JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

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JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:13 pm

JD/MBA (4-yr program) at T6 heading into on-campus interviews. Some firms, according to NALP, offer a bonus and/or 2nd year associate status to JD/MBAs. Other firms are case-by-case. Others say no.

Does anybody know whether firms that say "no" bend on this policy? I'm just wondering whether these firms have a strict policy or just a general policy. It may be different depending on the firm, so I guess I'm just looking for anecdotes and personal knowledge on the issue.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by bdubs » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:06 pm

Yes, a lot of firms who say "no benefits" will negotiate/bend on this issue on a case by case basis, but some firms will not bend or their process is so cumbersome that it will never be approved (e.g. requires unanimous consent from partners WW).

Wait until you have offers in hand and then approach the HR people. Let them know that you really like the firm but you have an offer from X (peer firm who offers status/bonus) and that benefit is a factor in making your decision. Then they will tell you whether it is negotiable or not and if negotiable how it will be handled.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:24 pm

Can you do this at the SA offer stage?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Chrstgtr » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:31 pm

What are some firms that do offer bonuses/2nd year status? Do these firms cluster in any particular groups i.e. V10, Magic Circle, etc.?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by bdubs » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Can you do this at the SA offer stage?
Yes. Since an SA is basically an offer of permanent employment for most of these firms, it is accepted that you will negotiate something like this in advance of an actual offer of employment. It's not like you are going to have another option if you wait until after the summer to negotiate. You really only have credible leverage at the SA stage.

None of the firms I talked to put this in writing though, it was just a verbal commitment to advance status or pay a bonus.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by bdubs » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:35 pm

Chrstgtr wrote:What are some firms that do offer bonuses/2nd year status? Do these firms cluster in any particular groups i.e. V10, Magic Circle, etc.?
Most of the firms that I know of are in the V10 although there are random others that do it too (e.g. Goodwin Proctor advertises their JD-MBA bonus prominently http://www.goodwinprocter.com/Careers/L ... D-MBA.aspx)

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:46 am

Do you have to be enrolled in a JD/MBA program to negotiate this? I wanted to try even though I got my MBA pre-law school. Anyone else tried that?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by XxSpyKEx » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do you have to be enrolled in a JD/MBA program to negotiate this? I wanted to try even though I got my MBA pre-law school. Anyone else tried that?
Can't hurt to try.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by bdubs » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:47 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you have to be enrolled in a JD/MBA program to negotiate this? I wanted to try even though I got my MBA pre-law school. Anyone else tried that?
Can't hurt to try.
This. As long as you wait until you have offers in hand this can't really hurt. I don't know one way or the other because I only know people currently enrolled in MBA programs who have received benefits. My guess would be no though since these are, I think, partially designed to lure business students away from non-law jobs.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:39 am

-Not OP-

Hey are you at a four year JD/MBA program? If so, has anyone told you whether firms would consider both your 1L and 2L grades or just 1L grades?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:00 am

I'm a rising 3rd year of 4. I had a solid 1L year, but a substantially better 2L year. Judging by the interviews I have received so far, most (if not all) firms are paying attention to my cumulative GPA (i.e. they aren't ignoring 2L).

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:43 am

I'm also a rising 3rd year in a 4-year program. I was admitted to the business school in the spring and wasn't sure if I was going through with it at the time, so I never ended up telling my firm. And because I work in a market that tends to only offer 75-90% (and a firm whose offer rate usually hovers around 80%), I didn't want to possibly jeopardize my offer by bringing up the MBA after I had finally committed.

Anyway, I got offered to start in the fall of 2015, and I'm wondering how to handle the situation. Ideally, I'd like to split with this firm next summer so I can keep the possibility of starting in 2016 open. Does anyone have advice on handling this situation? I'm trying to think about a way to discuss my situation without giving off the impression that I was being deceptive.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by hoos89 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:31 pm

Is it too late to withdraw from the MBA?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm also a rising 3rd year in a 4-year program. I was admitted to the business school in the spring and wasn't sure if I was going through with it at the time, so I never ended up telling my firm. And because I work in a market that tends to only offer 75-90% (and a firm whose offer rate usually hovers around 80%), I didn't want to possibly jeopardize my offer by bringing up the MBA after I had finally committed.

