Deciding between JD/PhD programs

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JD/PhD program

UCI - Anthropology
5
33%
WUSTL - Anthropology
1
7%
Indiana University - Public Policy
9
60%
 
Total votes: 15

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TheThriller
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Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:52 pm

While these aren't my only LS choices (or career choices in general) some recent opportunities have arisen in the past few days and I would like TLS's input on my situtation:

WashU:
JD/PhD in Anthropology
- Fully Funded PhD and pending scholarship offer from WashU (LSN shows people with my numbers getting anywhere form 30k-120k)
- NRC survey ranked program 7-20 / regression ranked 15-39, average #12
- USNR #23 LS

UC-Irvine
JD/PhD in Anthropology
- Fully Funded PhD and pending scholarship from UCI (no info on possible $$)
- NRC survey ranked program 5-17 / regression ranked 8-29, average #10
- USNR unranked

UI-B:
JD/PhD in Public Policy
- Fully Funded PhD and pending scholarship offer (LSN suggest big $$$$)
- NRC survey ranked 3-15 / regression ranked 2 -12, average #4
- USNR #26 LS

Background: I can honestly say that I am more passionate about pursuing a JD/PhD in Anthropology because it is of great interest to me and academic research questions I would like to pursue. With that being said, since I would most likely continue to pursue a career in academia, it is strongly preferable that I take on as little debt as possible.

However, I have always been interested in politics and policy analysis. Although I do not have a strong background in modern policy, my undergraduate studies have been focused on policy within an ancient setting. (If you want to know more about this, just PM me, I wont say it here because it sounds douchey). A JD/PhD here will hopefully land me job in something along these lines.

While IUB would most likely give me zero debt (besides a low COL) for both an LS and a highly ranked PhD, I am currently a UG here and don't know if I can stick it out for another 3 years of LS and however a PhD will take me. Both UCI and WUSTL will most likely leave me with some LS + COL debt and with a job (hopefully) in academia (which would make it hard to pay off debt unless working for a public university counts towards LARP/IBR).

I also back-doored myself into these programs. My grades alone wouldn't have merited acceptance but since I applied in conjunction with the law schools and did some solid negotiating over the phone, these are now real possibilities.

Any opinions would be awesome!

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dextermorgan
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:56 pm

When you say academia, you mean in Anthropology right? If so, what will the JD add to it?

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:00 pm

dextermorgan wrote:When you say academia, you mean in Anthropology right? If so, what will the JD add to it?


I believe there is a lot of potential in the study of the theoretical and practical application of law's affect on culture and society. For instance, what domestic and international effect trade laws have on the political and economic structure of the "Flip-Flop" trade in Kenya, or how a specific law's intrinsic theoretical value sees it's practical application through the permutation within a specific cultural facet of a society.

*from my dual degree admissions essay

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ph14
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby ph14 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:04 pm

TheThriller wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:When you say academia, you mean in Anthropology right? If so, what will the JD add to it?


I believe there is a lot of potential in the study of the theoretical and practical application of law's affect on culture and society. For instance, what domestic and international effect trade laws have on the political and economic structure of the "Flip-Flop" trade in Kenya, or how a specific law's intrinsic theoretical value sees it's practical application through the permutation within a specific cultural facet of a society.

*from my dual degree admissions essay


Sorry bro you're going to get rejected at all those schools so this post is moot anyhow.

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:06 pm

ph14 wrote:
TheThriller wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:When you say academia, you mean in Anthropology right? If so, what will the JD add to it?


I believe there is a lot of potential in the study of the theoretical and practical application of law's affect on culture and society. For instance, what domestic and international effect trade laws have on the political and economic structure of the "Flip-Flop" trade in Kenya, or how a specific law's intrinsic theoretical value sees it's practical application through the permutation within a specific cultural facet of a society.

*from my dual degree admissions essay


Sorry bro you're going to get rejected at all those schools so this post is moot anyhow.


To bad it wasn't from my final draft, then maybe you being an objectively horrible troll would be justified.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:14 pm

All I can offer is that the guy who cut my hair had an advanced degree in anthropology. Also, all of these seem like great options for hiding out from the real world for another 6 or so years. If you can do any of these without incurring debt, then enjoy !

P.S. I voted for public policy because it was a really bad haircut.

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ph14
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby ph14 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:16 pm

TheThriller wrote:
ph14 wrote:
TheThriller wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:When you say academia, you mean in Anthropology right? If so, what will the JD add to it?


I believe there is a lot of potential in the study of the theoretical and practical application of law's affect on culture and society. For instance, what domestic and international effect trade laws have on the political and economic structure of the "Flip-Flop" trade in Kenya, or how a specific law's intrinsic theoretical value sees it's practical application through the permutation within a specific cultural facet of a society.

*from my dual degree admissions essay


Sorry bro you're going to get rejected at all those schools so this post is moot anyhow.


