JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

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nt3138
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JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:52 pm

A little background--
I'm entering into my senior year.
GPA: I transferred into this college w/ a 3.4. I have a 3.98 from this college.
LSAT: I've been practicing and so far I'm getting scores of 167... but I'm still trying to improve in logic games before October.

I'm a Soc/Anthro major; Peace and Conflict Studies minor. I work as the dept assistant, am a student rep on a department committee, in a couple honor societies, and part of a gubernatorial campaign team. I also have some research experience, and a lot of non-prof/volunteer work. I'm not particularly "ambitious", just care about these particular issues. I've spent time in Mozambique, Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, our inner cities. So, structural/policy issues impacting poverty in the African Diaspora matter to me.

dilemma--
I'm trying to decide whether to go the JD/LLM route or a JD/PhD in anthro. The latter have been difficult to find... and PhD programs are very selective. So, I'm trying to be realistic about my admissions/financing options. Any suggestions?

blsingindisguise
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:53 pm

nt3138 wrote:A little background--
I'm entering into my senior year.
GPA: I transferred into this college w/ a 3.4. I have a 3.98 from this college.
LSAT: I've been practicing and so far I'm getting scores of 167... but I'm still trying to improve in logic games before October.

I'm a Soc/Anthro major; Peace and Conflict Studies minor. I work as the dept assistant, am a student rep on a department committee, in a couple honor societies, and part of a gubernatorial campaign team. I also have some research experience, and a lot of non-prof/volunteer work. I'm not particularly "ambitious", just care about these particular issues. I've spent time in Mozambique, Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, our inner cities. So, structural/policy issues impacting poverty in the African Diaspora matter to me.

dilemma--
I'm trying to decide whether to go the JD/LLM route or a JD/PhD in anthro. The latter have been difficult to find... and PhD programs are very selective. So, I'm trying to be realistic about my admissions/financing options. Any suggestions?


Why do you want to do either of these? What is it you envision yourself doing, specifically?

nt3138
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:59 pm

international law. Within this umbrella, I haven't decided--development, human rights

silenttimer
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby silenttimer » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:10 pm

nt3138 wrote:international law. Within this umbrella, I haven't decided--development, human rights


Serious question: What is "international law"?

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hephaestus
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby hephaestus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:19 pm

nt3138 wrote:international law. Within this umbrella, I haven't decided--development, human rights

True international human rights jobs are extraordinarily competitive and basically don't exist
Also, how will the PhD in Anthro help? Do you know anyone who has done this path?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:25 pm

A PhD is only useful if you want to be a professor, and an LLM is only useful if you hold a law degree from a foreign country and want to be able to practice in the United States. Okay, maybe this is true only 99% of the time, but you are unlikely to be the exception.

silenttimer
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby silenttimer » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:36 pm

silenttimer wrote:
nt3138 wrote:international law. Within this umbrella, I haven't decided--development, human rights


Serious question: What is "international law"?


Additional serious questions: In what "international court" would you seek redress of a possible violation of "international human rights law"? Who creates "international human rights law"? What does jursidiction of "international human rights law" look like? Who enforces "international human rights law"? Who makes sure that "international human rights law" does not become opressive? To whom do I appeal a founded violation of "international human rights law"? Who pays for "international human rights law"?

Just curious.

nt3138
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:38 pm

I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?

Tasik32
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby Tasik32 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Doctor's orders:
--2-4 years work experience (at least some outside of the U.S.) then if you still want to go down the international route and want an advanced degree, then these:

http://new.sipa.columbia.edu/
http://sfs.georgetown.edu/
http://fletcher.tufts.edu/
http://wws.princeton.edu/
http://www.sais-jhu.edu/

I'll repeat the line that I see written here a lot: Law school isn't going anywhere.

Have fun on your adventures abroad!

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:45 pm

nt3138 wrote:I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?


Yes, you're mistaken. International law basically doesn't exist, and realistically isn't obtainable without a degree from HYS.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:55 pm

nt3138 wrote:I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?

