Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

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kdev1203
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Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby kdev1203 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:50 pm

I'm very interested in health care policy, and really, I'm just looking to get my law degree for the legal background before pursuing a policy career. In this case, do you think it matters where I go to law school? Or should I just take the best deal I can get? If I ever practice, I don't anticipate it being for long...

Thoughts?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:58 pm

A JD is pretty irrelevant for Health Policy jobs if you have a PhD. I would pick one or the other and then go from there. It all depends on which area of policy you're interested in working in.

cynthiad
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby cynthiad » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:59 pm

kdev1203 wrote:I'm very interested in health care policy, and really, I'm just looking to get my law degree for the legal background before pursuing a policy career. In this case, do you think it matters where I go to law school? Or should I just take the best deal I can get? If I ever practice, I don't anticipate it being for long...

Thoughts?


If you don't want to practice, go wherever gives you the most money. Seems unwise to rack up $200K+ in debt for a degree you're not actually going to use.

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twenty
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby twenty » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:01 pm

If you're doing health policy, you'd be a lot better off doing an MPH. It's going to be a lot less time, a lot less money, and actually get you into a field you want to have a career in. Plus, top MPH programs are arguably easier to get into than top JD programs. Alternatives include MPP, or just skip straight into a PhD.

Don't do a JD if you don't want to practice law for the long haul. If I didn't want to be an attorney, I would only go to law school if I got into HYS and could graduate debt-free.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:02 pm

kdev1203 wrote:I'm very interested in health care policy, and really, I'm just looking to get my law degree for the legal background before pursuing a policy career. In this case, do you think it matters where I go to law school? Or should I just take the best deal I can get? If I ever practice, I don't anticipate it being for long...

Thoughts?



I would not got to law school if you are not planning on practicing law. Top law degrees still trump crap law schools (for everything) but probably not worth paying for JD unless from very top school.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby dextermorgan » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:22 pm

Skip the JD. Even with a funded PhD you are going to accrue interest on the JD debt. JDs are not policy degrees (despite what some schools tell you).

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Lawquacious
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:28 pm

dextermorgan wrote:Skip the JD. Even with a funded PhD you are going to accrue interest on the JD debt. JDs are not policy degrees (despite what some schools tell you).



Only exception to this is maybe HYS IMO, and in the case where you have a JD/PhD program you are applying to from the get go.

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IAFG
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:39 pm

You need a great mentor who is in your field already. Go get advice from SEVERAL people holding the sorts of jobs you wish you had (if you only talk to one person, you may rely on their idiosyncratic views).

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Lawquacious
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:47 pm

IAFG wrote:You need a great mentor who is in your field already. Go get advice from SEVERAL people holding the sorts of jobs you wish you had (if you only talk to one person, you may rely on their idiosyncratic views).



Yeah basically agree this is a good idea, but as can be seen by talking with many successful attorneys currently practicing law, relying on the advice of someone who is currently successful in your field of choice in not necessarily TCR by any means.

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IAFG
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:24 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
IAFG wrote:You need a great mentor who is in your field already. Go get advice from SEVERAL people holding the sorts of jobs you wish you had (if you only talk to one person, you may rely on their idiosyncratic views).



Yeah basically agree this is a good idea, but as can be seen by talking with many successful attorneys currently practicing law, relying on the advice of someone who is currently successful in your field of choice in not necessarily TCR by any means.

I think if you talked to several entry-level attys doing what you want to be doing, you'd get strong advice.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:25 pm

IAFG wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
IAFG wrote:You need a great mentor who is in your field already. Go get advice from SEVERAL people holding the sorts of jobs you wish you had (if you only talk to one person, you may rely on their idiosyncratic views).



Yeah basically agree this is a good idea, but as can be seen by talking with many successful attorneys currently practicing law, relying on the advice of someone who is currently successful in your field of choice in not necessarily TCR by any means.

I think if you talked to several entry-level attys doing what you want to be doing, you'd get strong advice.



Not if they were pre-2009 hires you wouldn't... at all. And I'm not sure that anyone post 2009 could be considered "successful in your field."

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IAFG
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Re: Does law school matter if you're planning on pursuing a PhD?

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:38 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
IAFG wrote:You need a great mentor who is in your field already. Go get advice from SEVERAL people holding the sorts of jobs you wish you had (if you only talk to one person, you may rely on their idiosyncratic views).



Yeah basically agree this is a good idea, but as can be seen by talking with many successful attorneys currently practicing law, relying on the advice of someone who is currently successful in your field of choice in not necessarily TCR by any means.

I think if you talked to several entry-level attys doing what you want to be doing, you'd get strong advice.



Not if they were pre-2009 hires you wouldn't... at all. And I'm not sure that anyone post 2009 could be considered "successful in your field."


You're being kind of silly. You're the one who used the phrase "successful in your field." I said, "holding the sorts of jobs you wish you had," which I meant in the attainable, you could be doing that, entry level sense. I don't think the health policy field should have any big caveats in terms of seeking advice, but I only know a couple people working in that arena.




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