JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

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englawyer
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby englawyer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:28 pm

if you manage to get into the MBA program, it will open up business doors, even without experience. you would be fighting a little bit uphill, but that is indeed one of the points of the program: to get business interviews. while traditional companies would not like such a candidate, many popular b-school choices (i-banking, consulting) are more willing to overlook the lack of work experience, particularly from top schools. an example would be strategy consulting, where once you get the interview, they hire primarily based on interview performance.

i-banking does not require a particular background; it requires pedigree and prestige. this is why banks will recruit a art history major from harvard over a finance major from CUNY, provided the art history major shows he/she knows her stuff about the market and can do some quantitative work.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:47 pm

What if we are not talking big-law and non-top schools.

I am interested in corporate law. I can't imagine that from a non-T14, coming from a JD/MBA program, that the smaller firms (again, non-big law) will really see it as an indication that I'm not interested in law.

I'm seriously considering it, as the school I am likely to go to has an easy entry into their MBA. I think the biggest concern is cost. However, if it opens any doors and sets me apart in a market that is pretty tough right now, if the cost isn't too high, I think it's the right way to go for me.

Action Jackson
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:54 pm

A JD/MBA here. I want to run through some of the points:

1. Is a JD/MBA worth it? Yes, IF you know for a fact what you want to do requires an MBA. That's another way of saying that if you have to ask, you should NOT add an MBA to a JD (or vice versa).

2. Can a JD/MBA hurt you? Yes! As mentioned, litigation does not like JD/MBAs. Why would they? An MBA has ZERO value for a litigator. IP is another area where an MBA is going to be useless. Having a useless advanced degree on your resume will make people worry that if you ever have a bad day at work you'll just up and leave to make use of that other degree. Law kind of sucks as a job, so this is a very, very real problem.

3. Does it open more doors? Not really. It WIDENS some doors, and NARROWS others (see above). That's why you need to refer to #1.

4. Does a JD/MBA make for a good fallback option? Not really. Sure, if you end up hating law you can leave and try and make use of your MBA, but being out of the business game for however many years you've been out of it is going to make you an unattractive job candidate. If not unattractive, at least not as attractive as people that have been doing business work around the time they got their MBA. Moreover, you can always get the MBA later on. If you're really concerned that you won't like the law, THEN DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL! Take a year or two and work in firms and learn what they do day in and day out and then decide. Paying an extra $100k NOW in speculation that you can make use of it 5-10 years down the road is nuts.

5. Is a JD/MBA from Fordham a bad idea? Yeah, probably. MBAs outside of the top schools are worth even less than law degrees outside the top 14. I would definitely go to Fordham JD, but not Fordham MBA, and for JD/MBAs you're generally marketing the MBA part more than the JD part.

6. LSAT vs GMAT...? I keep bringing this up all the time so I might as well mention this here, MBA programs don't care about the GMAT as much as law programs care about the LSAT. That is, you can score an 800 on the GMAT and NOT get into any top schools. Work experience matters the most. If your MBA program is willing to take you without work experience and you don't have perfect scores and a perfect GPA then you probably don't want to pay for that MBA. Keep this in mind.

Any more questions, feel free to ask.

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englawyer
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby englawyer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:21 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:What if we are not talking big-law and non-top schools.

I am interested in corporate law. I can't imagine that from a non-T14, coming from a JD/MBA program, that the smaller firms (again, non-big law) will really see it as an indication that I'm not interested in law.

I'm seriously considering it, as the school I am likely to go to has an easy entry into their MBA. I think the biggest concern is cost. However, if it opens any doors and sets me apart in a market that is pretty tough right now, if the cost isn't too high, I think it's the right way to go for me.


well corporate law and biglaw usually go hand-in-hand. there are few small firms that do corporate law, at least in the sense of large companies, important m&a deals, etc. there are small-fry shops that do like "start a small business/incorporation" stuff but that is usually not considered corporate law. what exactly is your interest?

aiming for business law in the small law world, i can't imagine an MBA will hurt but i dont think it would help either, and thus not be worth the investment.

starsong
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby starsong » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:30 pm

Action Jackson wrote:A JD/MBA here. I want to run through some of the points:

1. Is a JD/MBA worth it? Yes, IF you know for a fact what you want to do requires an MBA. That's another way of saying that if you have to ask, you should NOT add an MBA to a JD (or vice versa).

2. Can a JD/MBA hurt you? Yes! As mentioned, litigation does not like JD/MBAs. Why would they? An MBA has ZERO value for a litigator. IP is another area where an MBA is going to be useless. Having a useless advanced degree on your resume will make people worry that if you ever have a bad day at work you'll just up and leave to make use of that other degree. Law kind of sucks as a job, so this is a very, very real problem.

