JD/PhD ----- public interest options

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MyNameIsntJames

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JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:54 pm

Hello all, I'm a 0L getting ready to apply this cycle for Fall 2017 admission and I have a question.

I'm planning on gunning for public interest out the gate. However, I'm also very interested in academia and I enjoy learning. I'm one of those "knowledge for the sake of knowledge" people so I was heavily considering a dual degree with my JD by getting a PhD concurrently in criminal justice. Will this harm my ability to get a job as a PD? When I complete both programs, I anticipate being 28/29 ish. Is this too old? And will PD offices be turned off by PhD and think I'm a flight risk? Or will they appreciate someone so specifically interested in criminal justice and trial advocacy? Also, is it common for those with PhDs to litigate? I googled up some attorneys that are public defenders that have the same credentials as I'm seeking and found only one possible match. It was a current student, but he said his plans were to become a PD & he had internship experience in a federal defender's office. He was pursuing a JD/PhD degree as well.


Note: Don't really care about $$ or objectively how you feel about a PhD, not to be rude. I want to receive the PhD for the sake of love of academia. I just want to know if it fits in with this career or if I'm possibly botching opportunities in PI by doing this and pigeon holing myself into a life of academia instead of litigating.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby fauxpsych » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:30 pm

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Hello all, I'm a 0L getting ready to apply this cycle for Fall 2017 admission and I have a question.

I'm planning on gunning for public interest out the gate. However, I'm also very interested in academia and I enjoy learning. I'm one of those "knowledge for the sake of knowledge" people so I was heavily considering a dual degree with my JD by getting a PhD concurrently in criminal justice. Will this harm my ability to get a job as a PD? When I complete both programs, I anticipate being 28/29 ish. Is this too old? And will PD offices be turned off by PhD and think I'm a flight risk? Or will they appreciate someone so specifically interested in criminal justice and trial advocacy? Also, is it common for those with PhDs to litigate? I googled up some attorneys that are public defenders that have the same credentials as I'm seeking and found only one possible match. It was a current student, but he said his plans were to become a PD & he had internship experience in a federal defender's office. He was pursuing a JD/PhD degree as well.


Note: Don't really care about $$ or objectively how you feel about a PhD, not to be rude. I want to receive the PhD for the sake of love of academia. I just want to know if it fits in with this career or if I'm possibly botching opportunities in PI by doing this and pigeon holing myself into a life of academia instead of litigating.


I am absolutely being rude here, don't get a fucking PhD because of some love of academia. If that's your reason, you will not finish and you will most certainly not find a funded PhD position. People get PhD's because they are passionate about an area of research they stumbled upon in undergrad, and want to meaningfully explore it further, expanding upon that research. I know tons of people who have gotten their PhDs and are in the process of getting their PhDs, none of them did it for a love of academia, but for a love of their specific topic. All of them considered quitting and more than a few did quit.

A PhD is a research degree first, it's not just a continuation of your B.A./B.S. where you just sit back and take higher level classes. Have you ever presented at a conference? You will be competing against undergrads who have. How are your research skills? Have you ever taken a research methods class? How many stats classes? In undergrad, did you work with a professor's research lab? Co-author anything?

The classwork is remarkably easy. The real difficulty is in generating a dissertation topic, creating and running a study, and then analyzing the results. And that's not even include actually writing the fucking dissertation. A general love of academia is not going to get you through.

If, no matter what, you want the taste of academia, I would recommend that you first get a Master's Degree and hold off law school. If you are seriously considering a PhD, make sure the program confers the degree on the basis of a thesis defense, rather than a comprehensive examination so that you have the viable research skills.

