Is JD/MBA good for anything?

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junkman
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Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby junkman » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:27 pm

Hi everybody. I know there are a couple of other threads about this, but my question is more specific. I have heard that a good JD/MBA school degree can help you somewhat in the legal job market. Let's assume that I could get a job as a lawyer just with a JD. Is the JD/MBA still worth it? Like how would it help me after I take the job offer? In BigLaw, would clients find it more attractive to do business with? Would it help with rainmaking? Or would it help with exit options like in-house, investment banking, litigation finance, etc.? Thanks.

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thesealocust
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Nope.

Plenty of people do it and have good careers, but the added value / cost-benefit analysis comes up really short. It's mostly attractive to people who have a GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL attitude towards credentials/degrees and don't bother to examine it beyond that.

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RCO2012
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby RCO2012 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:19 pm

Just noting from my experience with small (I mean really small) firms that it is often helpful to have at least one MBA in the office to understand and operate the business side. A lot of this stuff can be picked up after working in business for awhile, but to curve start up costs and not have to hire someone to manage the business it can be helpful. Also helpful if you plan to have options to lateral into another field. I don't think completing them at the same time is all that beneficial though - concentrate on your legal studies. Also, a lot of the info pushed on the forums is correct while a lot of it is just a hypothesis that was eventually portrayed as fact. Make sure to research outside of TLS, because your specific situation could warrant a different track than the majority.

ETA: Also, theoretically it can help with 'rainmaking,' in the sense that you tend to have many connections to up and coming executives after completing your MBA, but you could accomplish the same thing just by being good at networking (most people are not so good at this).

rad lulz
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:43 pm

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guano
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby guano » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:56 pm

Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Student loan companies

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RCO2012
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby RCO2012 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:05 pm

You may also want to look over this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=220452

Most of the classes recommended are business courses, and for good reason. No undergraduate or business law class will be able to convey the breadth of information covered in an MBA and you will be at an advantage with that respect during your first couple of years as an associate in corporate law. Of course, most associates will be able to catch up on applicable information within their first year or two of working in corporate law. Just playing devil's advocate and showing there are two sides to the argument here. To be clear though, if your resume does not show that you have a distinct interest in working in the legal field, an MBA can drive away firms, as they may think your just using them as a stepping stool to move into investment banking, etc. etc.

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guano
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby guano » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:09 pm

RCO2012 wrote:You may also want to look over this thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 4&t=220452

Most of the classes recommended are business courses, and for good reason. No undergraduate or business law class will be able to convey the breadth of information covered in an MBA and you will be at an advantage with that respect during your first couple of years as an associate in corporate law. Of course, most associates will be able to catch up on applicable information within their first year or two of working in corporate law. Just playing devil's advocate and showing there are two sides to the argument here. To be clear though, if your resume does not show that you have a distinct interest in working in the legal field, an MBA can drive away firms, as they may think your just using them as a stepping stool to move into investment banking, etc. etc.

If it's knowledge you're after, it's cheaper to spend $14.99 on a book (or better yet, library and/or internet)

The cost of an MBA is probably not worth what you get out of it

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RCO2012
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby RCO2012 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:18 pm

guano wrote:
RCO2012 wrote:You may also want to look over this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=220452

Most of the classes recommended are business courses, and for good reason. No undergraduate or business law class will be able to convey the breadth of information covered in an MBA and you will be at an advantage with that respect during your first couple of years as an associate in corporate law. Of course, most associates will be able to catch up on applicable information within their first year or two of working in corporate law. Just playing devil's advocate and showing there are two sides to the argument here. To be clear though, if your resume does not show that you have a distinct interest in working in the legal field, an MBA can drive away firms, as they may think your just using them as a stepping stool to move into investment banking, etc. etc.