Well, global business is much more likely to be private industry-driven, nothing to do with the public sector. But the bigger problem with all those programs is that they're very academically focused. They'll train you how to do academic research on international law. They won't train you how to get a job actually doing international law. (The problem especially with the JD/MA in Cultural Anthropology is that all the jobs it identifies as enhanced by having the MA are extremely hard to get, especially if you don't have any work experience in the field.)

silenttimer
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby silenttimer » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:58 pm

nt3138 wrote:I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?


You can do what you want to do now without going to law school -- get a Fulbright and research some obsecure international topic. That would be a lot more impressive.

blsingindisguise
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:59 pm

nt3138 wrote:I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?


Universities create programs because they think people will pay tuition for them, not because they want to help you build a career.

The "global business" jd/ma sounds like the least implausible of the three, but that's because there actually exists such a thing as international business that requires lawyers. And there is money in it, which means money for lawyers. That doesn't mean the degree combo makes you more likely to be practicing "international business law" when you get out of school -- most international business law is practiced by large firms, and if you get a large firm they're most likely just going to throw you into whatever practice group they need you in, not put a fancy "international lawyer" hat on you because you have a lol masters. So even that degree is probably not worth it.

The others are pretty much only useful, if at all, for niche academia or maybe a rarefied and tiny group of people working in policy. Law degrees are for lawyers, for people who want to practice law as a profession, not for people who want to "address structural issues in the african diaspora."

If you're really serious about working at some international non-profit/NGO, you need to identify specific people who are doing the kind of work you envision and figure out how they got there. The rare lawyer that practices before an international tribunal is likely to be extremely brilliant and well-credentialed and have many years of experience in practice before s/he ever does "international" cases. And if you're talking about just advising some non-profit, you may not need the additional anthro or whatever degree (and here, too, you will probably have to practice for years before having that kind of job open to you).

In conclusion, don't do a joint degree unless you are independently wealthy, which from your mention of "financing" it sounds like you are not.

nt3138
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:01 pm

Tasik32 wrote:Doctor's orders:
--2-4 years work experience (at least some outside of the U.S.) then if you still want to go down the international route and want an advanced degree, then these:

http://new.sipa.columbia.edu/
http://sfs.georgetown.edu/
http://fletcher.tufts.edu/
http://wws.princeton.edu/
http://www.sais-jhu.edu/

I'll repeat the line that I see written here a lot: Law school isn't going anywhere.

Have fun on your adventures abroad!


Thanks for these recommendations. Really appreciate the links!

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hephaestus
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby hephaestus » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:03 pm

silenttimer wrote:
nt3138 wrote:I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?


You can do what you want to do now without going to law school -- get a Fulbright and research some obsecure international topic. That would be a lot more impressive.

Yeah it sounds like you should be doing a Fulbright, or civil service or something. A law degree is not a good fit.

nt3138
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:18 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
nt3138 wrote:I appreciate everyone's direct feedback. If I understand correctly then, the following programs are also not advisable:

http://law.duke.edu/admis/degreeprogram ... lbusiness/
http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/gr ... ma-program
http://www.law.emory.edu/centers-clinics/cicl.html

it was my impression that while this may not land you a job working at the UN (which are nearly impossible to get), it does open up opportunities to work within non-profs, or in overseas offices. Am I mistaken?


Universities create programs because they think people will pay tuition for them, not because they want to help you build a career.

The "global business" jd/ma sounds like the least implausible of the three, but that's because there actually exists such a thing as international business that requires lawyers. And there is money in it, which means money for lawyers. That doesn't mean the degree combo makes you more likely to be practicing "international business law" when you get out of school -- most international business law is practiced by large firms, and if you get a large firm they're most likely just going to throw you into whatever practice group they need you in, not put a fancy "international lawyer" hat on you because you have a lol masters. So even that degree is probably not worth it.