To get to the legal side, if you want to be a litigator, don't get a PhD concurrently. If you want to work in policy, great, you don't need a JD for it. Just get the PhD. A PD's office doesn't need or want a PhD. They need lawyers period. They want good lawyers who will stay. A PhD does not signal that you would be a good lawyer, and it certainly does not signal that you would stay. Anecdotally was in an elevator last year serving something to a PD's office in NYC and I overheard two people making fun of a candidate that interviewed there because even though he had an Ivy JD/PhD (criminology), the person had no chance in hell of being hired with that resume.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:41 pm

fauxpsych wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:Hello all, I'm a 0L getting ready to apply this cycle for Fall 2017 admission and I have a question.

I'm planning on gunning for public interest out the gate. However, I'm also very interested in academia and I enjoy learning. I'm one of those "knowledge for the sake of knowledge" people so I was heavily considering a dual degree with my JD by getting a PhD concurrently in criminal justice. Will this harm my ability to get a job as a PD? When I complete both programs, I anticipate being 28/29 ish. Is this too old? And will PD offices be turned off by PhD and think I'm a flight risk? Or will they appreciate someone so specifically interested in criminal justice and trial advocacy? Also, is it common for those with PhDs to litigate? I googled up some attorneys that are public defenders that have the same credentials as I'm seeking and found only one possible match. It was a current student, but he said his plans were to become a PD & he had internship experience in a federal defender's office. He was pursuing a JD/PhD degree as well.


Note: Don't really care about $$ or objectively how you feel about a PhD, not to be rude. I want to receive the PhD for the sake of love of academia. I just want to know if it fits in with this career or if I'm possibly botching opportunities in PI by doing this and pigeon holing myself into a life of academia instead of litigating.


I am absolutely being rude here, don't get a fucking PhD because of some love of academia. If that's your reason, you will not finish and you will most certainly not find a funded PhD position. People get PhD's because they are passionate about an area of research they stumbled upon in undergrad, and want to meaningfully explore it further, expanding upon that research. I know tons of people who have gotten their PhDs and are in the process of getting their PhDs, none of them did it for a love of academia, but for a love of their specific topic. All of them considered quitting and more than a few did quit.

A PhD is a research degree first, it's not just a continuation of your B.A./B.S. where you just sit back and take higher level classes. Have you ever presented at a conference? You will be competing against undergrads who have. How are your research skills? Have you ever taken a research methods class? How many stats classes? In undergrad, did you work with a professor's research lab? Co-author anything?

The classwork is remarkably easy. The real difficulty is in generating a dissertation topic, creating and running a study, and then analyzing the results. And that's not even include actually writing the fucking dissertation. A general love of academia is not going to get you through.

If, no matter what, you want the taste of academia, I would recommend that you first get a Master's Degree and hold off law school. If you are seriously considering a PhD, make sure the program confers the degree on the basis of a thesis defense, rather than a comprehensive examination so that you have the viable research skills.

To get to the legal side, if you want to be a litigator, don't get a PhD concurrently. If you want to work in policy, great, you don't need a JD for it. Just get the PhD. A PD's office doesn't need or want a PhD. They need lawyers period. They want good lawyers who will stay. A PhD does not signal that you would be a good lawyer, and it certainly does not signal that you would stay. Anecdotally was in an elevator last year serving something to a PD's office in NYC and I overheard two people making fun of a candidate that interviewed there because even though he had an Ivy JD/PhD (criminology), the person had no chance in hell of being hired with that resume.


Thank you for your response. To address what you said:


1. I am absolutely passionate about criminal justice, hence the desire to be a public defender (which is a lot more competitive, less high-paying then going for a generic BigLaw job from a T14).

2. I have a wealth of speaking experience in and outside of school and I received a B.A. in Political Science which delves into the introductory levels of research and quantitative analysis one would be expected to conduct as a Ph.D. I am very familiar with SPSS software already and completely aware of the level of diligence and effort it takes to complete this program.

I can't expect you to have known the above mentioned facts because I did not mention them in my Op, so I don't fault you at all for your response.


