Legal Philosophy

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
thisismyalias
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 11:08 am

Legal Philosophy

Postby thisismyalias » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:54 pm

I want to be a legal theorist. I'm really interested in philosophy of law and jurisprudence and law in its relation to religion and ethics. What schools teach these things the most extensively and in the highest quality?

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:56 pm

Yale

User avatar
jump_man
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:05 am

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby jump_man » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:03 pm

Image

Randomnumbers
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Randomnumbers » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:15 pm

thisismyalias wrote:I want to be a legal theorist. I'm really interested in philosophy of law and jurisprudence and law in its relation to religion and ethics. What schools teach these things the most extensively and in the highest quality?


If this is at all serious, go get a philo phd and at least be funded. You'll still be unemployable, but at least you won't have 200k in debt. And it might actually teach you something about those areas. Or yale.

Why the fuck would you want to go to law school for a reason that isn't practicing law?

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre
Posts: 1929
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:16 pm

Please don't pay $250k to do this.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9637
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:17 pm

University of Chicago may provide the best intellectual atmosphere for a discussion on issues of legal ethics, politics, and phil, but only a Yale JD can open up actual job opportunities in the field with any certainty.

Alternatively, if you have no interest in practicing law and you only want to study it in theory, I would not pay for a JD -- go for free to a PhD program at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, ect. in legal philosophy, critical legal theory, comparative politics, history, religious studies, or any combination of the above. Your job prospects for tenure track positions will not be great, but from one of the above programs they will be better than getting a job in legal academia out of LS and you'll have no debt.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby kaiser » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:19 pm

lol philosophy majors amuse me

Go to Yale, or think of a different career goal

You seriously went into law just so you can muse about law? I also agree that a PhD sounds like it makes much more sense
Last edited by kaiser on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:27 pm

I can't imagine that you actually want to practice law with those interests, because I don't know what on earth you would do that would actually involve any of them. Also, law schools all teach basically the same thing, so in all law schools there will be some classes related to those interests, but no school will offer anything like a specialty in this; law is a generalist professional degree, entirely unlike academic graduate programs. So I agree with everyone suggesting you get a Ph.D. if this is really what you want to do.

nebula666
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:19 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby nebula666 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:36 pm

must be a slow day at Starbucks

User avatar
John_rizzy_rawls
Posts: 3477
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:44 pm

Most of the advice above is correct.

Actually becoming an academic, let alone a legal academic, is incredibly difficult. It requires an upper T-14 degree (preferably HYS), several publications, fantastic grades, and maybe some clerking or BigLaw experience to even be in contention.

You've really got 2 viable options here:

1) Go get a PhD and aim to become a Professor. Don't get a JD.

2) Actually want to be a lawyer, get into an upper-T14 (with a hefty scholarship), and do a JD/PhD (funded) and shoot for academia while understanding that you'll more than likely be a lawyer, if you're lucky.

Anything other than that involving law school is probably a terrible option involving taking on a life-crippling amount of debt.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9637
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:23 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:Most of the advice above is correct.

Actually becoming an academic, let alone a legal academic, is incredibly difficult. It requires an upper T-14 degree (preferably HYS), several publications, fantastic grades, and maybe some clerking or BigLaw experience to even be in contention.

You've really got 2 viable options here:

1) Go get a PhD and aim to become a Professor. Don't get a JD.

2) Actually want to be a lawyer, get into an upper-T14 (with a hefty scholarship), and do a JD/PhD (funded) and shoot for academia while understanding that you'll more than likely be a lawyer, if you're lucky.

Anything other than that involving law school is probably a terrible option involving taking on a life-crippling amount of debt.


We always know how to liven the mood here on TLS

User avatar
John_rizzy_rawls
Posts: 3477
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:29 pm

People tempted to make bad decisions don't need cheerleaders, they need realism.

bruin91
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby bruin91 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:03 pm

I personally am going into law school with the pipe dream of academia but knowing that I'm most likely not going to get it.
That doesn't preclude my passion/interest in practicing law.

So long as OP wants to practice in addition to his interest in jurisprudence, I take no issue with it.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4854
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Borhas » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:06 pm

Yale or Stanford or don't even bother

I don't get why people even want to be academics, I feel like it's like posting on TLS except that in academia, no one reads your posts

akg144
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:56 am

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby akg144 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:17 pm

thisismyalias wrote:I want to be a legal theorist. I'm really interested in philosophy of law and jurisprudence and law in its relation to religion and ethics. What schools teach these things the most extensively and in the highest quality?


