Jurisprudence - NYU or Oxford?


josepidal
Tmalmine, I actually think that Corporate Law has its own philosophy, except its practitioners are often more concerned with the bottom line than being able to step back and articulate these. My country, for example, is presently trying to implement a Securities Regulation philosophy of building small investor confidence and access to financial markets, which is imperative given our demographics. This has led to our SEC diverging from established American rulings, and these are best explained by articulating why our underlying philosophy is different. I believe the American approach is characterized by an emphasis on equal access to information, but our population hasn't even begun to reach that level of sophistication yet, with many people still not conscious that there are other ways of mobilizing savings other than bank savings deposits.
Tmalmine, I actually think that Corporate Law has its own philosophy, except its practitioners are often more concerned with the bottom line than being able to step back and articulate these. My country, for example, is presently trying to implement a Securities Regulation philosophy of building small investor confidence and access to financial markets, which is imperative given our demographics. This has led to our SEC diverging from established American rulings, and these are best explained by articulating why our underlying philosophy is different. I believe the American approach is characterized by an emphasis on equal access to information, but our population hasn't even begun to reach that level of sophistication yet, with many people still not conscious that there are other ways of mobilizing savings other than bank savings deposits.
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morpheus
One more thing I think the phenomenon of somewhat shallow choices by private lawyers is not peculiar to Finland there are many to be met in the UK, for example. It is quite apparent, and then it just illustrates what Tmalmine wrote.
One more thing – I think the phenomenon of somewhat shallow choices by private lawyers is not peculiar to Finland – there are many to be met in the UK, for example. It is quite apparent, and then it just illustrates what Tmalmine wrote.
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schnauzer
Most American lawyers could care less about it. The view 'American Realism' is called such for a reason.

Most, I believe, don't like jurisprudence for two reasons: (1) because they don't understand the terminology/importance of the issues, and (2) because there's not as much money in it.

If one is going to spend the thousands of dollars to go to law school, why would one choose a profession that would not pay off the debt accumulated? i, personally, love the study and the challenge.
Most American lawyers could care less about it. The view 'American Realism' is called such for a reason.

Most, I believe, don't like jurisprudence for two reasons: (1) because they don't understand the terminology/importance of the issues, and (2) because there's not as much money in it.

If one is going to spend the thousands of dollars to go to law school, why would one choose a profession that would not pay off the debt accumulated? i, personally, love the study and the challenge.


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tmalmine
I can perfectly well understand that law school graduates will choose private practice instead of scholarship and teaching, because it's so lucrative, especially in the U.S. I was only being slightly sarcastic of those students (in Finland approximately 99 %) who maintain that they just hate jurisprudence and legal history etc. but find tax law instead so intellectually stimulating. Usually when one tries to find out which part of tax code they find especially interesting, one doesn't get an answer. That doesn't mean that tax law is inherently boring. Quite the contrary. I just often resort to hermeneutics of suspicion and question people's motives for liking what they say they like. Perhaps this a bit of European phenomenon. My own experiences, too, confirm droit's statement. It's perfectly okay in America to say you want to make it to BigLaw to make money. In Europe people don't usually say this, but cloak their materialism in the guise of "intellectual stimulation" or something. Quite unnecessary, in my view. If you want to make money, just do it. It's nothing to be embarassed of.
I can perfectly well understand that law school graduates will choose private practice instead of scholarship and teaching, because it's so lucrative, especially in the U.S. I was only being slightly sarcastic of those students (in Finland approximately 99 %) who maintain that they just hate jurisprudence and legal history etc. but find tax law instead so intellectually stimulating. Usually when one tries to find out which part of tax code they find especially interesting, one doesn't get an answer. That doesn't mean that tax law is inherently boring. Quite the contrary. I just often resort to hermeneutics of suspicion and question people's motives for liking what they say they like. Perhaps this a bit of European phenomenon. My own experiences, too, confirm droit's statement. It's perfectly okay in America to say you want to make it to BigLaw to make money. In Europe people don't usually say this, but cloak their materialism in the guise of "intellectual stimulation" or something. Quite unnecessary, in my view. If you want to make money, just do it. It's nothing to be embarassed of.
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schnauzer
"hermeneutics of suspicion"- interesting way of phrasing it. No, no need whatsoever to guise your motives in America- money 'trumps' ethics for a lot of them. But don't be fooled by the 'penniless philosophers' either. Most of the greats pride themselves in accumulating wealth and associating with the rich. Bertrand Russel was of noble blood; Rene Descartes was known for 'partying with the famous'; even Ronald Dworkin is known for associating with the politically powerful.
Nonetheless, it is harder to make good money as a philosopher than as, say, a lawyer. The philosophers that do, however, make more money and are more famous than almost any high priced lawyer, in any country.
Just my two cents, however.
"hermeneutics of suspicion"- interesting way of phrasing it. No, no need whatsoever to guise your motives in America- money 'trumps' ethics for a lot of them. But don't be fooled by the 'penniless philosophers' either. Most of the greats pride themselves in accumulating wealth and associating with the rich. Bertrand Russel was of noble blood; Rene Descartes was known for 'partying with the famous'; even Ronald Dworkin is known for associating with the politically powerful.
Nonetheless, it is harder to make good money as a philosopher than as, say, a lawyer. The philosophers that do, however, make more money and are more famous than almost any high priced lawyer, in any country.
Just my two cents, however.
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Cindy
Sometimes, it is very simple. It is not necessary a question of money, but a question of taste which explains the reason why a person chooses a legal field and rejects another.
Plus, some people prefer to practice law and some are more interested in research and this approach will determine an interest in a certain legal field.
Personally, I tried both and chose to practice law and time to time research and publish an article. That way I still have a contact with the research environment.
Sometimes, it is very simple. It is not necessary a question of money, but a question of taste which explains the reason why a person chooses a legal field and rejects another.
Plus, some people prefer to practice law and some are more interested in research and this approach will determine an interest in a certain legal field.
Personally, I tried both and chose to practice law and time to time research and publish an article. That way I still have a contact with the research environment.
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Sorry to take this on a slightly different direction but how does UCL figure into all this? I know from the discussion that NYU, Oxford, Columbia, Harvard etc... are reputed for jurisprudence and legal theory but where does UCL rank in the UK for the subject. Below Oxford but above Cambridge? Below Oxford and Cambridge but above LSE? Somewhere else? Any comments at all would be much appreciated.
Sorry to take this on a slightly different direction but how does UCL figure into all this? I know from the discussion that NYU, Oxford, Columbia, Harvard etc... are reputed for jurisprudence and legal theory but where does UCL rank in the UK for the subject. Below Oxford but above Cambridge? Below Oxford and Cambridge but above LSE? Somewhere else? Any comments at all would be much appreciated.
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kjtuckley
I might also add KCL to the list of schools with excellent jurists. I don't know if the UK does specialist rankings, but I can imagine that the likes of UCL, LSE and KCL are right there behind oxbridge in terms of faculty quality when it comes to legal theory.