To bad it wasn't from my final draft, then maybe you being an objectively horrible troll would be justified.


Not sure your final draft will be any better.

And to stay on topic, I would pick UI-B because it seems to be the top rated anthropology program you have listed, and I'd bet you end up in that field since you are pursuing a PhD in it.

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:18 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:All I can offer is that the guy who cut my hair had an advanced degree in anthropology. Also, all of these seem like great options for hiding out from the real world for another 6 or so years. If you can do any of these without incurring debt, then enjoy !

P.S. I voted for public policy because it was a really bad haircut.


:wink:

Only problem is being in Bloomington, Indiana for 6+ more years.

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twenty
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby twenty » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:20 pm

My friends that have done PhDs are either immensely happy or immensely miserable based almost entirely on their interest level in their specific field. It's not only the field, it's sub-levels of research within that field. For the sake of discussion, I have one friend that started off doing a PhD on Poly Sci in political philosophy research, and then was scared into switching to IR/analysis. He went from loving it to hating it almost overnight, just because he has little interest in his new field. On top of that, because he's in IR/analysis, he's going to have to sell himself to academia that way (if he ever wants a job, that is). So now he gets to do something he really doesn't care much about indefinitely, if he's lucky.

All that to say, this isn't undergrad where you can just kind of pick any ol' major, because hey, even if you end up hating it, it's only 30 units of so of upper division work. Be very sure you either want Anthro OR Public Policy. Don't pick one just because it's more useful. This takes too many years out of your life to not think the field all the way through.

EDIT> I'm voting for UCI. COA is higher, the JD will probably cost more, but effit, you like antrho, do antrho, and do it somewhere decent.

OC >>>>>>>>>>> LA >>>>>>>>>>> Indiana.

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cahwc12
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:35 pm

I hate to be the guy that hits you with the real world hammer... but the sooner you learn to dissociate "hobby" from "job training" the better off you will be.

You shouldn't do any of these three options.

rad lulz
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby rad lulz » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:41 pm

My bro who does anthro is looking to get out of it because there are like no jerbz.

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twenty
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby twenty » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:46 pm

Also, I'm still unsure of how a JD helps you. Spending three years (and also money, if it's not free) for a JD when you know from the getgo you have no interest in being an attorney...?

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:55 pm

cahwc12 wrote:I hate to be the guy that hits you with the real world hammer... but the sooner you learn to dissociate "hobby" from "job training" the better off you will be.

You shouldn't do any of these three options.


I don't understand where you think I ever said anything about a hobby. I completely and fully accept that the decision I make will dictate field I spend the rest of my life in. And I'm totally cool with that.
twentypercentmore wrote:Also, I'm still unsure of how a JD helps you. Spending three years (and also money, if it's not free) for a JD when you know from the getgo you have no interest in being an attorney...?


I also said at the end of my post that I am only being accepted to these programs is because I "backdoored" my way in. Honestly, If I had the grades, I would of just solely pursued a PhD in PP or Anth (the merit of this choice is a different discussion). For some reason when I checked off the JD/PhD and talked to these respective schools over the phone, they said my academic record would allow me to pursue both opportunities.

But like I said, these are just 3 options within a larger group of more options.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:17 pm

If you want to be in an anthropology department, get the PhD at the highest ranked department you can get into and ignore the JD. It really won't add anything to your marketability as an anthropologist, and may in fact detract from it because departments might think you will flee to a law school if given the opportunity.

If you want any shot at legal academia, do not get your JD from any of these institutions. You would probably be better served just getting your PhD.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:20 pm

But OP cannot get in to just the PhD programs. Has to use the back-door entrance of a combination JD/PhD degree program.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:23 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:But OP cannot get in to just the PhD programs. Has to use the back-door entrance of a combination JD/PhD degree program.

Get accepted to the JD/PhD. Start in the PhD. Drop the JD a few years later after realizing that the JD doesn't add anything.

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:27 pm

appreciate all the input guys! Will factor into my overall decisions on what I end up doing.

rad lulz
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby rad lulz » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:33 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:But OP cannot get in to just the PhD programs. Has to use the back-door entrance of a combination JD/PhD degree program.

Get accepted to the JD/PhD. Start in the PhD. Drop the JD a few years later after realizing that the JD doesn't add anything.

From what I know about anthro PhDs, the PhD won't add anything either.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:45 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:But OP cannot get in to just the PhD programs. Has to use the back-door entrance of a combination JD/PhD degree program.

Get accepted to the JD/PhD. Start in the PhD. Drop the JD a few years later after realizing that the JD doesn't add anything.

From what I know about anthro PhDs, the PhD won't add anything either.

If he wants to be in an anthro department, obviously it matters (if he can find a job in anthro). If he wanted to be in a law school that would be a stupid PhD to get.
Last edited by Doorkeeper on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cahwc12
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:07 am

TheThriller wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:I hate to be the guy that hits you with the real world hammer... but the sooner you learn to dissociate "hobby" from "job training" the better off you will be.

