Yale Law Grads sceptical About Whether A Ph.D. Will Give Lawyers A Boost

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Yale Law School has introduced a novel new Ph.D. program for lawyers, but it’s not getting much praise from graduates.The program aims to prepare future law professors by adding an extra three-year curriculum for J.D. grads, according to the school’s website.

But current law professors, who also graduated from Yale Law School, have criticised the program, Above The Law reported Thursday.

“This would seem to exacerbate the divide between legal practice and legal academia. Better to make people spend a few years at a law firm before teaching than extra time at Yale,” Glenn Reynolds, law professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law and a 1985 Yale Law graduate, told Above The Law.

Another professor also questioned whether the extra time in school would benefit lawyers.

“Getting a Ph.D. in law would be like making law school seven years – the only people who would prefer that, I suppose, deserve to serve out a full life sentence as professors,” John Yoo, professor at Boalt Hall and a 1991 Yale graduate, told Above the Law.

Lawyers sporting a Ph.D. in law might also have trouble competing in the job market against people with on-the-ground legal experience, according to Above The Law.

But the program also features some tempting perks.

Those who make it won’t have to pay tuition, and they’ll receive health insurance and money for living expenses, Yale’s website boasts.

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