Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Congrats to Jason Kuznicki for successfully defending his doctoral thesis from John Hopkins and earning the title "Dr." As I noted in the comments I too (or anyone with a JD law degree) could demand to be called "Dr." as well. Technically "JD" stands for "Juris Doctor" and we are "Drs." But in reality, the JD isn't as onerous a task to complete as a Ph.D. (Mainly because we don't have a dissertation requirement. I did have to take two legal writing courses -- one that produced a law review style research paper and the other, a series of shorter papers. But again, those requirements aren't nearly as tough as the dissertation.)

I think it too pretentious for "JDs" to go by "Dr." (although some do). For an interesting history of the "JD" or how a standard law degree went from a "Bachelors" (LL.B.) to a doctorate (JD), see this wiki link, which is more or less accurate. Historically, and it's still this way in Europe and other foreign nations, a "law degree" was a standard 4-year bachelors. ("[A] law student would attend a four-year undergraduate program culminating in a LL.B. degree. He could then go on to get an LL.M., 'Master of Laws' and then an LL.D., 'Doctor of Laws' degree.") There still are LL.M. degrees (one of which I have in Transnational Law). And the "LL.D." is now usually referred to as an "SJD" (although, the wiki link refers to it as a JSD). The SJD does require a dissertation. And those who get them do deserve the title of "Dr."

BTW: My alma matter, from which I hold JD and LL.M. law degrees, recently enacted an SJD program. Something I might consider for the future. But with three graduate degrees (I also have an MBA from Temple) I think I have enough for now.


Marty said...

I think it too pretentious for "JDs" to go by "Dr." (although some do).

Is that less or more pretentious than using "Esquire" or "Esq."?


Karen said...

The *only* time I ever demanded such a thing was for my daughter's First Grade teacher. (First Grade - mind you.) Who upon completion of her doctoral ...told me in a conference, when I called her "Mrs. Pinsky" - that it was *DOCTOR Pinsky*. So, I felt obligated to reply with a, "That's Dr. McLauchlan here, Dr. Pinsky."

And I've pulled out the "Esq." in an emergency situation before too!!!

Ya gotta DO what ya gotta DO!



But don't forget, when someone asks: "IS There a Doctor in the House" for that heart attack patient...

You DO NOT Speak UP!!