Law (J.S.D.)

The J.S.D. degree program is designed primarily for those who are interested in sustained independent legal research and writing with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in legal academics.

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The aim of the J.S.D. program is to provide opportunity and encouragement for distinguished scholarship through advanced coursework, seminars, colloquia, and independent research, under the advice and guidance of members of the Chicago-Kent faculty.

The program is well-suited for international students who wish to pursue doctoral study with the aim of advancing their existing academic careers in their home countries. We also consider applications from U.S. students.

Program Overview

The aim of the J.S.D. program is to provide opportunity and encouragement for distinguished scholarship through advanced coursework, seminars, colloquia, and independent research, under the advice and guidance of Chicago-Kent faculty members.

Career Opportunities

The J.S.D. program prepares students for careers as law professors and legal scholars.

The J.S.D. program is a focused research and writing program. The first year of the program must be completed in residence at Chicago-Kent. After the first year, candidates will focus on developing their dissertation and building on the preliminary research they conducted during the first stage.

To earn the degree, candidates are required to submit a dissertation and to pass an oral defense of the dissertation within five years of enrollment in the program.

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Applicants must be fluent in English and demonstrate a strong potential for producing legal scholarship that will make a significant scholarly contribution. Applicants may be required to participate in an interview or discussion with a member of the Chicago-Kent faculty prior to acceptance. An LL.M. degree is not a prerequisite but is strongly recommended. Equal consideration is given to applicants who are completing or have completed their LL.M. at Chicago-Kent College of Law and to outside applicants.