About Marilyn Gardner Milton
Marilyn Gardner Milton’s career in education began when she entered college. Her first steps towards this career choice were accomplished when she graduated from the University of Connecticut with her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Education. After finishing her time at UConn, she continued her education by splitting her Masters of Education (M.Ed) between Boston State College and Framingham State University, both based in and around the Boston, Massachusetts area. In 1987 Marilyn finished the journey to earn her Ph.D. She graduated from Boston College with her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision as well as a minor in Computer Science. While both degrees would be of great use in her future, Marilyn wasn’t quite done yet. She finished her education by getting her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Suffolk University Law school, where she was also awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence: Commercial Law.
In 1985 Marilyn Gardner Milton made her first foray into the world of distance learning administration, as well as the first of her roles consulting. She became the Executive Consultant for The Center for Educational Leadership and Technology and held that position until 1995. In 1994 Marilyn became the Executive Director and the Director of Education at the Boston, Massachusetts based Computer Museum, a position she held until 1997. In 2006 she became Director of Business Development for the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), a position she holds to this day.
In 1997 Marilyn began her career in the administration of higher education institutes. She was appointed to be the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the Massachusetts Communications College and the New England Institute of Art. In 2001 she became the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Bay State College and in 2006 she became a Program Professor and Education Enterprise Associate for Nova Southeastern University, one of the largest non-profit accredited universities in the country. A position she holds to this day.
Some of the finest law schools in the nation can be found in the northeast, namely in the state of Massachusetts. For those pursuing a legal education, the Milton area (a suburb of Boston) offers a variety of law schools, each with unique assets and specific criteria.
One of the most prestigious includes Harvard University whose law program has been accredited since 1923. Nearly 600 students graduate per year, and the acceptance rate is at 18-percent. Harvard Law School boasts the biggest academic law library around the globe. The estimated tuition and fees round out to about $59,000 per year.
Boston University offers an excellent number of programs including American law, banking and financial law, intellectual property law, tax law, and others under its JD and LLM departments. BU’s law program has been accredited since 1925, and about 210 law students receive their diplomas yearly.
Northeastern School of Law is another leading institution for those interested in legal education. The School of Law is highly regarded for its public interest law and cooperative legal education programs. Northeastern doesn’t have grades; instead, a narrative evaluation from professors replaces the traditional student rankings and letter and number grades.
Boston College Law School has an acceptance rate of 25-percent and has had an accredited law program since 1932. Estimated tuition and fees total about $50,000 per year. BC Law takes pride in ranking among the top 25 for graduates who pass the bar and secure full-time/long-term positions. Approximately 250 law students receive diplomas yearly.
Suffolk University Law School features a law program that has been accredited since 1953. Suffolk Law counts 23,000 graduates engaged in every area of legal practice globally, including all 50 states and 22 countries. Estimated tuition and fees run about $47,000 per year.
New England Law Boston graduates about 340 students per year, and the institution offers students an expert faculty, practical experience, and flexible programs. Students can participate in clinics featuring public interest law, criminal law, family law, immigration law and more.
Massachusetts School of Law offers a JD law degree program and has a 65-percent acceptance rate. It takes pride in being one of the most affordable and diverse law schools around. Estimated tuition and fees round out to about $1,000 per year.
In the United States, three typical classifications of law degrees exist, the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws, and the Doctor of Juridical Science. However, despite the fact that all three are graduate degrees, each has a different purpose and each must be studied in the proper sequence. Additionally, each degree exists for a specific purpose.
A number of law schools offer other degrees, often masters level degrees for journalists, paralegals, or others who could benefit from an advanced knowledge of law. While the degrees in question are taught by legal faculty, they are not accepted as law degrees.
The initial degree in law that American students earn is the Juris Doctor. It is a three year graduate degree earned after completing an undergraduate degree. Unlike many other countries, law is studied as a graduate subject in the United States. The first year of the JD is spent on the same basic subjects of law regardless of which law school is attended, with later years allowing greater specialization. For more attorneys, this will be the only law degree that they ever need; Supreme Court Justices and top law professors often achieve their goals with nothing more than a Juris Doctor.
Master of Laws
A Master of Laws is a year-long degree taken after a JD that is typically earned for one of three reasons. First, and most commonly, an LL.M is useful for those students who want to specialize in a given area of law but, due to limitations of their JD program or the trajectory of their career, have been unable to do so. This is especially common in technical areas like taxation or aviation, or more cutting-edge fields like tech law.
Second, LL.Ms are typically earned by foreign-trained lawyers looking for experience in the American legal system. This is especially true for those looking to spend part of their career in the United States; many states permit foreign-trained lawyers who earn an LL.M to sit for the bar exam.
Finally, LL.Ms allow for lawyers looking to transition into legal teaching and research time to fine-tune their work, as well as gain greater focus in a specific field of law.
Doctor of Juridical Science
The final law degree routinely earned in the US is the Doctor of Juridical Science, typically abbreviated as the JSD or the SJD. It is a research degree, much like a Ph.D, that is earned upon completing an LL.M. Only a handful of law schools offer the program, and it is typically very difficult to gain entry into. In the overwhelming majority of cases, only those interested in becoming law professors typically pursue a JSD.
I’m feeling inspired and reflective from the greatest graduation speeches of all time. I’ve written about the four truths from Joyce DiDonato, the story of success from Ellen DeGeneres, the importance of choosing kindness from Jeff Bezos, and the lesson of perseverance from Former President Obama. This month, I’m writing about Shonda Rhymes’ commencement speech at Dartmouth College in 2014.
The famous television producer, Shonda Rhymes, gave the 2014 commencement speech at her alma mater, Dartmouth College. Her frank, straightforward style of speaking was an inspiration to all the students, family, and faculty in the audience.
Rhymes discusses dreams. She mentions that even though dreams are nice to have, they are only just dreams. Without the hard work and determination, they will never be more than just a dream. She uses her own experience as an example. She never dreamed of being the famous television producer she is today. She wanted to with a Nobel Prize like the author Toni Morrison. She worker like crazy to make that happen. She realized she couldn’t be Toni Morrison because that person already exists and wasn’t about to give up her title anytime soon. This made her realize, you can either spend your time dreaming, or you could do.
Lesson two from Rhymes is that the day after graduation is the worst day ever. College is the best time of your life and the real world is scary. To the rest of the world, once you graduate with your degree, you’re now at the bottom of the heap. You may think you’re taking the world by storm, that all doors will be open to you, but you’re wrong.
This all sounds daunting and quite the opposite of inspirational, but Rhymes goes on to clarify her point. Every graduate sitting in that audience was lucky. She wanted to remind them to have perspective. Not everyone in the world has the opportunity to earn an Ivy League degree and live the life they lived for the past four years. Now is their time to pay it forward. She urges these recent graduates to find a cause they love and devote their time to it.
The last lesson she gives is that it’s okay to not have it all together. Many people ask her “How do you do it all?” and her answer is simple: she doesn’t. It’s a gentle reminder that no matter how successful you become, there will always be times when you don’t succeed. And that is okay. It keeps you humble and allows you to take a step back and look around. What are you doing that you could be doing better? There is something to learn with every curveball life throws at you.
Her final words are “be brave, be amazing, be worthy.”