmes I am familiar with, the first year is usually spent reading/taking courses to build up your knowledge of the subject area. At the end of the first year, there is an oral exam on these topics. At Cambridge, the first year is spent writing a chapter of your thesis. I believe this means that students tend to finish the PhD faster, but it may also mean they don't get as strong of a background in the material.

One final thing, I have heard that some schools allow their SJD students to complete the dissertation requirement through two or three law-review articles, rather than a monograph. This might be something to consider if you don't think you can write an 80,000-100,000 word piece.

[Edited by joeyman365 on Apr 03, 2017]

[quote][quote]Just bumping up this thread. Is anyone else applying this cycle? [/quote]

Hello guys, I have applied to NYU SJD and still waiting for their decision. I was wondering what is your opinion as regards NYU SJD v. Cambridge/Oxford Ph.D, considering that I am interested in international law. Which one would you prefer and why? [/quote]

I agree with jjjxxx, it's a personal decision. In my experience, one of weaknesses of an SJD is you will be studying at a school where many faculty believe the pinnacle degree is a JD. They see SJD students a "foreigners" rather than scholars or equals. This means that SJD students aren't prioritised for things like course selection or resource allocation. Also, very few older professors have done a doctorate and so they may find it hard to relate to the challenges their students face. That said, both of those issues can be overcome by choosing a supervisor who is excited about your work and recognises that value of a doctorate in law.

One of the weaknesses of a PhD from Oxford/Cambridge is that there is no course/reading requirement, students jump right in to writing. At the SJD programmes I am familiar with, the first year is usually spent reading/taking courses to build up your knowledge of the subject area. At the end of the first year, there is an oral exam on these topics. At Cambridge, the first year is spent writing a chapter of your thesis. I believe this means that students tend to finish the PhD faster, but it may also mean they don't get as strong of a background in the material.

One final thing, I have heard that some schools allow their SJD students to complete the dissertation requirement through two or three law-review articles, rather than a monograph. This might be something to consider if you don't think you can write an 80,000-100,000 word piece.
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LouS
Thank you both so much! Your advice is very helpful, I am really grateful! Do you think that if someone wants to pursue an academic career in Europe after the SJD he would face difficulties? The reason I am thinking about the NYU SJD is because it opens a new market for teaching/working which I believe would not be available after an Oxbridge Ph.D. (and because the NYU SJD is also fully funded). But I wouldn't want to be excluded from the EU market, given that I am an EU citizen (actually EU-Canadian). I also agree that attending courses during the first year sounds better rather than jumping in writing immediately. Jjjxxx you also mentioned the different academic approaches of Cambridge and NYU. Which would you identify as their main differences in the area of international law mainly?
Thank you both so much! Your advice is very helpful, I am really grateful! Do you think that if someone wants to pursue an academic career in Europe after the SJD he would face difficulties? The reason I am thinking about the NYU SJD is because it opens a new market for teaching/working which I believe would not be available after an Oxbridge Ph.D. (and because the NYU SJD is also fully funded). But I wouldn't want to be excluded from the EU market, given that I am an EU citizen (actually EU-Canadian). I also agree that attending courses during the first year sounds better rather than jumping in writing immediately. Jjjxxx you also mentioned the different academic approaches of Cambridge and NYU. Which would you identify as their main differences in the area of international law mainly?
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jjjxxx
Thank you both so much! Your advice is very helpful, I am really grateful! Do you think that if someone wants to pursue an academic career in Europe after the SJD he would face difficulties? The reason I am thinking about the NYU SJD is because it opens a new market for teaching/working which I believe would not be available after an Oxbridge Ph.D. (and because the NYU SJD is also fully funded). But I wouldn't want to be excluded from the EU market, given that I am an EU citizen (actually EU-Canadian). I also agree that attending courses during the first year sounds better rather than jumping in writing immediately. Jjjxxx you also mentioned the different academic approaches of Cambridge and NYU. Which would you identify as their main differences in the area of international law mainly?


