Dual Degrees- Worth it?

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jeanster
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:25 pm

Dual Degrees- Worth it?

Postby jeanster » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:59 pm

Can't help but notice that a number of schools offer them, and the side of me chasing a little prestige also can't help but be interested. I wanted to know if anyone on here is currently enrolled or knows someone who has taken a dual degree, and if they can pass on any advice.

The constant argument on this board is that law school is not worth it unless (t-14, full ride, no debt, fill in your blank here). I'm planning on attending a state school (and working in state, maybe as an ADA, maybe not) and I'll be paying significantly less to attend school than a ton of people chasing their JD (the main reason I applied to a state school). From just glancing through some of my school options, I could get around 12 hours or so applied to an MA or MPA program.

Simply put: is it worth it? Taking three years of law school, adding a solid year and a half of classes (or two if things go to hell) for two degrees- would that significantly increase my chances or being hired or allow me to gain a higher salary from a government job or private firm?

Thanks for the help and I'll try to ignore the negative comments that will inevitably come my way.

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worldtraveler
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Dual Degrees- Worth it?

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:03 am

How would this non-defined degree help you get a legal job?

I'm in a dual degree program. I have no idea why you'd need one, and it seems like you just want another degree to get another degree.

jeanster
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:25 pm

Re: Dual Degrees- Worth it?

Postby jeanster » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:55 am

I'm not obsessed with getting another degree, just trying to see if it's worth it.

Let's say I'd go the MPA route looking for a job in local government, if I need to be more specific. I'd have the possibility of an MA in polisci available also. Don't know if I could realistically use that for my advantage (salary) or if it would be a waste of time and more tuition.

Worldtraveler- what duel program are you in, and why did you decide to do it?

Voodoo94
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Dual Degrees- Worth it?

Postby Voodoo94 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:44 am

Let's say I'd go the MPA route looking for a job in local government, if I need to be more specific. I'd have the possibility of an MA in polisci available also. Don't know if I could realistically use that for my advantage (salary) or if it would be a waste of time and more tuition.


Forget using it to boost your salary, consider it an investment in getting some modicum of stable employment.

The cruel truth is that trends suggest that the plurality of 2015 JD graduates will not find meaningful legal work upon graduation. A dual degree is a good hedge against these potentially poor outcomes. That said, be careful in selecting your dual degree program. The JD/MBA combination is hopelessly oversaturated. I don't see where the JD/MA (Poli Sci.) will get you either. I am a 5 year Federal employee at my second agency and have been in policy jobs within the Immediate Office of a Cabinet Secretary. I can tell you that no one in the Federal service is looking to hire a Poli Sci. MA and I can't fathom a situation where that degree would be viewed favorably among a stack of applicants.

The key is to get a substantive degree that provides some quantitative training and a different "tool" in your toolbox. The goal of a choosing dual degree program should be getting a degree that can provide an alternate employment route on its own merits. If the JD can provide an assist or serve as a discriminator of selection officials, all the better.

I would take a good, hard look at at an MPH, MPP, MPA, MSW or MHA dual degrees.

HamDel
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:53 pm

Re: Dual Degrees- Worth it?

Postby HamDel » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:46 pm

Depends. I think a masters in poli sci from a mid-ranked program is probably not going to help you too much in terms of getting a job, but if it's cheap enough and interesting to you then you could go ahead and do it. I think it's more likely to be worth it when you're talking about a JD/MBA from a really top school or a joint JD/LLM in tax from a top program or something, but in this case only do it if it's really financially prudent.




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