Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Noga O'Connor

Second Advisor

Christopher Morphew

First Committee Member

David Bills

Second Committee Member

Ernest Pascarella

Third Committee Member

John Reitz


This research attempts to answer the question of why some attorneys obtain a second advanced degree after their law degree. That is, if a law degree is all that is needed to practice law, then why do some attorneys continue with their studies, especially since they lack an economic incentive to do so?

The research includes a literature review with background information on credentialism and human capital theory, on lawyers and law school, dissatisfaction, income and debt, alternatives to law, joint graduate degree programs, and gender. SPSS modeling is utilized to arrive at the conclusion that human capital theory and satisfaction account for lawyers' attainment of additional degrees.


Credentialism, Degree, Human Capital Theory, Lawyers, Satisfaction


viii, 95 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 89-95).


Copyright 2010 Rebecca LeAnne Bowman