Law

2014-15 Tuition

Law (click for information)

Application deadlines

Fall, May 1; spring, check with field

Requirements summary

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • two recommendations
  • J.D. and LL.M. or equivalents

Note: Contact field directly for application

Degrees

  • J.S.D.

Subjects

  • Law (J.S.D.)

Major concentrations

  • law

The Doctor of Science of Law degree is intended for students who want to become legal scholars and to pursue original investigations into the function, administration, history, and progress of law.

The minimum residence requirement is two full terms; the program normally requires at least three to four terms. Candidates for ordinarily concentrate on one legal field and do a substantial amount of work in at least one other field.

The catalog of the Law School contains descriptions of subject areas and of the Graduate and International Legal Studies Programs.

Application:
All applicants should state, in as much detail as possible, why they want to do advanced graduate work and the particular fields of study they want to pursue.

Applicants from the United States are expected to hold both a bachelor's degree, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree (or degrees of equivalent rank) from an approved law school. Applicants must also have professional practice or experience in teaching or advanced research.

Applicants from other countries will be considered for degree candidacy only if they have completed with distinction all the studies necessary for admission, or have been licensed for the practice of law in their own country.

The J.S.D program has extremely limited enrollment; approximately two or three students are admitted each year, most following completion of the LL.M. degree at Cornell Law School. Students who wish to continue their studies after the LL.M. degree from Cornell Law School must generally have all honors grades and must secure the agreement of a faculty member to be the Chairperson of their Special Committee.

Students who meet the requirements for admission but who do not want to become candidates for a degree may, at the discretion of the faculty, be admitted as non-degree students. Further information on the LL.M. degree may be obtained from the Law School Web site.

Gregory Alexander -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: property; legal history; trusts and estates; intellectual history; social history
John Barcelo -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: international trade; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; international law; international dispute settlement
John Blume -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: criminal procedure; wrongful convictions; mental health issues in criminal cases; the Supreme Court's treatment of the death penalty
Cynthia Bowman -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: law and gender studies; feminist jurisprudence; family law; law and women (e.g. women in the legal profession, sexual harassment)
Joshua Chafetz -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: constitutional law; constitutional history (British and American); legislation and legislative procedure
Kevin Clermont -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: civil procedure
Sherry Colb -- Concentrations: Research interests: criminal procedure; criminal law; evidence; feminist theory; and mental health law
Michael Dorf (Divisional) -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: civil procedure; constitutional law; constitutional interpretation; comparative constitutional law; democratic experimentalism; federal courts; jurisprudence
Theodore Eisenberg -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: empirical legal research; civil rights; bankruptcy; death penalty
Cynthia Farina -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: federal courts; administrative law; feminist perspectives; governmental ethics
Michael Frakes -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: Empirical research in health law and law and economics, with a particular interest in understanding how certain legal and financial incentives affect the decisions of physicians and other health care providers.
Stephen Garvey -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: criminal procedure; jurisprudence; capital sentencing
Robert Green -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: taxation
Valerie Hans -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: law and psychology; juries; social sciences and law; empirical studies of law
George Hay -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: antitrust; economics for the lawyer
Michael Heise -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: torts; law and education policy; insurance; constitutional law; empirical methods
Robert Hillman -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: contracts; contract theory; Uniform Commercial Code
Robert Hockett -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: financial and business organizational law and economics; distributive justice; international law and finance; social insurance
Barbara Holden-Smith -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: global access to justice, legal and political responses to historical injustices
Sheri Johnson -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: race and criminal procedure; constitutional law
Mitchel Lasser -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: chair of Graduate and International Faculty Committee; judicial interpretation; comparative law; comparative constitutional law; law of European Union; courts and institutions; jurisprudence; labor law
Odette Lienau -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: international economic law; international law and international relations; international legal theory; international political economy; political and social theory; finance and development; bankruptcy and restructuring
Oskar Liivak -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: patent law; biotechnology law; copyright law; intellectual property; property; trademark law; international intellectual property; science and the law
Muna Ndulo -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: human rights and elections; legal aspects of foreign investment in developing countries; African law; democracy and governance
Jens Ohlin -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: criminal law theory; public international law; international criminal law
Eduardo Penalver -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: property and land use; law and religion; how property fosters and reflects communal bonds
Jeffrey Rachlinski -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: civil procedure; environmental law
Aziz Rana -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: constitutional law; democratic theory; comparative constitutional history (especially of colonial and post-colonial societies); national security law; legal ethics; and American political development
Annelise Riles -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: law and anthropology; Japanese law; Chinese law; international law; comparative law; property; financial regulation
Stewart Schwab -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: law and economics; labor and employment law
Emily Sherwin -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: property; remedies; trusts and estates; feminist jurisprudence; legal history
John Siliciano -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: torts; economics and legal doctrine
Lynn Stout -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: Corporate governance, financial regulation, law and economics, and moral behavior
Chantal Thomas -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: relationship between international law, political economy and global social justice
Laura Underkuffler -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: property law and property theory; comparative property law; property rights and regime change; corruption and democratic governance; the role of moral decision-making in law
W. Bradley Wendel -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: Law
Charles Whitehead (Divisional) -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: corporate law; mergers and acquisitions; financial regulation; securities regulation; transactional law; law and economics; law and finance
Xingzhong Yu -- Concentrations: law; Research interests: Chinese law and legal history; social theory; comparative legal philosophy; constitutional law; cultural studies of law

Students completing a Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) degree should be able to:

  • Produce original, publishable scholarship in the field of law, demonstrate independent thinking to select topics of inquiry, and develop concepts and methods.

  • Demonstrate a thorough command of theoretical and empirical knowledge across several distinct subareas of the field of law, such as comparative law, international law, comparative legal history, legal anthropology and other fields related to the student’s primary area of research.

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a major area of expertise in the field of law, including a thorough knowledge of the relevant literature.  

  • Show effective mastery of the appropriate methodologies and techniques necessary for research, such as functionalism, legal transpant theory, critical legal studies, empirical studies, and the like. 

  • Show effective professional skills:  keeping abreast of scholarship within the field, clear and concise writing, well-organized presentations in conference and classroom settings, and job search preparation.

  •  Demonstrate a commitment to advancing the values of scholarship: participate in field colloquia and conferences, adhere to ethical standards, engagement in professional societies (AALS, L&S, etc.), and other professional activities.