PhD after law school?

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Great Satchmo
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PhD after law school?

Postby Great Satchmo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:06 pm

Any input or insight into pursuing a social science PhD after law school? Clearly it leads one more toward the academic or policy research realm, rather than practice I would assume.

I had applied for a round of clinical psychology programs my senior year of college, and had some interviews. I realize now, after some substantive full-time research positions at Stanford and UCSF, publications, clinical experience, etc...that I'd be a significantly stronger candidate. I still have some interest if I can find a niche in research that doesn't bore me.

My first concern is debt - if I amass a $100k debt load, how would it be dealt with for graduate school? Would I be able to defer it while pursuing a PhD full time? Or would I be responsible for repayment regardless of enrollment?

Second, I'm curious about what doors are opened. I'd think that policy research (university/think tank) would be a possibility, as well as faculty positions at both law and other schools. Since it's social science, I don't see how the combination would lend itself to much else.


Thoughts?

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chadwick218
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:09 pm

I have actually considered pursuing a PhD in Finance / Accounting after law school. It is my understanding that some schools if you pursue a PhD after graduating from that school's law school, they will forgive the law school debt under certain conditions. For example, I believe that NU may offer such a program.

Philaw
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Philaw » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:19 pm

I was considering a PhD in philosophy as well....my conclusion? I'm looking for a joint degree program with a JD/Ph.D. Philosophy which typically shaves time off of the time required for both if you were going to do both, ultimately saving you time and money. I'm doing it as an enhancement to my degree with the potential for alternatives of employement if actually practicing ends up not working out. I've already been offered a tentative position teaching, if I were so inclined, and I also considered going other JD preferred routes where the Ph.D. in Philosophy would be advantageous.

Legalite
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Legalite » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:46 pm

I think if you really want to pursue academia or love the subject, do it. But otherwise, I don't see a compelling reason to do it...

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Doritos
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Doritos » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:07 pm

Legalite wrote:I think if you really want to pursue academia or love the subject, do it. But otherwise, I don't see a compelling reason to do it...



No, you call me Dr. Doritos...I got a Ph.D!! this is reason enough

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TTH
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby TTH » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:35 am

Doritos wrote:
Legalite wrote:I think if you really want to pursue academia or love the subject, do it. But otherwise, I don't see a compelling reason to do it...



No, you call me Dr. Doritos...I got a Ph.D!! this is reason enough


I used to work with a couple Ph.Ds, one of which when he first started introduced himself as "Dr. _____." He was mocked without pity for months.

jerjon2
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby jerjon2 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:05 am

chadwick218 wrote:I have actually considered pursuing a PhD in Finance / Accounting after law school. It is my understanding that some schools if you pursue a PhD after graduating from that school's law school, they will forgive the law school debt under certain conditions. For example, I believe that NU may offer such a program.


What kind of employment would you be seeking with that sort of background combined with your legal training? (I have considered it briefly myself and I'm curious to know what opportunities it might present)

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dextermorgan
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:20 am

I would not want to pursue a PhD with sticker law school debt.

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chadwick218
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:24 am

dextermorgan wrote:I would not want to pursue a PhD with sticker law school debt.


agreed, but there are situations where such debt will be forgiven. i have a couple of friends at NU that upon graduation in may will be pursuing PhD programs (granted they'll be pursuing their PhDs at NU).

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Doritos
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Doritos » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:25 am

dextermorgan wrote:I would not want to pursue a PhD with sticker law school debt.


It would be deferred whilst you are in your PhD program right? Plus don't most/all PhD programs pay you to do the program (aka free tuition and living stipend)? Sounds like a good way to dodge Sallie Mae if you end up below median anywhere ranked lower than a school that rhymes with Schmarvard...

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dextermorgan
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:29 am

chadwick218 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:I would not want to pursue a PhD with sticker law school debt.


agreed, but there are situations where such debt will be forgiven. i have a couple of friends at NU that upon graduation in may will be pursuing PhD programs (granted they'll be pursuing their PhDs at NU).

Doesn't NU have a special program for this?

With the shift towards PhD/JD hiring in law academia it will be interesting to see what the trend ends up being. There are compelling arguments for the PhD before LS, after a few years of practice, and joint programs. Unfortunately my interests don't lend themselves to dual degrees very well.

Doritos wrote:It would be deferred whilst you are in your PhD program right? Plus don't most/all PhD programs pay you to do the program (aka free tuition and living stipend)? Sounds like a good way to dodge Sallie Mae if you end up below median anywhere ranked lower than a school that rhymes with Schmarvard...

