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Tulane Law School offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Laws (LLM) to eligible candidates already holding the first law degree (JD or LLB or equivalent). Programs are also offered on a part-time basis, as described below.The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is a research-oriented degree open to a small number of students who already hold the LLM.

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Tulane Law School also offers the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD). This program is a very selective one, encompassing a small number of students who have completed an LLM program with distinguished records.

The SJD program requires candidates to hold a first degree in law (in exceptional cases, a first degree in a law-related subject will suffice). All candidates must also hold an LLM degree, or currently be enrolled in an LLM program and complete the degree before commencing the SJD study. The candidates interested in continuing toward the SJD must devote their time to the development of a research proposal with a member of the full-time faculty at Tulane Law School. The Tulane Law School Graduate Committee considers the proposal, along with the candidate's previous law school work, scholarly interest and ability, and the support of a faculty advisor. The committee's standards for admission are demanding, and the selection process is a rigorous one.

Dissertation proposals are scrutinized closely by the committee. At a minimum:

  • the research proposal must show the promise of making an original and significant contribution to legal scholarship;
  • the committee must feel confident in the candidate's ability to carry out with distinction the program of study proposed; and
  • the proposal must be in an area in which a permanent, full-time member of the faculty has agreed to offer supervision.

Upon accepting a candidate to the SJD program, the Graduate Committee will create an individualized program for the candidate. Every candidate must spend at least one semester (normally the first semester after admission) in residence at Tulane Law School in New Orleans. During the semester-in-residence, the candidate will undertake between 10 and 12 credits of coursework, possibly including a Directed Research project with the thesis supervisor or another member of the faculty.

It is expected that the final SJD dissertation will be submitted within four years after initial enrollment in the SJD program. The dissertation must make an original and significant contribution to legal scholarship. Each candidate must defend the dissertation in an oral examination before a committee of the Tulane Law School faculty.

SJD Degree Requirements 

  1. The candidate must hold a first degree in law, or in exceptional cases, a law-related subject, and hold an LLM degree or currently be enrolled in an LLM program. The candidate must receive the LLM degree before commencing study for the SJD.
  2. The candidate must submit and receive approval of a dissertation research proposal.
  3. Upon acceptance to the SJD program, the candidate takes at least one full semester of coursework (between 10 and 12 credits). This may include a Directed Research project with the thesis supervisor or other member of the faculty.
  4. The candidate is expected to submit the final SJD dissertation within four years after initial enrollment in the SJD program. The dissertation must make an original and significant contribution to legal scholarship.
  5. The candidate must successfully defend the dissertation in an oral examination before members of the Tulane Law School faculty.

For SJD application materials, please click here.

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Academic Programs Contact:
Office of Academic Services
Weinmann Hall, Suite 204
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
tel 504.865.5935
fax 504.862.8373
ctimmons@tulane.edu

Admission Contact:
Office of Admission
Weinmann Hall, Suite 203
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
tel 504.865.5930
fax 504.865.6710
admissions@law.tulane.edu



 
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