In terms of the JD/PhD who "had no chance in hell" I'm not sure why a PhD would preclude a candidate with a proven track record showing dedication to the field as well as demonstrable trial advocacy experience would have no chance in a PD office. I want the PhD to gain more knowledge of the system as well as contribute to the field by adding research and publications that advance our current understanding of the criminal justice system. My research alone probably won't yield any ground breaking or cataclysmic changes, but everything helps. I want to contribute to this field via research and by actual trial advocacy. I don't see why these have to be mutually exclusive goals or the absurdity in wanting to complete this before dedicating one's life to litigation for indigent defendants.

If you feel I'm still off base after reviewing this information, please feel free to correct me. Same goes for anyone else reading the thread.

Thanks.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby bretby » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:51 pm

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Hello all, I'm a 0L getting ready to apply this cycle for Fall 2017 admission and I have a question.

I'm planning on gunning for public interest out the gate. However, I'm also very interested in academia and I enjoy learning. I'm one of those "knowledge for the sake of knowledge" people so I was heavily considering a dual degree with my JD by getting a PhD concurrently in criminal justice. Will this harm my ability to get a job as a PD? When I complete both programs, I anticipate being 28/29 ish. Is this too old? And will PD offices be turned off by PhD and think I'm a flight risk? Or will they appreciate someone so specifically interested in criminal justice and trial advocacy? Also, is it common for those with PhDs to litigate? I googled up some attorneys that are public defenders that have the same credentials as I'm seeking and found only one possible match. It was a current student, but he said his plans were to become a PD & he had internship experience in a federal defender's office. He was pursuing a JD/PhD degree as well.


Note: Don't really care about $$ or objectively how you feel about a PhD, not to be rude. I want to receive the PhD for the sake of love of academia. I just want to know if it fits in with this career or if I'm possibly botching opportunities in PI by doing this and pigeon holing myself into a life of academia instead of litigating.


You won't know what either career entails or is like until you are in it, so I would suggest choosing one degree, completing it and working in the field before going for another. You will be better at both (if you ultimately decide to do both) than you would be as a dual degree student.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:59 pm

A PhD is an academic degree. Unless in the hard sciences and you're going into intellectual property law, it's of no use to a practicing lawyer (and getting a non-science PhD tends really strongly to acculturate you as an academic, not a practitioner). There are positions which would value a PhD related to criminal law, but they would be policy/research-based, not being a PD, and to practicing lawyers you do run the risk of looking like you want to run away to be a prof or wonk at the first opportunity.

In short, generally speaking, research into the field and trial advocacy are usually mutually exclusive. It doesn't matter if you think they shouldn't be, it's what the legal profession as it's currently constituted thinks that matters. If you want to do a good job on either of these things, they need to be your full-time job. (You would be unlikely to be allowed to conduct research on your own active cases, for instance.)

It would likely make more sense for you to do the JD, get a bunch of practice experience, then turn to a PhD if you still want it and want to move into more policy-based activism kinds of positions. Frankly you will do much better research if it's informed by practical issues in the field, than you will be a better trial advocate having an academic background.

(Also presenting at academic conferences isn't really anything like other kinds of public speaking, nor is completing the major requirements in poli sci really the same as doing academic research on a PhD level, and PhDs tend to take longer than expected - but those are different issues.)

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

MyNameIsntJames wrote:
Thank you for your response. To address what you said:


1. I am absolutely passionate about criminal justice, hence the desire to be a public defender (which is a lot more competitive, less high-paying then going for a generic BigLaw job from a T14).

2. I have a wealth of speaking experience in and outside of school and I received a B.A. in Political Science which delves into the introductory levels of research and quantitative analysis one would be expected to conduct as a Ph.D. I am very familiar with SPSS software already and completely aware of the level of diligence and effort it takes to complete this program.

I can't expect you to have known the above mentioned facts because I did not mention them in my Op, so I don't fault you at all for your response.


