The S.J.D. program culminates in a candidate's dissertation. This final project is research-based and will consist of at least a 50,000-word book of publishable quality or three publishable articles of the same aggregate length with a unifying essay.
Toward the end of the first year or the beginning of the second year of S.J.D. candidacy, the candidate, in consultation with his or her Dissertation Adviser, should form the Dissertation Committee. The Chair of the Committee is the Dissertation Adviser, and the Committee should consist of two additional members, at least one of whom must be a member of the full-time faculty of Fordham Law.
The members of the Dissertation Committee should review the candidate’s progress by reading and commenting upon outlines and drafts presented by the candidate. A final dissertation shall be submitted to the members of the Committee by April 1 of the candidate's final semester. An oral defense of the dissertation will be scheduled before the end of the final exam period for that semester.
The Dissertation Defense will be open to the members of the Law School community and will consist of a 20-30 minute presentation of the central thesis by the candidate, followed by a period of questions by the members of the Dissertation Committee.
At the discretion of the Committee Chair, questions may also be raised by others in attendance.