worldtraveler wrote:girlmonster wrote:Worldtraveler, I read where you mentioned that you received a dual degree. My ultimate career goal is to work for an NGO, ideally in research/advocacy. Do you think a dual degree would confer an advantage? If so, what dual degree program do you think I should pursue (e.g., JD with a MIA, MPA, MA in Middle Eastern Studies, etc.)?
It depends what you want to do, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It's certainly helpful and I'm glad I did it but man it was a pain.
The main benefits of a dual degree are:
one more summer of experience and to make connections
access to fellowships for grad students (might be cheaper)
better connections to profs involved in related issues like development/politics
better LOR writers because grad students know faculty better
courses on related issues (econ, theory courses)
opportunity for language study
doing a thesis that might get published/give you research experience
more likely to get teaching experience, which might prove beneficial
you can mess with 1Ls and tell them you failed your first semester so had to repeat it, hence the 4th year.
eligibility for certain jobs that want MAs and not JDs
less flexibility. you can't study abroad or intern a semester. might not get to take every course you want
you will be BUSY fitting a 5 year program into 4 years. may prevent you from interning and doing everything you want to do. you also might go crazy.
might cost more
it's a year of your life when you could be starting your career
you will see people in the law school and they will say WTF are you still doing here.
you will barely remember your 1L curriculum when you take the bar
Look at all the posts about 3LOL and having no work. that will not be you. You will not have 5 day weekends or blow off class for months.
grad students are really fucking pedantic and annoying, especially in the humanities/soc sci.
This is an excellent pro/con list.
The one thing it's probably worth pointing out for anyone interested is that it is FAR easier to get good grades in hum./ss. graduate programs (as a general rule) than in law school. I think the curve at Georgetown is A- for most graduate programs.