What's the job market like for dual degrees?

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wolfgang
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What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby wolfgang » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:33 am

Wondering about dual degrees.

My understanding is that, for the most part, the "typical best-case scenario" JD path is pretty prescribed: you do your 1L, you get a summer job. You do your 2L, you get a summer job. You do your 3L, and then you go to work for the company that gave you your 2L summer job, and you work there until you die or burn out.

But what if you do a dual degree, and so don't have the traditional 3 year path? I assume that an MBA/JD path is pretty similar, because you're only in school for an extra year, and you pretty much do the degrees concurrently. Worst case scenario is that you have an extra summer internship in there after 3L.

But what about doing like a JD/PhD, where you're in school for an extra 5 years or so? Do you have a shot at biglaw after you graduate with a dual degree, or do companies kind of go, "oh, that guy did his 1L six years ago, we can't hire him"?

Or do you do something like 1L, then 4/5/6 years of you PhD work, and then 2L and 3L, so that you have a shot at a SA and then a job? Or are you maybe entirely giving up going the biglaw route entirely if you do a JD/PhD?

Anyone have any thoughts about doing one of these longer dual-degrees?

thanks!

Void
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby Void » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:34 am

If you want biglaw, what's the point of getting a phd?

jabberwocky_phlegm
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby jabberwocky_phlegm » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:48 am

If you want biglaw, what's the point of getting a phd?


Agreed. Get the training that will help you accomplish your goals, not the training that will impress people at cocktail parties.

wolfgang
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby wolfgang » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:42 am

Thanks! These are good points, but, for me, don't really answer the question at all.

See, I'm not trying to justify a dual degree. I just saw a post in the admissions forum that made me think about them, and then I started wondering about this question. I want information. I think just wanting the information is justification enough for asking a question, but if further reasons are required, I would say that with the state of the legal market, I need all the information about JDs—all forms of them—I can get. The answer to this question will provide insights into the hiring process of straight JD's, it will provide insights into the market (i.e. what's valuable, what's not, etc), and it will arm me with more information to make better general decisions about my legal education in the future.
Plus, there's always the possibility that the job market is significantly better, and I have no idea, and so I should start thinking about a JD/MBA or something (I don't think this is the case, of course, I'm just pointing out that there could be a really positive dual degree out there for some niche field of law).

But mostly, I'm looking for information. I totally get how that post would come off as someone slyly saying "i want a dual degree, tell me it's a good idea", so i should have clarified that I'm really, really just curious. So many schools tout their dual degree programs, I want to know why, and what the process is like and what the outcomes are.

Thanks!

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goldeneye
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby goldeneye » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:46 am

A phd is a waste of time if you want to practice law. If you want to teach, it still is a waste of time because it's almost impossible to become a law professor.

JD/MBA is also a waste if you want to practice just law. Some firms view it as a negative before they aren't sure they want to invest in you if you'll just leave to do MBA stuff. Some firms don't care. But really, there's only 7 schools or so that you should get an MBA from anyways.

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banjo
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby banjo » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:33 am

The simple answer is that JD/PhD programs are variegated and unpredictable. A lot of JD/PhD programs are formed ad hoc and negotiated at length between the student, the academic department, and the law school. The structured joint degrees I've seen seem absurdly ambitious to me--a committee of tenured professors will inevitably frustrate any attempt at a uniform timeline. Your best bet is to speak to law schools and academic departments directly. My instinct is that you're better off applying to law schools as an ABD.

For what it's worth, the consensus here is that a PhD can be a slight negative at OCI.

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twenty
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby twenty » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:25 pm

My understanding is that, for the most part, the "typical best-case scenario" JD path is pretty prescribed: you do your 1L, you get a summer job. You do your 2L, you get a summer job. You do your 3L, and then you go to work for the company that gave you your 2L summer job, and you work there until you die or burn out.


