phd and jd

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northwood
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phd and jd

Postby northwood » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:48 pm

hello:
I currently have a master degree in special education, and 2 years of classroom teaching experience. I would like to work in educational law, specifically doing something with emotionally disturbed school age children ( under 21) and their families. There is not a lot of research on the issue of emotionally disturbed students, and how this disability coorelates to criminal behavior, or can be used as a predictor of the likelihood of incarceration for various types of crimes later in life. ( there has been some research done on criminals in the jail system allready, but I am interested in preventative methods to deter crime and creating programs for law enforcement, schools, and other public municipalities to use.

My question is this: should I get a JD and focus on educational law, or should I get my Ph.D in education then get the JD later?
I want to help families navigate this confusing area, but I want to know what avenue ( law school or Ph.D in education/ family planning) would make the most sense.


thanks for your help and suggestions

if this helps: Grades ug 3.53
graduate 3.96 Lsat 152 ( taken with no studying and never seen any questions before taking the test )

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vamedic03
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Re: phd and jd

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:39 pm

Honestly, sounds like you're interested in purely the academic side of a social sciences issue. Just get a PhD in a social science.

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CG614
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Re: phd and jd

Postby CG614 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:40 pm

northwood wrote:hello:
I currently have a master degree in special education, and 2 years of classroom teaching experience. I would like to work in educational law, specifically doing something with emotionally disturbed school age children ( under 21) and their families. There is not a lot of research on the issue of emotionally disturbed students, and how this disability coorelates to criminal behavior, or can be used as a predictor of the likelihood of incarceration for various types of crimes later in life. ( there has been some research done on criminals in the jail system allready, but I am interested in preventative methods to deter crime and creating programs for law enforcement, schools, and other public municipalities to use.

My question is this: should I get a JD and focus on educational law, or should I get my Ph.D in education then get the JD later?
I want to help families navigate this confusing area, but I want to know what avenue ( law school or Ph.D in education/ family planning) would make the most sense.


thanks for your help and suggestions

if this helps: Grades ug 3.53
graduate 3.96 Lsat 152 ( taken with no studying and never seen any questions before taking the test )


Is that a diagnostic, or did you sit for it cold? If the latter, why did you not study?

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northwood
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Re: phd and jd

Postby northwood » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:43 pm

which one has the better job placement? Things are tough right now, and may very well be for the next 3 -5 years. I want to make sure that any investment that I make wont ultimately end with me being in the poor house ( or back in my childhood house) for 20 years. ARe there any jobs that a phd in social sciences can get? I know law is tough, but is a Phd any better??

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northwood
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Re: phd and jd

Postby northwood » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:46 pm

I sat for it cold because I knew that teaching is not the profession for me and I needed to take the test to have any chances at starting in the fall ( which now, looking back was completely moronic of m0e. I am good at taking standardized tests, and thought that I could do well on this one. ( I still have my handprint on my forehead from doing this)

spondee
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Re: phd and jd

Postby spondee » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:49 pm

northwood wrote:hello:
I currently have a master degree in special education, and 2 years of classroom teaching experience. I would like to work in educational law, specifically doing something with emotionally disturbed school age children ( under 21) and their families. There is not a lot of research on the issue of emotionally disturbed students, and how this disability coorelates to criminal behavior, or can be used as a predictor of the likelihood of incarceration for various types of crimes later in life. ( there has been some research done on criminals in the jail system allready, but I am interested in preventative methods to deter crime and creating programs for law enforcement, schools, and other public municipalities to use.

My question is this: should I get a JD and focus on educational law, or should I get my Ph.D in education then get the JD later?
I want to help families navigate this confusing area, but I want to know what avenue ( law school or Ph.D in education/ family planning) would make the most sense.


thanks for your help and suggestions

if this helps: Grades ug 3.53
graduate 3.96 Lsat 152 ( taken with no studying and never seen any questions before taking the test )


The things you say you want to do don't really sound like scholarly work. So a PhD would be a waste of time. Can you try to locate people that do this work and find out how they got there?

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vamedic03
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Re: phd and jd

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:56 pm

Have you considered social work? It might provide you with more hands on intervention/treatment than being an attorney will.