In terms of the JD/PhD who "had no chance in hell" I'm not sure why a PhD would preclude a candidate with a proven track record showing dedication to the field as well as demonstrable trial advocacy experience would have no chance in a PD office. I want the PhD to gain more knowledge of the system as well as contribute to the field by adding research and publications that advance our current understanding of the criminal justice system. My research alone probably won't yield any ground breaking or cataclysmic changes, but everything helps. I want to contribute to this field via research and by actual trial advocacy. I don't see why these have to be mutually exclusive goals or the absurdity in wanting to complete this before dedicating one's life to litigation for indigent defendants.

If you feel I'm still off base after reviewing this information, please feel free to correct me. Same goes for anyone else reading the thread.

Thanks.


I think you want to read what they said more carefully. A desire to be a public defender does not, in any way, translate to, "I need a PhD." A PhD is for academic work and an academic career, full stop. You won't be enhancing your ability to defend indigent clients by getting one. You'll be doing research.

And having delved into the "introductory levels" of research is not going to give you a real idea of what doctorate-level research is really like. It's like saying that you played the latest FIFA video game, so you're all set to play professional soccer.

Finally, yes, you are doing it backwards. You don't go from high-level academic research to fieldwork. If you want to get experience as a PD and then you end up wanting to go for a doctorate and apply that experience to your research, go for it. But it doesn't really work the other way.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:A PhD is an academic degree. Unless in the hard sciences and you're going into intellectual property law, it's of no use to a practicing lawyer (and getting a non-science PhD tends really strongly to acculturate you as an academic, not a practitioner). There are positions which would value a PhD related to criminal law, but they would be policy/research-based, not being a PD, and to practicing lawyers you do run the risk of looking like you want to run away to be a prof or wonk at the first opportunity.

In short, generally speaking, research into the field and trial advocacy are usually mutually exclusive. It doesn't matter if you think they shouldn't be, it's what the legal profession as it's currently constituted thinks that matters. If you want to do a good job on either of these things, they need to be your full-time job. (You would be unlikely to be allowed to conduct research on your own active cases, for instance.)

It would likely make more sense for you to do the JD, get a bunch of practice experience, then turn to a PhD if you still want it and want to move into more policy-based activism kinds of positions. Frankly you will do much better research if it's informed by practical issues in the field, than you will be a better trial advocate having an academic background.

(Also presenting at academic conferences isn't really anything like other kinds of public speaking, nor is completing the major requirements in poli sci really the same as doing academic research on a PhD level, and PhDs tend to take longer than expected - but those are different issues.)



Damn that's crazy man. So basically even if I'm a JD candidate that would be highly considered for a PD position, the second I get a PhD I become unwanted? I didn't necessarily want to leverage the PhD in any way, I would even omit having it if it helped.

If that's the case then what doors would be open to me in terms of public interest and helping indigent defendants? And does the PhD preclude ANY chance of litigating anywhere in the capacity of criminal defense?

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:26 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:
Thank you for your response. To address what you said:


1. I am absolutely passionate about criminal justice, hence the desire to be a public defender (which is a lot more competitive, less high-paying then going for a generic BigLaw job from a T14).

2. I have a wealth of speaking experience in and outside of school and I received a B.A. in Political Science which delves into the introductory levels of research and quantitative analysis one would be expected to conduct as a Ph.D. I am very familiar with SPSS software already and completely aware of the level of diligence and effort it takes to complete this program.

I can't expect you to have known the above mentioned facts because I did not mention them in my Op, so I don't fault you at all for your response.


In terms of the JD/PhD who "had no chance in hell" I'm not sure why a PhD would preclude a candidate with a proven track record showing dedication to the field as well as demonstrable trial advocacy experience would have no chance in a PD office. I want the PhD to gain more knowledge of the system as well as contribute to the field by adding research and publications that advance our current understanding of the criminal justice system. My research alone probably won't yield any ground breaking or cataclysmic changes, but everything helps. I want to contribute to this field via research and by actual trial advocacy. I don't see why these have to be mutually exclusive goals or the absurdity in wanting to complete this before dedicating one's life to litigation for indigent defendants.

