Top JD vs. Top MBA

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BeastCoastHype
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby BeastCoastHype » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:06 am

a) It isn't the degree, it's the person. An MBA is good if you want to get on a "track" like consulting or finance, but it isn't going to change your intrinsic qualities. There are lots of losers out there with MBAs and law degrees from great schools. There are many millionaires and billionaires who dropped out of or never attended college. An MBA will not "make" you rich. You have to do that for yourself. Also, if you get one before you have any real business experience no one will care about your degree. Have a goal before you go in or you will be putting yourself in debt for no good reason.

b) An MBA ain't what it used to be. The previous value of it was that if you went to the right school and people liked you then you could land a job with Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers or Barclay's... good luck making money via that route now. If you get an MBA, you'd better be ready to try your hand at entrepreneurship. The sort of automatic routes to wealth are drastically narrowed.

c) Rev Run puts it this way: god gives to the givers, and takes from the takers. If you chase the money and don't pay attention to the things that you really are interested in or care about, you're going to be unhappy. If you've never worked at a job you've hated before, give it a shot. It will ruin every day. If you take a path you are actually interested in, you will do a better job in your career. The money will follow. You'd be better off identifying your real interests than pursuing the thing that will theoretically produce the most money because if you hate it you won't fulfill your potential. I'm not saying that getting rich is bad. I'm saying that you aren't going to get rich if you are dispassionate, because the people who really care will be waiting to crush you.

rainmaker614
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby rainmaker614 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:10 am

NYCornellian wrote:
rainmaker614 wrote:
NYCornellian wrote:rich = billionaire or millionaire at least?

Med school? Really? Why?
Both? Really? Why?

Thanks in advance.


Do I really have to answer? I'm no med school expert but med school grads trump all other professional school grads in terms of starting salary and progressive salaries. Sure you have to go through residency but who the hell cares when your pulling in more money than you know what to do with after. Also, with med school, the school you go to seems to mean jack shit. A kid from my college went to the Caribbean (imagine a geographical area full of "Cooley's" or PCOL's in some cases) and now makes a very nice starting salary. My cousin recently graduated from Wayne State Med School (well respected school in Michigan and the largest med school in the US) and is now a doctor making 750k a year PLUS pulling in an extra 120-175k or so working at his fathers clinic part time. Oh and he's 29. I don't think ANY other professions are going to give you a GOOD chance of making close to a million a year being under 30. EVERY single kid I know that went to med school makes a boat load of money annually and had no problem finding a job. Graduating from a decent med school with decent grades and decent scores on your tests will give you a much more financially secure future than any JD or MBA program, IMO.


Good to know.
But Law vs. B-school, which would you rather choose?


If money was the main thing I was looking for? Business school of course. Anyone that tells you different is a fool. The starting salaries are much higher and they don't seem to plateau after time like the salaries of attorneys. If you aren't talking about top schools, the earning potential of a MBA beats a JD by a landslide, while at top schools the differences are significantly less.

That said, you are comparing apples and oranges. I don't think ANYONE will really be in a position to be able to make a completely equal decision on whether to attend business or law school. Your background is going to lean you one way over the other, no matter what. Most top prospective MBA students have very extensive work experience under their belt that most law students could never match. For people with that much work experience, a MBA is usually paid for by their work (at least partly) and practically guarantees a significant boost in income once you graduate. Why the hell would people like this choose law school unless they were insanely passionate about being a lawyer? The tradeoff doesn't make sense. On the other hand you have the person with the academic background that did great in school and on the LSAT, has strong EC's and community service on their resume, want to help people, etc., etc. (the majority of posters on TLS). These people wouldn't be good top MBA candidates at all since they have no work experience. IMO, either law school is for you or business school is. I don't see both choices actually being viable options for a person because if you have the option of choosing a top business school, law school usually doesn't make better financial sense and should only be an option IF you are passionate about being a lawyer (but then you wouldn't have been a strong candidate for B school in the first place because your focus would have likely been elsewhere). This definitely is not to say it is the better choice but it is something worth noting.