Cool, now imagine this, but instead of being forced to work in biglaw for ~3 years due to debt, you have to work in biglaw for 4+ years due to debt. That's pretty much the only change a joint degree accomplishes for the vast majority of students.

Void
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby Void » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:08 pm

wolfgang wrote:Thanks! These are good points, but, for me, don't really answer the question at all.

See, I'm not trying to justify a dual degree. I just saw a post in the admissions forum that made me think about them, and then I started wondering about this question. I want information. I think just wanting the information is justification enough for asking a question, but if further reasons are required, I would say that with the state of the legal market, I need all the information about JDs—all forms of them—I can get. The answer to this question will provide insights into the hiring process of straight JD's, it will provide insights into the market (i.e. what's valuable, what's not, etc), and it will arm me with more information to make better general decisions about my legal education in the future.
Plus, there's always the possibility that the job market is significantly better, and I have no idea, and so I should start thinking about a JD/MBA or something (I don't think this is the case, of course, I'm just pointing out that there could be a really positive dual degree out there for some niche field of law).

But mostly, I'm looking for information. I totally get how that post would come off as someone slyly saying "i want a dual degree, tell me it's a good idea", so i should have clarified that I'm really, really just curious. So many schools tout their dual degree programs, I want to know why, and what the process is like and what the outcomes are.

Thanks!


Sorry- I should have been clearer.

If you want big law, there is no point in getting a phd.

daryldixon
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby daryldixon » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:25 pm

Shitty. Law firms are suspicious of any dual degree that is not a MBA/JD because they think you are flight risk.
(at least this is what I heard from my two friends that are doing JD/PHDs)

Edit: TBF one of them is doing hers at a T25 that doesn't have great employment stats anyway.

wolfgang
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby wolfgang » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:33 pm

so, for those who do it and then go (or try to go) into biglaw, what's the timeline like?

Do you do your JD stuff, and then finish your PhD stuff, and then go for biglaw even though you finished your JD coursework like 5 years ago, and probably haven't had any summer internships since then?

Or do you do a year or two of JD, and then focus on your PhD, and then finish your 2L and/or 3L as your last year or so, so at least you can gun for a summer internship and have some JD coursework closer to when you'd be job hunting?

Neither seems like a great option, so I can't see how it would work logistically.

But schools love to talk about their dual degree programs! They must be proud of them. FYI, the thread that got me thinking about all this is in the admissions forum, and it's simply asking how many people do a dual degree. As of right now it still has zero responses, and since I'm curious as well, I'll plug that thread and request that if anyone is doing a joint degree you chime in over there :)

thanks for all the responses so far

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:44 pm

If you want anecdote: Person I know who did a JD/PHD only took an extra year (he had an MA already and it was in a science-y field). So it didn't really alter his timeline at all (I don't think he had to take a ton of classes on top of his MA, I think most of the time was dissertation). He's clerking now, not sure if he has clear plans for after - he's not a biglaw type. I suspect the experience would vary a lot by other degree field; I'm sure a lot of his classes counted for both degrees and I'd bet his law school papers ended up part of his dissertation. If you did a PhD in a field really unrelated to anything legal (ancient Chinese poetry, say?) that's unlikely to be the case.

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jbagelboy
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:33 pm

daryldixon wrote:Shitty. Law firms are suspicious of any dual degree that is not a MBA/JD because they think you are flight risk.
(at least this is what I heard from my two friends that are doing JD/PHDs)

Edit: TBF one of them is doing hers at a T25 that doesn't have great employment stats anyway.


except JD/MS in engineering/biomed/computer science/ect and you are applying to patent department

Ti Malice
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:04 pm

wolfgang wrote:so, for those who do it and then go (or try to go) into biglaw, what's the timeline like?

Do you do your JD stuff, and then finish your PhD stuff, and then go for biglaw even though you finished your JD coursework like 5 years ago, and probably haven't had any summer internships since then?