The others are pretty much only useful, if at all, for niche academia or maybe a rarefied and tiny group of people working in policy. Law degrees are for lawyers, for people who want to practice law as a profession, not for people who want to "address structural issues in the african diaspora."

If you're really serious about working at some international non-profit/NGO, you need to identify specific people who are doing the kind of work you envision and figure out how they got there. The rare lawyer that practices before an international tribunal is likely to be extremely brilliant and well-credentialed and have many years of experience in practice before s/he ever does "international" cases. And if you're talking about just advising some non-profit, you may not need the additional anthro or whatever degree (and here, too, you will probably have to practice for years before having that kind of job open to you).

In conclusion, don't do a joint degree unless you are independently wealthy, which from your mention of "financing" it sounds like you are not.


I appreciate your thoughts regarding the purpose of these types of programs. That is very helpful. I had talked with a few alumni from my college who are currently lawyers and do work in social policy. Working on the campaign, I encounter a lot of lawyers, who are now in politics. "Addressing structural issues (poverty, education, health care) in the african diaspora" is exactly what they do. Also, unlike law school, graduate schools offer more funding-- most of the PhD programs are fully funded with a stipend... so the cost/benefit of doing a joint program really comes down to spending the extra time in school, instead of actually being in the work force.

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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:23 pm

nt3138 wrote:I appreciate your thoughts regarding the purpose of these types of programs. That is very helpful. I had talked with a few alumni from my college who are currently lawyers and do work in social policy. Working on the campaign, I encounter a lot of lawyers, who are now in politics. "Addressing structural issues (poverty, education, health care) in the african diaspora" is exactly what they do. Also, unlike law school, graduate schools offer more funding-- most of the PhD programs are fully funded with a stipend... so the cost/benefit of doing a joint program really comes down to spending the extra time in school, instead of actually being in the work force.


Have you come across anyone doing those things who had and made use of a joint degree? What were the intermediate steps in the careers of those people before doing social policy or being in politics? Most lawyers who become politicians don't do so because they have a rich academic understanding of structural poverty thanks to their academic study. But my questions aren't rhetorical. Talk to people who actually do what you (realistically, and not just ideally) want to do. If they are JD's, ask them how they got from JD to what they're doing now and whether the JD mattered.

nt3138
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:36 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
nt3138 wrote:I appreciate your thoughts regarding the purpose of these types of programs. That is very helpful. I had talked with a few alumni from my college who are currently lawyers and do work in social policy. Working on the campaign, I encounter a lot of lawyers, who are now in politics. "Addressing structural issues (poverty, education, health care) in the african diaspora" is exactly what they do. Also, unlike law school, graduate schools offer more funding-- most of the PhD programs are fully funded with a stipend... so the cost/benefit of doing a joint program really comes down to spending the extra time in school, instead of actually being in the work force.


Have you come across anyone doing those things who had and made use of a joint degree? What were the intermediate steps in the careers of those people before doing social policy or being in politics? Most lawyers who become politicians don't do so because they have a rich academic understanding of structural poverty thanks to their academic study. But my questions aren't rhetorical. Talk to people who actually do what you (realistically, and not just ideally) want to do. If they are JD's, ask them how they got from JD to what they're doing now and whether the JD mattered.


I have talked to a few with dual degrees, but not with regard to steps inbetween. Great thoughts. Thanks again for the feedback

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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby ze2151 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:55 pm

OP- I don't think you actually really want to go to law school. And there's nothing wrong with that! Go be a peace/conflict transformation person for a while. Develop that aspect of your portfolio as that's the doctoral equivalent of "street cred." Sounds like what you really want to do is to get a Phd but you're afraid you're not qualified or the programs are too selective. Go for the Phd. If you don't get in, oh well, do something else within your area of interest. Law isn't really it. Go to law school to be a lawyer, not an international non-profit person.

Law school is flat-out too expensive to attend for any purpose other than to work at a firm and make good money. And too few people get those jobs. A law degree will not help you do what you really want to do.

Signed,
A JD/Phd student who is going to go work at a firm.

