Who am I? Why this Blog?
I’m Dr. Jonathan L. Kramer.
In August 2016 I completed my Doctor of Law and Policy (LP.D) degree at Northeastern University in Boston. I received my doctoral hood in September 2016. I was a member in the 8th Cohort of that unique program.
I set up this blog at the suggestion of one of the LP.D program leaders whom I truly respect, Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna, Ph.D. Early in the LP.D program she strongly recommended that each Cohort member track their progress and stand up to the scrutiny of peers, just as we do when we publish or present papers.
I took Professor Estrella-Luna’s suggestion to heart, and this blog allowed me to chart my personal journey from a highly-educated lawyer and masters-level blob to highly-educated lawyer and doctoral-level researcher blob.
At least that was my initial goal…
In real life, I’m a practicing telecom law attorney licensed in California and New Mexico, as well as a radio frequency engineer. My law firm has six attorneys, two paralegals, and two dogs working in offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and at our covert office on a Southwest Airlines jet (minus the dogs).
I have earned the following academic degrees:
Associate of Science (AS) degree (honors) Los Angeles Trade Tech College. Los Angeles, California.
Juris Doctor (JD) degree (cum laude) Abraham Lincoln University School of Law. Los Angeles, California.
Masters of Law (LL.M) degree (with distinction) Strathclyde University. Glasgow, Scotland.
Doctor of Law and Policy (LP.D) Northeastern University. Boston, Massachusetts.
Having completed my Doctor of Law and Policy degree, just for fun I might go after a few more professional licenses.
My current goal is to become licensed as a Real Estate Broker in California.
I am personally accountable for my education and the work I put in to that education. Because of that, I’ve decided to be transparent about my grades, whether good or bad (but better good than bad).
Q1 – Summer 2014:
Law and Legal Reasoning 1
(LWP 6120) Grade: A
Law and Policy Concepts 1
(LWP 6401) Grade: A
(LWP 6424) Grade: A-
Q2 – Fall 2014:
Law and Legal Reasoning 2
(LWP 6121) Grade: A
Law and Policy Concepts 2
(LWP 6402) Grade: A-
(LWP 6423) Grade: A
Q3 – Winter 2015:
Law and Legal Reasoning 3
(LWP 6122) Grade: A
Law and Policy Concepts 3
(LWP 6403) Grade: A
(LWP 6420) Grade: A
Q4 – Spring 2015:
Law and Legal Reasoning 4
(LWP 6123) Grade: A
(LWP 6404) Grade: A
Economics for Policy Analysis
(LAW 6410) Grade: A-
Q5 – Summer 2015:
Methods & Theory Appl Research
(LWP6425) Grade: A
(LWP6431) Grade: A
Doctoral Research Design 1
(LWP6500) Grade: A
Q6 – Fall 2015:
Public Policy Theory & Practice 1
(LWP6450) Grade: A
Doctoral Research Design 2
(LWP 6501) Grade: A
Q7 – Winter 2016:
Public Policy Theory & Practice 2
(LWP6451) Grade: A
Doctoral Research Design 3
(LWP 6502) Grade: A
Q8 – Spring 2016:
Public Policy Theory & Practice 3
(LWP6452) Grade: A
Doctoral Research Design 4
(LWP 6503) Grade: A
July 2016: My final GPA after all program coursework is 3.958 on a 4 point scale. I can live with that.
…because I needed a goal, and another license to add to my collection of three post-grad degrees, 7 FCC licenses and certifications, two state bar admissions, 5 federal court admissions, and a California Contractor License.
I’m pretty happy that I passed on my first attempt.
A bit relieved, too.
I get a tremendous amount of pleasure and satisfaction teaching/supervising my masters level and doctoral students/candidates at Northeastern University. Today I received an email that can only be called ‘icing on the cake’:
On behalf of the college, it is my pleasure to congratulate you for receiving a student nomination for the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award! The recipients of the award will be announced before the spring graduation.
Teaching excellence encompasses high intellectual standards in course content, rigor and integration of scholarship and new knowledge. It is also defined by interactions of faculty with their students that empower learners to achieve their goals.
I applaud your commitment to guiding and inspiring our students and thank you for your dedication .
Mary Ludden, PhD, MBA, PMP, CFE, CSM
Interim Dean CPS & Vice Chancellor
Here’s to the joy of teaching!
Once more, my friend and mentee in the DLP/LP.D program, Dr. Opeoluwa Sotonwa has made news.
When I met Ope before he even applied to the Doctor of Law and Policy Program, he was the Executive Director of the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He held that position throughout his studies at #NEU in the DLP program. He leveraged his learning in the #DLP program to draft and promote legislation to educate Missouri police as to the special needs of the deaf and hard of hearing that was approved by Missouri Legislature and signed into law by its governor. I flew to Boston just to attend his hooding.
In January 2021, Ope was appointed Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Ope’s appointment commences on March 1, 2021. I have linked the state announcement below.
You’ll notice that the official photo of Ope to the left has him wearing a button on his lapel. A close examination of the photo will show that he’s proudly wearing a #NEU button
There are few things in my life that make me happier than to see quality people, like Ope, rise to take on an overcome new challenges benefiting the public who are unlikely to know of their existence. Ope is not a public servant. Rather, he is a true public hero and public protector.
Here is the link to the formal announcement in text, voiced, and in ASL:
My hat is off to my friend, Dr. Opeoluwa Sotonwa, a true representative of Northeastern University’s Doctor of Law and Policy program.
