PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

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LurkerNoMore
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby LurkerNoMore » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:27 am

Yes, doing a six year JD/PhD program will hurt your BigLaw prospects. You will not fit into the hiring model of Fall 2L interview --> 2L summer associate position --> Employment after 3L (with maybe 1-2 years off for clerkship). It will be clear to firms that they are your Plan B. Especially with a philosophy PhD. Unless there is a real hiring crunch, it will be an uphill climb to overcome the years you will have to take off to get the PhD.

Boston is an insular job market. Absent strong ties to the area (or a stellar resume), it can be a tough nut to crack for firm jobs.

Neither Northwestern's JD or PhD program are particularly strong for what you want to do. Northwestern's placement in academia is quite low -- it is not a feeder school for law professors. Some of this is surely self-selection -- its program is probably the least academia oriented of the T14, but it means that you will probably have to work harder to get the mentorship you need. Their PhD philosophy program is not bad, but it is at the bottom of the better programs, so it is not going to write you a ticket to legal academia.

Also, legal academia is a different beast from other academic positions. Starting salaries will often be in the 6 figures, so $150k in debt should be manageable. But legal academic hiring is still very pedigree heavy. You don't just need to "do well" at NU, you would need to have published works and people going to bat for you. The NU name alone is not going to open up prime tenure track positions.

I'm afraid playing this safe is going to put you in the best position to strike out in both legal academia and firm jobs. I would not choose NU over CCN for academia. Especially considering the strength of NYU's philosophy program and the professors in the law school who focus on jurisprudence. Access to those resources will be invaluable if that's the route you want to go.

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AreJay711
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:55 pm

The N.U program gives me a full ride plus a 20k+/per annum stipend for the 6 year program. So, if I did well enough to land a law teaching job, I would be sitting pretty with no debt.


Yeah, I am factoring that in. 150k debt after 3 years is better than no debt after 6 years, all things considered.

But the flipside of that is that if I actually did well in law school at CCN, then - because the field of law I would like to teach basically requires a PhD - I would need to finish my PhD at Oxford. Luckily, that would only take 2-3 years since I will already have an Oxford MPhil, and PhD's here are quick. But then that would mean getting an academic job with 150k debt after 6 years of CCN/Oxford, rather than getting an academic job with no debt after 6 years of N.U.


I'm no expert really but I also want legal academia and am applying for joint PhD programs as well. That NU deal sounds pretty damn good and if they want you that bad then that probably means the faculty wants to work with you (unless it is a general program that is given to every PhD / JD student). The saved 210K (150 + 20 a year over the three years you would be in law school anyway) ends up being saving you over 24K a year for 30 years if you took loans which will help while you are trying to get published post graduation. That said it depends how debt adverse you are. I would snap up the money in a heartbeat but thats just me. If you really want your best chances at an academic job at a prestigious law school, you might want to finish up your PhD at Oxford and it should help you possibly get scholarships at higher ranked schools because law schools love academic placements.

At the same time, I imagine it would be tough finishing a PhD in a subject you don't love enough to teach by itself.

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rayiner
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby rayiner » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:00 pm

Balliol2012 wrote:Do people think that the PhD is a NEGATIVE, or just irrelevant for a firm job?


I certainly wouldn't hire a PhD in social sciences for anything.

Renzo
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby Renzo » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:12 pm

rayiner wrote:
Balliol2012 wrote:Do people think that the PhD is a NEGATIVE, or just irrelevant for a firm job?


I certainly wouldn't hire a PhD in social sciences for anything.

That's just crazy. I'd certainly hire a soc. science PhD to drive a truck, wait tables, move furniture... I can think of all kinds of things I'd hire them for.

09042014
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby 09042014 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:43 pm

Renzo wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Balliol2012 wrote:Do people think that the PhD is a NEGATIVE, or just irrelevant for a firm job?


I certainly wouldn't hire a PhD in social sciences for anything.

That's just crazy. I'd certainly hire a soc. science PhD to drive a truck, wait tables, move furniture... I can think of all kinds of things I'd hire them for.


Are you shitting me? They'd never do any of that work correctly. They'd probably write 400 pages on how to wait tables and drop all the plates.

notanumber
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby notanumber » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:58 pm

...

notanumber
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Re: PhD a negative for firm jobs? -- JD/PhD vs. CCN vs. B.U/B.C

Postby notanumber » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:00 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Renzo wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Balliol2012 wrote:Do people think that the PhD is a NEGATIVE, or just irrelevant for a firm job?


I certainly wouldn't hire a PhD in social sciences for anything.

That's just crazy. I'd certainly hire a soc. science PhD to drive a truck, wait tables, move furniture... I can think of all kinds of things I'd hire them for.


Are you shitting me? They'd never do any of that work correctly. They'd probably write 400 pages on how to wait tables and drop all the plates.


This is 100% true. I worked in food service for awhile and was the most useless employee imaginable.




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