Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

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jfiles
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Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby jfiles » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:45 pm

Hey folks. I am new to TLS (and the law school idea, really), but I've been lurking about the forum for a couple days now.

The discussions here seem to focus on the JD as an end unto itself or, more specifically, as a costly means of entry into a "Big Law" firm. And, from what I've gathered, this path seems crowded and uncertain for most law students. What about a more interdisciplinary graduate program in which the JD is not the exclusive goal (e.g. JD/MBA, JD/MPA)? It seems reasonable that legal training would be an asset in a future career in management, consulting, or public service.

I'm curious if anyone here has attempted that path and can share some perspective on the experience? Was the dual degree worthwhile?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

ran12
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby ran12 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:12 am

I'm currently in business school and am going to law school in the Fall. From my experience, a JD/MBA would be a pretty good asset. Having legal training will definitely help move up the ladder in business b/c you have an extra dimension/viewpoint. Also, a number of top law firms will look at a MBA as an asset and pay accordingly but keep in mind that law firms might see someone with a MBA as a flight risk or someone who isn't fully committed to law and look negatively on it.

MPA would be a waste of time and money. Anyone working in gov't in DC will tell you that a MPA is pointless and you can get the same education by just working in gov't. Considering that's the case for MPA candidates, you can draw your own conclusions.

If you have the background and ability to get into med school, then a MD/JD would be a great combo to have for various reasons but people who do that end up practicing medicine primarily.

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pkrtbx
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby pkrtbx » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:19 pm

For a long time I figured that I would want to do a JD/MBA or JD/MA, etc., and have a lot of friends in undergrad who just assume that they are going to do it for the "advantages." I have done a lot of reading up on various boards lately and although I don't have any personal experience, my sense is that the MBA training would give you some cred and relatability to corporate clients as a practicing lawyer (although could be a minus in law firm recruitment as is commonly noted).

On the other hand, given the conventional wisdom that recent LS graduates who do go to big firms are worthless without substantial legal experience, it doesn't seem like a JD alone is going to give you the advantage of a "legal perspective in business" that you would get from several years of transactional experience and then lateraling into the corporate world.

JDs and MBAs are really two different professional degrees: JDs earn you admittance to the bottom rung of the legal world, whereas MBAs are usually meant to bring an already-established career to the "next level" of leadership or facilitate a major lateral move.

With that said, MBB-type consulting firms apparently lust after the JD/MBA types, but mainly from the top-tier schools.

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jpSartre
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby jpSartre » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:48 am

Don't do it

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typ3
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby typ3 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:28 am

MBA in finance + JD. Do tax lit work. profit.

MPA is worthless.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:08 pm

It's my opinion that the JD/MBA is only worth the extra money, time, and stress if it is at a top MBA program. A JD/MBA from IUB is not going to be worth it.

mf980
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby mf980 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:42 pm

typ3 wrote:MBA in finance + JD. Do tax lit work. profit.

MPA is worthless.


Why is an MPA worthless?

It seems to me like any field of study should give the student new skills and a slightly different perspective.

Shouldn't a law student interested in government work consider a degree like the MPA so they could enter the field with an understanding of what they might be doing?

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thesealocust
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:54 pm

There is often very little value in these joint degrees, because the best legal jobs don't require MBAs and the best business jobs don't require JDs.

It's easy to imagine the extra degree would make you extra marketable, but I've seen little evidence to that effect. Almost everyone I know who pursued a joint degree is now in a position where if you held your thumb over one of their degrees while looking at the resume, it would be nothing out of the ordinary. i.e. ignoring the JD, the trajectory would make a lot of sense for an MBA student from that school, or ignoring the MBA, the trajectory would make a lot of sense for a JD grad of that school.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don't know exactly what career path you want to travel using your joint degree, or if that path could be traveled with only half of the joint degree, it isn't likely to pay dividends. It doesn't mean you'll starve to death, because if you wind up at a good program you'll have good opportunities, but there's just not really a niche for people with both degrees under most entry level hiring paradigms.

ran12
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby ran12 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:18 pm

mf980 wrote:
typ3 wrote:MBA in finance + JD. Do tax lit work. profit.

MPA is worthless.


Why is an MPA worthless?

It seems to me like any field of study should give the student new skills and a slightly different perspective.

Shouldn't a law student interested in government work consider a degree like the MPA so they could enter the field with an understanding of what they might be doing?


MPA is worthless b/c it's a waste of time and money when you can get the same education working on the Hill for a couple years. Most DC people will tell you that.

bdubs
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby bdubs » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:34 pm

There is almost no reason to do a JD/MBA if you don't want to work in the legal field. No non-legal employer requires a JD and you would likely have the same opportunities from a top MBA program.