Lous, my impression is that NYU style is closer to 'research about law', Oxford is more about 'research in law', quite obsessed with its black-letter law approach and Cambridge is something in between. Correct me if I'm wrong. I feel that the global administrative law/constitutional law theory promoted by NYU scholars like Burnnet Kinsbury is not the cup of tea for Oxbridge. At least international law, I think UK is generally more formalistic (although with exceptions like LSE) but other European institutions are different, for instance I think Geneva and Helsinki are closer to the US style and have more connections with US academics. I'm confused about the academic career afterwards as well, but I was told that besides the quality of one's publications and whether her/his research approach is recognised by a given institution, network and connections are also important. That's what I think some of the reasons why I found much more Oxbridge graduates in leading European institutions than US graduates.
[quote]Thank you both so much! Your advice is very helpful, I am really grateful! Do you think that if someone wants to pursue an academic career in Europe after the SJD he would face difficulties? The reason I am thinking about the NYU SJD is because it opens a new market for teaching/working which I believe would not be available after an Oxbridge Ph.D. (and because the NYU SJD is also fully funded). But I wouldn't want to be excluded from the EU market, given that I am an EU citizen (actually EU-Canadian). I also agree that attending courses during the first year sounds better rather than jumping in writing immediately. Jjjxxx you also mentioned the different academic approaches of Cambridge and NYU. Which would you identify as their main differences in the area of international law mainly?[/quote]

Lous, my impression is that NYU style is closer to 'research about law', Oxford is more about 'research in law', quite obsessed with its black-letter law approach and Cambridge is something in between. Correct me if I'm wrong. I feel that the global administrative law/constitutional law theory promoted by NYU scholars like Burnnet Kinsbury is not the cup of tea for Oxbridge. At least international law, I think UK is generally more formalistic (although with exceptions like LSE) but other European institutions are different, for instance I think Geneva and Helsinki are closer to the US style and have more connections with US academics. I'm confused about the academic career afterwards as well, but I was told that besides the quality of one's publications and whether her/his research approach is recognised by a given institution, network and connections are also important. That's what I think some of the reasons why I found much more Oxbridge graduates in leading European institutions than US graduates.
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joeyman365
Thank you both so much! Your advice is very helpful, I am really grateful! Do you think that if someone wants to pursue an academic career in Europe after the SJD he would face difficulties? The reason I am thinking about the NYU SJD is because it opens a new market for teaching/working which I believe would not be available after an Oxbridge Ph.D. (and because the NYU SJD is also fully funded). But I wouldn't want to be excluded from the EU market, given that I am an EU citizen (actually EU-Canadian). I also agree that attending courses during the first year sounds better rather than jumping in writing immediately. Jjjxxx you also mentioned the different academic approaches of Cambridge and NYU. Which would you identify as their main differences in the area of international law mainly?


Jjjxxx has a much better picture of their international law differences than I do. But my impression is that on the job market, either would be well regarded. I don't think you'd limit your opportunities at all by going to NYU. If I were in your situation, I'd probably take NYU becuase of the funding.
[quote]Thank you both so much! Your advice is very helpful, I am really grateful! Do you think that if someone wants to pursue an academic career in Europe after the SJD he would face difficulties? The reason I am thinking about the NYU SJD is because it opens a new market for teaching/working which I believe would not be available after an Oxbridge Ph.D. (and because the NYU SJD is also fully funded). But I wouldn't want to be excluded from the EU market, given that I am an EU citizen (actually EU-Canadian). I also agree that attending courses during the first year sounds better rather than jumping in writing immediately. Jjjxxx you also mentioned the different academic approaches of Cambridge and NYU. Which would you identify as their main differences in the area of international law mainly?[/quote]

Jjjxxx has a much better picture of their international law differences than I do. But my impression is that on the job market, either would be well regarded. I don't think you'd limit your opportunities at all by going to NYU. If I were in your situation, I'd probably take NYU becuase of the funding.
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LouS
Thank you both so much for your help! You are great!
Thank you both so much for your help! You are great!
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grumpyJD
I would take the Oxford or Cambridge PhD unless there were some special reason to choose NYU (financial incentive, location, supervisor, etc). An SJD is not entirely equivalent to a PhD-- it's mostly marketed to foreigners and it rarely helps anyone crack into the US academic market. If you plan to return to your country of origin, then it can make sense. In my opinion, a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge has a worldwide value that's just a bit different than an SJD. Plus, I don't like the US approach to international law (although that's an entirely different topic). Having said that, NYC is a lot more exciting place to live than either Oxford or Cambridge. Good luck.