3. Does it open more doors? Not really. It WIDENS some doors, and NARROWS others (see above). That's why you need to refer to #1.

4. Does a JD/MBA make for a good fallback option? Not really. Sure, if you end up hating law you can leave and try and make use of your MBA, but being out of the business game for however many years you've been out of it is going to make you an unattractive job candidate. If not unattractive, at least not as attractive as people that have been doing business work around the time they got their MBA. Moreover, you can always get the MBA later on. If you're really concerned that you won't like the law, THEN DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL! Take a year or two and work in firms and learn what they do day in and day out and then decide. Paying an extra $100k NOW in speculation that you can make use of it 5-10 years down the road is nuts.

5. Is a JD/MBA from Fordham a bad idea? Yeah, probably. MBAs outside of the top schools are worth even less than law degrees outside the top 14. I would definitely go to Fordham JD, but not Fordham MBA, and for JD/MBAs you're generally marketing the MBA part more than the JD part.

6. LSAT vs GMAT...? I keep bringing this up all the time so I might as well mention this here, MBA programs don't care about the GMAT as much as law programs care about the LSAT. That is, you can score an 800 on the GMAT and NOT get into any top schools. Work experience matters the most. If your MBA program is willing to take you without work experience and you don't have perfect scores and a perfect GPA then you probably don't want to pay for that MBA. Keep this in mind.

Any more questions, feel free to ask.


+1. Well said.

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vexion
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby vexion » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:35 pm

Action Jackson wrote:A JD/MBA here. I want to run through some of the points:

1. Is a JD/MBA worth it? Yes, IF you know for a fact what you want to do requires an MBA. That's another way of saying that if you have to ask, you should NOT add an MBA to a JD (or vice versa).

2. Can a JD/MBA hurt you? Yes! As mentioned, litigation does not like JD/MBAs. Why would they? An MBA has ZERO value for a litigator. IP is another area where an MBA is going to be useless. Having a useless advanced degree on your resume will make people worry that if you ever have a bad day at work you'll just up and leave to make use of that other degree. Law kind of sucks as a job, so this is a very, very real problem.

3. Does it open more doors? Not really. It WIDENS some doors, and NARROWS others (see above). That's why you need to refer to #1.

4. Does a JD/MBA make for a good fallback option? Not really. Sure, if you end up hating law you can leave and try and make use of your MBA, but being out of the business game for however many years you've been out of it is going to make you an unattractive job candidate. If not unattractive, at least not as attractive as people that have been doing business work around the time they got their MBA. Moreover, you can always get the MBA later on. If you're really concerned that you won't like the law, THEN DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL! Take a year or two and work in firms and learn what they do day in and day out and then decide. Paying an extra $100k NOW in speculation that you can make use of it 5-10 years down the road is nuts.

5. Is a JD/MBA from Fordham a bad idea? Yeah, probably. MBAs outside of the top schools are worth even less than law degrees outside the top 14. I would definitely go to Fordham JD, but not Fordham MBA, and for JD/MBAs you're generally marketing the MBA part more than the JD part.

6. LSAT vs GMAT...? I keep bringing this up all the time so I might as well mention this here, MBA programs don't care about the GMAT as much as law programs care about the LSAT. That is, you can score an 800 on the GMAT and NOT get into any top schools. Work experience matters the most. If your MBA program is willing to take you without work experience and you don't have perfect scores and a perfect GPA then you probably don't want to pay for that MBA. Keep this in mind.

Any more questions, feel free to ask.


+1 for a first-hand, non-speculative opinion.

ughOSU
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby ughOSU » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:40 pm

If you don't want biglaw and/or corporate law, I'd say it's quite possible a jd/mba could hurt you. You'd be seen as a massive flight risk because the vast majority of smallLaw jobs are painfully boring, paper-pushing jobs. No business sense is necessary. They probably wouldn't want to take a chance on someone who might up and decide to leave at any time.

I guess I would stress that the answer to the question completely depends on your goals. I have a very clear picture of where I want to go and am pretty sure a JD/MBA could help. If you want to do smallLaw, however, I would say in the vast majority of cases tacking on an MBA is beyond a waste of time.

E: spelling/grammar
Last edited by ughOSU on Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lupton Pittman
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby Lupton Pittman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:40 pm

vexion wrote:
Action Jackson wrote:A JD/MBA here. I want to run through some of the points:

1. Is a JD/MBA worth it? Yes, IF you know for a fact what you want to do requires an MBA. That's another way of saying that if you have to ask, you should NOT add an MBA to a JD (or vice versa).

