A. Nony Mouse wrote:
quakeroats wrote:but they're by no means universally knocking graduate programs in law.
Yes, they are (if by graduate program you exclude JDs and LLMs). The views in that thread are the views of the people who make tenure-track hiring decisions. I submit to you that they're representative of the views of hiring committees generally. Here, again, are just a few:
"I teach at one of the top law schools that heavily emphasizes inter-disciplinary work. We have several PhD's and an occasional foreign SJD, but we've never hired an American SJD. The overwhelming perception is that SJD is not a serious academic degree, surely inferior to a PhD.
So, if you are considering SJD versus a fellowship, SJD might be a good option, especially if SJD is at a top school while a fellowship is at a lesser school and involves a lot of time-consuming non-specialty teaching (legal research) with little faculty contact. But if your choice is PhD versus SJD, get a PhD. There is simply no comparison. PhD involves a much rigorous training and is treated with a lot more respect on the market. I bet Marc would have done more good to his academic credentials if he went back to school to finish his romance languages PhD instead of doing an SJD. (Of course, I am not saying PhD programs are universally more enjoyable or fulfilling -- just that confer a more marketable degree)."
"Marc - as you go down the US News ladder, a VAP or fellowship is probably even more valuable than the JSD because the VAP or fellowship provides teaching experience. Even if that teaching experience is unrelated to your area of expertise, it's valuable. In fact, everyone should teach legal writing to appreciate both the reasoning and writing schools that our first year students have and the work that our legal writing colleagues do on a daily basis.As a hiring chair, I put no weight on a JSD
- as you pointed out in your original post,it's a cleansing agent, just like an LL.M from Yale. I just don't see the point of going beyond the LL.M."
"Compare that to American candidates: when an American gets an SJD, the market infers only one thing -- s/he was not smart enough, or diligent enough, to get a real academic degree (PhD).
That's why the market treats US and non-US SJDs very differently."