Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

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Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 26, 2012 8:58 pm

People say a PhD is a better idea than an LLM to get for a lawyer if they want to go into academia. Which PhD would you say is the best and worst options? Why?

InterArma
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby InterArma » Sat May 26, 2012 9:19 pm

The vast majority of law professors I've encountered have PhDs in economics. This is likely attributable in part to the fact that law & econ is a "hot" field, and in part to the fact that economics gives you a solid grounding in the quantitative methods that many journals want to see incorporated into articles nowadays. You also tend to be marginally less of an asshat when talking about public policy if you have some background in regression analysis and empirical work, and schools like it when their professors are quoted in The Atlantic or some other pseudo-intellectual fish-wrapper talking about "How to Fix our Cities."

Other prevalent degrees are in political science and philosophy, usually with a quantitative emphasis (for the reasons cited above).

That said, in conversations with my professors about this same topic, most have stressed that a PhD is still not a prereq to get an academic position, even at at T14. They all said that publishing is the name of the game - so if you're able to knock out a couple solid student notes during law school, maybe get a fellowship for a year or two (--LinkRemoved--) and write a couple good "real" articles there, you can spare yourself the 5-7 year hell that getting a JD/PhD must be.

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calilaw
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby calilaw » Sat May 26, 2012 9:57 pm

Ideally, something which will give you greater credibility when you publish. So, whatever field(s) of law you're interested in should inform your choice.

gokumax
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby gokumax » Sun May 27, 2012 1:06 am

This thread is relevant to my interests. I'd like to know more about law professors and PhD's.

Go to any school's website, and you'll see that the majority of law professors do not have PhD's. I've heard that the typical path to law professorship is HYS -> A few years in Biglaw/clerkship -> academia.

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quakeroats
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby quakeroats » Sun May 27, 2012 1:20 am

gokumax wrote:This thread is relevant to my interests. I'd like to know more about law professors and PhD's.

Go to any school's website, and you'll see that the majority of law professors do not have PhD's. I've heard that the typical path to law professorship is HYS -> A few years in Biglaw/clerkship -> academia.


Several doctorates are in high demand in the academy. Read some of the work on how to be a law professor if you're interested.

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cantaboot
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby cantaboot » Sun May 27, 2012 6:30 pm

Yes, econ phd. ditto what others have said.

By the way, one of our professors was a leader in his field. one day he made some cursory statements about law and econ. I was not an econ major and because the statement was not useful to the understanding of the core materials I paid little arofttention to it. several people in our class kept harping on what a big mistake the professor had made in that statement.

The prof was an econ major but he only had an undergrad degree besides his JD.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Mon May 28, 2012 10:29 am

Econ PhDs do reeeeaaaally well on the market, but do keep in mind that it's hard to get in to most of the top programs. You'll basically need a 800 GRE quant score and a 3.7 or so UGPA, with a technical major -- math is best, but physics or hard engineering will do. Econ undergrad would put you at a distinct disadvantage, unless it's from a really well-reputed program.

Other PhDs with success in law school hiring include sociology, public policy and history. It really depends on what field and type of analysis you are interested in.

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dingbat
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby dingbat » Mon May 28, 2012 10:33 am

Woodrow Wilson school of Public and International Affairs is credited

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Br3v
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby Br3v » Mon May 28, 2012 10:49 am

Econ.

But also, as another posted stated, whatever you field you plan to overlap with your published work:

InterArma
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby InterArma » Tue May 29, 2012 11:42 pm

Just noticed that my original reply is sloppily worded. I did not mean that most law professors I've met have econ PhDs. Most do not have have PhDs at all. I meant that among those who DO have doctorates, an econ PhD is the most common (in my experience).

Younger Abstention
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed May 30, 2012 12:13 am

Most law professors are either economists or philosophers (roughly), so those tend to be the most common.

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Br3v
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Re: Best PhD for a lawyer to get?

Postby Br3v » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:52 am

How stupid would a history PhD be? Even though I haven't researched the market, it seems like it would be dismal due to the fact the Only thing you can do with a history PhD is teach or travel the back roads of America buying antiques from people's sheds. But it seems like it could blend well with a JD. It would be US Hist, maybe like US legal Hist or something. Even if it adds nothing significant to ones resume, it's a topic I thoroughly enjoy and think the utility it provided me alone is tempting.




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