Another Chances Question


HRoark

Looking for prognostication on my chances for an Oxford DPhil.

Top 10 American Law School
Top 20%
Editorial Board of the Law Review
Published student note
Found a professor who has agreed to supervise my research.

Looking for prognostication on my chances for an Oxford DPhil.

Top 10 American Law School
Top 20%
Editorial Board of the Law Review
Published student note
Found a professor who has agreed to supervise my research.
quote
HRoark

No one?

No one?
quote
lmwoods

If you've got someone who is happy to supervise why don't you apply and find out.

If you've got someone who is happy to supervise why don't you apply and find out.
quote
HRoark

I'm applying for sure. I'm just trying to figure out how nervous I have to be for the next five months.

I'm applying for sure. I'm just trying to figure out how nervous I have to be for the next five months.
quote
lmwoods

Perhaps if you start with very nervous, then anything else will come as a pleasant surprise. Good luck!

Perhaps if you start with very nervous, then anything else will come as a pleasant surprise. Good luck!
quote
andrew13

In your case, the chances are quite good. Sometimes it is said, however, that Oxford and Cambridge look for the best 5% of a class.
I am not sure if this a general condition, or if it is also conditioned upon the law school you attended (which I deem much more probable and reasonable, as it surely makes a difference if you have been to a top10 law school, competing with strong students, or to a school with only a few aspiring people).
Apart from that, I recommend the trial and error approach in any case. What have you got to loose?!

Looking for prognostication on my chances for an Oxford DPhil.

Top 10 American Law School
Top 20%
Editorial Board of the Law Review
Published student note
Found a professor who has agreed to supervise my research.

In your case, the chances are quite good. Sometimes it is said, however, that Oxford and Cambridge look for the best 5% of a class.
I am not sure if this a general condition, or if it is also conditioned upon the law school you attended (which I deem much more probable and reasonable, as it surely makes a difference if you have been to a top10 law school, competing with strong students, or to a school with only a few aspiring people).
Apart from that, I recommend the trial and error approach in any case. What have you got to loose?!

<blockquote>Looking for prognostication on my chances for an Oxford DPhil.

Top 10 American Law School
Top 20%
Editorial Board of the Law Review
Published student note
Found a professor who has agreed to supervise my research.</blockquote>
quote
Bender

In case other people are reading this thread, now or in the future, I'm going to disagree with Andrew13 and say that the chances of admission with these numbers are not, actually, quite good. They are anything but.

A top 20% finish at any law school in the world would all but disqualify an applicant from admission to the BCL program, which is Oxford's common-law taught graduate program, and the typical route to a D.Phil. (I assume, of course, that by "top 20" you mean "bottom 81".)

Continuing on to a D.Phil stream from the BCL requires obtaining a first at the end of the year, which is usually (guessing) the top 20 to 30% of the BCL class. You would then do a one year research degree, the M.Phil, and if your work meets the standards set out for you, you could proceed on to the D.Phil.

Direct entry to the PRS (Probationary Research Student) route to the D.Phil requires you to convince the faculty that you are academically impressive enough (for whatever reason) that you might as well just get to work right away.

Needless to say, that's not likely to be the case when your academic record would actually preclude you from doing the BCL altogether.

I say this not to discourage you from applying, but to encourage you to apply to a few other schools as well.

In case other people are reading this thread, now or in the future, I'm going to disagree with Andrew13 and say that the chances of admission with these numbers are not, actually, quite good. They are anything but.

A top 20% finish at any law school in the world would all but disqualify an applicant from admission to the BCL program, which is Oxford's common-law taught graduate program, and the typical route to a D.Phil. (I assume, of course, that by "top 20" you mean "bottom 81".)

Continuing on to a D.Phil stream from the BCL requires obtaining a first at the end of the year, which is usually (guessing) the top 20 to 30% of the BCL class. You would then do a one year research degree, the M.Phil, and if your work meets the standards set out for you, you could proceed on to the D.Phil.

Direct entry to the PRS (Probationary Research Student) route to the D.Phil requires you to convince the faculty that you are academically impressive enough (for whatever reason) that you might as well just get to work right away.

Needless to say, that's not likely to be the case when your academic record would actually preclude you from doing the BCL altogether.

I say this not to discourage you from applying, but to encourage you to apply to a few other schools as well.
quote

If I may add to Bender's observation, it may also be fruitful to leave academia for awhile in order to both gain some seasoning and develop a specialty - and, importantly from Ox's perspective, an intense interest - in a particular area (apologies if you have already done so). As a new Ox DPhil myself, one of the first things that struck me upon meeting my colleagues was how many of them had done amazing things in the - and sorry for this one - "real world" before returning to undertake the DPhil. Indeed, the only folks for whom this did not almost universally hold true were the transfer students from the BCL (although many of them also have amassed incredible real world accomplishments).

