Phd---> JD

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Anonymous User
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Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:14 pm

I would love to hear from anyone who has a Phd and went on to get a JD (in terms of job prospects). I have a Phd from a very good school in a non-science field. I have been very close to getting a tenure track job, but it didn't work out and for various reasons I'm ready to switch careers. I applied to law school this year and I'm in to two T14s (the only ones I applied to) and a T20 with a full ride (strong regional school). The schools are UMichigan, Duke, and WUSTL. The question is, for the purposes of getting a practicing law job how will my Phd affect hiring? Can anyone speak as a similar candidate? I think the legal academic track will be very hard to get into, and I really don't even want to do that. But I'm worried that I will have trouble getting a job as a 34 year old with a PHD in a field that is of no obvious use to my work as a lawyer.

goodthings
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby goodthings » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:04 pm

...
Last edited by goodthings on Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:35 pm

I am in almost exactly the same situation and would appreciate any information on the topic.

I asked a version of the question here:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=163550&start=425

But got only a partial response. I have heard it said before that if you have a PhD and teaching experience, you might have to work to convince big law interviewers that you have no interest in returning to academia.

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Mce252
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Mce252 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:43 pm

It seems like uncertainty and lack of committment to a path would bring about questions at any firm interview.

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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:53 pm

--LinkRemoved--

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=24818#post358116

Are you suggesting the OP on this thread = the OP on that thread?

In standard JDU style, those guys seem overly negative / vitriolic. They seem to think no one over 30 would even be considered for a big law position. A friend of mine is 33 and got six call backs and multiple big law offers through OCI at CCN last year (no PhD, though). Anecdotal, but anecdotal evidence disproves universal claims.

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homestyle28
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby homestyle28 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:41 pm

I'm a 1L with a couple of MA's in the humanities, so here's my 2 cents: When you're making a career change it's important that you have a good story to tell as to why you're making that change, the whole misery of tenure covers you there. There are plenty of areas where the PhD will be a plus, at least as a distinguishing factor between yourself and other candidates. Should you decide to pursue legal academia, it'll be a plus. It should also help in the clerkship game as that's a prestige game and PhD from a good name school will set your app apart. So my sense in talking with peeps about my graduate degrees are that they're general positives...they won't get you any more $$ at a firm, but can open some doors a bit wider than they would be otherwise.

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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:46 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=24818#post358116

Are you suggesting the OP on this thread = the OP on that thread?

In standard JDU style, those guys seem overly negative / vitriolic. They seem to think no one over 30 would even be considered for a big law position. A friend of mine is 33 and got six call backs and multiple big law offers through OCI at CCN last year (no PhD, though). Anecdotal, but anecdotal evidence disproves universal claims.


I know a guy that won the lottery and lives in Maui now. There that is a proof that makes playing the lottery logical.

There is huge age discrimination among the high-end firms. Once again, JDU depicts reality but some folks just cant accept it. Why ask the question if you refuse to accept the answers?

The Phd and age is only going to show massive indecisiveness and lack of commitment. You also have to consider the fact you are taking out 200k more debt in your 30s/40s. Good luck retiring even if you find a job.

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cantaboot
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby cantaboot » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:16 pm

taking out debt is bad. If you can do this with little debt, then why not?!
people understand what academia is like.
plus, most older/non-trad I know do pretty well, *so long as* they have good grades at good schools.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=24818#post358116

Are you suggesting the OP on this thread = the OP on that thread?

In standard JDU style, those guys seem overly negative / vitriolic. They seem to think no one over 30 would even be considered for a big law position. A friend of mine is 33 and got six call backs and multiple big law offers through OCI at CCN last year (no PhD, though). Anecdotal, but anecdotal evidence disproves universal claims.

I know a guy that won the lottery and lives in Maui now. There that is a proof that makes playing the lottery logical.

There is huge age discrimination among the high-end firms. Once again, JDU depicts reality but some folks just cant accept it. Why ask the question if you refuse to accept the answers?