If you do want to work in the legal field and have the requisite experience/quals to get into a 3 year JD/MBA, then it makes a lot of sense.

mf980
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby mf980 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:57 pm

thesealocust wrote:There is often very little value in these joint degrees, because the best legal jobs don't require MBAs and the best business jobs don't require JDs.

It's easy to imagine the extra degree would make you extra marketable, but I've seen little evidence to that effect. Almost everyone I know who pursued a joint degree is now in a position where if you held your thumb over one of their degrees while looking at the resume, it would be nothing out of the ordinary. i.e. ignoring the JD, the trajectory would make a lot of sense for an MBA student from that school, or ignoring the MBA, the trajectory would make a lot of sense for a JD grad of that school.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don't know exactly what career path you want to travel using your joint degree, or if that path could be traveled with only half of the joint degree, it isn't likely to pay dividends. It doesn't mean you'll starve to death, because if you wind up at a good program you'll have good opportunities, but there's just not really a niche for people with both degrees under most entry level hiring paradigms.


But what if you have a scholarship that reduces the cost of the educational training?

If, because of scholarship, I could obtain both an MBA (or any other masters degree) and a JD in only four years and for less than $30K, then is it a bad idea to pursue both degrees at once?

If acquiring the second degree (in this case that would probably be the masters degree) did not help your chances to land the job you wanted but did not hurt your chances either, then it is it actually a bad idea to pursue both degrees?

ran12 wrote:MPA is worthless b/c it's a waste of time and money when you can get the same education working on the Hill for a couple years. Most DC people will tell you that.


Spending "a couple years" working in the field and finding out it isn't for you seems like a "waste of time" when compared to the one year you would spend in school learning that the field wasn't for you.

It seems like the common theme in this thread is that a joint degree is only a bad idea because of its monetary cost. In that case, I imagine that pursuing the degree just to pursue it (or to study under a different program for educational purposes) isn't a bad idea.

cavebat2000
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby cavebat2000 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:06 am

typ3 wrote:MBA in finance + JD. Do tax lit work. profit.

MPA is worthless.


TITCR

ran12
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby ran12 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:33 am

mf980 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:There is often very little value in these joint degrees, because the best legal jobs don't require MBAs and the best business jobs don't require JDs.

It's easy to imagine the extra degree would make you extra marketable, but I've seen little evidence to that effect. Almost everyone I know who pursued a joint degree is now in a position where if you held your thumb over one of their degrees while looking at the resume, it would be nothing out of the ordinary. i.e. ignoring the JD, the trajectory would make a lot of sense for an MBA student from that school, or ignoring the MBA, the trajectory would make a lot of sense for a JD grad of that school.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don't know exactly what career path you want to travel using your joint degree, or if that path could be traveled with only half of the joint degree, it isn't likely to pay dividends. It doesn't mean you'll starve to death, because if you wind up at a good program you'll have good opportunities, but there's just not really a niche for people with both degrees under most entry level hiring paradigms.


But what if you have a scholarship that reduces the cost of the educational training?

If, because of scholarship, I could obtain both an MBA (or any other masters degree) and a JD in only four years and for less than $30K, then is it a bad idea to pursue both degrees at once?

If acquiring the second degree (in this case that would probably be the masters degree) did not help your chances to land the job you wanted but did not hurt your chances either, then it is it actually a bad idea to pursue both degrees?

ran12 wrote:MPA is worthless b/c it's a waste of time and money when you can get the same education working on the Hill for a couple years. Most DC people will tell you that.


Spending "a couple years" working in the field and finding out it isn't for you seems like a "waste of time" when compared to the one year you would spend in school learning that the field wasn't for you.

It seems like the common theme in this thread is that a joint degree is only a bad idea because of its monetary cost. In that case, I imagine that pursuing the degree just to pursue it (or to study under a different program for educational purposes) isn't a bad idea.


Acutally you would be making money while working so it's not exactly a bad option. Besides that, why would anyone get a MPA or work in gov't if they don't know for sure it's for them. Plus, people who work in gov't or pursue a MPA have some sort of gov't related internship experience so they would know they wanted to do it or not.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Joint Degrees: MBA/JD, MPA/JD, etc.?

Postby Alex-Trof » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:25 am

IMO, unless you have a very specific reason for getting an JD/MBA, it will be a much tougher to get into a joint program of a similar ranking than it would have been to just focus on either one of those separately. So I wouldn't recommend doing it just to improve your resume or to broaden your horizon.




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