3.65/174 JD/MBA

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cjg243
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3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cjg243 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:22 pm

Hey all,

I know know this forum is only for law school admissions, but I was wondering if anyone had any insight into JD/MBA programs. Adcomms say that applying for a joint degree has no affect on admissions, but I would like to hear if anyone has any experience with this. Does being admitted to one program make it easier to get in to the other?

Stats
GPA: 3.65
LSAT: 174
GMAT: 770
WE: 3 years of management consulting. Work schedule is pretty hectic, so I'm not sure if I would improve on a retake
Softs: Board of Advisors for a school in Africa. I have spent a significant amount of time helping out there. Not sure if that counts for anything.
Ties: DC and North Carolina

Goals: Big law. Preferably M&A work. Would like to transition to business down the road, so I think the JD/MBA would be useful.

Target Schools: T14 with good MBA programs (Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Columbia, Northwestern, Michigan, UVA, Berkeley, NYU, Cornell, Gtown. I doubt I have a shot at Yale or Stanford, so I've already taken them off the table.)

I'm interested in anyone's thoughts, but particularly people with experience with the joint degree process. I will be applying for 2016.

Thanks!

kartelite
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby kartelite » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:04 pm

There's probably a small to moderate bump if you get accepted at the other school - some schools (like Northwestern, Penn) seem to really have an integrated program focus, while others don't so much (Columbia). I think HLS and Chicago Law (both because of your GPA) will be tough, but if the business schools want you that could sway them. You should be good at most other law schools, but the b schools (especially M7) are a crapshoot even with good WE. Are you looking for a 3 or 4 year program?

FSK
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby FSK » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:15 pm

Why don't you just do business school? Your career progression makes little sense as you present it. You have 3 years desirable w/e, great GMAT, good grades, good softs. You'll spike an M7 most of the time based on numbers alone - and you'll save money & frustration along the way.

kartelite
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby kartelite » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:30 pm

flawschoolkid wrote:Why don't you just do business school? Your career progression makes little sense as you present it. You have 3 years desirable w/e, great GMAT, good grades, good softs. You'll spike an M7 most of the time based on numbers alone - and you'll save money & frustration along the way.


OP said goal was to work in big law for a while - I'm not sure how an MBA alone could get him/her there. Not everyone wants to do one thing for their whole career, and it seems for OP a joint degree could be the best route to attain short and long term goals.

cjg243
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cjg243 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:36 pm

kartelite wrote:There's probably a small to moderate bump if you get accepted at the other school - some schools (like Northwestern, Penn) seem to really have an integrated program focus, while others don't so much (Columbia). I think HLS and Chicago Law (both because of your GPA) will be tough, but if the business schools want you that could sway them. You should be good at most other law schools, but the b schools (especially M7) are a crapshoot even with good WE. Are you looking for a 3 or 4 year program?


Thanks for the input. I would prefer a 4 year program, but don't want to limit my options based off of that.

flawschoolkid wrote:Why don't you just do business school? Your career progression makes little sense as you present it. You have 3 years desirable w/e, great GMAT, good grades, good softs. You'll spike an M7 most of the time based on numbers alone - and you'll save money & frustration along the way.


That's a great question. I've always been interested in law, and both parents were in DC big law. I'm really interested in M&A, where it seems both degrees would be advantageous. I should have been more clear - I want to work in big law for a significant amount of time (~7-10 yrs if I can handle it) before transitioning to work for a family business.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby FSK » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:42 pm

That goal makes more sense - just wanted to give you the obligatory "don't go of the rails" check.

bdubs
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby bdubs » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:43 pm

Things have probably changed since I applied, but you should have pretty decent luck with most of the law schools. The b-schools will all evaluate your app as though you weren't applying jointly. Management consultants from top firms (MBB, etc.) are pretty ubiquitous but still in demand by top schools. If you're coming from a less prestigious firm you'll still have a shot but will be a lot harder at really top schools. You have a good enough GMAT to be under consideration for all of the M7 though and your GPA puts you in contention for all of them (provided you went to a top ugrad school).

cjg243 wrote:Thanks for the input. I would prefer a 4 year program, but don't want to limit my options based off of that.


Are you counting on scholarship money to help defray the costs of a 4 year joint degree program, are parents/trust fund footing the bill, or are you taking out loans?

If you're taking out loans, I would advise against a 4 year program unless it's for a great school (Harvard or Stanford).