But to address your question specifically, I would choose law school even though I have the work experience that would get me into a good B school. I just don't like the extremely and overly ambitious attitude that you need to succeed in business, but most importantly I don't like the extremes of business. It seems you either make it big or you fail, you have piles of money or you have nothing, you're a success or you're a failure. In law you are practicing in a specialized field that you are actually privileged to practice (in theory lol). A JD is a lot more specialized than a MBA and deserves more respect, IMO. I like the fact that you are working in a specific industry under certain guidelines, while the same can't be said for business. Getting a JD gives you new direction and purpose. Getting a MBA is just building on what you've been doing and want to continue to do. Big difference. It's hard to really put into words but yeah, I couldn't imagine continuing in business over pursuing law. I've had a taste of both worlds and my decision has been made since.

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utexas2010
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby utexas2010 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:23 am

Whatisthis wrote:
NYCornellian wrote:rich = billionaire or millionaire at least?

Med school? Really? Why?
Both? Really? Why?

Thanks in advance.


If you really want to become that wealthy, don't look to education. People who become incredibly wealthly (billionares) have at least two things going for them: they've figured out a way to do something that's better than anyone else and they've been extremely lucky. You will not learn how to become a billionare. Though, I'd say you'd make better connections at a top MBA program.

Good Luck :D


Great post, I agree completely. It's risky business but avoiding school and going out into the world with an entrepreneur's mindset could be the ticket to $$$ not to mention most actual "Jobs" tend to have a cap at the amount you can make.

Also, I would pursue business school over law school but the required work experience makes me sick aka hello law school :D

NYCornellian
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby NYCornellian » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:46 am

Wait a minute.
The application fee for B-school is much higher.
Weird~

BTW, I don't think I would do both. (can't afford it anyway)

Conclusion:
Moneywise = B-school?

huckabees
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby huckabees » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:32 pm

NYCornellian wrote:Wait a minute.
The application fee for B-school is much higher.
Weird
~

BTW, I don't think I would do both. (can't afford it anyway)

Conclusion:
Moneywise = B-school?


Business schools do way more stuff than law schools in evaluating your app. This includes an interview (the main cost driver, I think?) and potentially verifying your ECs and work experience to the degree that almost no law school would.

I think essays and resume are reviewed in more depth as well, which is time consuming.

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capitalacq
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby capitalacq » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:46 pm

.
Last edited by capitalacq on Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

rainmaker614
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby rainmaker614 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:48 pm

capitalacq wrote:conclusion: neither, b/c someone who seeks the easiest way out isn't going to do well in law or business


+10

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BeastCoastHype
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby BeastCoastHype » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:00 am

rainmaker614 wrote:
capitalacq wrote:conclusion: neither, b/c someone who seeks the easiest way out isn't going to do well in law or business


+10


+1000

lisbeth
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby lisbeth » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:38 am

NYCornellian wrote:What about:

1. LSAT vs. GMAT
2. Starting salaries: JD vs. MBA
3. Which is easier to get into?

Any advice?



GMAT= EASY!!!! Seriously, if you did well on the LSAT, take an old GMAT. You'll know what I mean.

huckabees
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby huckabees » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:41 am

lisbeth wrote:
NYCornellian wrote:What about:

1. LSAT vs. GMAT
2. Starting salaries: JD vs. MBA
3. Which is easier to get into?

Any advice?



GMAT= EASY!!!! Seriously, if you did well on the LSAT, take an old GMAT. You'll know what I mean.


Unfortunately, it doesn't count for nearly as much as the LSAT...

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby The Zeppelin » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:43 am

Play basketball in the NBA.

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englawyer
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby englawyer » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:37 pm

I am an engineer with two years experience at a Fortune500 company. I like my job, but am not too excited about my career; it seems on track for a good middle-class lifestyle but is a bad fit for someone with my ambitions. I will miss those 40-45 hour workweeks though! :)

Stats:

--I led some technical efforts but never had direct reports. I did work on and develop some cutting edge stuff. I would rate the experience "good not great" when compared with McKinsey,Ibanking, etc.
--I went to a second tier undergraduate (Top 100 though), with a very high gpa. B.S. Double Major Engineering/Math
--I am a top scorer on both the GMAT/LSAT (Above the medians of most T7 b-schools and T14 law schools)

I was originally leaning towards the MBA because my number one job choice would be working at a hedge fund; I would like creating/analyzing trading strategies, interacting with the market, and creating great returns for clients. I also think two years of business school are easier/cheaper than three years of law school.