Pretty interesting, I've read about a million of these threads now never new so many TLS people had the same interests as me with regards to pursuing a JD as a vehicle to pursue scholarship in religion/legal theory/ethics/philosophy/jurisprudence, i'm completely set on pursuing this dream no matter what but it seems more and more like the TLS forum consensus across all the threads is that it wouldn't be a wise vocational pursuit given the debt factor in addition to the current economic crunch in academia http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... -trap.html

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:49 pm

akg144 wrote:
thisismyalias wrote:I want to be a legal theorist. I'm really interested in philosophy of law and jurisprudence and law in its relation to religion and ethics. What schools teach these things the most extensively and in the highest quality?


Pretty interesting, I've read about a million of these threads now never new so many TLS people had the same interests as me with regards to pursuing a JD as a vehicle to pursue scholarship in religion/legal theory/ethics/philosophy/jurisprudence, i'm completely set on pursuing this dream no matter what but it seems more and more like the TLS forum consensus across all the threads is that it wouldn't be a wise vocational pursuit given the debt factor in addition to the current economic crunch in academia http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... -trap.html


You can pursue the dream, but don't be an idiot about it. Don't go to a school with crappy job prospects or high debt on the >1% chance you'll be a law professor.

In other words, paying 200K for most law schools (except YHS) thinking you'll become a legal theorist is like paying 200K to learn baseball thinking you'll become a major league all-star. It's probably going to be a waste of money.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:57 pm

Go for it if you want to be a legal theorist, but no school is really going to prepare you for that. In addition to all the other things said in this thread, there are relatively few true legal theorists. I don't think I've met any professors that wrote on legal theory itself. Dworkin was the only one I've even heard of. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but most professors write about some more practical area of law, and to do that you have to like getting in the weeds with cases and shit. If you want to be the next Dewey or H.L.A. Hart, its best you not wast 3 years of your life that could be spent writing something.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9637
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:16 am

Borhas wrote:I don't get why people even want to be academics, I feel like it's like posting on TLS except that in academia, no one reads your posts


Consistent six figure pay, 4 month summers off, nice hours with freedom to dictate your own schedule during the year, actually having time to see your family and friends, monetized perks (see NYU handing out seven figure flats in soho to law profs), opportunity to pursue your own research & interests and be paid extra to do so, no irritating and idiotic clients to deal with, unless you want them, the ability to provide the "wisdom of the academy" on any legal issue and have people take you seriously even when they shouldn't, "educating the future" for whatever that's worth to you individually, getting to constantly evaluate your inferiors and project an insane patriarchal vibe or scare the living shit out of them on a daily basis, sabbatical.. (I mean come on that's just too good), the list goes on and on and on.

It's a sweet gig. I definitely see why its so competitive.

bruin91
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby bruin91 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:20 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Borhas wrote:I don't get why people even want to be academics, I feel like it's like posting on TLS except that in academia, no one reads your posts


Consistent six figure pay, 4 month summers off, nice hours with freedom to dictate your own schedule during the year, actually having time to see your family and friends, monetized perks (see NYU handing out seven figure flats in soho to law profs), opportunity to pursue your own research & interests and be paid extra to do so, no irritating and idiotic clients to deal with, unless you want them, the ability to provide the "wisdom of the academy" on any legal issue and have people take you seriously even when they shouldn't, "educating the future" for whatever that's worth to you individually, getting to constantly evaluate your inferiors and project an insane patriarchal vibe or scare the living shit out of them on a daily basis, sabbatical.. (I mean come on that's just too good), the list goes on and on and on.

It's a sweet gig. I definitely see why its so competitive.


I love this.

User avatar
Balthy
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Balthy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:24 am

Borhas wrote:Yale or Stanford or don't even bother

I don't get why people even want to be academics, I feel like it's like posting on TLS except that in academia, no one reads your posts




hahahhahaha, spot on!

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:36 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Borhas wrote:I don't get why people even want to be academics, I feel like it's like posting on TLS except that in academia, no one reads your posts


Consistent six figure pay, 4 month summers off, nice hours with freedom to dictate your own schedule during the year, actually having time to see your family and friends, monetized perks (see NYU handing out seven figure flats in soho to law profs), opportunity to pursue your own research & interests and be paid extra to do so, no irritating and idiotic clients to deal with, unless you want them, the ability to provide the "wisdom of the academy" on any legal issue and have people take you seriously even when they shouldn't, "educating the future" for whatever that's worth to you individually, getting to constantly evaluate your inferiors and project an insane patriarchal vibe or scare the living shit out of them on a daily basis, sabbatical.. (I mean come on that's just too good), the list goes on and on and on.

It's a sweet gig. I definitely see why its so competitive.


