JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

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bliverman
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JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby bliverman » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:08 pm

WRT BigLaw, why the massive contradiction? I've seen references, on TLS and elsewhere, to firms refusing to hire (or significantly disadvantaging) JD/MBAs because they are supposedly afraid of them jumping ship for finance or consulting. Then I see tables detailing $30k-50k bonuses and 2nd year status being doled out to JD/MBAs by the same BigLaw firms presumably covered by the prior sentiment. Anyone out there, maybe in a JD/MBA program at a top law school, who knows what they are talking about and wouldn't mind shedding some light on this?

It seems like one of the following:

1) Some firms love the dual degree, some hate it.
2) One of these facts is more applicable to pre-ITE than ITE.

Any thoughts?

bliverman
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby bliverman » Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:46 am

133 views and nobody has any info about this? Surely somebody on TLS must have at least talked to career services about adding the MBA...

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j2d3
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby j2d3 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:30 am

i'm curious, too. i've heard conflicting things as well.

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crazycanuck
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby crazycanuck » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:44 am

Depends on the school?

I can't imagine a Wharton/Penn or Kellogg/Northwestern or Harvard or Stanford JD/MBA would close any doors.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby AngryAvocado » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:54 am

crazycanuck wrote:Depends on the school?

I can't imagine a Wharton/Penn or Kellogg/Northwestern or Harvard or Stanford JD/MBA would close any doors.


It actually might, perhaps even moreso than some of the lesser-known MBA programs. It seems to me that the reason why some firms look down on JD/MBAs is primarily because they are concerned about flight-risk. Biglaw is often grueling work, and a person with the options that a top-tier MBA affords might be more tempted to jump ship than a JD applicant with limited alternatives.

lewis louis
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby lewis louis » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:55 am

Well the issue (if the info you've heard correct is framed in some truth), the better the school the more harm the JD/MBA would be because you'd be MORE desireable by others, and thus more likley to leave. I guess it's the same kind of issue as being over qualified for a position...managers want to hire people they know need them, and thye can pay the least.

bliverman
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby bliverman » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:00 am

I just don't buy it. Go look at WLRK or other top firms' attorney listings under 2008 or 2007 grads and there are several JD/MBAs, especially from top schools. I find it hard to believe that these people got in despite their dual degree. And that still doesn't explain the five figure bonuses or other perks...

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AngryAvocado
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby AngryAvocado » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:12 am

bliverman wrote:I just don't buy it. Go look at WLRK or other top firms' attorney listings under 2008 or 2007 grads and there are several JD/MBAs, especially from top schools. I find it hard to believe that these people got in despite their dual degree. And that still doesn't explain the five figure bonuses or other perks...


Don't buy what exactly? I don't think anybody is arguing that JD/MBA is a universal negative. I'd wager more than a few firms love JD/MBA applicants, and even the ones that don't seem not to for reasons unrelated to the MBA itself.

I can say, however, with certainty that some firms do look down on JD/MBA applicants for the reasons I mentioned above. Having work experience myself, I very seriously considered going that route and talked with some JD/MBA graduates and even a few recruiters for the larger firms in my area. They all said the same thing: if Biglaw is your goal, it is safer to go with the straight JD. Can you have a long and prosperous biglaw career with a dual degree in business? Of course. Will some firms not want to risk investing time and money into you just to watch you walk out the door 6 months later to make the same (or more) money at a boutique investment company? Very likely, yes.

The advantage that JD applicants have over JD/MBA applicants (from a biglaw hiring perspective) is that they have no other options if they are looking to make that sort of money. It is biglaw or bust, and the firms know that. Some firms seem to think that this might give you more of a reason to bust your ass and stay with the company than those with other options.Whether or not you agree with this in theory is moot; the best way to find out is to actually speak with JD/MBA graduates and/or recruiting people. I was 99% sold on the idea until I did that, and I came to realize why there are so few that actually pursue this seemingly enticing path.
Last edited by AngryAvocado on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:23 am

If you are doing a joint program or even have any other graduate degree (i.e. prior to coming to law school) you can count on getting asked questions about it during OCI. The same is true if you worked prior to coming to law school (i.e. you will be asked about why you decided to leave what you were doing and come to law school). From my experience, if you can come up with a half way decent reason for pursing a MBA then it is helpful (like a soft). I'm hesitant saying this though because about 90 0Ls will probably jump on here and say that it can only hurt you (with no real good reason besides this law firms think you will jump ship, which I don't think is necessarily true -- it's really no different of an argument then saying that law firms don't want to hire someone with significant work experience because they might decide biglaw sucks and go back to what they did prior to law school where they made really good money as well), or point out how it would be better to have better grades then another degree (like that has any correlation to your law school grades).

bliverman
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby bliverman » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:30 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:From my experience, if you can come up with a half way decent reason for pursing a MBA then it is helpful (like a soft).


This is somewhat more like what I expected. By "my experience" I take it that you are a joint degree and/or significant prior career person? If so, what was your good reason and do you think the "soft" ended up making a significant difference?

Thanks for the input.

ziggysmarley
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby ziggysmarley » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:38 am

In my experience, JD/MBA-ers are loved in corporate departments of big firms. I know a few who are practicing in big firms right now (i.e. hired before the economy went to hell). I also know a few current students who were recruited big time in August 2009 at OCI.

Although I'm sure law firms worry that JD/MBAs will leave for greener pastures, I don't think this will stop a firm from hiring a person with a JD/MBA... remember, law firms are worried that any and all of their attorneys (whether young associates, partners, etc) will jump ship (whether to another firm, in-house, etc).

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PLATONiC
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby PLATONiC » Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:33 am

The only thing that urks me about dual degree programs is that it takes an extra semester.......

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:10 pm

bliverman wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:From my experience, if you can come up with a half way decent reason for pursing a MBA then it is helpful (like a soft).


This is somewhat more like what I expected. By "my experience" I take it that you are a joint degree and/or significant prior career person? If so, what was your good reason and do you think the "soft" ended up making a significant difference?

Thanks for the input.


I graduated in December from undergrad and pretty much wrapped up a MBA in 8 months prior to starting law school (all but one class). My reason was that "I want to work for a larger firm, and likely do transactional work (i.e. corporate), and I feel that having a deeper understanding of business would allow me to better cater to my clients needs then someone who was, e.g., a political science major. I can look at things understand financial statements, and do math, which is something a lot of liberal arts majors can't." I think I did manage to semi-offend one partner at a large firm that was a liberal arts major, but then he admitted that he really wish he had done something with business prior to going to law school because he had a hard time trying to learn all this stuff while actually practicing law and thought that it was definitely a head start over what a lot of my classmates. But, I'll mention this as well --since someone else will if I don't (I guess you can tell this board is really skewed against getting a MBA at all if you want to practice law)-- they were all interviews so it could be very likely that all these interviewers thought the MBA was idiotic and just didn't want to tell me that to my face (although I doubt it, considering I got offers, and I really see no reason to say all that stuff just to be nice about it).

legends159
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby legends159 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:21 pm

depends on the firm.

Some firms want a JD/MBA for transactional work. Others want more litigant heavy focus and may find a JD/MBA screams transactions and M&A

FrankReynolds
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Re: JD/MBA = Bonus or Ding?

Postby FrankReynolds » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:46 am

disaster thread.




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