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 five attorneys, four staff, and two dogs working in offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and in 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. Done that!
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.
75% Done. Now the Hard Part.
Quarter grades were posted today (see below left for additional information).
I have now completed 75% of my doctoral program. I’m solidly into collecting data for my thesis project. This s#i+ is getting real.
And away we go…
My IRB application was approved the day before Thanksgiving. My survey is up online. My adverts are going up. My invitation letters will go out on January 4, 2016.
The race is underway.
Six months to go.
IRB Application Closer and Closer
My IRB application is essentially complete.
I spoke by Skype with the Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna, who is responsible for coordinating IRB applications prior to submission to the Principal Investigator, and to the IRB rep. Professor Estrella-Luna asked me to make some changes based on new rules not yet reflected in the current application form, but those change are extremely minor.
This is a great relief because I know have data collection in sight, if not yet underway.
Pipes Are SUCH a Problem
While my own ‘pipes’ are healing, and I had my internal liner (stent) removed a few days ago, the main sewer clay pipe for my home failed. I suppose that’s not a surprise after 35 years of service.
To fix the sewer, we had an internal liner installed. One liner out; one liner in.
Just another reminder that life gets in the way of life, sometimes.
Regrettably, I’ve missed this month’s live intensive classes at the University. I have a good excuse: a kidney stone that refused to gracefully exit, and demanded the rather personal attention of my urologist in a surgical setting. The little bastard is gone, now.
Good riddance vile creature.
The key trait of people who impress me.
I’m very impressed by very quiet people who do very noisy things very quietly.
Fifth Quarter Grade Report
As part of my commitment to be transparent about my grades, I have today posted the Summer 2015 quarter grades. They are below and to the right side on this page.
Peer Reviews and Intellectual Integrity
One of the things I’ve had to come to terms with during the doctoral program is accepting the real and sometimes-harsh value of the the peer review process. That process requires the author to openly subject himself or herself to the critiques of peers, hopefully before publication and widespread embarrassment.
On the other side, being a peer reviewer requires that you be place real or potential personal friendships and professional relationships aside to be able to say things you might never want to say face to face. For example, gems such as
- ‘you just didn’t get it regarding…’; or
- ‘the new area of research has been well covered in the existing literature, and I don’t see anything new in the paper…’; or
- ‘when referring the a government agency using the ‘p’ word, make sure you include in it the middle ‘l’.
I’ve come to learn and respect the value of the peer review process, which might be boiled down to the following: It’s better to have trusted friends and peers pick your work apart rather than strangers who care not one wit about you or your research.
Authors and peer reviewers should have the same guiding goal in mind: Intellectual integrity is what we strive for in our work. Identifying gaps in our own work, and gaps in work we are asked to peer review is not a failure, but an opportunity to better achieve the greater goal and good.
Cohort 9, which just started in July, seems to be off to a good start. Last week, during the August Intensive, they started their own new tradition: Bow Tie Sundays.
Video About My Thesis Topic
(Updated April 5, 2016: Take a peek at THIS PAGE if you think you know the results I will publish in my thesis regarding my research. That will make one of us who thinks they know.)
I produced a short video calling card explaining in general terms the subject and area of my thesis research.