The Phd and age is only going to show massive indecisiveness and lack of commitment. You also have to consider the fact you are taking out 200k more debt in your 30s/40s. Good luck retiring even if you find a job.

LOL. What a clever analogy.

I know hundreds of people who buy lottery tickets and have not won. How many people do you know over 30 with good grades from a t14 who have failed to secure at least mid law employment?

There are various reports in the "Over 30" thread on this site of people over 30 doing well at OCI, and a number of big law associates have been asked about age in the legal employment forum and claim it wouldn't be an issue.

Also, why are you posting anonymously? Are you ashamed of what you are writing?

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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:06 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=24818#post358116

Are you suggesting the OP on this thread = the OP on that thread?

In standard JDU style, those guys seem overly negative / vitriolic. They seem to think no one over 30 would even be considered for a big law position. A friend of mine is 33 and got six call backs and multiple big law offers through OCI at CCN last year (no PhD, though). Anecdotal, but anecdotal evidence disproves universal claims.

I know a guy that won the lottery and lives in Maui now. There that is a proof that makes playing the lottery logical.

There is huge age discrimination among the high-end firms. Once again, JDU depicts reality but some folks just cant accept it. Why ask the question if you refuse to accept the answers?

The Phd and age is only going to show massive indecisiveness and lack of commitment. You also have to consider the fact you are taking out 200k more debt in your 30s/40s. Good luck retiring even if you find a job.

LOL. What a clever analogy.

I know hundreds of people who buy lottery tickets and have not won. How many people do you know over 30 with good grades from a t14 who have failed to secure at least mid law employment?

There are various reports in the "Over 30" thread on this site of people over 30 doing well at OCI, and a number of big law associates have been asked about age in the legal employment forum and claim it wouldn't be an issue.

Also, why are you posting anonymously? Are you ashamed of what you are writing?


Good luck, brother. You will fit in perfectly with the rest of special flowers in law school that believe that taking out six figures of debt to enter a pseudo-profession is a good plan.

I know multiple people and several grads with the age problem. This site is a very self-selected part of population, otherwise every thread would be about how crappy the market is for law grads. The fact you take such interweb anecdotes as evidence is hilarious.

Protip: next time don't start threads asking questions if you already have a preordained answer in mind. I was only sharing my experience.

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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:20 pm

Just tell employers that you "have no interest in returning to academia." That's pretty much all you can do. They'll probably believe you, given the fact that you went to law school following your Ph.D. At my T10, I know people with similar backgrounds and they did fine, employment-wise.
Last edited by Younger Abstention on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:20 pm

I know several PhDs at my T14. Their luck on the job market ranged with personality and skill set (all humanities/ social sciences people.) I think they all got biglaw. I don't think age was an issue for any of them, in fact I think interviewers like an older candidate from time to time, and the degree was an interesting talking point in interviews. It is KEY that you spin the degree correctly, have a good story about why you decided to switch paths and go to law school and how your skills will translate into practice . You need to stay positive on the decision to make the transition during interviews. That spiel is something you should work on with your office of career services.

if you're going in older, I would take a hard look at the full scholly option to avoid tons of debt in your 30s.

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homestyle28
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Good luck, brother. You will fit in perfectly with the rest of special flowers in law school that believe that taking out six figures of debt to enter a pseudo-profession is a good plan.

I know multiple people and several grads with the age problem. This site is a very self-selected part of population, otherwise every thread would be about how crappy the market is for law grads. The fact you take such interweb anecdotes as evidence is hilarious.

Protip: next time don't start threads asking questions if you already have a preordained answer in mind. I was only sharing my experience.


Tautology is tautological

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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:28 pm

Where did I suggest that my observations should be taken as evidence? Merely providing some worthless experiences that counteract other worthless interweb comments.

If I was the OP, I would find something better than anecdotes if I had 200k and my retirement ability on the line.

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homestyle28
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Where did I suggest that my observations should be taken as evidence? Merely providing some worthless experiences that counteract other worthless interweb comments.

