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Original Poster

Thanks for the follow-up questions, and sorry for the typos in the rather hastily-written original thread. Seana Shiffrin's "The Divergence of Contract and Promise" is a good example of the kind of scholarship I enjoy--philosophically rigorous work that nonetheless engages directly with the law. I'm mostly writing theoretical papers in private law fields (contract, property, tort) at the moment, but as I learn more law, I've grown increasingly interested in the intersection of social philosophy and, say, family or labor law.

Thanks in advance to anyone with advice.


As someone who has gone the JD to PhD path myself, I agree with Marcus that using a law professor as a recommender is no issue.

As for the paper, given the amount of time between now and next application season, I would probably suggest taking these ideas that you think are more interesting in your law school papers and developing them into a new writing sample that builds on the philosophical content, rather than either using the law school papers as is or weaker undergraduate work. I think that if you have people you can trust to give you feedback, this is your best path forward for being the strongest possible candidate.


I did the exact same thing, including using a law professor with philosophy phd as one of my recommenders. One reason it was successful, I think, is that this professor was well-known in the philosophy world, despite having always been in law schools. But I think it's okay to use a law professor even if relatively unknown.

For my writing sample, though, I made sure to use a paper that was vetted by one of my non-law school philosophy professor/recommenders. And I think you should do the same. It's fine if the topic is law-related, but all that will matter to the admissions folks is what they think of its quality and the "straight philosophy" folks will have a better handle on that.

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