Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

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Anthropology/JD Good or Bad for Scholarship?

Good
2
15%
Maybe - Depends on how you do it
6
46%
Bad
5
38%
 
Total votes: 13

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EdmundBurke23
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Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:56 am

JD/MA in [Cultural] Anthropology.. I'm really considering this.

I can already see the exabytes worth of criticism that could flood into this thread, but please hear me out! Although I'm very interested in private practice after law school, I've wanted to become a professor throughout my entire undergrad career (I direct and teach at a community English program overseas right now.. will apply to law school soon).

I'm very, very, interested in applying a cultural analysis on serious issues and what not, and am interested in writing about this type of stuff in legal scholarship (I've also been blessed with a wealth of international experiences; Korean culture, Chinese culture, and U.S. culture). An MA won't provide any boost to obtaining a law teaching position, but I think that I'll find tons of opportunity to engage in legal scholarship in an anthropological context. I already find how the Korean legal system clearly reflects its culture; and it would be a dream come true to write about this type of stuff at a much deeper level for a living (while teaching, of course;;).

I've received a lot of news from people on TLS about how employers prefer to have JDs who have concentrated on obtaining just their JDs, but would this Anthropology degree really hurt my chances at securing employment (provided that I graduate above median at a T10)?

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OneKnight
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby OneKnight » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:04 am

Why not a Ph.D.? If you're interested in both research and teaching, this seems like the correct path. Heck, if you want to be a professor, why not skip the J.D. and become an anthropology professor who writes on law and anthropology?

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holydonkey
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby holydonkey » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:07 am

If you've got money and time to burn and really want to do it, go for it. The only things I would worry about are how the joint degree would impact the OCI hiring timeline (in other words, do you have to take classes for the MA during the summer after 1L, 2L, or 3L?) and how much extra work it would be to do the second degree while taking law classes (will this impact your gpa?).

narkizopoint
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby narkizopoint » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:13 am

EdmundBurke23 wrote:I already find how the Korean legal system clearly reflects its culture


This is pretty true of any body of people who subscribe to the same legal system, no?

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:14 am

OneKnight wrote:Why not a Ph.D.? If you're interested in both research and teaching, this seems like the correct path. Heck, if you want to be a professor, why not skip the J.D. and become an anthropology professor who writes on law and anthropology?


Good point.

As you might already know, obtaining a professorship at a university is very competitive, and getting a Ph.D in anthropology is sort of a dead-end if I don't get the job. I've chosen the JD path because I'd able to work in private practice and give the meat market a visit after my first year. Doesn't a Ph.D take like seven years???

I'm hoping that a Masters would be enough; I'm hoping that the Masters thesis will give me a lot of material to work with after graduation as well, and I think it'll be very interesting to combine my anthrop. studies with my private practice experience for scholarship.

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:16 am

narkizopoint wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:I already find how the Korean legal system clearly reflects its culture


This is pretty true of any body of people who subscribe to the same legal system, no?


That came out wrong. I'm sorry; I'm very, very, sleepy right now; it's night time here in South Korea.

I think, in writing that, I just wanted to express how interesting it is for me to see stuff like that:D

holydonkey wrote:If you've got money and time to burn and really want to do it, go for it. The only things I would worry about are how the joint degree would impact the OCI hiring timeline (in other words, do you have to take classes for the MA during the summer after 1L, 2L, or 3L?) and how much extra work it would be to do the second degree while taking law classes (will this impact your gpa?).


This is a very legitimate concern; I've thought about this, and plan on contacting the schools to see if I can have an early summer start. I'm also considering U. Mich for their early summer start, and Duke also seems to be pretty flexible as well.

I'm going to try my best to find ways to avoid being occupied with MA courses during 1L and 2L summers. I'm just paranoid about employers looking down at my JD/MA.

narkizopoint
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby narkizopoint » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:31 am

I totally agree with you on seeing how a legal system reflects the society (especially how it evolves) is really neat and interesting, but does it go beyond a hobby? Would an MA help you that much in exploring this interest? If yes, then do it. From what I've seen, dual MA/JD degrees dont have competing classes until after 1L.

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby eudaimondaimon » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:57 am

EdmundBurke23 wrote:...and I think it'll be very interesting to combine my anthrop. studies with my private practice experience for scholarship.


Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? Reading this set off some potential-ethical-conflict alarms in my head.

joekim1
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby joekim1 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:25 am

narkizopoint wrote:I totally agree with you on seeing how a legal system reflects the society (especially how it evolves) is really neat and interesting, but does it go beyond a hobby? Would an MA help you that much in exploring this interest? If yes, then do it. From what I've seen, dual MA/JD degrees dont have competing classes until after 1L.


+1

Having thought about similar issues, I'll say that you need to make sure you know what you're getting into by pursuing a MA. I find that lots of undergrads are a bit naive when it comes to grad school in general and don't realize the hell it can quickly become. For many people, grad school isn't even necessary or recommended. Of course, an MA won't be nearly as bad as trying to get a PhD, especially if you're doing a joint program, but there may be other ways to tie in your cultural experiences and interests to your career than through an MA or PhD. Perhaps look at practicing overseas and applying your expertise to foreign clients. Or you can get a JD now, continue to think about your cultural interests, and then later in life, if you still feel very compelled to pursue further study, take up the MA/PhD. You'll have a lot more money and self-definition by then to know if this will be a choice you'd like to make. If not, you'll have saved yourself a lot of unnecessary time and work, and will probably be happier about it.

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Vendetta
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby Vendetta » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:46 am

On a more general note, to what extent are JD/MAs frowned upon in the OCI process?

I've often thought that it's a tempting option (this is probably true for many people), but I have trouble seeing the practical value of it. Sure, you get to pursue two degrees in two different areas you're interested in, but are there specific cases where a JD/MA would be perfect for a certain job? That is, is it worth shelling out the extra money?

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jcl2
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby jcl2 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:57 am

joekim1 wrote:
narkizopoint wrote:I totally agree with you on seeing how a legal system reflects the society (especially how it evolves) is really neat and interesting, but does it go beyond a hobby? Would an MA help you that much in exploring this interest? If yes, then do it. From what I've seen, dual MA/JD degrees dont have competing classes until after 1L.


+1

Having thought about similar issues, I'll say that you need to make sure you know what you're getting into by pursuing a MA. I find that lots of undergrads are a bit naive when it comes to grad school in general and don't realize the hell it can quickly become. For many people, grad school isn't even necessary or recommended. Of course, an MA won't be nearly as bad as trying to get a PhD, especially if you're doing a joint program, but there may be other ways to tie in your cultural experiences and interests to your career than through an MA or PhD. Perhaps look at practicing overseas and applying your expertise to foreign clients. Or you can get a JD now, continue to think about your cultural interests, and then later in life, if you still feel very compelled to pursue further study, take up the MA/PhD. You'll have a lot more money and self-definition by then to know if this will be a choice you'd like to make. If not, you'll have saved yourself a lot of unnecessary time and work, and will probably be happier about it.


+1 again

Do the JD first, if you don't like practicing law and are still are interested in teaching and research in anthropology, then get a PhD. I wouldn't bother with an M.A. in Anthropology, those degrees for the most part are designed for people who want to work as field archaeologists in states that require a masters degree to do so. There really isn't much else you can do with a M.A. in anthropology, if you are interested in academic anthropology you really need a PhD.

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MURPH
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby MURPH » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:20 pm

You should study the stuff that fascinates you. What makes you really excited and passionate? Forget the economy and OCI. Get your MA and JD. Get the best grades you can and get some university to support you while you get your PhD afterwards. Spend your life doing what makes you happy. If you have to work in some government job after law school so you can take classes at night, then do it. If you think working 80-90 hours a week in some corporate law firm will make you happy then do that. BUt don't do something that won't make you happy because you are afraid that some OCI interviewer will look down on you if you don't meet his expectations.

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:38 pm

MURPH wrote:You should study the stuff that fascinates you. What makes you really excited and passionate? Forget the economy and OCI. Get your MA and JD. Get the best grades you can and get some university to support you while you get your PhD afterwards. Spend your life doing what makes you happy. If you have to work in some government job after law school so you can take classes at night, then do it. If you think working 80-90 hours a week in some corporate law firm will make you happy then do that. BUt don't do something that won't make you happy because you are afraid that some OCI interviewer will look down on you if you don't meet his expectations.