If you feel I'm still off base after reviewing this information, please feel free to correct me. Same goes for anyone else reading the thread.

Thanks.


I think you want to read what they said more carefully. A desire to be a public defender does not, in any way, translate to, "I need a PhD." A PhD is for academic work and an academic career, full stop. You won't be enhancing your ability to defend indigent clients by getting one. You'll be doing research.

And having delved into the "introductory levels" of research is not going to give you a real idea of what doctorate-level research is really like. It's like saying that you played the latest FIFA video game, so you're all set to play professional soccer.

Finally, yes, you are doing it backwards. You don't go from high-level academic research to fieldwork. If you want to get experience as a PD and then you end up wanting to go for a doctorate and apply that experience to your research, go for it. But it doesn't really work the other way.



I agree. I don't want to necessarily want to pursue the PhD to help me leverage a job as a PD or in PI litigating. I just want to contribute to the field of research in criminal justice. Once I'm finished, I don't care if the PhD is ever relevant again.

I also wanted to get it out the way now while the opportunity costs are low. Getting a PhD later will make me forfeit 10s of thousands more than I will in my 20s.


also, the PolySci mention was just to say I have at least a faint idea of what research is required. I wouldn't compare it to a FIFA game but more like a pickup game w friends versus pro soccer or a varsity sport versus the pros. (I'm a big sports fan so that analogy didn't sit well with me lol).

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:55 pm

I don't think the PhD has to preclude you from litigating, at all, but the biggest problem with the PhD here (and I'm being specific to criminal law - it could be different in other fields) is that generally speaking there will be a gap between your JD and PhD (PhDs take longer, although maybe theoretically you could get them conferred at the same time), and employers will wonder why you had to go on and get the PhD and why you didn't want to start working right away. You will look stale. Again, a lot of this relates specifically to being a PD, which (for lack of a better way to put this) isn't a very egghead kind of field (which I say with immense respect for PDs). You won't learn to try cases as a PhD, and that's what PDs care about.

You can certainly make a case for yourself with a PhD. But it's a different degree with very different purposes than a JD. If you want to do both of them understanding the difference, sure, but they really only work together well (in criminal law) for aspiring profs. They're really best understood as separate endeavors.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:16 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't think the PhD has to preclude you from litigating, at all, but the biggest problem with the PhD here (and I'm being specific to criminal law - it could be different in other fields) is that generally speaking there will be a gap between your JD and PhD (PhDs take longer, although maybe theoretically you could get them conferred at the same time), and employers will wonder why you had to go on and get the PhD and why you didn't want to start working right away. You will look stale. Again, a lot of this relates specifically to being a PD, which (for lack of a better way to put this) isn't a very egghead kind of field (which I say with immense respect for PDs). You won't learn to try cases as a PhD, and that's what PDs care about.

You can certainly make a case for yourself with a PhD. But it's a different degree with very different purposes than a JD. If you want to do both of them understanding the difference, sure, but they really only work together well (in criminal law) for aspiring profs. They're really best understood as separate endeavors.



I see what you're saying. If I were to get the PhD it would be as a joint/dual degree so I think that slips remove the gap year factor. Not sure if that makes any difference but just wanted to throw it in.

I do want to the PhD for further flexibility way down the line, but I want to convey to them that even if a great job opened up in teaching law, that I would decline it in favor of a PD position at this present moment. I wouldn't try to lateral to teaching until my 40s at the very least.