2. Can a JD/MBA hurt you? Yes! As mentioned, litigation does not like JD/MBAs. Why would they? An MBA has ZERO value for a litigator. IP is another area where an MBA is going to be useless. Having a useless advanced degree on your resume will make people worry that if you ever have a bad day at work you'll just up and leave to make use of that other degree. Law kind of sucks as a job, so this is a very, very real problem.

3. Does it open more doors? Not really. It WIDENS some doors, and NARROWS others (see above). That's why you need to refer to #1.

4. Does a JD/MBA make for a good fallback option? Not really. Sure, if you end up hating law you can leave and try and make use of your MBA, but being out of the business game for however many years you've been out of it is going to make you an unattractive job candidate. If not unattractive, at least not as attractive as people that have been doing business work around the time they got their MBA. Moreover, you can always get the MBA later on. If you're really concerned that you won't like the law, THEN DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL! Take a year or two and work in firms and learn what they do day in and day out and then decide. Paying an extra $100k NOW in speculation that you can make use of it 5-10 years down the road is nuts.

5. Is a JD/MBA from Fordham a bad idea? Yeah, probably. MBAs outside of the top schools are worth even less than law degrees outside the top 14. I would definitely go to Fordham JD, but not Fordham MBA, and for JD/MBAs you're generally marketing the MBA part more than the JD part.

6. LSAT vs GMAT...? I keep bringing this up all the time so I might as well mention this here, MBA programs don't care about the GMAT as much as law programs care about the LSAT. That is, you can score an 800 on the GMAT and NOT get into any top schools. Work experience matters the most. If your MBA program is willing to take you without work experience and you don't have perfect scores and a perfect GPA then you probably don't want to pay for that MBA. Keep this in mind.

Any more questions, feel free to ask.


+1 for a first-hand, non-speculative opinion.

+1 as well, really appreciate that post.

notme
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby notme » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:50 pm

Having worked for a law firm I can tell you that rather than showing a lack of focus, some law firms look upon it as a specialization, something that can set you apart from the crowd. There are a lot of JDs out there with nothing else to offer. If you can tie the MBA into a demonstrated interest in business law, then you have something that few others have. Now if you are looking at a job doing litigation, then it's probably a detriment, as it indicates your interests lie elsewhere.

I think it varies based upon what you want to do. If you want big law, then no, its probably a detriment, as they are looking for inteligent drones to bill 2200 - 2400 hours per year and they don't really care if you know anything else. It doesn't add a thing to their bottom line and means you might leave before they have sucked the last drop of blood out of you. If you want mid or small law, then yes it helps get you a job as a business lawyer (M & A and transactional work) and hurts in other areas of the law.

Beyond the issue of getting your first job, is the fact that you might actually learn something that will help you be a better lawyer. I don't view the MBA as a fall back, but rather as something to give more substance to your practice.

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onthecusp
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby onthecusp » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:58 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
vexion wrote:Law firms have a documented history of refusing to hire JD/MBAs over equally-qualified candidates who only have a JD. As Starsong wrote, it generally shows a lack of focus. As well, an MBA isn't necessary to provide a "backup." You already have a UG degree, a JD, and work experience. With those, you can get into all sorts of jobs in all sorts of fields, excluding maybe the hard sciences and education. That late in the game, getting the job you want is more of a networking thing then how many letters you have after your name.


Really? Where's the documentation?

At least at top schools, this is not the case. In fact, the consensus among both career services and students at the school I am at and those I was considering (and borne out anecdotally by the jobs of JD/MBA students whose grades I know) is that JD/MBA students do better all other things equal than their normal JD or normal MBA counterparts. This doesn't necessarily make it worth it, but it certainly doesn't hurt you (though it does restrict you somewhat to transactional law or business).

OP, if you're interested in reading more, this is the best article I've found (http://blog.veritasprep.com/2009/07/pro ... jdmba.html). Obviously it's commercial in nature, but it's pretty spot on in terms of what I've found.


+1

Who are these law firms and what specific positions are they refusing to hire JD/MBA's in favor of JD only's? Could it be that the reason they hire more JD's is because there are simply more of them? Wouldn't it stand to reason that the numbers for people working at desired law firms with JD/MBA's are smaller simply because they are much smaller in number than regular old JD's?

*Edit*

I will defer to those who know more about the subject then I do. I have no interest in business and have not done the research. I struggled to see the logic in how an MBA attached to a JD would hurt your employment prospects in the legal sector, but if an actual JD/MBA confirms it...he's probably more of an authority than I am.

imchuckbass58
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:52 am

Action Jackson wrote:1. Is a JD/MBA worth it? Yes, IF you know for a fact what you want to do requires an MBA. That's another way of saying that if you have to ask, you should NOT add an MBA to a JD (or vice versa).