You shouldn't do any of these three options.


I don't understand where you think I ever said anything about a hobby. I completely and fully accept that the decision I make will dictate field I spend the rest of my life in. And I'm totally cool with that.
twentypercentmore wrote:Also, I'm still unsure of how a JD helps you. Spending three years (and also money, if it's not free) for a JD when you know from the getgo you have no interest in being an attorney...?


I also said at the end of my post that I am only being accepted to these programs is because I "backdoored" my way in. Honestly, If I had the grades, I would of just solely pursued a PhD in PP or Anth (the merit of this choice is a different discussion). For some reason when I checked off the JD/PhD and talked to these respective schools over the phone, they said my academic record would allow me to pursue both opportunities.

But like I said, these are just 3 options within a larger group of more options.


I realize that you don't realize that what you like doing is a hobby, but it is. What exactly leads you to believe there is some magical place where anthropology degrees are in high demand? The only place I can think of is academia, and that's because everyone there is hiding from the real world. And you can't exactly use your interest in politics as a fallback option. Neither of those degrees is going to do anything for you.

If it were as simple as you having a job in anthropology and having to spend the rest of your life in it, that would be one thing. I'm saying that it's likely that you'll just be delaying your long-term unemployment or underemployment by pursuing a PhD (even one that is fully subsidized) in a field that simply doesn't have any jobs available.

Further, the degrees you are looking at are incompatible with each other. You'd get a law degree to increase your understanding of ancient legal systems? The one exception is your public policy PhD/JD program, where both fields seem to net you this belief that these degrees will qualify you to "get into politics," whatever that means.

At the end of the day, no matter which of these three options you choose (if you choose one), you will simply be delaying your entry into the real world. You could save five years by asking the admissions offices for names of alumni from these dual degree programs. You just aren't going to find people who went "wow this was such an amazing decision that opened up a world of opportunity for me in the booming field of greek and roman legal systems."

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:49 pm

Appreciate the input. I also understand the inherent incompatibility between an academic advanced degree and a professional one.

When I said "get into politics" I was suggesting jobs in research/lobbying firms or for the govt where the prerequisite is often an advanced degree in PP and/or a JD.

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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:41 pm

I would encourage you to seek out any and all people who have jobs like the one you want, and figuring out what their credentials are. I don't know anything about this, there could be a niche where a JD/anthropology PhD is a useful combination of degrees, but I sort of doubt it.

These law schools don't have great job prospects right now, and doing a PhD at the same time is going to totally scare off legal employers. So if you are really going to do this, I would focus on finding and getting admitted to the best anthropology department for your interests. Don't worry about where the law school is ranked, because if your highest-ranked option is a dual degree from WUSTL, you're already totally handicapping your career options on the legal side.

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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby gobuffs10 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:57 pm

From what I understand, Dixie is right about the PhD scaring off potential employers. My school offers a JD/PhD in Philosophy, which I really wanted to do. I too had to back door my way into a good PhD program. I met with a few professors about it, my current law professors, and my former philosophy professors. Not a single one told me to pursue it.

To academics, the JD is puzzling, and to legal employers, the PhD is the same. My contracts professor put it pretty well: "Firms are going to look at your resume, see the PhD, and have absolutely no idea what to do with you." The extra time spent working on the PhD means you aren't practicing law, and a PhD is worthless to a law firm. It adds nothing, and the years you spend not working in law might actually hurt you. In addition, I really can't see the added value of a JD to any of these degrees (and by can't see, I mean it makes absolutely no sense to me).

I suppose you could get both, hope you graduate top 5% of your class, and teach at a law school, putting your own strange lens on whatever subject you teach. I certainly wouldn't make that my first choice, though.

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TheThriller
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby TheThriller » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:19 pm

Thanks y'all. The more I think about it, the more I am see what y'all are seeing, that a PhD does not add any value to a PhD or vice-versa.

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cahwc12
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Re: Deciding between JD/PhD programs

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:22 pm

TheThriller wrote:Appreciate the input. I also understand the inherent incompatibility between an academic advanced degree and a professional one.

When I said "get into politics" I was suggesting jobs in research/lobbying firms or for the govt where the prerequisite is often an advanced degree in PP and/or a JD.


I think a master's in PP would probably give you all the leg up you need to get into a policy-oriented firm or gov't job. But that's a 1.5-2 year program versus a five year program for the PhD with what's likely to be minimal added benefit.

I also want to echo the sentiments of others above--if you don't want to work as a lawyer, don't get a JD. And if you do want to work as a lawyer, the only reason to get an advanced degree is for IP fields (biotech, X engineering, physics, chemistry, etc).

You really should go to these adcoms and ask for names of persons who enrolled in these programs and get their contact info.




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