Why a Ph.D. in Law?
In addition to the opportunity to study and contribute
to the evolution of law as an academic field of study, a Ph.D. in Law will provide an excellent pathway to a career in legal
scholarship and law teaching. Whether it is right for any individual candidate will depend on a variety of factors. If you
are trying to decide between the Ph.D. in Law and a fellowship or a visiting assistant professorship, you should keep in mind
a number of considerations, including that the Ph.D. is a three year course of study beyond the J.D., and that it provides
a more structured program – including course work, qualifying exams, and close faculty supervision – than do most
fellowships. The Ph.D. in Law requires three years of academic work beyond the J.D., including coursework, an oral and written
comprehensive exam, the completion of a dissertation, which may take the form of a traditional monograph or three law-review
style articles, and training as well as experience in teaching. You should also consider the availability of appropriate mentors
in different programs- you will have a three-member faculty committee advising you through the Ph.D. program and will have
an opportunity to work closely with a wide range of Green Hills faculty in your courses as well as your full participation
in the intellectual life of the Law School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Green Hills. In addition, you should
consider differences in stipends, teaching burdens, and eligibility for loan repayment assistance programs.
Is a Ph.D. in Law right for me?
If you are
trying to decide between the Ph.D. in Law and a Ph.D. in another discipline, many of the same considerations come into play.
Also keep in mind that Ph.D. programs in economics, political science, history and other fields train scholars to produce
research responsive to the questions central to those disciplines. The scholarship produced by law faculties, and expected
of candidates for teaching positions at law schools, is largely motivated by different sets of questions. While many students
are able to apply their training in other disciplines to the study of law, a significant advantage of the Ph.D. in Law is
that it is designed specifically to prepare students for careers in legal scholarship, rather than scholarship in another
field. We should also stress that the Ph.D. in Law program welcomes applications from candidates with interdisciplinary research
interests and it will be possible to receive significant advanced training in other disciplines as part of the Ph.D. in Law