Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Emrah, May 15, 2010.

  1. dcb1888

    dcb1888 New Member

    By the way, I have never seen "JD" after a lawyer's name on a business card. It just says Attorney John Smith, for example, or sometimes, but not often, John Smith, Esq.
    That is another question, the use of "esquire". I think it is very pretentious but others may disagree.
  2. agent445

    agent445 New Member

    I don't understand why new people who sign-up would want to stay when half their postings don't show up until 24 or 48 hours later in the middle of the thread and no one knows they're there. I'm sure dozens of people have left the board because of that. Regardless, I'll try one more time to post before I leave forever myself if it gets filtered again:

    First, you need to consider the country. I live in the U.S., and that's all I care about. As far as I know, only one state bar association in the country has ever questioned whether the JD is a doctorate, and that was back in the '70's and probably not relevant now. A small number of other jurisdictions noted that the JD is a doctorate but ethics committees stated that attorneys shouldn't use it because it provided no additional benefit being a generic title, it often causes confusion, and can lead to self laudation. I'm not really in favor of attorneys using the title, except for law professors. I am in favor of that.

    With regard to the LLM and JSD, these are both postdoctoral degrees. The JSD is a research doctorate which also happens to be a postdoctoral degree of a professional doctorate. This is explained on the Stanford page about its JSD program.

    Under the reasoning used by some here, a typical dentist isn't allowed to use the doctor title because Ph.D's are also offered in dental science. And that's not true. One is a professional doctorate, and the other is a postdoctoral research doctorate.

    And with regard to the LLM in the United States, as I wrote earlier, it is treated more as certification added onto the JD a person already has. Except possibly for new professor hires in tax law, they don't require that professors have higher than a JD to teach the courses. As a matter of fact, at some law schools, including University of Chicago Law School, all the classes that LLM students take are shared with the JD students taking electives. The LLM simply isn't viewed in the profession in a linear fashion the way a masters degree in English is viewed to a bachelors degree in English, for example. It's rather practically seen as certification added onto the JD somewhat analogous to someone with an MBA getting a certificate for marketing or whatever.

    And that's reflected in the hiring process. Pursuit of an LLM is a surprisingly unpopular endeavor. It costs a lot of money for often "nothing" in return whatsoever. It's usually a huge net loss, as a matter of fact. Why would most law graduates want to continue with school spending another $50 grand and more loans for living expenses, while at the same time missing out on a first year salary which could be in the 6 digit range (or below for some)? You're talking about losing potentially $250K in lost salary and expenses and not being offered a higher salary after finally getting the LLM.

    As a matter of fact, when I was pondering the possibility of going for LLM myself, one of the things that convinced me it was a complete was of time was the fact that most persons who get an LLM ultimately don't spend significant practice time in the area in which they received the LLM, and they don't get hired to practice in that area, either. Again, the big exception being tax law, and perhaps environmental law.
  3. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Just because I'm a pain in the butt but an informative one, here's a site that chronicles legal academia's hiring practices: (2008 data linked)

    Legal Theory Blog: Entry Level Hiring Report Version 5.0

    So is it ok to call a JD holder, Doctor - sure is.
    Is it ok to have that title mean as much as someone who holds a true PhD or ScD being called the same - probably not.

    Either way, most of the academics are as expected coming from twenty or so schools and many of them are carrying a PhD or other graduate credential in addition to the JD. Exceptions are from the Harvard, Yale and Columbia camps. and are usually carrying research fellowships.

    Maybe we're being snotty because there's the "JD" from Ivy's and the "JD" from Concord Law School and they're not the same monster?
  4. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Pretentious maybe, that's a matter of personal choice but it should be noted that not all with a JD can use the term properly. It's meant only for people who actually practice law. So JD plus article period plus called to bar and some actual practice = Esq.
  5. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    Ok got an email back from ACE. It contained one sentence as follows.

    "Dear XXXXXX

    It is not academically acceptable for a JD to refer to themselves as Doctor.

    Policies , American Council on Education"
  6. dcb1888

    dcb1888 New Member

    No wonder I've never heard of any JD being called doctor in my thirty years of practice
  7. obecve

    obecve New Member

    Actually I am aware of a number of professors in small state colleges holding roles from provost to instructors in criminal justice that are called Dr. with a J.D.
  8. dcb1888

    dcb1888 New Member

    I meant me personally, all those years. I'm sure it is done, just that I haven't heard it.
  9. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    It is common practice at colleges and universities to refer to J.D. holders as "doctor". In my 2+ decades working in higher ed, I have heard it hundreds of times. The fascinating thing for me has been that I have never heard a law professor use the title "doctor"--it has always been J.D. holders who teach in business, management, human resources, sociology or justice studies departments who use the title "doctor".
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    We moderate posts in order to eliminate spam from the board. Dozens of "members" are banned every week in this effort. Sometimes it takes a while to sift through all the new posts because all of the Admins have full-time jobs in the real world. We have families, friends, hobbies and all sorts of responsibilities that pull us away from approving your postings. If you feel that you need to leave us because your posts don't receive adequate attention then I'm sure we'll all understand. Now, as always, it's your choice.
  11. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Actually, the LL.M. is a masters degree, allowing some one to specialize in a area (most often tax law). It is not a postdoctoral degree not a postdoctoral degree. The S.J.D. (J.S.D.) is also not a postdoctoral degree--it is a research doctorate equivalent to the Ph.D. It typically requires either a first professional degree (such as the J.D.) or a first professional degree and a masters, as in your example case of the Stanford J.S.D. The Stanford J.S.D. is for students who received a foreign law degree and then completed Stanford's Master of Laws degree (J.S.M.) Stanford Law School's website lists the LL.M., J.S.M. and J.S.D. degrees as "Graduate Degrees," not "Postdoctoral Degrees". Advanced Degree Programs | Stanford Law School I have not found that term on the website, so maybe you can let us know where you found it.