If you're counting on scholarship $$ you might be a bit disappointed because of your GPA. Also getting scholarship $ to cover the MBA portion is highly unlikely unless you are URM or just lucky.

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cc78
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cc78 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:33 pm

I'd say HLS is a possibility but Penn feels like the most likely outcome here, and frankly, it's a pretty damn good one.

cjg243
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cjg243 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:21 pm

bdubs wrote:Things have probably changed since I applied, but you should have pretty decent luck with most of the law schools. The b-schools will all evaluate your app as though you weren't applying jointly. Management consultants from top firms (MBB, etc.) are pretty ubiquitous but still in demand by top schools. If you're coming from a less prestigious firm you'll still have a shot but will be a lot harder at really top schools. You have a good enough GMAT to be under consideration for all of the M7 though and your GPA puts you in contention for all of them (provided you went to a top ugrad school).


Thanks, definitely what I was looking for. I went to UNC and work for a semi-prestigious firm. No MBB, but not a no-name firm either.

bdubs wrote:Are you counting on scholarship money to help defray the costs of a 4 year joint degree program, are parents/trust fund footing the bill, or are you taking out loans?


Parents will be covering most of my costs, and they are willing to pay for a four year program, so I'm not too worried about the extra year. Obviously I want to mitigate costs as much as possible, but I definitely understand that I shouldn't hold my breath for too much money.

cc78 wrote:I'd say HLS is a possibility but Penn feels like the most likely outcome here, and frankly, it's a pretty damn good one.


Thanks, I would be ecstatic with Penn.

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twenty
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby twenty » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:19 pm

Not to speak to your chances at top programs (which are obviously very good), but I can't help but wonder if you wouldn't be better served career-wise doing the MBA after a few years of biglaw. The MBA typically serves as a transitional tool to business later on, and it'd suck to shoot yourself in the foot like that.

edit> That said, there are some fantastic 3-year JD/MBA programs out there, and maybe saving two years of school in the future would be worth it.

juzam_djinn
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby juzam_djinn » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:27 pm

for HBS and Wharton, your UG will also matter. more prestigious the better

stats alone, it's gonna be pretty hard to swing H JD/MBA, but everything else should be in play

kartelite
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby kartelite » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:36 pm

cc78 wrote:I'd say HLS is a possibility but Penn feels like the most likely outcome here, and frankly, it's a pretty damn good one.


I agree OP would have a good chance Penn/Wharton, but Penn Law cares a bit more about GPA than some of the peer schools, so as just a JD applicant you may be on the fence there, but if Wharton's planning on admitting you then I'd say you're in at the law school as well (but you might not get the bump at Wharton that you would with a 3.9/174 and Penn Law really gunning for you). I'm not sure how popular the 4-year option is at Penn/NW since they have such integrated 3-year programs. If finances are an issue, you'd likely get more money from Columbia/NYU/NW law schools than Chicago/Penn (because of your "splitter" status).

Honestly (assuming rankings are driving where you apply), I think NYU should be your "safety" school since you should get into both programs there (I think the odds you don't get into either NYU or NW for both programs are extremely low), and unless you have a particular reason for wanting to attend I wouldn't bother with apps to UVA, Michigan, Cornell, or especially Georgetown.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby mudiverse » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:55 pm

twenty wrote:Not to speak to your chances at top programs (which are obviously very good), but I can't help but wonder if you wouldn't be better served career-wise doing the MBA after a few years of biglaw. The MBA typically serves as a transitional tool to business later on, and it'd suck to shoot yourself in the foot like that.

edit> That said, there are some fantastic 3-year JD/MBA programs out there, and maybe saving two years of school in the future would be worth it.


I was thinking about this some time ago as well. What is the value of the MBA component of the JD/MBA if you fully intend to go into BigLaw right after? The value of an MBA is 50% networking and 50% on-campus recruiting and you are foregoing one of them. Of course JD/MBA is the ideal method of keeping your options open if you are unsure (also the costliest).

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cc78
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cc78 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:39 am

kartelite wrote:
cc78 wrote:I'd say HLS is a possibility but Penn feels like the most likely outcome here, and frankly, it's a pretty damn good one.


I agree OP would have a good chance Penn/Wharton, but Penn Law cares a bit more about GPA than some of the peer schools, so as just a JD applicant you may be on the fence there, but if Wharton's planning on admitting you then I'd say you're in at the law school as well (but you might not get the bump at Wharton that you would with a 3.9/174 and Penn Law really gunning for you). I'm not sure how popular the 4-year option is at Penn/NW since they have such integrated 3-year programs. If finances are an issue, you'd likely get more money from Columbia/NYU/NW law schools than Chicago/Penn (because of your "splitter" status).