Although PDs typically aren't brainiacs per se , wouldn't they appreciate an analytical mind that is an "expert" on all things criminal justice? I still plan on doing clinics, crim Justice law review, moot court & internships at PD offices if that makes a difference. Essentially, I don't want my resume to look any different than any other PD gunners resume w the exception of the PhD on top of it. I'm thinking even with a PhD possibly adding another 3-4 years post JDgrad, they shouldn't see my skills as so rusty that I'm no longer a viable litigator, right? Perhaps that's an ignorant assumption. But let's say before I get my JD that I get a great internship, I kill moot court, get law review and do clinics oriented around some crim Justice litigation with a participating PD office, will they still discount this experience if they see a PhD? If I get the degrees concurrently I'm hoping they see it as one body of work rather than "he got a JD, didn't wanna work and then went back for a PhD and that didn't work so now he wants to settle for a PD position."

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:20 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:A PhD is an academic degree. Unless in the hard sciences and you're going into intellectual property law, it's of no use to a practicing lawyer (and getting a non-science PhD tends really strongly to acculturate you as an academic, not a practitioner). There are positions which would value a PhD related to criminal law, but they would be policy/research-based, not being a PD, and to practicing lawyers you do run the risk of looking like you want to run away to be a prof or wonk at the first opportunity.

In short, generally speaking, research into the field and trial advocacy are usually mutually exclusive. It doesn't matter if you think they shouldn't be, it's what the legal profession as it's currently constituted thinks that matters. If you want to do a good job on either of these things, they need to be your full-time job. (You would be unlikely to be allowed to conduct research on your own active cases, for instance.)

It would likely make more sense for you to do the JD, get a bunch of practice experience, then turn to a PhD if you still want it and want to move into more policy-based activism kinds of positions. Frankly you will do much better research if it's informed by practical issues in the field, than you will be a better trial advocate having an academic background.

(Also presenting at academic conferences isn't really anything like other kinds of public speaking, nor is completing the major requirements in poli sci really the same as doing academic research on a PhD level, and PhDs tend to take longer than expected - but those are different issues.)



I'm still thinking about this. What if my PhD was in litigation strategy?

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby Nebby » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:29 am

PhD is worthless in law. Get a better LSAT instead of collecting degrees (and debt).

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:32 am

That would be in something like communication rather than poli sci. And the only people I know of who have gone this direction run consulting companies, and seem almost exclusively to deal with civil litigation rather than criminal. I haven't seen any that combine it with a JD.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby YimaoL » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:16 am

I absolutely understand where you are coming from. I am double majoring in poli sci and criminal justice and we are on the same page. I am thinking about getting a JD/MA first, or JD along and see if I still want to pursue a Phd.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby BoobGoddess » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:06 am

You can have just a bachelor's degree in political science and work happily in public interest/public policy. You can do public interest without a PhD or a JD. In some cases, a JD or PHD might actually hurt you because it makes you overqualified.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:50 am

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Although PDs typically aren't brainiacs per se , wouldn't they appreciate an analytical mind that is an "expert" on all things criminal justice?


No. Because you're not an expert on things that actually matter to the job.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby Nebby » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:23 am

James. If you want to affect criminal justice reform, you need a JD and join a legal organization that pursues that goal. You do not need a PhD. It will not help you at all. It will be a giant waste of your time. It'll take 4 years out of your life that could be used to affect change.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:51 am

Nebby wrote:PhD is worthless in law. Get a better LSAT instead of collecting degrees (and debt).



True. But I mean what if I get into a program like NWestern where they knock off tuition for the JD & PhD plus give you the stipend for 6 years? I surely wouldn't pay any extra $$ for it so I agree w you there.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:54 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:That would be in something like communication rather than poli sci. And the only people I know of who have gone this direction run consulting companies, and seem almost exclusively to deal with civil litigation rather than criminal. I haven't seen any that combine it with a JD.