If it's knowledge you're after, it's cheaper to spend $14.99 on a book (or better yet, library and/or internet)

The cost of an MBA is probably not worth what you get out of it


Depends where you go, what you want to get out of it, and how much you put into it. Also, depending on your background, the knowledge you gain from an MBA may be pretty difficult to glean from a book or the internet. Also, I think it would be a pretty tough argument to make that an MBA would have a zero effect on exit option, as the OP mentioned. Like I said originally though, overall, I don't support gaining the degrees concurrently. If you really want to "catch 'em all," and want to do a dual degree, do it in something that will further your options in the legal field, maybe an area of the law you want to focus on (technical degree for IP, maybe an MPH for health law, etc.).

rad lulz
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:23 pm

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thesealocust
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:24 pm

RCO2012 wrote: Also, I think it would be a pretty tough argument to make that an MBA would have a zero effect on exit option, as the OP mentioned. Like I said originally though, overall, I don't support gaining the degrees concurrently. If you really want to "catch 'em all," and want to do a dual degree, do it in something that will further your options in the legal field, maybe an area of the law you want to focus on (technical degree for IP, maybe an MPH for health law, etc.).


Sigh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

"Surely the degree in X will be helpful, after all it's hard to get and it's a degree in X!"

$$$$$$
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby $$$$$$ » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:34 pm

The problem is that by getting both at the same time, you are forgoing the option later. The MBA is sort of a joke degree, it is utilized to take a "two year vacation," learn a little bit and get recruited by investment banks, consulting firms, etc. You dont get an MBA to learn stuff about business, and most of what you learn you can do so by reading/investing. If you know you want to go into finance or consulting, then the MBA is king and the JD is fairly worthless. Same for law firms, for the most part they don't care about the MBA side of the joint degree.

I think it would be better to save one in the back pocket, that way later you can always change your mind. Say you work at a law firm for two years and want to switch careers, then you could have the potential MBA still in your pocket for the career switch, whereas the recruiting pipeline shuts down if you do a JD/MBA.

This is pretty much the reason I didn't get a JD/MBA.

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guano
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby guano » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:37 pm

RCO2012 wrote:Depends where you go, what you want to get out of it, and how much you put into it. Also, depending on your background, the knowledge you gain from an MBA may be pretty difficult to glean from a book or the internet. Also, I think it would be a pretty tough argument to make that an MBA would have a zero effect on exit option, as the OP mentioned. Like I said originally though, overall, I don't support gaining the degrees concurrently. If you really want to "catch 'em all," and want to do a dual degree, do it in something that will further your options in the legal field, maybe an area of the law you want to focus on (technical degree for IP, maybe an MPH for health law, etc.).

An MBA focuses on breadth, not depth. If you're smart enough to get into law school, you're smart enough to teach yourself basic accounting, finance, etc

(If you're dumb enough to go to Cooley's, you might be too dumb... for anything)

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RCO2012
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby RCO2012 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:51 pm

Sigh. Bandwagoning. OP do some research outside of TLS. You will only get one, still valid, side of the story on here. Maybe talk to some students who are doing a JD MBA or have finished, look and see where the end up and if it matches your goals. Pay careful attention to their cost:benefit. It's not nearly as cut and dry as it is portrayed here. There are some other threads on here that have decent information if you search a little too.

rad lulz
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:09 pm

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RCO2012
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby RCO2012 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:17 pm

rad lulz wrote:
RCO2012 wrote:Sigh. Bandwagoning. OP do some research outside of TLS. You will only get one, still valid, side of the story on here. Maybe talk to some students who are doing a JD MBA or have finished, look and see where the end up and if it matches your goals. Pay careful attention to their cost:benefit. It's not nearly as cut and dry as it is portrayed here. There are some other threads on here that have decent information if you search a little too.

lol @ you for dismissing the majority view as "bandwagoning"


The bandwagon effect has been applied to instances of majority opinion in which individuals change their opinions due to the decisions of others who have confidence in the view. In other words, an information cascade, and TLS is often one, big information cascade.

I also think you had a reading comprehension error, as I referred to the majority view as a valid side that should be considered.

ETA: The majority view, may be the majority view of TLS, I wouldn't extend that assumption further than can be supported.

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danquayle
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby danquayle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:31 pm

I have my JD and picked up an MBA part time while working in house. I don't really use much of it but I did learn quite a bit in law school that could be useful in practice. MBA? Not so much.