Honestly (assuming rankings are driving where you apply), I think NYU should be your "safety" school since you should get into both programs there (I think the odds you don't get into either NYU or NW for both programs are extremely low), and unless you have a particular reason for wanting to attend I wouldn't bother with apps to UVA, Michigan, Cornell, or especially Georgetown.


I didn't think enough about Northwestern, that's a good point and a very good outcome. NYU's b-school is just not strong enough to justify the JD/MBA IMHO.

And, contrary to popular belief, you do learn something in business school. I would never say it is anything approaching law school, but it's not just cocktail parties and kissing bankers' asses.

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twenty
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby twenty » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:16 am

mudiverse wrote:I was thinking about this some time ago as well. What is the value of the MBA component of the JD/MBA if you fully intend to go into BigLaw right after? The value of an MBA is 50% networking and 50% on-campus recruiting and you are foregoing one of them. Of course JD/MBA is the ideal method of keeping your options open if you are unsure (also the costliest).


Not speaking as an authority on this whatsoever, but rather in a "I heard on TLS once" kind of way that the MBA part does give people an edge come OCI time. That said, I wonder if the "edge" actually comes from prior work experience that the applicant probably has if they're doing an MBA.

My question, though, is why take the forced detour through biglaw if you don't have to/ultimately don't want to practice law? Depending on what OP wants to do, I might be reluctant to go to Cornell, Georgetown, UVA, or Duke for business. Alternatively, the JD/MBA forecloses on two schools that are right in OP's target range: Dartmouth and MIT. Why put yourself in a ton of student loan debt (even if you get a full ride to the law school, the MBA part is going to still cost you), which forces you into biglaw, and THEN you can go to business - or alternatively, you start in business and never touch law, whereas at that point you've wasted 1-2 years on the law school part.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby kartelite » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:09 am

twenty wrote:
mudiverse wrote:I was thinking about this some time ago as well. What is the value of the MBA component of the JD/MBA if you fully intend to go into BigLaw right after? The value of an MBA is 50% networking and 50% on-campus recruiting and you are foregoing one of them. Of course JD/MBA is the ideal method of keeping your options open if you are unsure (also the costliest).


Not speaking as an authority on this whatsoever, but rather in a "I heard on TLS once" kind of way that the MBA part does give people an edge come OCI time. That said, I wonder if the "edge" actually comes from prior work experience that the applicant probably has if they're doing an MBA.

My question, though, is why take the forced detour through biglaw if you don't have to/ultimately don't want to practice law? Depending on what OP wants to do, I might be reluctant to go to Cornell, Georgetown, UVA, or Duke for business. Alternatively, the JD/MBA forecloses on two schools that are right in OP's target range: Dartmouth and MIT. Why put yourself in a ton of student loan debt (even if you get a full ride to the law school, the MBA part is going to still cost you), which forces you into biglaw, and THEN you can go to business - or alternatively, you start in business and never touch law, whereas at that point you've wasted 1-2 years on the law school part.


I do think there is an edge for big law jobs, which I can speak to anecdotally, but I agree that it may be hard to parse out the value of the MBA itself from the incidental characteristics that b school students tend to have (good work experience).

In terms of cost, there are a couple mitigating factors. If you're mainly looking to do an MBA but you get generous aid at the law school, doing the joint degree may not cost that much more, and if you end up with a full ride it will actually be cheaper than an outright MBA (assuming no aid at the b school). If you do end up going into big law, there are a number of firms who will start you out at second year pay (sometimes second year status as well), so you'll be making 15-20k extra not just the first year, but each year you stay there (for the first several years at least until other factors come into play).

Also, the debt shouldn't "force" someone into big law, as MBA pay is usually on par (if not better than) big law pay once signing and performance bonuses are taken into account.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cjg243 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:26 am

twenty wrote:Not to speak to your chances at top programs (which are obviously very good), but I can't help but wonder if you wouldn't be better served career-wise doing the MBA after a few years of biglaw. The MBA typically serves as a transitional tool to business later on, and it'd suck to shoot yourself in the foot like that.

edit> That said, there are some fantastic 3-year JD/MBA programs out there, and maybe saving two years of school in the future would be worth it.


