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.
Day: February 12, 2017
Today I post here a copy of a letter I sent to Professor Estrella-Luna. Some six months after defending my thesis and earning my doctorate in the Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern University, I want to share with her why her teachings have made me a better policy maker and budding academic.
Feel free to metaphorically look over Professor Estrella-Luna’s shoulder and read my letter…
February 12, 2017
Neenah Estrella-Luna, PhD
Doctor of Law & Policy Program
College of Professional Studies
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Dear Professor Estrella-Luna:
It has been nearly six months since I defended my doctoral thesis before you and the other members of the examination committee. That is a great reason for me to reach out to you now to share with you some of my thoughts about you, your impact on me, and the DLP program.
When I entered the DLP program, I met you but didn’t quite know how to take you. Your clinical and critically honest assessment of each of us at that first Intensive Week entering the program was at once unexpected, enlightening, and—to be honest—a bit frightening. Yet, you made it clear from that very first contact that you expected us to excel if we were to achieve our goal to graduate from the program. You also made it equally clear that you would help and support us to reach that goal if we did our part to your very high but achievable expectations and standards.
Frankly, in all of my prior educational programs, whether undergraduate or graduate, I have never encountered a professor who published his or her expectations and goals as clearly and honestly as did you. All of us in Cohort VIII also learned that your clarity in expectations of and goals for each of us were coupled with your promise, on which you unwaveringly delivered, to support each of us to meet both.
You personally inspired me, and I can say with certainty all of the members of Cohort VIII, to push past our self-perceived limits to achieve the core goal of the DLP program. By this I do not mean earning the degree of Doctor of Law and Policy (although that was quite nice, thank you). Rather, I am talking about the program’s core goal of developing effective new policy entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and change agents. In my case, as someone with some prior public visibility in telecommunications law and policy, I know how I have already applied the many tools I learned in the program…tools you taught us…to help shift local, state and national telecom policy as it relates to a new regulatory framework for the deployment of the next generation of wireless facilities. In that regard, I am altogether much more effective today than I was the day I entered the DLP program.
Of all of the tools and elements I learned from you in the DLP program, I believe the most important, at least so far, has been for me to consciously apply critical thinking to enable me to connect seemingly disparate concepts to achieve important policy goals. Your multi-dimensional approach to problem identification and solving has helped me far better understand those who would otherwise be patent policy enemies and turn them into potential, if sometimes latent, policy allies. It has also made me, I hope, a better budding academic.
I often find myself inwardly smiling for a moment or two knowing that in real life I’m applying the policy tools you lead us to understand, respect, and own. In the end analysis, you are to me at the very center of the DLP program. You are the gravity chiefly responsible for drawing in, shaping and producing, and eventually flinging out fully-developed DLP program graduates who then may become their own policy gravity centers.
Warmly, your devoted policy disciple,
Dr. Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq., JD, LL.M, DLP
Member, NEU DLP Cohort VIII
PS: I hope you do not mind, but given your importance to me and the DLP program, I am going to post a copy of this letter at www.JonathanKramer.com, which has apparently become one of the more popular sites on Internet to learn about the DLP program. –jlk