JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:15 pm

I'm sure this comes up a lot. Please forgive me for any redundant redundancies please.

Here's my situation: 2L at a T30. I was top 20% after 1L year, I've slipped a bit but I'm at least still in the top 1\3. My 1L summer was an in-house gig, and I'll be spending my 2L summer at a mid-sized firm in my home city (midwest). The firm is highly regarded in the market and it's a great gig for the summer. My issue is that the firm is heavily focused on litigation. I came to law school to be a transactional lawyer, but I had a lot of trouble landing a job at a firm with a substantial transactional department. Maybe I'll end up loving litigation work, or maybe my firm will be able to feed me enough tax/m & a/bankruptcy work to keep me satisfied, but I want to leave my options open both in the short term and long term. Also, no guarantees of getting a permanent offer from the firm - I wouldn't say my situation is super secure or anything.

Background: Non-business Econ degree, but I took a couple of accounting classes, a couple of finance classes, as well as the calc and stats classes that were required for my major and did well in those courses. 2 years of WE before attending law school. In law school I've kept a decent balance between litigation and transactional based courses. I write for a secondary journal that is related to corporate law.

My questions for you folks: First off, I should mention that our MBA program is probably not highly ranked. I'm not sure what it is...but I've seen it in the US rankings so it's gotta be top 50 or something...not Wharton by any means. So, assume I enter the program next Fall. Could I: (a) re-enter the race for an SA position at a bigger firm in a larger market that is more focused on transactional work and have a realistic chance? Would I be able to go through OCI again? (b) seek a non-legal business position and be taken seriously? I'm thinking something in banking, insurance, consulting - anything that keeps me away from courtrooms (c) When I started writing I felt like I had more questions - please offer any feedback on potential upsides to adding the MBA, as well as potential downsides. Can you think of any opportunities I'm ignoring that adding the MBA could provide me? Am I overlooking some drawbacks? Ignore the additional cost factor/ extra year of not working, that's too obvious. Also ignore the fact that I haven't taken the GMAT. I'm not overly worried about it.

Grip it and rip it. DId I mention that I'm really, really, ridiculously good-looking?

fluffybunny
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:11 pm

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby fluffybunny » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:25 pm

The second shot at OCI might be worth it (especially if you pull your grades up a little).

MinEMorris
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:26 am

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby MinEMorris » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:51 pm

As far as I've heard, you aren't going to be much more (if any more) attractive to transactional places because of an MBA/business background. The impression I've gotten is that a business background is to transactional law what an architecture background is to a construction worker. Basically, all you need to do is understand the plans and what they want to accomplish to be a construction worker, and your job is knowing what materials to use, where to put the screws, and when to tell them that there may be no good way to build what they've envisioned. Beyond having a minimal amount of architectural knowledge so that you can understand what the plans mean and when your construction is deviating from them, knowledge about architecture is not helpful. Not only will it not help, it may even get in the way if it gives you confidence to second guess the architect or take liberty with interpreting what the architect really wants.

On the other hand, being a construction worker might make you a better architect, which is maybe why I get the impression that there's a bigger market for JD/MBAs on the business side than the law side. There's a big debate about the value of JD/MBAs, but I anticipate from a school like yours it's probably not worth it. Again, I'm not too much in the know on this, but I've heard transactional lawyers state clearly that the amount of business you need to know to be a good transactional lawyer is very minimal.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby bdubs » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:50 pm

MinEMorris wrote:As far as I've heard, you aren't going to be much more (if any more) attractive to transactional places because of an MBA/business background....

On the other hand, being a construction worker might make you a better architect, which is maybe why I get the impression that there's a bigger market for JD/MBAs on the business side than the law side. There's a big debate about the value of JD/MBAs, but I anticipate from a school like yours it's probably not worth it. Again, I'm not too much in the know on this, but I've heard transactional lawyers state clearly that the amount of business you need to know to be a good transactional lawyer is very minimal.


I agree with your conclusion. IMO JD-MBAs should be measured on the same scale as law schools. Only the top ones are really worth doing.

Completely disagree about how you got there. There is very little marginal benefit for JD-MBAs on the business side. JD-MBAs are in much more demand from law firms than businesses.

AP-375
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby AP-375 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:50 pm

Any reason to think you'd have a better shot at OCI if you did it again?
If you're looking for anecdotes, I've known some people in VERY similar situations who have made good use of the extra time and network and have ended up with jobs they were happier with.

User avatar
Hattori Hanzo
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:17 am

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:46 am

You wont get a second shot at OCI if it works like JD/MBA at Harvard. Here you spend your first summer at a legal job, second summer either law or business, third summer the one you didn't do the 2nd summer and then graduate. You may be able to split your summer though and do something legal for half.

Also a degree from a T50 MBA program is less likely to land you a good finance or consulting job than your law degree is to land you in biglaw. You'll probably get some kind of entry level management position at Enterprise or a chain retail store though. IMO not worth the investment.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:13 pm

OP

Thanks for the responses so far. I especially appreciated the architect analogy: I can see how there is probably a lot of truth to that.

I have trouble, however, putting much weight on the most recent response regarding business positions. Entry level management position at Enterprise or a retail chain? I realize I'm not at Harvard but come on. I've looked through all of the positions accepted by graduates from the last couple of classes and they are very impressive - definitely better than I could get with just my JD (assuming I choose not to practice law). The employment statistics aren't skewed like law school employment, and the career services department seemingly bends over backwards for students unlike law school career services.

Any other feedback or anecdotes?

User avatar
Hattori Hanzo
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:17 am

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:43 pm

My girlfriend is in the middle of her MBA app cycle so this is something we've been dealing with for 6 months now. Let me explain: MBA job stats are a bit more straightforward than JD job stats but they can be confusing in a different way.

1) An MBA doesn't have much "academic value", i.e. you won't learn that much in terms of new skills, with the exception of some programs that are academically loaded (notably MIT). The bulk of the value is in networking opportunities and the doors that your new school's network/prestige opens post-MBA. Obviously outside of a certain group, this value diminishes fast. This is a problem esp. because there's no inherent value in an MBA, unlike a JD which gives you a license to join a franchise at least.

2) Some schools publish median income data broken down into industry and years of pre-MBA work exp. This is super important because people go to B school from all sorts of backgrounds and with very different prior experience. It's common to go back to your previous industry post-MBA. So it's important to distinguish between those who went to B-school to just get a degree and clear the path to future promotion (sometimes paid by the employer) and have a guaranteed job waiting and those who don't have valuable WE or connections pre-MBA and need to find a job relying on the career services office only.

3) What you should do is to try to get job placement info for this latter group and see what industries they're placed in and what salaries they receive. My guess is you'll see a lot of big box retailers and some retail banks, with $60-70K salaries, hence entry level management.

4) As for consulting or iBanking, a bit of research will show you that good firms in either category hire from a very small group of target schools only. You can verify this by cross referencing the firms with your data in #3. A T50 MBA will no more make you a desirable candidate for MBB than a T30 JD does, which is to say not at all.

5) That said, if your 2 years W/E was in a good industry or a prestigious firm that may want you back if you get an MBA or you have independent connections that can get your foot in the door of a good firm, you should do it. (I missed the WE bit earlier)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:04 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the elaboration. Definitely some things to think about.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: JD/MBA after 2 years of law school?

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:21 pm

Agree with most of Hattori's points. I think #5 is particularly relevant. People who don't know a ton about b-school grossly underestimate the impact that the specifics of your prior WE will have on your recruiting opportunities.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.