Yeah, all of that. And I'm not sure how the average BigLaw drone is any less anonymous.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4854
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Borhas » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:22 am

jbagelboy wrote:
Borhas wrote:I don't get why people even want to be academics, I feel like it's like posting on TLS except that in academia, no one reads your posts


Consistent six figure pay, 4 month summers off, nice hours with freedom to dictate your own schedule during the year, actually having time to see your family and friends, monetized perks (see NYU handing out seven figure flats in soho to law profs), opportunity to pursue your own research & interests and be paid extra to do so, no irritating and idiotic clients to deal with, unless you want them, the ability to provide the "wisdom of the academy" on any legal issue and have people take you seriously even when they shouldn't, "educating the future" for whatever that's worth to you individually, getting to constantly evaluate your inferiors and project an insane patriarchal vibe or scare the living shit out of them on a daily basis, sabbatical.. (I mean come on that's just too good), the list goes on and on and on.

It's a sweet gig. I definitely see why its so competitive.


oh yeah, I forgot about the whole not really working part

can't wait until the Big Education bubble pops

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:09 am

I can sure as hell see why people would want to be legal academics. Just check out some of the salary data at even non-elite public schools. And bear in mind the summer stipends in addition to the base salaries (Florida and Georgia, for example, give median summer stipends of ~$27,000):

Ohio State
Minnesota (from ATL)
Rutgers-Newark
North Carolina
UC-Davis
UC-Irvine
Florida
Illinois
SUNY-Buffalo
George Mason
William & Mary

Even the TTTs on these lists are paying good to very good salaries for tenured and tenure-track faculty: http://www.saltlaw.org/userfiles/SALT%20salary%20survey%202013.pdf. (For now, anyway. I wouldn't feel so safe at the TTT/TTTT schools for the long term.)

Granted, you might have to live in or near a place like Buffalo. But maybe not, especially after you move up in salary. There are plenty of professors here who are physically in New Haven just two or three days per week. They're in NYC, Boston, and DC the rest of the time.

So you can still make a very nice salary even if you don't land at an elite school. But let's look at some public T14 + UT/UCLA salary info just for the hell of it:

Berkeley
Michigan
Virginia
Texas
UCLA

So assistant professors are routinely pulling in $100-150K, associate professors (pre-tenure and tenured) $120-180K, and full professors $130-250K+. And some of the perqs for tenured faculty at higher-level schools are pretty staggering.

Why else would one want to work in legal academia rather than the soul-grinding 80-hour weeks of BigLaw? How about hours of work per week? Moving along the tenure track does actually require plenty of work, but aside from the one or two classes you teach per semester (the timing of which you have a hand in deciding), you set your hours and you decide where you work them. "Summer" doesn't quite do justice to the time off from teaching between spring and fall semesters for law professors. Our professors' classroom responsibilities ended on April 25. They don't have to be back until September 9. Then they'll have a full week off for Thanksgiving. After mid-December, they have five more weeks off, since none of them need to be around during reading or examination period. Another week off in March. Some of these people are on paid sabbatical what seems like every third semester (YLS is probably more generous than almost anyone here, of course). So even when they're teaching, they don't have to be on or near campus for six months out of the year.

Then there's the job security of tenure. And the fact that you don't have some person who possibly hates his or her life making yours miserable as a supervisor. No partner is unexpectedly dropping a research assignment in your lap on Friday afternoon that needs to be complete by Monday morning. You'll teach some of the standard law school curriculum, but you can teach it how you want, and you can also invent ridiculous seminars that are in line with your research interests. And there's no supervisor telling you what you're going to research and write about. There's no supervisor telling you to do anything at all.

If I'm a law professor at a decent school, I'm thinking practicing is mostly for suckers.

User avatar
John_rizzy_rawls
Posts: 3477
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:44 am

+1 to all of that ^

My debate coach in college is incredibly smart. But he didn't want a shitty soul-grinding life so he shirked law school and got a PhD in Rhetoric (I know I know, handjob.gif).

He used to be an assistant prof and debate coach at my UG. But now he teaches at a Cal State and is probably headed for tenure. Dude is 30, doesn't work summers, and probably pulls in around $70K. He's happy, pretty relaxed, and loves teaching young adults. Had a huge impact on my life for sure. In addition, he gets to go to paid conferences all around the world discussing theory and some of the work he does on political rhetoric is legitimately fascinating in a very real world, non-ivory tower way. He does some work for public policy groups in his spare time and gets to commit himself to more than one job and interest.

Doesn't sound too shabby to me.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:42 am

I'm not remotely suggesting academia is hard work, especially compared to biglaw. But the "summers off" thing is pretty much a huge flame, because summers are when you have uninterrupted time to do sustained research/writing, so that's what you do - profs work through summers and on college/university breaks.

It's still a good gig, because as someone said, you get to set when and where you do that work. But if you're going to praise all the benefits of academic life, be accurate about it.

(The job also entails a shitload of administrative crap, and there are absolutely no boundaries between work/life - when you can work anywhere, you work everywhere, if that makes any sense; you never leave work at work. But I recognize the latter's nothing like biglaw. It's just a downer compared to many normal, non-biglaw jobs.)




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests