Doctor of Science of Law (JSD)

The Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD) is the Law School’s most advanced law degree. It is designed for those interested in becoming scholars and teachers of law.

Study toward this postdoctoral degree is open only to exceptionally well-qualified students who hold a JD or its equivalent. It is awarded to students who, under the personal supervision of a faculty member, successfully pursue a course of advanced research in a field in which they are already well grounded, and who produce an advanced dissertation that, in the opinion of the supervising faculty member, makes a substantial contribution to knowledge. The JSD program is limited to a small number of students of exceptional distinction and promise.

Only students who have completed the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies at Stanford Law School are eligible to apply for the JSD Program. For those interested in eventually pursuing a JSD at Stanford, SPILS offers a good opportunity to form relationships with faculty members who might serve as a JSD thesis advisor, to develop a promising dissertation topic, and to demonstrate the intellectual qualifications and scholarly ability that are required of doctoral candidates.

Admission to the JSD program is on a highly selective basis. Please note that admission to SPILS does not imply a commitment by Stanford Law School to accept a student into the JSD program. An applicant whose prior performance in law school and SPILS was not outstanding has little chance of being admitted.

Candidates accepted for admission to the JSD program are required to be in residence at the Law School for the first academic year of the JSD program.

Questions concerning the JSD program should be directed to

Recent JSD Alumni

  • Abhinav Chandrachud (JSD 2014, JSM 2012)
  • Ayelet Sela (JSD 2014, JSM 2009)
  • Eugenio Cardenas (JSD 2014, JSM, 2010)
  • Jiarui Liu (JSD 2014, JSM, 2008) – University of New Hampshire Law School, Concord, New Hampshire
  • Rebecca Nelson (JSD 2014, JSM, 2010) – Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Elin Cohen (JSD 2010, JSM 2004) – University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, WA
  • Benedetta Faedi (JSD 2010, JSM 2007) – Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, CA
  • Stefania Fusco (JSD 2010, JSM 2005) – Santa Clara Law School, Santa Clara, CA
  • Yu-Hsin Lin (JSD 2010, JSM 2005) – National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taiwan
  • Ikuko Ota (JSD 2010, JSM 2000) – Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan
  • Renee Morhe (JSD 2010, JSM 2007) – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana
  • Jorge Luis Silva Mendez (JSD 2010, JSM 2006) – Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), Department of Law, Mexico City
  • Marketa Trimble (JSD 2010, JSM 2006) – William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada/Las Vegas
  • Sarah Pei Yee Woo (JSD 2010, JSM 2004) – New York University School of Law, New York, NY
  • Jyh-An Lee (JSD 2009, JSM 2005) – National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taiwan
  • Sergio Puig de la Parra (JSD 2009, JSM 2004) – Duke Law School, Durham, NC
  • Deidre Smythe (JSD 2009, JSM 2004) – University of Capetown, South Africa
  • Winifred Tarinyeba (JSD 2009, JSM 2006) – Makerere University, Uganda
  • Paul Paton (JSD 2008, JSM 2002) – University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, CA
  • Luis Fernando Perez-Hurtado (JSD 2008, JSM 2003) – CEEAD – Centro de Estudios sobre la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje del Derecho, Monterrey, Mexico
  • Adriana Camarena (JSD 2007, JSM 1998) – Freelance researcher and writer, San Francisco, CA
  • Manuel Gomez (JSD 2007, JSM 2002) – Florida International University College of Law, Miami, FL
  • Yahong Li (JSD 2007, JSM 2002) – University of Hong Kong
  • Rosemary Hunter (JSD 2006, JSM 1996) – University of Kent, Kent Law School, Canterbury, England
  • Yuko Noguchi (JSD 2006, JSM 2002), Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Tokyo, Japan
  • Nathalie Chalifour (JSD 2005, JSM 1999) – University of Ottawa