PS: I’m really proud of the kid, in case you couldn’t tell!
I am particularly pleased to congratulate the newly-minted Doctor of Law and Policy, Dr. Laura Singletary on the successful defense of her thesis!
Like a proud parent, I have had the privilege of watching Laura grow from forming the idea of her thesis, to defending the thesis proposal, to changing the course of the thesis during its production, to its final defense. Dr. Ron Leatherbarrow, the second reader, was of critical help at all the key steps along the way, and I profusely thank him for helping to make Laura the Doctor she is today.
The Doctor of Law and Policy Program is now a part of the CPS Graduate School of Education.
What does this mean?
The DLP program has, until now, been stand-alone within the College of Professional Studies. That independence has offered certain advantages over the years. They key advantage has been program autonomy from other CPS programs.
Yet, with advantages come some downsides. One of the key downsides, in my view, has been that the DLP program hasn’t been able to access the greater resources assigned to larger doctoral programs in CPS, in this case the Graduate School of Education. Additionally, doctoral programs in the same college, but isolated from others in the same college may have varying standards.
I am a DLP graduate of the program during its standalone days. I’ve also been a DLP program instructor under the standalone model and now under the GSE model. I’m happy to report that…so far…operating as a program of the GSE has proven to be a good move. With greater access to seasoned GSE teaching and administrative professionals, along with the legacy DLP leadership which is now a part of GSE, the DLP program is now better-supported than before, and better-poised to grow.
It’s been a while since I updated this blog. Bad me. Bad, bad, bad me.
So what’s new?
I’ve been teaching in the College of Professional Studies over the last three quarters.
Masters level teaching…
I’ve been teaching in the College of Professional Studies for the last three quarters. I’ve spent two quarters teaching in the Food Safety program (Masters level). My focus, not surprisingly, has been on law and policy issues related to food safety, and mostly what happens when food safety is not the first priority.
Doctoral level teaching…
I’m in the middle(ish) of teaching Constitutional Law and Policy in the Doctor of Law and Policy program. I’m teaching the Seattle Cohort 2 of the very same program from where I earned my own doctorate back in 2016. I have to thank JD LaRock for making my job so much easier by allowing me to adopt his syllabus…really his prior program framework…giving me a big leg up. My students are great, and as usual, I learn from them as they learn from me.
I’ll be teaching in the Seattle section of the DLP program next quarter. Then I’ll be teaching advance legal reasoning concepts to Seattle Cohort 1. Are they in for fun or what?! (Or what!)
Doctoral Thesis Supervision
I’m delighted to report that I’ve been appointed as chair of Laura Singletary’s thesis committee. That means that I am her direct supervisor as she goes through the toughest part of the DLP program…her thesis. I’m extremely lucky to have Dr. Ron Leatherbarrow as Laur’a Second Reader (and my First Advisor) as we jointly support Laura through her forest of research and writing.
That’s the update!
I took great pleasure in reading about a milestone accomplishment by my DLP program mentee, Opeoluwa Sotonwa. Ope’, as he’s known to his friends, is a doctoral candidate in the current DLP cohort, Cohort X. Here’s a post from Ope’s Linked In page:
Subject: Impact of my research in Missouri
The DLP program has impressed it on me that as a scholar-practitioner, we do not have to wait for the end of our research before fixing problems we found but could be attended with immediate alacrity.
When I collected my data in December, some key issues immediately jumped out of the box. It is about how law enforcement officers can properly identify Missourians who are deaf or hard of hearing. Based on my data, I drafted a bill to change Missouri Law to make it easier for law enforcement officers to identify DHH.
I am happy to share the news that the bill not only passed in the two chambers but is now a law in Missouri. Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed the bill into law before he resigned yesterday. Here is a link to the press release from my office https://mcdhh.mo.gov/release-governor-signs-two-bills-for-deaf-and-hard-of-hearing-missourians/
Opeoluwa Sotonwa, DLP Class 2018
NEU Cohort VIII Doctors of Law and Policy, Keenan Davis, Darin Detwiler, and yours truly met for brunch a few weeks ago in Portland, Oregon. We dined at the Cadillac Cafe, a well-known local spot (outstanding French Toast, by the way).
I flew up planning to spend the entire day with my brothers, but because of flight cancellations, I had to re-book my return flight to leave 4 hours sooner than planned.
Even through I only spent a fraction of the time I hoped to spend with these two indescribable guys, it was 157% worth it.
I’ve received a preliminary but strong invitation to teach one or two courses at Northeastern University related to regulatory law and policy development.
I happen to know a thing or three about those topics.
If the appointment goes through, it’s likely that I’ll start teaching in the Fall 2018 term.
I’m really jazzed about the possibility…I hope it becomes a reality. More when I know.
I just learned that the Doctor of Law and Policy program will be expanding to NEU’s Seattle Campus starting next year. This is outstanding for a few reasons (off the top of my head).
First, this program will be far more accessible to mid-west and western students. They will be able to fly in to Seattle the morning of the first day of each monthly intensive meeting rather than having to fly in to Boston the night before. This will save something north of 20 hotel nights and two meals. Let’s see…20 saved hotel nights x $225 = $4,500ish saved plus 40 meals on the road x $20 = $800ish saved = north of $5,000 saved for mid-west and western students who elect to attend the Seattle section rather than the Boston section.
Second, and far more important in my mind, is that the opening of a second section allows for a broader cohort for the exchange of ideas and mutual support.
I am very excited to see how this second section plays out! I hope to support it in whatever way best serves the program.