[Edited by grumpyJD on Apr 05, 2017]

I would take the Oxford or Cambridge PhD unless there were some special reason to choose NYU (financial incentive, location, supervisor, etc). An SJD is not entirely equivalent to a PhD-- it's mostly marketed to foreigners and it rarely helps anyone crack into the US academic market. If you plan to return to your country of origin, then it can make sense. In my opinion, a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge has a worldwide value that's just a bit different than an SJD. Plus, I don't like the US approach to international law (although that's an entirely different topic). Having said that, NYC is a lot more exciting place to live than either Oxford or Cambridge. Good luck.
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joeyman365
I would take the Oxford or Cambridge PhD unless there were some special reason to choose NYU (financial incentive, location, supervisor, etc). An SJD is not entirely equivalent to a PhD-- it's mostly marketed to foreigners and it rarely helps anyone crack into the US academic market. If you plan to return to your country of origin, then it can make sense. In my opinion, a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge has a worldwide value that's just a bit different than an SJD. Plus, I don't like the US approach to international law (although that's an entirely different topic). Having said that, NYC is a lot more exciting place to live than either Oxford or Cambridge. Good luck.


grumpyJD, I noticed you are the OP. Did you end up taking an SJD? Are you satisfied with it?
[quote]I would take the Oxford or Cambridge PhD unless there were some special reason to choose NYU (financial incentive, location, supervisor, etc). An SJD is not entirely equivalent to a PhD-- it's mostly marketed to foreigners and it rarely helps anyone crack into the US academic market. If you plan to return to your country of origin, then it can make sense. In my opinion, a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge has a worldwide value that's just a bit different than an SJD. Plus, I don't like the US approach to international law (although that's an entirely different topic). Having said that, NYC is a lot more exciting place to live than either Oxford or Cambridge. Good luck.[/quote]

grumpyJD, I noticed you are the OP. Did you end up taking an SJD? Are you satisfied with it?
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grumpyJD
I would take the Oxford or Cambridge PhD unless there were some special reason to choose NYU (financial incentive, location, supervisor, etc). An SJD is not entirely equivalent to a PhD-- it's mostly marketed to foreigners and it rarely helps anyone crack into the US academic market. If you plan to return to your country of origin, then it can make sense. In my opinion, a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge has a worldwide value that's just a bit different than an SJD. Plus, I don't like the US approach to international law (although that's an entirely different topic). Having said that, NYC is a lot more exciting place to live than either Oxford or Cambridge. Good luck.


grumpyJD, I noticed you are the OP. Did you end up taking an SJD? Are you satisfied with it?


I am doing a PhD right now. So far, so good. Thanks for asking :-)
[quote][quote]I would take the Oxford or Cambridge PhD unless there were some special reason to choose NYU (financial incentive, location, supervisor, etc). An SJD is not entirely equivalent to a PhD-- it's mostly marketed to foreigners and it rarely helps anyone crack into the US academic market. If you plan to return to your country of origin, then it can make sense. In my opinion, a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge has a worldwide value that's just a bit different than an SJD. Plus, I don't like the US approach to international law (although that's an entirely different topic). Having said that, NYC is a lot more exciting place to live than either Oxford or Cambridge. Good luck.[/quote]

grumpyJD, I noticed you are the OP. Did you end up taking an SJD? Are you satisfied with it?[/quote]

I am doing a PhD right now. So far, so good. Thanks for asking :-)
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