Value of a JD

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shane0515
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Value of a JD

Postby shane0515 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:13 pm

What is the value of having just a JD? By looking at the economy I'm thinking about getting a joint degree of a JD/MPP or even a JD/MBA to feel more secure in the job market.

If I only get a JD, do you think that that will be sufficient in having a successful and lucrative career?

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nealric
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby nealric » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:14 pm

JD/MBA or JD/MPP is pretty useless (with some very narrow exceptions). Choose one or the other.

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gdane
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby gdane » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:41 pm

The consensus is that you shouldnt get into law or get a JD if you are looking to make money.

The reality is that the majority of lawyers make modest earnings. The ones that make hundreds of thousands of dollars represent a small percentage of total lawyers. So, dont count on making a lot of money just because you have a law degree.

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neimanmarxist
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby neimanmarxist » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:48 pm

If your sole goal is to make bank, the MPP is going to do nothing for you. It'll just be more loans to pay back.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby KibblesAndVick » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:58 pm

shane0515 wrote:What is the value of having just a JD? By looking at the economy I'm thinking about getting a joint degree of a JD/MPP or even a JD/MBA to feel more secure in the job market.

If I only get a JD, do you think that that will be sufficient in having a successful and lucrative career?


This depends on which school awarded you the JD and what grades you received at said school. A JD from Yale is worth a lot more than a JD from Miami. The value of a JD from Columbia is greatly diminished if you graduate near the bottom of your class.

This applies to the dual degrees as well. If you have a JD/MBA from Harvard Law and Harvard Business that's going to be pretty valuable. Same with a UPenn JD/Wharton MBA. Not so much with a Penn State JD/MBA.

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sawwaverunner
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby sawwaverunner » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:10 pm

gdane5 wrote:The consensus is that you shouldnt get into law or get a JD if you are looking to make money.

The reality is that the majority of lawyers make modest earnings. The ones that make hundreds of thousands of dollars represent a small percentage of total lawyers. So, dont count on making a lot of money just because you have a law degree.


Yeah, but a lot of people going to law school: (1) accept scholarships and don't just "go to the highest ranked school they got into" and; (2) aren't looking for $100,000/year salary even after 10-20 years of practicing.

I agree with your conclusion that you shouldn't count on making a lot of money 100%, but the consensus is skewed towards the people who go massively in debt for law school and expect more than they realistically should.

A JD is hard to measure, but it can be quite valuable in the long run. In most cases don't expect it to be valuable in the short run. It's an investment, not an entitlement.

AllBusiness
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby AllBusiness » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:00 pm

neimanmarxist wrote:If your sole goal is to make bank, the MPP is going to do nothing for you. It'll just be more loans to pay back.


I was accepted to JD/MPP programs at multiple top-30 schools, but I don't think I'll be enrolling in any of them. It just doesn't seem to be worth the money. From what I've gathered, an MPP on top of a JD--because, of course, the JD is the primary degree--is largely redundant. It's my understanding that a JD alone is often sufficient to secure jobs in government/policy/nonprofit/public-sector work, which is what you would probably be going for if you were to enroll in a JD/MPP program. I've also heard that in these fields experience is often valued more highly than additional credentials. So on top of the loans I will already be taking out for law school, taking out a further $40-45K to cover the additional year of schooling doesn't seem worth it to me, especially if it won't dramatically increase my job prospects upon graduating, which, as I said above, I've heard it won't.




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