Teaching with a JD Degree

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seabreeze7
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Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby seabreeze7 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:52 pm

Is it true that you can teach undergraduate with a JD degree? A friend of mine told me that you don't necessarily need a Ph.D to teach undergraduates, a JD is sufficient. Is this true?

I always thought a JD will only allow you to teach in law school.

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Portal
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby Portal » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:07 pm

You don't even need a PhD to teach undergraduates. For example, I might be able to teach a class next year, and I have not even graduated yet.

You can't become a professor, though, without a PhD in whatever you are studying. Also, most JD's that teach undergraduate courses are PhD candidates from my experience.

Cal4future
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby Cal4future » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:12 pm

My ethics prof went to undergrad then Duke for law school and is arguably the best and most respected professor at my school.

His title is Assistant Professor <-- not sure if that is tenure track or not.

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eagleeye
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby eagleeye » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:14 pm

Portal wrote:You don't even need a PhD to teach undergraduates. For example, I might be able to teach a class next year, and I have not even graduated yet.

You can't become a professor, though, without a PhD in whatever you are studying. Also, most JD's that teach undergraduate courses are PhD candidates from my experience.


An MFA is considered the terminal degree in some fields, including creative writing. So you can become a professor without a PhD, but I'm not sure about the JD question.

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D Brooks
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby D Brooks » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:20 pm

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Last edited by D Brooks on Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

conn09
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby conn09 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:23 pm

The Poli Sci Chair at my school has a JD. He also has a LLM in Comparative, not sure if that actually helped. Other than him I can't think of anyone else who didnt have a PH D on top of the JD

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jschuyler
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby jschuyler » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:27 pm

eagleeye wrote:
Portal wrote:You don't even need a PhD to teach undergraduates. For example, I might be able to teach a class next year, and I have not even graduated yet.

You can't become a professor, though, without a PhD in whatever you are studying. Also, most JD's that teach undergraduate courses are PhD candidates from my experience.


An MFA is considered the terminal degree in some fields, including creative writing. So you can become a professor without a PhD, but I'm not sure about the JD question.


I think a JD is a terminal degree, too. Which is good, because undergrad institutions are as sensitive to their US News rankings as law schools are, and I believe % of teachers holding a terminal degree is one of the criteria in those rankings? But I have no idea how the lack of a Phd figures into tenure considerations.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby pleasetryagain » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:29 pm

i have a teacher.. JD from Columbia MBA from my UG... dont know if hes officially a professor but he DOES hold a Dean position.. "Dean of ____".

Cal4future
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby Cal4future » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:29 pm

Question.

If you want to teach law you pretty much need to graduate T-14 correct? Or is this a misconception?

How about undergrad? Does it matter as much? I'll likely be T20-30 but ultimately want to teach undergrad as well.

Edit: sorry to hijack your thread...

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AHouseDivided
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby AHouseDivided » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 pm

I think it's most common to at least have a JD/masters. For example one of my Poli Sci profs is BA (Poli Sci) Dartmouth/MA (Poli Sci) UVA/JD Harvard (prick :) ). The JD is only the terminal "vocational" degree in law (since there is a JSD which = PhD), but it seems to be enough to instruct @ undergrad.

Assistant profs are typically the first step in the tenure track (they get tenure or go bye-bye).

LjakW
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby LjakW » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:48 pm

Portal wrote:You can't become a professor, though, without a PhD in whatever you are studying. Also, most JD's that teach undergraduate courses are PhD candidates from my experience.


At my school, JDs are equivalent to doctoral degrees and so there are a few professors in the Economics Dep that have JDs but not PhDs.

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Portal
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby Portal » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:54 pm

LjakW wrote:
Portal wrote:You can't become a professor, though, without a PhD in whatever you are studying. Also, most JD's that teach undergraduate courses are PhD candidates from my experience.


At my school, JDs are equivalent to doctoral degrees and so there are a few professors in the Economics Dep that have JDs but not PhDs.

Eh ok, depends on the school I guess.

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janderson
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby janderson » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:14 pm

I believe this to be true.

Although having a PhD is the norm and is most common, I have had a few professors who do not have PhDs. This statistic likely varies with school, as every professor I have had at my new school (since transferring from the other) all have PhDs. At the prior school in question, my undergrad Administrative Law prof was a JD. He worked as City Attorney for a number of years.

I believe all my college English/Writing instructors just had Bachelors.
Last edited by janderson on Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

sbalive
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Re: Teaching with a JD Degree

Postby sbalive » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:15 pm

Okay, this at least has something to do with my current profession.

Here's the answer: technically, you don't need a PhD or any graduate degree to teach at a university. To be on the *faculty* of a university, that is, paid by a university, you generally need a terminal degree. Teaching is not the same as being on the faculty - "clinical" profs or "lecturers" in law schools, for example, aren't on the faculty (except as honorary appointments, perhaps) but they are paid to teach particular classes, for example. There are also faculty who are not on the tenure track - Obama was on the faculty of U of Chicago, but not tenure-track. There they called faculty like him "Senior Lecturers" as opposed to "Lecturers", but at other universities, they may call them "Research Assistant/Associate Professors" or just "Assistant/Associate Professors".

Now, one of the criteria for accreditation for many academic programs (not law school of course) is the number of PhDs teaching courses, as well as the number of PhDs on the full-time faculty. This is especially true of a graduate program. You will probably still see some faculty at undergrad-only or Master's-granting institutions that don't have PhDs, even in Arts & Sciences - of course, they're probably close to retirement at this point. They're a little more common in Engineering, but still a dying breed (though some of the more practice-oriented colleges that don't have graduate programs use people with long experience in industry instead of research-oriented PhDs.). Because accreditation programs require PhDs, most universities don't hire Master's-level people anymore. But, some programs will still hire ABD's (All But Degree) who have completed the requirements for a PhD but not completed a dissertation. Usually they won't get tenure, but if they're amazing teachers, they might get tenure - or they stay on as non-tenure track faculty. (In fine arts and creative writing programs, the MFA or Master's of Fine Arts, is the terminal degree.)

Business schools don't have a lot of PhDs yet, because PhD programs in Business have generally been rare - especially US citizens don't go get PhDs in Business. But that's changing rapidly, with fewer pure-MBAs being hired. Of course JDs get hired, in ethics programs - you may even have a JD in an engineering department teaching ethics classes. Nevertheless, to get a tenured position as a JD in an engineering department, you probably need at least a MS or preferably a PhD in Engineering, but have gone into law school after that, for example. Otherwise, no one really takes you seriously. That's probably also the case for a JD who winds up in a Philosophy department, for example. Since there's really no such thing as a PhD in Criminal Justice at a ranked university, their faculty tend to be mix of JDs, PhDs in Psychology, and possibly even PhDs in Biology who do forensics. (Also a lot of those programs are undergrad-only, so I assume many of their faculty are non-tenured or adjuncts from outside the university who may not have terminal degrees.)




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