Pretty interesting way to put things; but I'm worried because I have to pay off my legal education in the end. My parents are financing it, but they want the money back; and they'd kill me if I don't pay them back (this is because I don't qualify for federal loans in the U.S. yet, so they volunteered to help me out).

narkizopoint wrote:I totally agree with you on seeing how a legal system reflects the society (especially how it evolves) is really neat and interesting, but does it go beyond a hobby? Would an MA help you that much in exploring this interest? If yes, then do it. From what I've seen, dual MA/JD degrees dont have competing classes until after 1L.


That's a pretty strong objection there. I'll be completely honest: my undergraduate life was pretty much a cultural endeavor - I would seek out that cultural ideologies, philosophical underpinnings, etc. to quite a variety of facets of American culture. I am indeed passionate about cultural studies at a deep level, but I understand that this is way too shallow when weighed against the level of theoretical analysis that I'd have to do at a scholarly level.

I do not know if an MA will help me explore this interest with absolute certainty, which is why it'd be wise of me to take a course in cultural anthropology just to see what it's like first. But what I do know is that I'd be given the opportunity to write, and to lay an anthropological foundation for my legal scholarship in the future; I'd also develop research skills. I'm excited when I think of all the possibilities, but cognizant of the fact that there is a lot to lose if I don't do it right.

jcl2 wrote:+1 again

Do the JD first, if you don't like practicing law and are still are interested in teaching and research in anthropology, then get a PhD. I wouldn't bother with an M.A. in Anthropology, those degrees for the most part are designed for people who want to work as field archaeologists in states that require a masters degree to do so. There really isn't much else you can do with a M.A. in anthropology, if you are interested in academic anthropology you really need a PhD.


It's pretty disheartening to hear that an M.A. would be completely useless... One thing is for sure, though. I do NOT want a PhD, and am convinced (as for now, probably due to my ignorance) that decent legal scholarship can be produced with Masters level study in anthropology. I've been interested in law teaching for so long, and working at a law firm is pretty much a means to this end (I'd have to pay off about $150,000 to my parents).

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SOCRATiC
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby SOCRATiC » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:41 pm

eudaimondaimon wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:...and I think it'll be very interesting to combine my anthrop. studies with my private practice experience for scholarship.


Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? Reading this set off some potential-ethical-conflict alarms in my head.


i don't get this. do you mean you've interested this as him practicing anthropology at a law firm? that's just silly, sir.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby dextermorgan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:43 pm

It will seem like a fluffy WTF degree to employers.

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SOCRATiC
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby SOCRATiC » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:44 pm

Vendetta wrote:On a more general note, to what extent are JD/MAs frowned upon in the OCI process?

I've often thought that it's a tempting option (this is probably true for many people), but I have trouble seeing the practical value of it. Sure, you get to pursue two degrees in two different areas you're interested in, but are there specific cases where a JD/MA would be perfect for a certain job? That is, is it worth shelling out the extra money?


Employers prefer to see pure-bread JDs; this is because freshly minted attorneys are better off taking as many law courses as possible. Pursuing a different field completely unrelated to law practice is just impractical. I don't see that many jobs where a JD/MA would be useful.

But just to pull things out of my ass: JD/MA Natural resources, JD/MA Accounting (provided that you've already some practice experience beforehand), etc.

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MorningHood
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby MorningHood » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:55 pm

i'd be most concerned with OCI and 1L + 2L summers. what if you end up studying anth. on both summers? what field of law are you actually interested? is this particular area of law compatible with, or worth, this "anthropological analysis" that you're trying to carve out?

fyi - there's an anth. + JD joint degree at Duke (i'll be going there this fall).

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nahgems
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby nahgems » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Doesn't Boalt have a PhD program (Jurisprudence and Social Policy) for people with interests like yours?

A fundamental objective of the JSP Program is to focus the knowledge and perspectives of the social sciences and humanities on the analysis of law, legal discourses, legal institutions, and law-related policies. To this end, JSP’s faculty includes scholars from economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology and sociology

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:58 pm

I don't want to pursue a PhD. I'll be in my mid thirties by the time I finish....

