Joint J.D./ Ph.D programs

  1. Has anybody done a joint J.D./Ph.D program? I am thinking about getting a J.D. and a Ph.D in clinical psychology, but am unsure about the course load. Is it too hard to go to law school and a doctoral program at the same time? Are the joint programs easier to do because the program is designed for both schools?

  2. are you going to the one in UCSD? that's where they have it.. i don't know ppl who have done it personally yet.. but from what I heard, it is pretty tough..
  3. I haven't heard of the one in UCSD. I'm still in the process of getting my master's degree and I am researching J.D/Ph.D programs because I would like to get a Ph.D in clinical psychology, as well as a J.D. to practice law if I want to.
  4. This is my take, as a lawyer with just a JD. If you want to practice law, just get the JD. If you want to go into clinical psychology, research, etc. then I'd suggest the Ph.D. The dual degree in these particular fields could be mutually exclusive in the sense that lawyers may not take you seriously with the Ph.D. and vice versa when it's through a joint program.

    I don't want to sound negative, but my observation is that people perceive these dual degree programs for people who can't make up their minds. This would probably be a good combo if you're interested in being an expert witness. However, I think some lawyers are less likely to hire a psychologist who also happens to be a lawyer.

    I hope I'm making sense here--I don't want to be negative or a downer. Just want to give some perspective.
  5. I think it's very ambitious! If you're interested in both, I'd say go for it, but you are in for a very hectic life...

    When I was in college, they held an info session for people who were looking into law school, and one of the speakers was at the time in a joint J.D./M.D. program. He was totally handling it well, though, so if you're good at time management, it may be great :smile:
  6. Check out Pacific University (I'm pretty sure that's what it is called) somewhere in Cali. A friend of mine was going to do's a good one because I think it's a no thesis and no research. If you just want to practice clinical psych it's a much better option.
    If you have any ?s about clinical psych let me know....I applied to tons of programs in clinical and then changed my mind and went developmental.
  7. I agree with wickedassin -- you sort of need to figure out what you want to do.

    Also, if you end up doing both, I don't suggest you doing both at the same time. Law School requires a lot of time (studying, Bar, MPRE, building your legal resume, and so on), especially if you are going to practice law and be a lawyer. Or if you are serious about it. If you aren't serious about being a lawyer, then you should just probably just do the PhD.

    For example - I have a couple of friends who want to go into politics or policy (lobbyist). All of them are going to do law school first. After that, at least one of them is going to go back for grad school for policy -- but that's after. But not at the same time. However, unlike a PhD in psych, policy (lobbying) is related to law. So I stand by what I said before -- if you don't want to go into law, just get a PhD on psych.
  8. Wow, that's really ambitious! Also, really a lot of work! Law school is hard enough and requires a lot of dedication. But if it's what you really want, then for sure you can do it!:yes:
  9. I'd look into career options afterwards first, I think that's key. Personally I'm an attorney and don't really know anyone who did the joint program. I was thinking about a joint JD/MBA myself however I have a friend with a law degree and MBA both from top schools and he cannot get hired. He's priced out of the market for most law firms and the business side people aren't offering him a job either. I'd tread careful here some LLM students from my school (masters in law) have a really tough time getting hired b/c they cost too much as starting attorneys but they also don't usually have any experience (the ones who go straight through) and I went to one of the top law schools in the country.
  10. I agree with this. I know a few people who have gone through law school and a few others who went for their PhD. They go through so much stress with one degree alone, I can't imagine the amount of stress that one would go through doing both. I would say to decide on one, and stick with it. If later on, you decide you want to do the other, then pursue it then.
    Good to know! there's a few of those programs around me. I've thought about doing that. But most of them want you to enroll in the JD program first, and then enroll into the MBA. But I'm not sure if I would want to get a JD or not. However, I know for sure I want to get my MBA.
  11. To do well at law school (my only experience) including law review etc you will need to spend virtually all your time.

    I also agree that a lawyer would not be inclined to hire another lawyer as an expert witness.

    Just as an aside, I know several doctors who decided to go to law school at night, just for the fun of it.
  12. I have a friend who's a psychiatrist and a lawyer and he actually get a lot of gigs as an expert witness. (he's also a practicing psychiatrist) It may be different if you're looking to be an employee of a firm.
  13. I know somebody that is JD/Ph.D. in Psychology, however they didn't do them at the same time. I am currently in a Ph.D. Psychology program and I can't even imagine trying to do a separate J.D. at the same time.
  14. Not to repeat what's already been said, I agree. Usually people roll their eyes when they hear someone with a JD and a PhD. I was just discussing with a co-worker about how someone I know has a MD +PhD. His immediate reaction was the same as what I anticipated from most others.

    Sorry if I sound too blunt about this. :flowers: