Monday, March 13, 2006

LLB/JD listserv debate

The debate flamed up today! We have our referendum in a couple days and students have started actively expressing their views on the issue. More than that, a few faculty members have entered the fray.

So far, I've tallied 8 emails expressing support for the LL.B. and 11 in support of the J.D. (this tally is probably out of date as I'm typing this). Here is a selection of quotes - some funny, some insightful - from various emails sent to the listserv. To protect the authors, I have kept all the comments anonymous.
Personally, the more letters behind my name, the better.

Alumni can be given the choice of whether they personally would like to change the name of their own degree, just as the alumni at the University of Canada (I mean Toronto) had the option of doing.

Opportunities and options available to a 2006 graduate are, in my opinion, drastically different than those that were available 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

Once our clients and employers recognize that there is no finer law school in Canada, they (like I) will not care whether our graduates have a J.D. or LL.B. as long as they're from Queen's.

If we stood by the tradition for the sake of tradition' argument, things like anonymous grading, and grade confidentially would have never been implemented at this school.

I think the one thing this listserv debate has taught me is that I don’t type fast enough.

Views of present students about the LLB/JD are certainly important, but so are the views of alumni. It is their degree also, and we look to them for financial and moral support, so proper;y engaging them in this decision is important.

It will be hard to explain and justify to the public that lawyers want to be called doctors.

Is this not simply an exercise in semantics? If we are changing nothing but the letters on our degree, why bother?

I support making this change because it would add a professional quality to a degree that is elsewhere generally equated with a less advanced type of professional education.

Subject to a loss of alumni support, I support switching to a JD.

One would imagine that those doing the hiring at an internationally focused firm abroad would be aware of the differences between the legal education received in different jurisdictions.

I'm sure the rare student that applies to a big firm in India will be able to communicate to potential employers what the difference is.

Many people in the international arena are unaware of the various systems of legal education, and having a J.D. is much more recognizable as a professional degree. It simply shows that it is a graduate, not a bachelor's, degree.

With a law degree from a prestigious university such as Queen's, one can fulfill their great ambitions and become rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Thus, money, as usual, is the driving factor.

Arguably, it is only a matter of time before other Canadian schools fall into line. As we’ve said UWO and UBC are teetering. Though we can’t be the pioneer school do we want to be the 8th, 9th or 12th to fall into line?

In my mind, a graduate degree suggests a level of mastery that cannot possibly be imparted by an initial law degree.

The Queen's community is going to have to decide whether it wants to join the inflationary bandwagon, in an effort to protect its students, or whether its students can be better protected by standing by Queen's traditions.

While the majority of us appear quite happy that we are not the University of Toronto (I’m one of them…), I don’t want to base my decision on a comparison with another faculty.

I really think the U of T point should be a fairly marginal consideration in terms of the JD-LLB debate (although I too am not a fan of them, or their uppity mooters).

As a student noted in the last listserv debate on this subject, 'If you really want a job on Wall Street, change the name of the law school to Yale.'
I was chatting with another student who is strongly in the J.D. camp. He predits that the vote will go 80% in favour of switching. Personally, I doubt if it will go that high. Based on what I've heard/read, I will guess that the vote will fall somewhere between 65% - 70% in favour of switching to the J.D.


Post a Comment

<< Home