Definitely something I have been thinking about lately as well. I'm still leaning toward trying to do them together,but that is a really good point.

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malleus discentium
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:42 am

cjg243 wrote:That's a great question. I've always been interested in law, and both parents were in DC big law. I'm really interested in M&A, where it seems both degrees would be advantageous. I should have been more clear - I want to work in big law for a significant amount of time (~7-10 yrs if I can handle it) before transitioning to work for a family business.

This is not a realistic career trajectory, nor is it one for which a JD/MBA makes sense. A 3.64/174/your WE will get you into good enough schools that an MBA will probably not affect your OCI outcomes in any substantial way (as in, they will already be great). So you would essentially be getting an MBA just to "work for a family business" at some point, which is a weird plan. Beyond that, if you're still in biglaw after ~7-10 years, you're a partner and the odds of that happening are minuscule, and you probably wouldn't be leaving as a newly made partner anyway. You shouldn't plan to work in biglaw for more than about three years. An MBA is not going to be enough of an advantage in M&A work to justify getting one for that purpose.

So unless you have unlimited money, you haven't made a strong case for why you want a JD/MBA as opposed to just a JD.

cjg243
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby cjg243 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:52 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
cjg243 wrote:That's a great question. I've always been interested in law, and both parents were in DC big law. I'm really interested in M&A, where it seems both degrees would be advantageous. I should have been more clear - I want to work in big law for a significant amount of time (~7-10 yrs if I can handle it) before transitioning to work for a family business.

This is not a realistic career trajectory, nor is it one for which a JD/MBA makes sense. A 3.64/174/your WE will get you into good enough schools that an MBA will probably not affect your OCI outcomes in any substantial way (as in, they will already be great). So you would essentially be getting an MBA just to "work for a family business" at some point, which is a weird plan. Beyond that, if you're still in biglaw after ~7-10 years, you're a partner and the odds of that happening are minuscule, and you probably wouldn't be leaving as a newly made partner anyway. You shouldn't plan to work in biglaw for more than about three years. An MBA is not going to be enough of an advantage in M&A work to justify getting one for that purpose. .


Thanks for the advice, you've definitely mentioned some things that will be good to think about. I think that an MBA will be beneficial to me in ways that are more intangible than just OCI - broader skillset, network, career flexibility, credibility. But maybe it isn't worth the extra year of my time and effort.

malleus discentium wrote:So unless you have unlimited money, you haven't made a strong case for why you want a JD/MBA as opposed to just a JD.


As I said earlier, I would not be going into any debt, so the extra cost of the MBA is not a huge factor in my decision, although twenty's point of waiting to get the MBA unti lI have practiced for a few years is an interesting one. Also, in all fairness, I wasn't really trying to make a case for getting one, I was really interested in the effect a joint-degree would have on admissions. That being said, I definitely appreciate the advice!

Thanks!

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby Lawyerrr » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:13 pm

You'll get into Harvard, Stanford, or Penn. I promise.

Having an MBA is not just an "edge" during OCI. It's a huge advantage. Most top firms will bump you up a class year and give you a signing bonus between $25k-$50k. Also, you can get a job at a top law firm without having that good of grades. When I was in school, kids from the JD/MBA program with below average grades got jobs at firms that typically look for kids in the top 15%.

If your parents are paying for the MBA, get it. There's no reason not to. Also I don't recommend going to big law and then getting an MBA. You'll be too old and might have a family. Just get it out of the way now.

You're in a great position. Enjoy the next 3-4 years. They'll be awesome.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby juzam_djinn » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:53 pm

Lawyerrr wrote:You'll get into Harvard, Stanford, or Penn. I promise.

Having an MBA is not just an "edge" during OCI. It's a huge advantage. Most top firms will bump you up a class year and give you a signing bonus between $25k-$50k. Also, you can get a job at a top law firm without having that good of grades. When I was in school, kids from the JD/MBA program with below average grades got jobs at firms that typically look for kids in the top 15%.

If your parents are paying for the MBA, get it. There's no reason not to. Also I don't recommend going to big law and then getting an MBA. You'll be too old and might have a family. Just get it out of the way now.

You're in a great position. Enjoy the next 3-4 years. They'll be awesome.


most top firms aren't giving signing bonuses anymore for mba's; also, bumped up a class year is not as much of an advantage as you might think. it means that you're one year closer to being "up or out" w/ one year less experience than others in your class year

your advice seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, which is that the JD/MBA is an advantage, but not a big one

Lawyerrr
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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby Lawyerrr » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:25 pm

juzam_djinn wrote:
Lawyerrr wrote:You'll get into Harvard, Stanford, or Penn. I promise.