When I was at King's, Juris was the subject that opened my eyes to every other area of law, and I can only thank the teachers such as Dr. Oliver, Prof Norrie, Dr. Stanton-Ife and Lord Plant. I notice that you can do a specialist LL.M. in legal theory, which would be a mighty interesting degree.

Well, that is my two cents. The Oxford BCL is mighty competitive, but I feel these schools are almost as good.
I might also add KCL to the list of schools with excellent jurists. I don't know if the UK does specialist rankings, but I can imagine that the likes of UCL, LSE and KCL are right there behind oxbridge in terms of faculty quality when it comes to legal theory.

When I was at King's, Juris was the subject that opened my eyes to every other area of law, and I can only thank the teachers such as Dr. Oliver, Prof Norrie, Dr. Stanton-Ife and Lord Plant. I notice that you can do a specialist LL.M. in legal theory, which would be a mighty interesting degree.

Well, that is my two cents. The Oxford BCL is mighty competitive, but I feel these schools are almost as good.
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Levin
In my opinion even all the other Schools mentioned combined would not be a match for Oxford. In Jurisprudence Oxford is clearly above every other School and by a wide margin. It is true that some Schools have recruited strong scholars: Perry at UPenn, Waldron at NYU, Dworkin at NYU and UCL, Raz at Columbia (one term each year) but these scholars are all Oxford trained which only adds to the prestige of Oxford above other Schools. While other Schools might have one or two fine legal philosopher Oxford has at least a dozen and only here can you truly speak of a Jurisprudence Community able to provide many other fine Schools with excellent legal philosophers. This is the place you want to go if you want to focus on Jurisprudence. If you want to go to a School other than Oxford it all comes down to a special sympathy you might have for one particular scholar (ie. go to Yale if you like Coleman's work but don't expect to find any other legal philosopher of note here). Although Harvard has been mentioned a few times it is a well known fact that they have almost nothing to offer in Jurisprudence (same goes for Stanford). The only way you can come to another conclusion is by adopting a completely different (and unusual) definition of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy...
In my opinion even all the other Schools mentioned combined would not be a match for Oxford. In Jurisprudence Oxford is clearly above every other School and by a wide margin. It is true that some Schools have recruited strong scholars: Perry at UPenn, Waldron at NYU, Dworkin at NYU and UCL, Raz at Columbia (one term each year) but these scholars are all Oxford trained which only adds to the prestige of Oxford above other Schools. While other Schools might have one or two fine legal philosopher Oxford has at least a dozen and only here can you truly speak of a Jurisprudence Community able to provide many other fine Schools with excellent legal philosophers. This is the place you want to go if you want to focus on Jurisprudence. If you want to go to a School other than Oxford it all comes down to a special sympathy you might have for one particular scholar (ie. go to Yale if you like Coleman's work but don't expect to find any other legal philosopher of note here). Although Harvard has been mentioned a few times it is a well known fact that they have almost nothing to offer in Jurisprudence (same goes for Stanford). The only way you can come to another conclusion is by adopting a completely different (and unusual) definition of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy...
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