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.
Today I submitted the conclusions chapter of my thesis to my co-P.I., Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna. This is a huge milestone for me, and I remain on track to defend on August 30th.
PS: It’s also a huge relief. The writing is done. All that remains are to address the very few edits to the preceding chapters received from both of my P.I.s and my second reader, Dr Ed Kammerer, J.D., Ph.D. jlk
PPS: Someone else very happy with the submission of my final chapter is Christina R. Sansone. She’s been waiting for me to finish this for a long time. I’m happy she’s still talking to me. Now it becomes my primary job, Chris.
Good luck to Evadne Hagigal, who will be defending her Doctor of Law and Policy doctoral thesis on Friday, August 12th. The title of her thesis is, The Unintended Consequences of Federally Mandated Minimum Wage Increases: An Examination of Employment Trends and Employers’ Perspectives.
(UPDATE: She successfully defended her thesis, and will become Dr. Hagigal on September 22nd, and hooded on September 28th. Great!!! -jlk)
I’ve written 5 of the 6 chapters that comprise my thesis. The chapters are:
- Literature Review
- Research Methodology
- Resident Surveys and Interviews
- Hedonic Price Modeling and the Courts
- Conclusions and Recommendations
The final chapter, my conclusions and recommendations for further research, is in progress. I should have it finished later this week, and then off to my editor.
I’m still on track to defend my thesis on Tuesday, August 30th.
I am happy, but I’ll be happier when I’m done.
In my previous post I mentioned sending off a chapter to my editor, so it occurred to me spill a few words about my editor, Dissertation-Editor.com
I’m using Dr. Alan Roda’s Dissertation-Editor.com service to professionally edit my thesis and ensure that it complies with APA 6th formatting style. I was exposed to Dr. Roda’s service way of a trusted recommendation from member of my cohort who was very happy with Dr. Roda’s services, and I now know why.
Dissertation-Editor.com’s staff of Ph.Ds has done exactly what I need. They have edited my chapters to ensure scholarly tone and style. They have suggested changes to words, sentence structures, and paragraph order to help me clarify my intended meaning. They have challenged me with questions based on what I have written as my Principal Investigator would. What they have never done is to cross the ethical boundary of writing new material for me.
Frankly, I appreciate the cost effectiveness of Dissertation-Editor.com billing practices. They charge a basic rate for their services with their normal turn-around, but offer quicker turnarounds for a modest additional fee. This quicker turnaround service has been valuable to me as I play ‘beat-the-clock’ on some of my chapter deliverables.
Look, it’s impossible to effectively edit your own work. No, you’re not that good. In case I’ve not been clear, I’m happy to recommend Dr. Roda’s group, Dissertation-Editor.com to any doctoral candidate who wants to turn in scholarly work that is coherent and free of errors in grammar and punctuation..
No, I’ve received nothing from them for saying the things I’ve said here. I just appreciate and respect excellent work at very fair rates.
PS: I had to edit this text hours after posting it because (a) I did NOT have Dissertation-Editor.com edit this piece, and (b) I found two errors in the text. It goes to show… jlk
I just received my final course grades for the Spring, 2016 quarter,which is my final quarter in the Doctor of Law and Policy program. This means that I now know that my final program GPA is 3.952 for 100% of the coursework.
It doesn’t matter, now.
As I noted a few months ago, what matters is defending my thesis. I am staying focused and on point, but that said, I’m very happy with my final GPA.
Cohort 8, Professors, and Key Program Staff. June, 2016.
About 15 minutes ago the last quarter of Cohort 8’s Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern University in Boston came to an end. All of the classwork is complete. Grades for the last quarter will come out in about 36 hours, not that the really matters now (well, maybe a little bit).
My thesis is coming along splendidly. Still on track to now complete it by July 30th, and defend it on August 30th.
I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the members of Cohort, all of whom have become very close and important friends over the past two years. We shared in a common journey and struggle, helping each other and thereby helping ourselves.