I know all this probably comes across as being somewhat negative, but undertaking an LLM at another institution (or, who knows, perhaps the BCL) and/or spending a few years outside academia may ultimately prove your best option.

Best of Luck!

If I may add to Bender's observation, it may also be fruitful to leave academia for awhile in order to both gain some seasoning and develop a specialty - and, importantly from Ox's perspective, an intense interest - in a particular area (apologies if you have already done so). As a new Ox DPhil myself, one of the first things that struck me upon meeting my colleagues was how many of them had done amazing things in the - and sorry for this one - "real world" before returning to undertake the DPhil. Indeed, the only folks for whom this did not almost universally hold true were the transfer students from the BCL (although many of them also have amassed incredible real world accomplishments).

I know all this probably comes across as being somewhat negative, but undertaking an LLM at another institution (or, who knows, perhaps the BCL) and/or spending a few years outside academia may ultimately prove your best option.

Best of Luck!
quote
HRoark

For what it's worth, I do have publications on my area of study, and my supervisor is the convenor of the subject group.

For what it's worth, I do have publications on my area of study, and my supervisor is the convenor of the subject group.
quote
lmwoods

It may well be that the key here is the fact that you have a supervisor who is happy with your work - if that is indeed the case. There are a variety of responses which could fall within that description ranging from: I know who you are and I've seen your proposal and I am keen to supervise (which would carry a lot of weight in terms of admissions) through to well this is in my area, so I'll supervise you if you make it through the admissions process. If you do put in an application, I suggest applying to other institutions as well; the real work is in putting together a coherent and original proposal. You can then re-use the same proposal, though of course there will be repeat work in filling out the standard application forms.There are probably other possible supervisors in your area which could give you a fall back position; whether they are as good as the person you've contacted, of course, is another question. If you are really keen - and my view is that you need to be really keen to survive the PhD process - then you've got nothing to lose except the risk of an ego bashing.

It may well be that the key here is the fact that you have a supervisor who is happy with your work - if that is indeed the case. There are a variety of responses which could fall within that description ranging from: I know who you are and I've seen your proposal and I am keen to supervise (which would carry a lot of weight in terms of admissions) through to well this is in my area, so I'll supervise you if you make it through the admissions process. If you do put in an application, I suggest applying to other institutions as well; the real work is in putting together a coherent and original proposal. You can then re-use the same proposal, though of course there will be repeat work in filling out the standard application forms.There are probably other possible supervisors in your area which could give you a fall back position; whether they are as good as the person you've contacted, of course, is another question. If you are really keen - and my view is that you need to be really keen to survive the PhD process - then you've got nothing to lose except the risk of an ego bashing.
quote
HRoark

Thanks for the insight. From my coordination with my supervisor, I'd place him in the former category. My big problem is that Oxford and Cambridge are the only institutions that elite American law school hiring committees will view favorably, which means that only those two institutions will be worth my opportunity cost. The other problem is planning: I won't know until March at the earliest, so I have to forgo other opportunities in the meantime (such as federal clerkships).

Thanks for the insight. From my coordination with my supervisor, I'd place him in the former category. My big problem is that Oxford and Cambridge are the only institutions that elite American law school hiring committees will view favorably, which means that only those two institutions will be worth my opportunity cost. The other problem is planning: I won't know until March at the earliest, so I have to forgo other opportunities in the meantime (such as federal clerkships).
quote

Hey HRoark,

Again, I would really recommend also applying to a number of top-tier LLM programs and the BCL. If all goes really well at that level, you'll find yourself at Oxbridge undertaking a doctorate in no time. Indeed, I would also say that is one of the more common paths taken by successful DPhil applicants. In contrast, I have yet to meet anyone who came straight from a US JD (not to say they don't exist).

You've got nothing to lose really by having this as a back-up plan and, at least in my experience, you may find it has several advantages in terms of your DPhil application, the opportunity to explore potential thesis topics, publish, etc.

Cheers,

Paddy

Hey HRoark,

Again, I would really recommend also applying to a number of top-tier LLM programs and the BCL. If all goes really well at that level, you'll find yourself at Oxbridge undertaking a doctorate in no time. Indeed, I would also say that is one of the more common paths taken by successful DPhil applicants. In contrast, I have yet to meet anyone who came straight from a US JD (not to say they don't exist).

You've got nothing to lose really by having this as a back-up plan and, at least in my experience, you may find it has several advantages in terms of your DPhil application, the opportunity to explore potential thesis topics, publish, etc.

Cheers,

Paddy
quote
HRoark

Thanks for the advice Paddy!

Thanks for the advice Paddy!
quote

Reply to Post

Related Law Schools

Oxford, United Kingdom 923 Followers 875 Discussions
Cambridge, United Kingdom 907 Followers 792 Discussions

Hot Discussions