If I was the OP, I would find something better than anecdotes if I had 200k and my retirement ability on the line.


The ironing is delicious.

Assuming that you're the same Anon throughout (well minus the one helpful Anon post), so far you've:
1) pointed to JDU, then argued
1A) TLS is self-selecting so not in touch with reality of legal market (Presumably JDU isn't?)
1B) Turning to internet anecdotes is stupid, oh and here's an anecdote

If you're trying to be helpful then suggest an alternative source of information, if not...well then I guess you're just kind of an asshat.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Protip: next time don't start threads asking questions if you already have a preordained answer in mind. I was only sharing my experience.

I'm not the OP. I'll be graduating from YHS with about $100k in debt.

I am 31 with a Ph.D, though, and appreciate all the comments in this thread.

What was your experience?

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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=24818#post358116

Are you suggesting the OP on this thread = the OP on that thread?

In standard JDU style, those guys seem overly negative / vitriolic. They seem to think no one over 30 would even be considered for a big law position. A friend of mine is 33 and got six call backs and multiple big law offers through OCI at CCN last year (no PhD, though). Anecdotal, but anecdotal evidence disproves universal claims.


I know a guy that won the lottery and lives in Maui now. There that is a proof that makes playing the lottery logical.

There is huge age discrimination among the high-end firms. Once again, JDU depicts reality but some folks just cant accept it. Why ask the question if you refuse to accept the answers?

The Phd and age is only going to show massive indecisiveness and lack of commitment. You also have to consider the fact you are taking out 200k more debt in your 30s/40s. Good luck retiring even if you find a job.


^this is bs. Really it's trolling behind the shield of the anon feature to perpetuate the myth that top law firms prefer K-JD. Every 30 year old I know either outperformed or performed as well as similarly situated 24 year olds. If anything, the DC market is heavily biased towards older candidates.

alabamabound
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby alabamabound » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:15 am

vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:http://www.jdunderground.com/jdu/thread.php?threadId=24818#post358116

Are you suggesting the OP on this thread = the OP on that thread?

In standard JDU style, those guys seem overly negative / vitriolic. They seem to think no one over 30 would even be considered for a big law position. A friend of mine is 33 and got six call backs and multiple big law offers through OCI at CCN last year (no PhD, though). Anecdotal, but anecdotal evidence disproves universal claims.


I know a guy that won the lottery and lives in Maui now. There that is a proof that makes playing the lottery logical.

There is huge age discrimination among the high-end firms. Once again, JDU depicts reality but some folks just cant accept it. Why ask the question if you refuse to accept the answers?

The Phd and age is only going to show massive indecisiveness and lack of commitment. You also have to consider the fact you are taking out 200k more debt in your 30s/40s. Good luck retiring even if you find a job.


^this is bs. Really it's trolling behind the shield of the anon feature to perpetuate the myth that top law firms prefer K-JD. Every 30 year old I know either outperformed or performed as well as similarly situated 24 year olds. If anything, the DC market is heavily biased towards older candidates.


I would second this. Targeted Chicago, not DC. With one notable exception, I found firms very excited about talking to an older candidate.

Anonymous User
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Re: Phd---> JD

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:19 pm

My dad is a partner on the hiring committee of the primary satellite office of a NLJ 250 firm (the office is the biggest and most profitable one -- maybe 30 attorneys out of a firm of 200). A few months back I forwarded him the resume of a friend who went to law school relatively late in life (graduated at 36 or 37) and needed a job. My dad said point blank that they don't hire starting associates over 30. He said that people in their 30s tend to have families, and people with families tend to not want to work 70+ hours a week. He further said that they would probably consider making an exception for "the gays." (Yes, my dad is a bit of a bigot, but cut him some slack -- he's a white Southern male in his late 50s.) The funny thing about it is that he was in his late 30s with a family himself when he graduated from law school, so it's a bit of a pot-kettle issue. Oh well.

PS My friend ended up getting a job about 9 months after graduation.




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