However, I am not fully confident in my chances at elite MBA schools (My feeling is that the investment is only worthwhile at the very top schools). Much of the admissions process is "grey area": Interviews, Personality, Essays. A 3.8+/710+ is no guarantee of admission. I also think MBA competition will be intense due to the recession. And, of course, who knows what opportunities in finance will be available when I graduate (or ever). Finally, I hate the back-slapping culture that seems to be present at MBA programs; I would rather analyze legal situations than discuss the latest buzzwords and "network" my way to success.

That brings me to law school. First, law school admissions are heavily numbers based so I have a great chance at the top programs; I am not so concerned about the "grey area" killing my application and staring at a pile of rejection letters. Second, I think law school is a much safer investment. MBA opportunities can come and go, especially in this economic environment. I would enjoy practicing law, and there is also the potential upside of leveraging a big-name JD into a finance career. It is certainly not my dream to become a great trial lawyer or anything like that, but I enjoy negotiation and the analysis of complex issues.

I am leaning towards law school.

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capitalacq
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby capitalacq » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:12 pm

.
Last edited by capitalacq on Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

gbz
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby gbz » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm

Just because you can make a lot more money from an M7 MBA program does not mean that the expectation of an M7 degree is higher than a T14 JD.

seb819
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby seb819 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:17 pm

Use all of the money you are going to spend on school and just buy scratch off tickets. There has to be a big winner in there somewhere, right?

rainmaker614
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby rainmaker614 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:37 pm

englawyer wrote:I am an engineer with two years experience at a Fortune500 company. I like my job, but am not too excited about my career; it seems on track for a good middle-class lifestyle but is a bad fit for someone with my ambitions. I will miss those 40-45 hour workweeks though! :)

Stats:

--I led some technical efforts but never had direct reports. I did work on and develop some cutting edge stuff. I would rate the experience "good not great" when compared with McKinsey,Ibanking, etc.
--I went to a second tier undergraduate (Top 100 though), with a very high gpa. B.S. Double Major Engineering/Math
--I am a top scorer on both the GMAT/LSAT (Above the medians of most T7 b-schools and T14 law schools)

I was originally leaning towards the MBA because my number one job choice would be working at a hedge fund; I would like creating/analyzing trading strategies, interacting with the market, and creating great returns for clients. I also think two years of business school are easier/cheaper than three years of law school.

However, I am not fully confident in my chances at elite MBA schools (My feeling is that the investment is only worthwhile at the very top schools). Much of the admissions process is "grey area": Interviews, Personality, Essays. A 3.8+/710+ is no guarantee of admission. I also think MBA competition will be intense due to the recession. And, of course, who knows what opportunities in finance will be available when I graduate (or ever). Finally, I hate the back-slapping culture that seems to be present at MBA programs; I would rather analyze legal situations than discuss the latest buzzwords and "network" my way to success.

That brings me to law school. First, law school admissions are heavily numbers based so I have a great chance at the top programs; I am not so concerned about the "grey area" killing my application and staring at a pile of rejection letters. Second, I think law school is a much safer investment. MBA opportunities can come and go, especially in this economic environment. I would enjoy practicing law, and there is also the potential upside of leveraging a big-name JD into a finance career. It is certainly not my dream to become a great trial lawyer or anything like that, but I enjoy negotiation and the analysis of complex issues.

I am leaning towards law school.


I think you are in one of the very few situations where a JD/MBA at a top school would be worth looking into. If your numbers are as competitive as you say you should be able to get a very nice scholarship at a lower T14 school like Northwestern which is business oriented and has a great MBA program that you would likely get into. Seriously, unless you lack all social skills necessary to properly function in a corporate environment then you should be able to get past the MBA "grey area" of the admissions process. Don't worry so much and have confidence. Also, the cost shouldn't be an issue in your case, if you play your cards right.

