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Philosophy of Law as the area of study?


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Hi guys,

I wanted to be a philosopher but I think that going to law school makes more sense to me since my main area of interest is Philosophy of Law. My question would be once in the program I know that everyone has to take the L1 obligatory courses. However, once I am done how many philosophy-esque courses am I allow to take?

How would my schedule look like? 

Edited by ItALO
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Unfortunately, this question is almost impossible to answer. Some class requirements are probably stipulated by the ABA. However, the precise requirements beyond these mandates are probably up to the program/school in question. The only way you'll know for certain is to shop around for law schools and ask them. Luckily for you, attending law schools in recent years is a bit of a buyer's market (i.e., many law schools aren't getting enough students), so they'll likely answer any question you have enthusiastically. 

My suspicion is that you might have to settle for a normal course load for your JD, then specialize in the philosophy of law in an LLM or SJD.

(For context, I worked at a law school for 10+ years)

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  • 6 months later...

The amount of philosophy type courses will depend on the law school.  If you want to do this the five viable law schools are Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Stanford and NYU.  

If you want to be an academic philosopher of law in a philosophy department you need a PhD in philosophy - a JD is nice but neither necessary nor sufficient. If you want to write on law and philosophy as a law school professor, it is essential to go to a top law school (one of the five mentioned above) and a PhD in philosophy would be very important but perhaps not quiet necessary.  A JD/PhD program at one of the schools mentioned above would be the best route to give you the most options and the greatest chance of success.

Edited by DreamersDay
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  • 5 months later...
On 6/26/2017 at 9:26 PM, ItALO said:

Hi guys,

I wanted to be a philosopher but I think that going to law school makes more sense to me since my main area of interest is Philosophy of Law. My question would be once in the program I know that everyone has to take the L1 obligatory courses. However, once I am done how many philosophy-esque courses am I allow to take?

How would my schedule look like? 

Given your goals, it is imperative for you to attend a top 14 law school, HYS in particular.  (Though Columbia and U of Chicago are also solid options for academia).  

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