Doctorate Degrees

Some professionals in legal careers will proceed to a doctorate degree. Those who graduate with a doctoral level criminal justice degree go on to carry out research, work as a professor at a law school, or in public policy. Courses involved are:

  • Research design and statistics
  • Public policy
  • Application of theoretical concepts

The law degree that matches the PhD in most other fields is called the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.). The program takes at least three years and involves heavy research. Prerequisites for these programs include a Bachelor’s degree, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Masters of Laws degree. Most people starting this type of degree have years of experience in the field of law. High grades and published papers are usually a requirement. Completion of the degree includes researching and writing a dissertation. Coursework includes

  • Torts
  • Legal writing
  • Legal research
  • Civil procedure
  • Constitutional law
  • Legal advocacy

Most graduates of a S.J.D program will return as a professor at a law school. They continue research and writing papers and academic articles. Combination of an S.J.D. degree plan with coursework in a specialization area, such as constitutional law, environmental law, family law, business law, or bankruptcy law is common.

Last Updated: 05/23/2014

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