Yeah for the record, you should not enter into a PhD program that isn't fully funding you. The real issue though is that once you graduate unless your PhD is in a few specific fields, or your law degree is from a prestigious program, your career prospects are even worse than they are form law school. While you can defer and use IBR/forgiveness etc. I would not want to have that on my back.
Last edited by dextermorgan on Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chadwick218
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:33 am

dextermorgan wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:I would not want to pursue a PhD with sticker law school debt.


agreed, but there are situations where such debt will be forgiven. i have a couple of friends at NU that upon graduation in may will be pursuing PhD programs (granted they'll be pursuing their PhDs at NU).

Doesn't NU have a special program for this?

With the shift towards PhD/JD hiring in law academia it will be interesting to see what the trend ends up being. There are compelling arguments for the PhD before LS, after a few years of practice, and joint programs. Unfortunately my interests don't lend themselves to dual degrees very well.


They do. There are a couple of ways that one can become involved, but the most common seems to be applying concurrently.

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Kohinoor
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:51 am

Admirable dedication to avoiding paying work.

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chadwick218
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:33 am

Kohinoor wrote:Admirable dedication to avoiding paying work.


Hey, I am considering academia in the even that paying work decides to pass me over altogether (which is quite likely).

notanumber
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby notanumber » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:01 pm

OP: You can defer federal ed. loans so long as you are an enrolled student: http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/student_guide/2009-2010/english/postponeloanpayment.htm
Last edited by notanumber on Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Blindmelon
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:21 pm

I've thought about it.. then again, I'll only be 60k in debt. For high level government jobs PHD >>> JD. Having both seems like overkill though.

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Borhas
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Borhas » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:23 pm

seems like at some point a man has to become productive 11+ years of post high school education is just ridiculous

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Doritos
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Doritos » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:31 pm

Borhas wrote:seems like at some point a man has to become productive 11+ years of post high school education is just ridiculous


anti-woman trolling.

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Borhas
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Borhas » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:52 pm

Doritos wrote:
Borhas wrote:seems like at some point a man has to become productive 11+ years of post high school education is just ridiculous


anti-woman trolling.

it also refers to a singular human being regardless of gender

just fyi

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Doritos
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Doritos » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:53 pm

Borhas wrote:
Doritos wrote:
Borhas wrote:seems like at some point a man has to become productive 11+ years of post high school education is just ridiculous


anti-woman trolling.

it also refers to a singular human being regardless of gender

just fyi


dang. Borhas: 1, Doritos: 0

270910
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby 270910 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:15 pm

chadwick218 wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:Admirable dedication to avoiding paying work.


Hey, I am considering academia in the even that paying work decides to pass me over altogether (which is quite likely).


I see this kind of thinking frequently: People go 'LOLOLOL IF BEING A LAWYER DOESN'T WORK I'LL JUST TEACH LAW LOLOLOLOLOL"

Do you have any idea how competitive law faculty positions are?

Likewise, to the OP and others talking about 'the trend in PhD hiring' - short of becoming an astronaut/judge/senator/movie star, I can't think of much that is harder to do than become a law professor. It takes a hell of a lot more than 'just' a PhD.

A PhD in Philosophy + a JD is going to be years of your life with no tangible return unless you're amongst the best/brightest in both fields. If you are, cool. Go for it. I don't know about your stats/background/motivations so I don't want to come across as too judgmental.

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neimanmarxist
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby neimanmarxist » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:24 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Do you have any idea how competitive law faculty positions are?

.... short of becoming an astronaut/judge/senator/movie star, I can't think of much that is harder to do than become a law professor.


this.

Probably won't do it for reasons of practicality but I've always thought it would be a lot of fun.


that is highly debatable.

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dutchstriker
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby dutchstriker » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:40 pm

Harvard's LIPP will cover your loans during a PhD program (after a mandatory deferral while you're taking courses). It might become a factor in my quest to stay in school forever.

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Blindmelon
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:44 pm

neimanmarxist wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
Do you have any idea how competitive law faculty positions are?

.... short of becoming an astronaut/judge/senator/movie star, I can't think of much that is harder to do than become a law professor.


this.

Probably won't do it for reasons of practicality but I've always thought it would be a lot of fun.


that is highly debatable.


If you have a PHD, you don't need to teach law :roll: .

270910
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Re: PhD after law school?

Postby 270910 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:48 pm

Blindmelon wrote:If you have a PHD, you don't need to teach law :roll: .


That's right, with your PhD you can, uh... well, PhDs qualify you to... I mean you can always... oh, a non-law faculty job!

Oh that's right, I almost forgot that getting a tenure-track jobs with a PhD is ALSO insanely difficult, getting tenure once you have the tenure track job is less likely, and the compensation isn't close to as high as for a law faculty position.




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