Having an MBA is not just an "edge" during OCI. It's a huge advantage. Most top firms will bump you up a class year and give you a signing bonus between $25k-$50k. Also, you can get a job at a top law firm without having that good of grades. When I was in school, kids from the JD/MBA program with below average grades got jobs at firms that typically look for kids in the top 15%.

If your parents are paying for the MBA, get it. There's no reason not to. Also I don't recommend going to big law and then getting an MBA. You'll be too old and might have a family. Just get it out of the way now.

You're in a great position. Enjoy the next 3-4 years. They'll be awesome.


most top firms aren't giving signing bonuses anymore for mba's; also, bumped up a class year is not as much of an advantage as you might think. it means that you're one year closer to being "up or out" w/ one year less experience than others in your class year

your advice seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, which is that the JD/MBA is an advantage, but not a big one



Out of curiosity, does your firm not give bonuses to MBA's? I know my firm does, and I'm certain most of the top firms in NYC do. Also, in practice, bumped-up class year just means you get paid like a second-year associate, but you're still treated like a first year for all other purposes. So it doesn't really affect what you call "up or out." Is your firm different? Never heard my friends at other places say otherwise. Curious to know.

Also not sure what "conventional wisdom" means.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby juzam_djinn » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:39 pm

the bumped up class year stuff is based on reading lots of discussion concerning associates considering lateral moves and coming off clerkships who discuss the negative implications of being bumped up a class year when they don't have the corresponding firm exp. to go w/ it

I'm not in NYC, a diff. major market. my 1L firm actually does give a bonus (not sure how much; i only asked whether or not they gave one). But from talking to an associate at a peer firm in the area, it doesn't seem common amongst firms in my market. I never bothered asking my 2L firm

Full disclosure, I'm not doing a JD/MBA, I asked these questions when I was considering applying for it. By conventional wisdom, I was mostly referring to what I've seen online, and I admit that's not always reliable. But I do think it has common sense on its side as well...why would getting an MBA suddenly bump up a below average/median student to a top 10-15% prospect? I don't think it makes sense to argue that it's not an advantage, but I find it perplexing to think of it as a HUGE advantage

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby bdubs » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:37 pm

Lawyerrr wrote:Out of curiosity, does your firm not give bonuses to MBA's? I know my firm does, and I'm certain most of the top firms in NYC do. Also, in practice, bumped-up class year just means you get paid like a second-year associate, but you're still treated like a first year for all other purposes. So it doesn't really affect what you call "up or out." Is your firm different? Never heard my friends at other places say otherwise. Curious to know.

Also not sure what "conventional wisdom" means.


For firms that offer these type of benefits, the structure you describe seems typical. Most of the firms that offer benefits like the above are in the V10 or are otherwise highly profitable/competitive. Even if you go to a top school for JD/MBA there is no guarantee that you will get good enough grades to wind up at a firm that pays extra for those credentials.

I don't think the "bump" in class year is problematic unless you try to lateral and then it's probably hard to justify the extra salary. If your firm likes you enough to keep you around until 8th year, they will be fine paying you an 8th year salary and bonus two years in a row.

The argument that MBA pay is as good or better than biglaw is only applicable to banking or consulting. Assuming that OP doesn't want to do consulting again since he's coming from that, his only equal/higher paying option is banking.

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Re: 3.65/174 JD/MBA

Postby kartelite » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:14 am

bdubs wrote:
The argument that MBA pay is as good or better than biglaw is only applicable to banking or consulting. Assuming that OP doesn't want to do consulting again since he's coming from that, his only equal/higher paying option is banking.


It's not only banking/consulting. My program's employment report from last year shows 13% of the class in investment management/private equity sectors where the median guaranteed comp alone (before discretionary bonus, which is usually well above big law) exceeds 160k. Not to mention plenty of people in real estate/tech/random other stuff are getting paid over 160k, even though the median isn't that high. Someone in business/corporate development at 275k base, "general management" at 200k base, and plenty of people with "other compensation" alone of 100-215k (100k+ non-salary comp in business/corporate development, consumer banking, investment banking, several other finance categories, e-commerce, software, management consulting). It's less "one size fits all" than the legal industry.




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