USCtrojan86 wrote:I will admit right up front that I've never taken a single class towards earning either a JD or a PhD/MD degree, but based on the numerous people that I have seen and known who have, I'm going to come out and make an official proclamation:
Anyone who thinks that the work that goes into taking the LSATs/getting a JD/passing the bar is in any way, shape or form even remotely comparable to the work that goes into taking the MCATs/earning an MD/interning is either demonstrably insane or unfathomably uninformed and idiotic. It's like comparing the NY Yankees to some minor league team stuck out in Podunk, ND. MD's earned the hell out of that title; JD's don't even deserve the laughs that they should rightfully get if they try and claim it.
PhD's fall somewhere in the middle; many PhD tracks are as difficult as (some are probably even more difficult than) the path to MD; some (cough cough you know who you are) are probably easier than a challenging Masters program. For the most part, however, I'm going to say that the sheer level of commitment and temerity that needs to be displayed to get any PhD (solid grounding in related and relevant coursework at a Bachelors and possibly Masters level, years and years of taking fairly to ridiculously advanced classes, dissertations and all the other ephemera that can be thrown as requirements just to make life hell) once again vastly outweigh anything involved in the JD. How many people graduate with a bachelors and decide to get a PhD in even the easiest and most BS-able subject on a whim? How many people graduate with a bachelors and decide to get a JD on a whim- and end up going to a T3 or T6 school to boot?
It's just not close. The JD is a joke degree compared to either a PhD or an MD, and is therefore is completely undeserving of the title of Doctorate or the "Dr." signifier. Compare the number of dental/medical schools in this country with the number of law schools...do you really want to be calling the kid that almost failed out of Cooley "Dr. So-and-so"?
That's why God invented LLM's and other advanced legal degrees.
I agree in principle. However, I know there are some joke doctorate degrees out there, too, like the one my aunt got in order to get an Air Force promotion.
A "JD" is just another designation for the old LL.b that most Commonwealth countries still use. Basically, if you wanted to study law, you went to university for 3 years and studied law. Then you became a lawyer after 1 or more years of apprenticeship (the PCLL in Hong Kong or the "articling" in Canada are remnants). In the U.S., most academic institutions changed the law degree into a post-graduate qualification after the pay of lawyers outstripped the pay of other Bachelor degrees. However, the nature of the degree has not changed. Evidence? Many countries, including Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong, have simply changed the name of "LLB" to "JD" in recent years to become more "Americanized" without changing the content of the underlying programs.
Thus, a JD is just like getting a second Bachelor's degree. To me, the whole process is stupid and wasteful. Basically, you're telling kids to waste 4 years and big bucks getting an (often useless) piece of paper based on coursework that often ultimately has nothing to do with the career they eventually want to pursue. Then, they plunk down $100,000 + for another 3 years of school for a second Bachelor's degree. Then, finally, they start doing what they want to do.
If I were to do the process again, I would have gone to a top UK university right out of high school, done 3 years of law, then either tried to practice in the Commonwealth or gotten an LLM from NYU (just 1 year). Either way, it would have made more sense and saved tons of time and money.
/ end rant