2. Can a JD/MBA hurt you? Yes! As mentioned, litigation does not like JD/MBAs. Why would they? An MBA has ZERO value for a litigator. IP is another area where an MBA is going to be useless. Having a useless advanced degree on your resume will make people worry that if you ever have a bad day at work you'll just up and leave to make use of that other degree. Law kind of sucks as a job, so this is a very, very real problem.

3. Does it open more doors? Not really. It WIDENS some doors, and NARROWS others (see above). That's why you need to refer to #1.

4. Does a JD/MBA make for a good fallback option? Not really. Sure, if you end up hating law you can leave and try and make use of your MBA, but being out of the business game for however many years you've been out of it is going to make you an unattractive job candidate. If not unattractive, at least not as attractive as people that have been doing business work around the time they got their MBA. Moreover, you can always get the MBA later on. If you're really concerned that you won't like the law, THEN DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL! Take a year or two and work in firms and learn what they do day in and day out and then decide. Paying an extra $100k NOW in speculation that you can make use of it 5-10 years down the road is nuts.

5. Is a JD/MBA from Fordham a bad idea? Yeah, probably. MBAs outside of the top schools are worth even less than law degrees outside the top 14. I would definitely go to Fordham JD, but not Fordham MBA, and for JD/MBAs you're generally marketing the MBA part more than the JD part.

6. LSAT vs GMAT...? I keep bringing this up all the time so I might as well mention this here, MBA programs don't care about the GMAT as much as law programs care about the LSAT. That is, you can score an 800 on the GMAT and NOT get into any top schools. Work experience matters the most. If your MBA program is willing to take you without work experience and you don't have perfect scores and a perfect GPA then you probably don't want to pay for that MBA. Keep this in mind.


So, to clarify my earlier post, I'm actually also a JD/MBA. I think actionjackson is mostly spot on, but I'd perhaps take a bit broad view - here's how I'd disagree slightly.

1: Agree, but I'd change "requires" to "is strongly helped by." You can do bankruptcy/restructuring without an MBA, but from what I've heard it's a big help and valued credential for that practice area. Similar thing for large scale (not local) economic development. Ordinary corporate law is borderline - it probably doesn't qualify.

2: I agree generally that a JD/MBA is much more suited to corporate than litigation, but I'm still not convinced it's a negative in all litigation contexts. Obviously if you're trying to do most public interest or civil rights litigation, it's a red flag. But there are many examples of JD/MBAs pursuing and thriving in litigation contexts (ex: Ted Wells, head of Paul Weiss' litigation practice, or Ashley Keller, Kennedy clerk and current litigation associate at Bartlitt Beck), and some firms will go so far as to say they value JD/MBAs for litigation (--LinkRemoved--).

3: This is correct if you're thinking purely in a law context. A JD/MBA does not open new doors for law. It does, however, open a lot of new doors, namely business careers. People vastly overestimate how accessible quality business careers are with a JD (consulting frims hire JDs, but maybe 5 a year at T6 schools, and many of those are JD/MBAs).

4: Definitely agree you should not go to law school planning to fall back on a JD/MBA. But it can be helpful going in house or transitioning into operating roles in house (as told to me by JD/MBAs who have done so and said they were hired/promoted primarily because of their MBAs).

5: Agree.

6: Agree. This is something most applicants don't understand. Your chances of getting in without work experience are quite low, even with top scores.

Mich_Guy
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby Mich_Guy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:31 am

As an aspiring JD, who already has an MBA from a reputable program, I think it is a mistake to assume that a JD/MBA will hurt you. I am currently a 1L at Wake, and I cannot tell you how many legal and non-legal employers who have expressed great interest in my resume (please NOTE I also have an UG in Electrical Engineering and about 7 years of WE).

However, non-legal employers that I have talked to are always interested in the JD because of the candidate's ability to work on compliance related matters and legal negotiation skills. Legal employers that I have talked to are always interested in the MBA because of a candidate's ability and experience with performing quantitative analysis (spreadsheet models, etc) and understanding market forces and business metrics.

Please also keep in mind that traditionally many if not most JDs end up trying to pursue careers in corporate America anyway after spending a few years pratcicing in BigLaw, right?

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vexion
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby vexion » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:46 pm

Mich_Guy wrote:lots of crap


Image

HamDel
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby HamDel » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:00 pm

Another top JD/MBA here. ActionJackson is the only person in this thread not talking out of his ass. Read his post and, after you've internalized it, close your browser or read about something else.

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sanetruth
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Re: JD/MBA - Is it worth the extra year of debt?

Postby sanetruth » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:19 pm

But what about people who move in-house? I would assume that the vast majority of those who move in-house have MBA's, am I wrong about that?




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