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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:29 pm

MistakenGenius wrote:
EDIT-also, while there are some big firms like Baker and McKenzie that have many overseas offices, an international degree isn't going to help you at all with that. It's certainly possible to transfer to another country for a time, but most of the time they're going to use lawyers from the other country. I assure you, a lawyer from the top school in Buenos Aires is going to know more about Argentine law than an American with an international degree from Emory.


I would go so far as to say that a lawyer with a degree from a middling Argentinian law school is going to know more about Argentine law than a T-14 "international law" grad. Also, this raises another good point -- there is very little "international law" actually involved with most international litigation and international transactions. A cross-border merger might have to clear regulatory hurdles in both countries, for example, but there's no "international law" involved -- the deal will probably have teams of lawyers in each country working on it, with the US lawyers handling the US legal issues and the Japanese lawyer handling the Japanese side of things. Litigation will be in one country's courts or the other, or maybe even in both, but again you will have litigators from both countries working on their respective aspects of the case; a very tiny percentage of business-related disputes are actually heard in any kind of international tribunal.

nt3138
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby nt3138 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:32 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
MistakenGenius wrote:
EDIT-also, while there are some big firms like Baker and McKenzie that have many overseas offices, an international degree isn't going to help you at all with that. It's certainly possible to transfer to another country for a time, but most of the time they're going to use lawyers from the other country. I assure you, a lawyer from the top school in Buenos Aires is going to know more about Argentine law than an American with an international degree from Emory.


I would go so far as to say that a lawyer with a degree from a middling Argentinian law school is going to know more about Argentine law than a T-14 "international law" grad. Also, this raises another good point -- there is very little "international law" actually involved with most international litigation and international transactions. A cross-border merger might have to clear regulatory hurdles in both countries, for example, but there's no "international law" involved -- the deal will probably have teams of lawyers in each country working on it, with the US lawyers handling the US legal issues and the Japanese lawyer handling the Japanese side of things. Litigation will be in one country's courts or the other, or maybe even in both, but again you will have litigators from both countries working on their respective aspects of the case; a very tiny percentage of business-related disputes are actually heard in any kind of international tribunal.


is there a concentration you would recommend instead?

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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:43 pm

I'm still not exactly sure what your goal is. You can certainly try to weight your electives toward "international" stuff if that is what interests you, but I don't know how far that will get you. I don't really find official "concentrations" in law school to be worth much. And the PhD just seems to me like it doesn't mesh that well with a law degree, but I could be wrong. Law is a professional degree, so it's all about application. I wouldn't quite say it's the opposite of academic, but it pushes in the other direction. Law practice isn't about solving "structural" issues, it's about solving the problems of a particular client. Structural issues are more of a policy thing, although law can certainly be a background for policy. But you don't need a law degree to do policy. And if you worked as an actual lawyer for an NGO or something, your work would consist more of solving that NGO's legal problems, not the problems of the poor in Mozambique.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:39 pm

International Law

Is Not: Anything approximating going to the Hague and becoming intimately familiar with the UN Charter so you can prosecute rogue African dictators for not following established conventions of jus ad bellum.

Is: A lot of becoming familiar with British foreign financial regulations and having angsty Wall Street folks ask you if they incur liability as a third-party transactor to a trade happening halfway across the world. Or something that's equally unsexy but gives a reason for the Clearys of the world to exist.

blsingindisguise
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Re: JD/LLM or JD/PhD?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:45 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:International Law

Is Not: Anything approximating going to the Hague and becoming intimately familiar with the UN Charter so you can prosecute rogue African dictators for not following established conventions of jus ad bellum.

Is: A lot of becoming familiar with British foreign financial regulations and having angsty Wall Street folks ask you if they incur liability as a third-party transactor to a trade happening halfway across the world. Or something that's equally unsexy but gives a reason for the Clearys of the world to exist.


I'm involved in international lit pretty regularly actually, and all it's meant for me so far is that it's a bitch to serve people.




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