Or do you do a year or two of JD, and then focus on your PhD, and then finish your 2L and/or 3L as your last year or so, so at least you can gun for a summer internship and have some JD coursework closer to when you'd be job hunting?

Neither seems like a great option, so I can't see how it would work logistically.

But schools love to talk about their dual degree programs! They must be proud of them. FYI, the thread that got me thinking about all this is in the admissions forum, and it's simply asking how many people do a dual degree. As of right now it still has zero responses, and since I'm curious as well, I'll plug that thread and request that if anyone is doing a joint degree you chime in over there :)

thanks for all the responses so far


It's unlikely that anyone will be able to give you the concrete info you're looking for, because virtually no one does a combined JD/PhD and then tries to go into BigLaw.

Plenty of people do law school after a PhD, but the PhD can even then be a negative for BigLaw if it's non-STEM. Law firms don't want to waste time on people they suspect will be trying to jump to legal academia at the earliest possible opportunity. One would imagine that this concern would be very substantially greater for someone who did a PhD while doing the JD. If the PhD's in the past, at least you can tell a plausible story about having had a big change in career/life goals.

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worldtraveler
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:33 am

I did an MA with my JD. If I had wanted a firm, there was no way I would have done it.

Also, schools really like to pitch the dual degree options but they are really not that common. I think maybe 10 people in a 300 person class did one, and no one was aiming for big law. Everybody had really specific reasons for why that degree and as far as I know ended up employed, but they were mostly trying for government or NGO positions.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:52 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
daryldixon wrote:Shitty. Law firms are suspicious of any dual degree that is not a MBA/JD because they think you are flight risk.
(at least this is what I heard from my two friends that are doing JD/PHDs)

Edit: TBF one of them is doing hers at a T25 that doesn't have great employment stats anyway.


except JD/MS in engineering/biomed/computer science/ect and you are applying to patent department

+1

It seems to me, based on my somewhat basic research, that most new patent associates have masters or PhDs. This is what I've heard from a couple practicing attorneys I've spoken to as well.

As an aside, I've also read that PhDs can be helpful if you want to go into legal academia. Supposedly areas like "law & economics," "law & philosophy," "law & sociology," etc. are hot right now. That's just something I've read, though, and my info might not be right. And of course, it is pretty competitive to become a law prof (or any kind of prof, for that matter).

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jbagelboy
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:59 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
daryldixon wrote:Shitty. Law firms are suspicious of any dual degree that is not a MBA/JD because they think you are flight risk.
(at least this is what I heard from my two friends that are doing JD/PHDs)

Edit: TBF one of them is doing hers at a T25 that doesn't have great employment stats anyway.


except JD/MS in engineering/biomed/computer science/ect and you are applying to patent department

+1

It seems to me, based on my somewhat basic research, that most new patent associates have masters or PhDs. This is what I've heard from a couple practicing attorneys I've spoken to as well.

As an aside, I've also read that PhDs can be helpful if you want to go into legal academia. Supposedly areas like "law & economics," "law & philosophy," "law & sociology," etc. are hot right now. That's just something I've read, though, and my info might not be right. And of course, it is pretty competitive to become a law prof (or any kind of prof, for that matter).


since its nearly impossible to get a tenured position in legal academia now, having portable degrees in other subjects so you can teach a full course load in other departments at the university is always a plus, I suppose. Both my Contracts and Torts profs also teach classes in the philosophy department (but I think that is by choice).

TigerDude
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Re: What's the job market like for dual degrees?

Postby TigerDude » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:05 am

worldtraveler wrote:I did an MA with my JD. If I had wanted a firm, there was no way I would have done it.

Also, schools really like to pitch the dual degree options but they are really not that common. I think maybe 10 people in a 300 person class did one, and no one was aiming for big law. Everybody had really specific reasons for why that degree and as far as I know ended up employed, but they were mostly trying for government or NGO positions.

Exactly. You should have a very specific target if you are looking at a niche like JD/MBA.




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