If this isn't an option and you have to choose one or the other, I think we share the same perspective. I thought of getting a MBA, as it would be sponsored by my company but I couldn't bring myself to stay in business or go deeper into it because I'd rather stay away from the "back slapping" culture consisting primarily of networking and being overly friendly with everyone. I'd rather go into a career that depended more on my intellectual abilities than it did on my social skills. I get enough of that now and I absolutely hate having to put on a ear-to-ear smile everyday (on the days where I just feel like working and not socializing), speak in corny cliches, and act like I actually like the sport teams that clients like, lol. I'd stick with law if you had to pick one...

NYCornellian
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby NYCornellian » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:58 pm

I think I've got the answer.
Thanks a lot.

BTW, I need more information though.
Please keep sharing your opinions.

NYCornellian
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby NYCornellian » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:47 pm

HLS website:

"Approximately 5% of Harvard law graduates will pursue a career in business and industry, and the J.D. degree is highly respected. Many management consultancies, for example, will consider it at least as valuable as a Harvard MBA."

Any thoughts?

RandomPennDude
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby RandomPennDude » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:10 pm

NYCornellian wrote:HLS website:

"Approximately 5% of Harvard law graduates will pursue a career in business and industry, and the J.D. degree is highly respected. Many management consultancies, for example, will consider it at least as valuable as a Harvard MBA."

Any thoughts?


It depends on what you want, and what your undergrad degree is. Consulting is probably the easiest area you can move into. A Harvard JD will be able to get McKinsey and other management consulting gigs. However, most of the finance work will be unlikely to get even with a Harvard JD, you need to have some level of econ / quant skills that the JD doesn't teach you to be qualified for those jobs. In order to be competitive for those, you need at least an econ or finance undergrad, and the rep of the UG school will matter. JD + Liberal Arts UG isn't going to cut it for those jobs.

huckabees
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby huckabees » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:13 pm

RandomPennDude wrote:
NYCornellian wrote:HLS website:

"Approximately 5% of Harvard law graduates will pursue a career in business and industry, and the J.D. degree is highly respected. Many management consultancies, for example, will consider it at least as valuable as a Harvard MBA."

Any thoughts?


It depends on what you want, and what your undergrad degree is. Consulting is probably the easiest area you can move into. A Harvard JD will be able to get McKinsey and other management consulting gigs. However, most of the finance work will be unlikely to get even with a Harvard JD, you need to have some level of econ / quant skills that the JD doesn't teach you to be qualified for those jobs. In order to be competitive for those, you need at least an econ or finance undergrad, and the rep of the UG school will matter. JD + Liberal Arts UG isn't going to cut it for those jobs.


I think as long as you've taken some quantitative courses, you should at least have a shot. I know JDs who were invited to interview with these kinds of firms even though they only had a JD and liberal arts B.A. And I also know several analyst-level people at these firms who majored in humanities.

I agree the UG rep will matter (though not if your law school is HLS! :lol: )

RandomPennDude
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby RandomPennDude » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:17 pm

huckabees wrote:
RandomPennDude wrote:
NYCornellian wrote:HLS website:

"Approximately 5% of Harvard law graduates will pursue a career in business and industry, and the J.D. degree is highly respected. Many management consultancies, for example, will consider it at least as valuable as a Harvard MBA."

Any thoughts?


It depends on what you want, and what your undergrad degree is. Consulting is probably the easiest area you can move into. A Harvard JD will be able to get McKinsey and other management consulting gigs. However, most of the finance work will be unlikely to get even with a Harvard JD, you need to have some level of econ / quant skills that the JD doesn't teach you to be qualified for those jobs. In order to be competitive for those, you need at least an econ or finance undergrad, and the rep of the UG school will matter. JD + Liberal Arts UG isn't going to cut it for those jobs.


I think as long as you've taken some quantitative courses, you should at least have a shot. I know JDs who were invited to interview with these kinds of firms even though they only had a JD and liberal arts B.A. And I also know several analyst-level people at these firms who majored in humanities.