But I am interested in Columbia University's centers. But I guess the general consensus here is that I shouldn't do a JD/MA in anthropology. I don't think I'll ever stand a chance without receiving formal education in another discipline; this is what prompts me to look into joint degrees.

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OneKnight
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby OneKnight » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:04 pm

EdmundBurke23 wrote:I don't want to pursue a PhD. I'll be in my mid thirties by the time I finish....

But I am interested in Columbia University's centers. But I guess the general consensus here is that I shouldn't do a JD/MA in anthropology. I don't think I'll ever stand a chance without receiving formal education in another discipline; this is what prompts me to look into joint degrees.


Another option is to get your MA first, then go to law school. There are some partially and even fully funded master's programs for competitive candidates. Yes, it would mean one more year than a JD/MA, but you could really focus on your graduate research and writing your thesis. CU is not one of these schools, but there are some good ones --> http://www.gwu.edu/~anth/grad/grad_admission.cfm (just for example, not saying it would work for you, but there are others). Anyway, I hope you figure this out - those of us interested in academia and the legal world have some tough decisions to make!

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:14 pm

It really is a tough decision, because we also have to take into account the money (costs + opportunity costs). My heart isn't set to pursuing a JD/MA yet, but I definitely like the idea. I really need to look into what an interdisciplinary study of cultural anthropology is like before I form a decision. It'd be stupid of me to jump into the field without a clue about what it's like. But I seriously can't prepare for an MA and JD separately. The process would be way too risky for me (I'm not a U.S. citizen). The most I'd ever give up is 0L summer and 1L summer for this MA.

Are there entry level faculty positions where you're not required to teach at all? Or are research faculty members recruited strictly on a lateral basis? I seriously don't mind embarking on a full-fledge writing career at a university.

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SOCRATiC
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby SOCRATiC » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:36 pm

EdmundBurke23 wrote:It really is a tough decision, because we also have to take into account the money (costs + opportunity costs). My heart isn't set to pursuing a JD/MA yet, but I definitely like the idea. I really need to look into what an interdisciplinary study of cultural anthropology is like before I form a decision. It'd be stupid of me to jump into the field without a clue about what it's like. But I seriously can't prepare for an MA and JD separately. The process would be way too risky for me (I'm not a U.S. citizen). The most I'd ever give up is 0L summer and 1L summer for this MA.

Are there entry level faculty positions where you're not required to teach at all? Or are research faculty members recruited strictly on a lateral basis? I seriously don't mind embarking on a full-fledge writing career at a university.


you don't want a PhD. you don't want to invest two years into an MA separately. but a joint degree doesn't sound as attractive either.

then why don't you just take about six to nine credits in anthropology? most schools allow up to twelve credits as electives, and you could try to pull a research project with the faculty members at the anth. department at the university. why not?? the "MA" won't give you much of an edge for teaching, so all you really need to take away is to have researched and written about anth. and law.

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: Joint Degree: JD/MA ANTHROPOLOGY

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:56 pm

SOCRATiC wrote:
EdmundBurke23 wrote:It really is a tough decision, because we also have to take into account the money (costs + opportunity costs). My heart isn't set to pursuing a JD/MA yet, but I definitely like the idea. I really need to look into what an interdisciplinary study of cultural anthropology is like before I form a decision. It'd be stupid of me to jump into the field without a clue about what it's like. But I seriously can't prepare for an MA and JD separately. The process would be way too risky for me (I'm not a U.S. citizen). The most I'd ever give up is 0L summer and 1L summer for this MA.

Are there entry level faculty positions where you're not required to teach at all? Or are research faculty members recruited strictly on a lateral basis? I seriously don't mind embarking on a full-fledge writing career at a university.


you don't want a PhD. you don't want to invest two years into an MA separately. but a joint degree doesn't sound as attractive either.

then why don't you just take about six to nine credits in anthropology? most schools allow up to twelve credits as electives, and you could try to pull a research project with the faculty members at the anth. department at the university. why not?? the "MA" won't give you much of an edge for teaching, so all you really need to take away is to have researched and written about anth. and law.


I'll take that into consideration. But something about that option makes me feel so empty inside >.<... maybe I should just scratch whole idea of a JD/MA degree...




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