JD/MA Int. Rel. Dual Degree

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swatcats
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:06 pm

JD/MA Int. Rel. Dual Degree

Postby swatcats » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:11 pm

I'd like to hear some opinions on the value of JD/MA International Relations programs. My goal is to work in defense/national security on the government or private side.

-Do I risk marginalization in the legal world as a result of the MA? That is, will I been seen as something other than a pure lawyer (say, more of an academic), and have fewer offers as a result?

-If I change my direction completely and want to go biglaw in three years, will the Master's make me seem like a less-dedicated or less-well-trained lawyer and hurt my chances (assume biglaw would otherwise be an option with just the JD)?

-Will it be a problem if my additional graduate degree makes me a square peg on the federal pay schedule (for example, eligible for pay above the graduate degree entry point but below the PhD/experienced Master's entry point)?

-Are there any jobs you can think of that would prefer a JD/MA over a JD-only? For example, I can imagine that Hill jobs might prefer someone with training in legal writing as well as extensive knowledge of foreign policy.

I am interested in your thoughts on the practical value of the dual degree, not its monetary value (i.e. I am not looking for a breakdown of the degree cost vs. added salary over x years).

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Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: JD/MA Int. Rel. Dual Degree

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:51 pm

swatcats wrote:I'd like to hear some opinions on the value of JD/MA International Relations programs. My goal is to work in defense/national security on the government or private side.

Having a Masters in the field of policy you want to work in is always beneficial in DC. BTW, I hope you're ok with living in DC.

Do I risk marginalization in the legal world as a result of the MA? That is, will I been seen as something other than a pure lawyer (say, more of an academic), and have fewer offers as a result?

No. I know multiple biglaw -> policy lawyers who also have an MA. It's not a problem.

If I change my direction completely and want to go biglaw in three years, will the Master's make me seem like a less-dedicated or less-well-trained lawyer and hurt my chances (assume biglaw would otherwise be an option with just the JD)?

No.

Will it be a problem if my additional graduate degree makes me a square peg on the federal pay schedule (for example, eligible for pay above the graduate degree entry point but below the PhD/experienced Master's entry point)?

No.

Are there any jobs you can think of that would prefer a JD/MA over a JD-only? For example, I can imagine that Hill jobs might prefer someone with training in legal writing as well as extensive knowledge of foreign policy.

DC policy jobs. Hill, think tanks, NGOs, State, defense contractors, etc.

I am interested in your thoughts on the practical value of the dual degree, not its monetary value (i.e. I am not looking for a breakdown of the degree cost vs. added salary over x years).

Very practical, so long as the extra $$ isn't a large hindrance to you.




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