I agree the UG rep will matter (though not if your law school is HLS! :lol: )


Yeah, if you take MBA classes as a part of your law degree, or minored in math or something like that in UG, that could work.

UG Rep probably matters even with an HLS degree if you're trying to get the finance job. Even then, an econ major from MIT / Harvard / UChicago is going to be a much better candidate than someone with a finance degree from directional state U.

quiksliver
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby quiksliver » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:00 pm

sorry, can someone tell me what the "m7" is? I know what the t-14 is but I can't find anything on the m7

huckabees
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby huckabees » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:02 pm

quiksliver wrote:sorry, can someone tell me what the "m7" is? I know what the t-14 is but I can't find anything on the m7


"M7 is the collection of top B-schools whose deans meet every so often to discuss their curricula and the future of MBA education. The M7 schools are:

-HBS
-Wharton
-Columbia
-Kellogg
-Chicago
-Stanford
-MIT Sloan"

...

"The label M7 is a far less official term than "ivy league".

The ivy league itself is an athletic conference in which members set high standards for student athletes. People have come to associate it with academics.

The forum legend is that "M7" was coined by a Columbia dean who referred to a meeting of top business schools. It is a challenge to find any business school that uses that term in their admissions materials or websites (contrast this with the use of the 'ivy league' name).

To be blunt, people use these terms to associate their schools with better ranked schools. How often do you hear HBS bragging about being in the M7? Or Yale reminding people it's in the Ivy League?

Here's a quick guide:

If someone describes their school as the top ranked school, they go to HBS or Stanford
If someone says they go to a "Top 3" school, they go to Wharton
If someone says they go to a "Top 5" school, its either Chicago, Kellogg, or MIT Sloan
If someone says they're in the "M7", they go to Columbia
If someone says "Top 10", they mean Tuck, Ross, Haas, or <insert whatever school you insist belongs in the top ten, thus proving my point>"

*Source:
http://forums.businessweek.com/n/pfx/fo ... &tid=73431

danmcd
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby danmcd » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:01 am

I think the JD/MBA combo can be a very powerful thing, but you really have to have specific relevant interests before pursuing the double degree and investing the extra time/money. For most lawyers, an MBA is pretty worthless, and for most businesspeople, a JD is not going to help a huge deal.

The reason I'm thinking about the JD/MBA combo is because I'm definitely going to go down the entrepreneur road eventually. I have consulting and management work experience in a legal field, and I plan on continuing with this work in the future. If you're interested in social entrepreneurship and development, believe me a JD/MBA will boost your chances big time. The UN and other international orgs value the management expertise that is implied with having an MBA, and will often only hire lawyers for entire agencies (like UNHCR...almost everyone is a lawyer, uses that legal expertise, yet often functions in a capacity that calls for innovative project management and program creation, large-scale management, etc). If you work overseas, many agencies both public and private sector-oriented will have jobs where both legal expertise and business expertise (think finance, strategic planning, management, etc) are highly valued.

If you're convinced you want to be in the private sector, in something like M&A or general corporate law, I still think the JD/MBA will be beneficial in certain cases. Having an understanding of finance will presumably aid your performance as a banking lawyer, no? That point may be arguable, but I know for a fact that having the MBA has helped lawyers looking to shift into in-house positions with major corporations. These companies will value your background as a corporate lawyer, but also look at your management/business background. I'm not convinced that I'm staying in corporate law, but my entrepreneurial goals involve a good mix of legal expertise/experience with business awareness and theory.

About the extra cost of spending another year in school and foregoing that year's potential earnings...I've heard that JD/MBAs are sometimes accepted as 2nd year associates at certain firms. I know that won't make up for the "lost" time etc, but it makes the situation a little more bearable.

Lot's of people immediately write off the combined degree...don't do that. Think about it. If your goals involve appropriate activities and you think you'll benefit, then absolutely go for it. Northwestern offers a 3 year JD/MBA program I believe..

ooo294422
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Re: Top JD vs. Top MBA

Postby ooo294422 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:28 pm

This is the one I am looking for. Thanks.




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