JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

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msuz
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JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby msuz » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:56 pm

I'm pretty ignorant of how law school curriculum is handled, so I have a question in regards to whether or not you can concentrate in certain areas like you can with other advanced degrees. Is there any indication on your actual JD degree that you concentrated in a particular area? Say, for example, that I focused all my electives on Criminal, Human Rights, International Law or something else, and took all of my electives in those classes. Would it be reflected anywhere to employers, or would the classes I took in law school only benefit me through the knowledge I gained by taking them?

I know a lot of Law Schools offer Dual Degrees (MBAs, MA in international affairs, etc.) in areas that they also offer classes in. Would there be any advantage to getting an MBA or similar degree, or is it advisable to just take business oriented classes if thats what you want to get into?

Thanks!

mlipsco
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby mlipsco » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:05 pm

As far as I know, no school offers "concentrations" in the way you described. However, most employers will ask for your transcript and will be able to get an idea of what areas of law you concentrated on in law school. I, for example, am a JD/MBA student but am also taking as many transactional courses as possible at the law school. This allows firms to confirm my interest in transactional work, even though the degree itself will not denote any particular concentration. Many employers have informed me that they compare students' cover letters with the courses they took in law school in order to verify their interests in particular areas. Hope this helps answer your question.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby Holly Golightly » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:10 pm

mlipsco wrote:As far as I know, no school offers "concentrations" in the way you described.

I can't speak to other schools, but NU does offer some concentrations. http://www.law.northwestern.edu/concentrations/
Last edited by Holly Golightly on Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mlipsco
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby mlipsco » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:12 pm

Thanks for your post. I was unaware of that, but it's interesting to know.

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Verity
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby Verity » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:14 pm

For almost everyone, a JD/MBA is no better than a JD if you actually want to be a lawyer.

mlipsco
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby mlipsco » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:16 pm

Verity wrote:For almost everyone, a JD/MBA is no better than a JD if you actually want to be a lawyer.


I would generally agree, barring a scholarship from the MBA program or if you want to delay graduation by a year (for whatever reason).

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glewz
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby glewz » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:18 pm

msuz wrote:I'm pretty ignorant of how law school curriculum is handled, so I have a question in regards to whether or not you can concentrate in certain areas like you can with other advanced degrees. Is there any indication on your actual JD degree that you concentrated in a particular area? Say, for example, that I focused all my electives on Criminal, Human Rights, International Law or something else, and took all of my electives in those classes. Would it be reflected anywhere to employers, or would the classes I took in law school only benefit me through the knowledge I gained by taking them?

I know a lot of Law Schools offer Dual Degrees (MBAs, MA in international affairs, etc.) in areas that they also offer classes in. Would there be any advantage to getting an MBA or similar degree, or is it advisable to just take business oriented classes if thats what you want to get into?

Thanks!

- Penn has the Wharton Certificate, which is commonly completed by its law students
- Northwestern has a list of concentrations; completion is noted on your transcript: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/concentrations/

Also, you can consider LLMs; some law schools advertise them as "concentrations." I'm a 0L so I don't really know what to make of them, but folks on TLS have said that if it's not an LLM in tax, then it's not worth doing.

Quite a bit of discussion on advantages/disadvantages of the MBA can be found via search function.

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ahduth
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby ahduth » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:54 pm

I know Berkeley has "certificates" which sound similar. I don't think NYU has anything like that though.

CanadianWolf
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Re: JD "concentration" vs. Dual Degrees

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:58 pm

Some state bars allow practicing attorneys to earn specialization certification in particular areas of the law.




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