MBAs do offer some useful skills, but those useful skills (like operations management or hard core finance) aren't the type of skills you'd ever use in a legal setting, in house or otherwise. You do interact with those functions, particularly in house, and it is useful to know the lingo. But you don't need the MBA for that. MBAs are primarily a tool for career change. Plenty of people do just fine with a BA.

On the flip side, the MBA is a credential that plenty of people still respect. It hasn't made me a better corporate lawyer, but my clients seem to think so. There is value in that. It sells really well in job interviews, and seems to freshen up my so-so law credential.

Selling law can sometimes mean selling credentials. Case in point: my friend works for a small business/real estate attorney who is slowly handing over his business as he fades into retirement. My friend does pretty well already and doesn't need the MBA to do his job, however the retiring attorney suggested he pick up an MBA networking/rainmaking. But if you're talking a Chicago grad who already works in BigLaw, I doubt it will move the needle much.

As pointed out above, the real question is cost benefit.. There are some niche jobs (like negotiation director at a Big 4 or something) where you'd actually pull from both skillsets, but you're not getting those jobs right out of law school: by the time you'd be experienced enough to do that, you'd likely have picked up whatever you needed from work experience anyways.

Which is all a long winded way of saying its a lot of money for a small bump in prospects. If you're going to do it, make sure you get a great scholarship to make up for the additional year of lost income, or pick it up on the cheap part time.
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guano
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby guano » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:09 pm

RCO2012 wrote:Sigh. Bandwagoning. OP do some research outside of TLS. You will only get one, still valid, side of the story on here. Maybe talk to some students who are doing a JD MBA or have finished, look and see where the end up and if it matches your goals. Pay careful attention to their cost:benefit. It's not nearly as cut and dry as it is portrayed here. There are some other threads on here that have decent information if you search a little too.

I have an MBA, which I got before the thought of law school ever entered my head. It does have some value, under certain circumstances. But, I think it's a misused degree. You wouldn't recommend someone go to law school unless they want to be a lawyer. Likewise, you should only get an MBA if your particular circumstances warrant getting an MBA. The knowledge alone is not worth the price of admission,

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JCougar
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:12 pm

RCO2012 wrote:Also, theoretically it can help with 'rainmaking,' in the sense that you tend to have many connections to up and coming executives after completing your MBA


This is highly dependent on where you get your MBA. Outside of the top 10 or so programs, there's not going to be many MBA programs that graduate people headed toward executive positions any time soon. The MBA isn't that far removed from the JD, in that there's a lot of programs that should be scaled back, halved in price, or completely shut down, and only the very top schools offer you a good return on your investment.

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patogordo
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby patogordo » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:12 pm

rad lulz wrote:
RCO2012 wrote:Sigh. Bandwagoning. OP do some research outside of TLS. You will only get one, still valid, side of the story on here. Maybe talk to some students who are doing a JD MBA or have finished, look and see where the end up and if it matches your goals. Pay careful attention to their cost:benefit. It's not nearly as cut and dry as it is portrayed here. There are some other threads on here that have decent information if you search a little too.

lol @ you for dismissing the majority view as "bandwagoning"

sure, ignore the undeniable fact that JD/MBA has more letters than JD

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danquayle
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby danquayle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:59 pm

JCougar wrote:
RCO2012 wrote:Also, theoretically it can help with 'rainmaking,' in the sense that you tend to have many connections to up and coming executives after completing your MBA


This is highly dependent on where you get your MBA. Outside of the top 10 or so programs, there's not going to be many MBA programs that graduate people headed toward executive positions any time soon. The MBA isn't that far removed from the JD, in that there's a lot of programs that should be scaled back, halved in price, or completely shut down, and only the very top schools offer you a good return on your investment.


It's even worse because there's not an ABA or bar exam to weed at least some people out. Even your shitty local college will probably offer an MBA. The disparity between top MBA versus ok MBA could be be worse than law schools. A top student from a local school has a shot at a big firm, but you're not getting into Bain or McKinsey short of at least top 20, if not M7.