True. Is it possible that there are so few w a JD/PhD specifically looking to still litigate that we are considering absence of evidence as evidence of absence? I guess what I mean to say is that the lack of JD/PhDs in general combined w the tendency for most to join the world of academia kind of presents such a lack of them in the litigation/crim defense world that perhaps we're assuming it's a disadvantage or entirely unwise when there just hasn't been an individual to show that these things could be utilized effectively. I'm completely talking out of my ass so correct me if this is a misconception. I'm just wondering if this is a possibility. You guys know a lot more about this stuff than I do. I just want to make sure I cover all bases before I nuke this idea for good.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby Nebby » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:55 am

MyNameIsntJames wrote:
Nebby wrote:PhD is worthless in law. Get a better LSAT instead of collecting degrees (and debt).



True. But I mean what if I get into a program like NWestern where they knock off tuition for the JD & PhD plus give you the stipend for 6 years? I surely wouldn't pay any extra $$ for it so I agree w you there.

Brother, you can achieve all the things you want with just a JD and hard work.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:56 am

YimaoL wrote:I absolutely understand where you are coming from. I am double majoring in poli sci and criminal justice and we are on the same page. I am thinking about getting a JD/MA first, or JD along and see if I still want to pursue a Phd.



So you too also kind of want to get a PhD right beside your JD yet still pursue litigation before going into the world of academia? If so, thank you for telling me that because it lets me know that I'm not the only one who's considered this lol.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby Nebby » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:59 am

PhDs are for people who can't do anything else 8)

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:02 am

Nebby wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:
Nebby wrote:PhD is worthless in law. Get a better LSAT instead of collecting degrees (and debt).



True. But I mean what if I get into a program like NWestern where they knock off tuition for the JD & PhD plus give you the stipend for 6 years? I surely wouldn't pay any extra $$ for it so I agree w you there.

Brother, you can achieve all the things you want with just a JD and hard work.



I agree with you. It's not so much though that I'm looking to heighten my employment aspects or become a more desirable candidate with the PhD, I just really enjoy research and feel that this could provide a valuable opportunity for me to knock this out early in life, broaden my knowledge of the field I want to make a difference in as well as allow me to contribute to crim Justice advocacy in more than one way.

I'm thinking like this:

I could get my JD now, go straight to work litigating for X amount of years then get the PhD later and just research/teach. But at that point, I'll be much older, way further out of school and super rusty with academic stuff and I'll probably have a wife and kids as well as tons of additional responsibilities. I'm also going to have to forfeit way more money and that's a hard move to make, especially when you're already passed on BigLaw salary to do PI. So I figure -- Ok let me bang this out now, litigate for a few years (was hoping PD but it appears that's null) then seamlessly transition to academia/research in the field and perhaps make an even stronger contribution given that I'd have 10-15 years at least of hands on experience to inspire research questions and network sources/info.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:07 am

Nebby wrote:James. If you want to affect criminal justice reform, you need a JD and join a legal organization that pursues that goal. You do not need a PhD. It will not help you at all. It will be a giant waste of your time. It'll take 4 years out of your life that could be used to affect change.



I mean you really feel a PhD is that bad? Lol. I would be doing research and hopefully publish papers that can at the very least help advocate for arguments or be built off by other scholars in the future to help push a legal theory that promotes some change/awareness of how our system works, resulting in improvement. Off the strength of that it can't be a waste lol. I agree it's probably not as useful as litigating straight up. But I feel I have added flexibility if I decide to leave litigating or change roles to more of a consultant for that legal organization you mentioned.

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Re: JD/PhD ----- public interest options

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:10 am

BoobGoddess wrote:You can have just a bachelor's degree in political science and work happily in public interest/public policy. You can do public interest without a PhD or a JD. In some cases, a JD or PHD might actually hurt you because it makes you overqualified.



That's true. I'm just wondering if it's really impossible for me to craft out my own niche path with these two degrees.


I LinkedIn as many folks as I could that had a JD/PhD and found a few litigators. Most owned the firm, but I think k found a federal defender with the JD PhD.

Also saw they there we're some that scored clerk ships. I know those are like impossible to get , but suppose I scored one -- could I then back door into PD/crim def. work?



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