Will doing a joint degree hurt your chances of employment?

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monathenomad
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:11 pm

Will doing a joint degree hurt your chances of employment?

Postby monathenomad » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:59 am

I plan on doing a combined J.D. at UC Berkeley and Masters in International Affairs at Johns Hopkins. I heard, however, that some employers may believe that doing the masters indicates lack of commitment to one's legal studies? Is there a disadvantage for people who pursue graduate programs while simultaneously enrolled at law school?

If I did pursue the joint degree, my schedule would look something like:
1st year: Masters
2nd year: Law
3rd year: Law
4th year: Masters/Law

Does anybody have any experience with this or can think of any disadvantage in doing a joint degree (employment, quality of life, etc.)? I want to make sure I know exactly what I'm signing up for and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Will doing a joint degree hurt your chances of employment?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:40 am

What do you want to do? It entirely depends on what employer and what kind of law.

monathenomad
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: Will doing a joint degree hurt your chances of employment?

Postby monathenomad » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:28 am

I am interested in legal reform in China (with an emphasis on private and intellectual property). I'm not sure how many opportunities for employment there is in that field though. Another option would be business transaction law but I'm not sure how I would like the atmosphere of a big law firm.

Edit: I would be okay working either in the legal or policy field.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Will doing a joint degree hurt your chances of employment?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:16 pm

With those goals, I would say it's not worth it. That's a lot of extra debt and extra time. A firm may actually view it as a negative

If you want to work for the government, it might be worth it. But why not start law school first and then decide? Most people who start Berkeley wanting to do a joint degree don't end up doing one.

monathenomad
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: Will doing a joint degree hurt your chances of employment?

Postby monathenomad » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:56 pm

That's a good point. I think the M.A. would be mostly something I enjoy and I'm not sure I want to work in the government (especially with the economy right now). I also would really like to end up in California in the distant future.

What kind of options are there for people with my interest? It seems like most people interested in China just end up doing transactional law (which I don't mind doing but it's definitely not something I'm passionate about). Are there any opportunities to do something more PI or policy-related in China?




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