Over the course of studies, we’ve been gladdened by a marriage, a birth, various job changes, and a retirement. We have also been saddened by the loss of extended family members, serious injuries, kidney stones, and cancer.
Cohort 8 has become its own family, with our key professors, Neenah Estrella-Luna and Dan Urman sometimes acting in loco parentis. James Passanisi has been our kindly uncle for the past two years, working to make sure that we didn’t stray too far from the center, and properly scolding us a few times when we did. David, and Wendy (a.k.a., Taz), have been our co-schemers and co-pranksters.
I look forward to seeing all of my family and our professors when we reconvene in September to be hooded as Doctors of Law and Policy.
I consider myself immensely lucky to have landed a spot in Cohort 8 of Northeastern University’s Doctor of Law and Policy program, and to be with such magnificent, intelligent, passionate and caring people.
Today, after 24 intensive weeks spanning two years, my Cohort and I completed all required in-person classwork in Boston (well, 22 months in Boston, and two more months in Washington, D.C.) for the Doctor of Law and Policy degree at Northeastern University.
I have to finish my thesis by July 30th-ish so I can defend it on August 30th.
I have come to truly enjoy being in the company of the other 14 surviving members of Cohort 8. We started a couple of years ago with 24, and I am sorry they did not end up making the journey with the rest of us.
As of now, 9 members of Cohort 8 have successfully defended their theses. Most of the rest will defend in the next two weeks. I suspect I’ll be the last one.
I’ve very proud of what we have all accomplished, and looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish when they are conferred their degrees on September 22, followed by the hooding six day later.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am stronger than the train.
It’s always an amusing surprise to me when I see Dr. Sandy Bond’s 2007 research on cell towers and property values quoted in public hearings. It happened again a few days ago during a hearing in which I participated, when a resident told the government leaders that cell towers lower property values by 21% (not 20%; not 22%, but 21%).
Here’s the citation to Bond’s 2007 report in case you’d like to read the source materials (most people don’t):
Sandy Bond (2007) Cell Phone Tower Proximity Impacts on House Prices: A New Zealand Case Study, Pacific Rim Property Research Journal, 13:1, 63-91, DOI:10.1080/14445921.2007.11104223
I find it fascinating that the people who cite the number have no idea about what’s in the report, or that Dr. Bond’s research methodology has been roundly criticized by Filippova and Rehm (2011).
Here’s the cite to Filipova and Rehm’s research strongly challenging Bond’s 2007 research:
Filippova, O. and Rehm, M. (2011), “The impact of proximity to cell phone towers on residential property values”, International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 244-267.
Go ahead and read both documents, and then make an informed decision as to whether you would want to be associated with the 21% number. I certainly don’t.
Finally, in about 90 days I’ll be publishing my findings on hedonic price modeling to assess the dis-amenity value of a cell site near a home, this time a bit closer to the U.S., specifically in Calabasas, California. My research discloses that hedonic price modeling–if it ever had a valid place in research–is no longer any sort of useful tool in this line of research for reasons discussed in my thesis that could not have been known to Bond, Filippova, or Rehm, or to the few researchers to who followed down the same rabbit hole.
Living 5G Large, baby!
I’ve been reviewing about 170 court cases touching on or dealing with perceptions of resident home value reduction due to the installation of a nearby cell site. The court cases, which date back to about 1988, provide some very illuminating facts about what the courts consider to be reliable evidence, and what is not.
The information I’ve collected is going into my law and policy chapter, which is turning out to be quite interesting.
Sneak peak: Direct references to hedonic price modeling and a Dr. Sandy Bond paper are found in exactly one federal case. The outcome of that case turned on other considerations.
I continue writing my thesis chapter on hedonic price modeling as applied to cell tower sites near homes. It has become so very clear that hedonic price modeling has extremely limited utility in this context because of data limitations. HPM also has severe political problems that are tough to overcome.
I’m enjoying the chapter.
I never thought I would say that.