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20160810
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Re: phd and jd

Postby 20160810 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:05 pm

With an LSAT score like that, I'd say try your luck with the Ph.D. first. Not worth going $200,000 into debt for a T3 school and then deferring that debt for another 5 years while you pursue your Ph.D.

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northwood
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Re: phd and jd

Postby northwood » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:29 pm

these are all good thoughts: thank you for your responses and opinions:

I taught Special Education for 2 years. I left the position and field because I became very burnt out from trying to find appropriate placements and outside supports for the students, and to be honest workign in an environment with students who were very mentally unstable and could snap and become dangerous at any moment, with little or no warning( All of my students were classified as having emotional disabilities/ psychosocial tendencies or something similar). I did not enjoy having to constantly watch my back and have to respond to a dangerous situtation ( I was attacked by my students on 5 separate occasions, and had to physically intereven when students were having a severe emotional outburst, or physcially attacked eachother0), or see my students be mental health arrested frequently.

I have allways been interested in law, and only finished my master degree because I had 2 courses left, and did not want to waste my time by not completing it. In undergrad while student teaching, I knew that my heart was not in it, and that I wantted to study educational law, or something similar.

as for the lsat, the first score was taken ICE cold. I never saw a question before I sat down ( Stupid, I know) to take it. I am currently studying for the October exam.

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iagolives
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Re: phd and jd

Postby iagolives » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:09 am

Hey OP,

I'm an upcoming 2L and my advice on it is to follow your heart (i.e. you know you don't want to teach so don't) but be realistic about law school. It ain't all milk and honey. I agree with SBL that it's very expensive and, honestly, job prospects right now in the law are still pretty rocky at best. I know you said that you felt prospects were bleak now and, even if that is true, then you might as well not acquire an obscene amount of debt as you're getting there.

On a deeper level though, without sounding preachy (sorry if I am, but I feel kind of strongly about the issue), know EXACTLY what you want out of law school before you go in. It isn't a place to "discover your passions." If you are interested in policy or theory like it sounds you are, do that. Law school prepares you to do one thing: practice law. Sure, lots of lawyers go on to do other stuff, but that isn't because law school "trained" them in that. I have friends who love law school because they knew that the practice of law is what they really wanted but I also have friends who just came in with a vague sense of liking law and are pretty unhappy. So, I guess, just think it through very carefully.

As someone making a similar decision right now, good luck. Let me know if I can be of any more help.

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northwood
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Re: phd and jd

Postby northwood » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:19 am

I know the practice of law is a ton of work, and law school is very costly. I also know that there isnt a program in the country that would allow me to learn more about the brain and emotions as a education phd without becoming a neurologist first I have talked to admissions, department heads, and researchers/ doctoral thesis advisors at 10 undergrads- all who say that what I am interested in is a field that is very very small and limited ( only UC Davis has something similar). I would have to re take 2 years of undergrad to get the pre med info out of the way, then medical school, then study emotions and ed policy). Science and math are a big struggle for me, so going this route would not make any sense ( I would also be around the upper 30s when i finished).

I want to work in the educational arena of law. That is where my background is, and where I feel I can make the best and most positive impact on society and my community. I am not sure what programs offer education law, and I wonder if education law is like anything in the education field today- very dependant on government ( state and federal) funding. Does anyone know of a place where I can get this information, or what schools I should be targeting?

This has kept me up many nights, and is now starting to impact my prep for the october lsat. any suggestions and help is greatly appreciated.

Again, thanks!

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iagolives
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Re: phd and jd

Postby iagolives » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:19 am

Northwood-

A lot of law schools don't have "majors" but you have 2 years of electives where you can specialize. So, while I would give the course catalog a look and make sure they have education law, I would just go to the best-ranked school you can. It sounds gauche, I know, but law is very cliquey like that and, unless you go to a pretty big place (e.g. Georgetown) you are unlikely to find more than a few classes on it. One thing to look for, though, is if the school has an education law clinic. I don't know any off the top of my head and I certainly wouldn't make it determinative of your choice, but it would be cool and really give you a chance to make sure this really what you like.




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