    By the way, I have never had any problem addressing my fellow faculty or administrators with J.D. degrees as "doctor".
  12. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    It can't be any clearer then this people.
  13. agent445

    agent445 New Member

    I'm pretty much going to be repeated what I already wrote.

    The JSD is a research doctorate that also happens to be a postdoctoral degree of a professional doctorate. For that matter, the LLM is also a postdoctoral degree (in the US).

    Doctor of Science of Law (JSD) | Stanford Law School

    Also see my previous postings.

    See the above link.

    There are two different doctorates in law in the United States. One is the professional doctorate, the Juris Doctorate, and the other is a research doctorate, the JSD (SJD). The research doctorate happens to be a postdoctoral degree of the professional doctorate.

    For that matter, the D.D.S. in the U.S. is also a professional doctorate, and they are still "doctors", and yet there is still an M.S.D and Ph.D. that they can get, with the Ph.D. being the research doctorate. That doesn't render the D.D.S. a non-doctorate. If I understand what you are trying to say, under your reasoning, the DDS would be a first professional degree and thus not a doctorate. Please see my earlier postings.

    IU School of Dentistry - MSD DEGREE
  14. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Wow, on and on and on.

    So we've finally gotten to the professional doctorate vs. the research doctorate. Bravo!

    Circling back to the JD specifically because taking things out of context by discussing dentists and medical professionals is not helpful...

    Once we establish that a LLM (Masters degree in Law) is a higher level degree than the JD and the SJD (research law) exists as a true doctorate in law, and people can practice law and be called to the bar with a LLB as well as a JD (making the JD seem a special case as you can't practice medicine with a bachelors in anatomy or biology...)

    I guess what it comes down to really is function. Those with research goals and medical goals can by either explicit cultural approval or proven academic grounding call themselves Doctor.

    We've had several posts in the thread (some from excellent sources) state that those with a JD should not. However, in the case of academic culture, some may do so if they are teaching courses.. this is a respect thing, not a earned right.

    I personally wouldn't and I wouldn't offer the respect to a professor solely based on a JD. Now if someone put the time in and went for the LLM and JSD, I'd probably hold them in higher esteem than the solitary PhD holder. Truthfully though, this thread has proven very, very useful from the perspective of someone who has been looking at JD studies for a year now.

    I now see a JD as a complimentary piece of my final discipline and not the whole bean.

  15. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    The Stanford site does refer to its JSD a postdoctoral degree. However, by that measure, the Ph.D. would also be considered a postdoctoral degree, since the two degree are equivalent. The problem here lies in the term "professional doctorate" which, depending on who you ask, can mean a first professional degree (e.g. J.D., D.D.S.) or a research doctorate that is administered by a professional program (e.g. Ed.D., D.B.A., D.P.A., J.S.D.). These two types of degrees are not equivalent, since the latter (but not the former) are research degrees equivalent to the Ph.D.

    Accrediting bodies (e.g. DETC) and institutions (e.g. Cal State University System) have used the ambiguity to their advantage by offering research doctorates under the guise of them being "professional" doctorates that are unlike the Ph.D. However the Dept. of Education has particular definitions for "first professional" and "research doctorate" degrees. The USDOE has no classification of "professional doctorate". This forum is a perfect example of the result of this inconsistent application of the term. Is the J.D. a "professional doctorate"? By some definitions, yes. Is the D.B.A. a "professional doctorate"? By some definitions, yes. Are the J.D. and D.B.A. equivalent degrees. No. the D.B.A. is a research doctorate, not a first professional degree. the J.D. is a first professional degree, not a research doctorate.
  16. agent445

    agent445 New Member

    No, because if someone earns a B.S. in biology, then an M.S., and then a Ph.D., the Ph.D. would not be a postdoctoral degree because no doctorate would have been earned or necessary before obtaining the Ph.D.

    But in the case of dentists, the Ph.D. would be a postdoctoral degree. It's because the D.D.S. is a professional doctorate and it is one of the prerequisites for entering the Ph.D. program in dental science.

    Stanford calls the JSD a postdoctoral degree because the JD is a professional doctorate and it is one of the prerequisites for applying to the program.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2010
  17. OldArmy94

    OldArmy94 New Member

    I think that Bill Clinton started teaching at U of A law school right after he graduated with his law degree, but I'm not 100% sure of that.
  18. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

    My understanding is that yes, he went straight from a J.D. at Yale to teaching at Arkansas.

    The current POTUS essentially did something very similar - a J.D. at Harvard to teaching at Chicago.
  19. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member

    Apropos of nothing Stanford will admit LLB holders into its LLM or JSM program, and then subsequently into the JSD program. For admission purposes they consider the JD and LLB to be equivalent, yet one is a professional doctorate while the other is not.
  20. agent445

    agent445 New Member


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