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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby tomwatts » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:02 pm

I say something like this in every thread like this (and for some reason there have been a bunch lately), but the TLS view of education is basically that you pay a bunch of money to buy a diploma that gets you a job. On that kind of analysis, a JD/MBA is probably not worth it; either get the JD or get the MBA, but not both.

If you view education as anything more than that, the JD/MBA may be worth it. It depends on why you might want it.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:54 am

I would only get a full time MBA if it was M7 & my employer was paying the tuition to bring me back as a manager or analyst->associate. Otherwise, seems like a dumb investment.

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Ramius
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby Ramius » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:15 am

tomwatts wrote:I say something like this in every thread like this (and for some reason there have been a bunch lately), but the TLS view of education is basically that you pay a bunch of money to buy a diploma that gets you a job. On that kind of analysis, a JD/MBA is probably not worth it; either get the JD or get the MBA, but not both.

If you view education as anything more than that, the JD/MBA may be worth it. It depends on why you might want it.


If you're getting an MBA for any reason outside of your job prospects, you're probably doing it wrong.

If you want to learn the stuff you'd get out of an MBA, why not just MOOC the various materials? There are a lot of these types of courses available if you really feel like learning it. You may not get the "depth" you're looking for when compared to sitting in an actual classroom with someone at the front of the room talking at you, but when it comes to breadth of content, you can dip your toes in all the topics for free in your off-time without sacrificing another $100k+ to get it.

I don't care how much you think you love education. An MBA from any school is not worth it for the educational quality alone. It's worth it because it gets you the job you want (or at least the opportunity for that job). These are professional schools, they should be all about advancing your professional goals with a combination of knowledge and prospects. An MBA and a JD can both give you the knowledge and exposure necessary to push toward a certain career goal, but as others have mentioned already in this thread, the times when both are of significant benefit to an individual are few and far between.

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guano
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby guano » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:47 am

tomwatts wrote:I say something like this in every thread like this (and for some reason there have been a bunch lately), but the TLS view of education is basically that you pay a bunch of money to buy a diploma that gets you a job. On that kind of analysis, a JD/MBA is probably not worth it; either get the JD or get the MBA, but not both.

If you view education as anything more than that, the JD/MBA may be worth it. It depends on why you might want it.

When I did my MBA it was not for the job prospects, I had a job/career, that I had no intention of abandoning, and continued to work for that same company for 5 years after graduating with my MBA.

An MBA is a misunderstood degree. It is not a starter degree, and should not be used as one, with very limited exceptions (the big one being M7 -> consulting, to a lesser extent ibanking).
Unfortunately, most people who go for an MBA are like OP, who think it'll help their employment prospects. All reputable b-schools require work experience to get into an MBA program, and I will be the first to tell you that there's a good reason for that. Hell, I actually think that doing an MBA full/time is probably a bad idea, EMBA, Part-Time, or don't go.

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Ramius
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Re: Is JD/MBA good for anything?

Postby Ramius » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:51 am

guano wrote:
tomwatts wrote:I say something like this in every thread like this (and for some reason there have been a bunch lately), but the TLS view of education is basically that you pay a bunch of money to buy a diploma that gets you a job. On that kind of analysis, a JD/MBA is probably not worth it; either get the JD or get the MBA, but not both.

If you view education as anything more than that, the JD/MBA may be worth it. It depends on why you might want it.

When I did my MBA it was not for the job prospects, I had a job/career, that I had no intention of abandoning, and continued to work for that same company for 5 years after graduating with my MBA.

An MBA is a misunderstood degree. It is not a starter degree, and should not be used as one, with very limited exceptions (the big one being M7 -> consulting, to a lesser extent ibanking).
Unfortunately, most people who go for an MBA are like OP, who think it'll help their employment prospects. All reputable b-schools require work experience to get into an MBA program, and I will be the first to tell you that there's a good reason for that. Hell, I actually think that doing an MBA full/time is probably a bad idea, EMBA, Part-Time, or don't go.


Doesn't getting an MBA to advance your current career still count as doing it for your job prospects, such as getting raises, promotions, etc?




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