Anyway, I got offered to start in the fall of 2015, and I'm wondering how to handle the situation. Ideally, I'd like to split with this firm next summer so I can keep the possibility of starting in 2016 open. Does anyone have advice on handling this situation? I'm trying to think about a way to discuss my situation without giving off the impression that I was being deceptive.
"My summer associateship was fantastic, and I am very excited about the possibility of returning to work for X law firm next fall. However, I was recently admitted to the MBA program at my school, and am considering spending another year in school to acquire it. [I believe it would be an useful asset as a transactional attorney because X, Y, and Z.] Would it be possible to defer my start date to the fall of 2016? I would also be thrilled to spend another summer at X law firm this upcoming summer."

How's that?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:41 pm

hoos89 wrote:Is it too late to withdraw from the MBA?
I don't think so, but I would still prefer to do it because I'd like the opportunity to split law/law this summer or finance/law.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:42 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm also a rising 3rd year in a 4-year program. I was admitted to the business school in the spring and wasn't sure if I was going through with it at the time, so I never ended up telling my firm. And because I work in a market that tends to only offer 75-90% (and a firm whose offer rate usually hovers around 80%), I didn't want to possibly jeopardize my offer by bringing up the MBA after I had finally committed.

Anyway, I got offered to start in the fall of 2015, and I'm wondering how to handle the situation. Ideally, I'd like to split with this firm next summer so I can keep the possibility of starting in 2016 open. Does anyone have advice on handling this situation? I'm trying to think about a way to discuss my situation without giving off the impression that I was being deceptive.
"My summer associateship was fantastic, and I am very excited about the possibility of returning to work for X law firm next fall. However, I was recently admitted to the MBA program at my school, and am considering spending another year in school to acquire it. [I believe it would be an useful asset as a transactional attorney because X, Y, and Z.] Would it be possible to defer my start date to the fall of 2016? I would also be thrilled to spend another summer at X law firm this upcoming summer."

How's that?
That sounds great. Thanks! But I guess my main concern is that if I split the summer, I might want to go with the second firm instead (especially if it gives class credit or a JD/MBA bonus as a few firms do), and I don't necessarily want to have a binding commitment to return.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by XxSpyKEx » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm also a rising 3rd year in a 4-year program. I was admitted to the business school in the spring and wasn't sure if I was going through with it at the time, so I never ended up telling my firm. And because I work in a market that tends to only offer 75-90% (and a firm whose offer rate usually hovers around 80%), I didn't want to possibly jeopardize my offer by bringing up the MBA after I had finally committed.

Anyway, I got offered to start in the fall of 2015, and I'm wondering how to handle the situation. Ideally, I'd like to split with this firm next summer so I can keep the possibility of starting in 2016 open. Does anyone have advice on handling this situation? I'm trying to think about a way to discuss my situation without giving off the impression that I was being deceptive.
"My summer associateship was fantastic, and I am very excited about the possibility of returning to work for X law firm next fall. However, I was recently admitted to the MBA program at my school, and am considering spending another year in school to acquire it. [I believe it would be an useful asset as a transactional attorney because X, Y, and Z.] Would it be possible to defer my start date to the fall of 2016? I would also be thrilled to spend another summer at X law firm this upcoming summer."

How's that?
That sounds great. Thanks! But I guess my main concern is that if I split the summer, I might want to go with the second firm instead (especially if it gives class credit or a JD/MBA bonus as a few firms do), and I don't necessarily want to have a binding commitment to return.
Talk to you someone at your CSO about splitting next summer. My CSO said asking to split would be a huge mistake when I was doing OCI in 2009. It basically showed the partners at the firm that you weren't super committed to that firm, and my CSO thought it would maximize the odds of getting no-offered (keep in mind a TON of people were getting no-offered back then). I know the market has improved quite a bit since 2011, but I have no idea of whether it's good enough that it'd be worth risking potentially having your offer rescinded over (it's been a couple years since my last job search).

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:02 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm also a rising 3rd year in a 4-year program. I was admitted to the business school in the spring and wasn't sure if I was going through with it at the time, so I never ended up telling my firm. And because I work in a market that tends to only offer 75-90% (and a firm whose offer rate usually hovers around 80%), I didn't want to possibly jeopardize my offer by bringing up the MBA after I had finally committed.

Anyway, I got offered to start in the fall of 2015, and I'm wondering how to handle the situation. Ideally, I'd like to split with this firm next summer so I can keep the possibility of starting in 2016 open. Does anyone have advice on handling this situation? I'm trying to think about a way to discuss my situation without giving off the impression that I was being deceptive.
"My summer associateship was fantastic, and I am very excited about the possibility of returning to work for X law firm next fall. However, I was recently admitted to the MBA program at my school, and am considering spending another year in school to acquire it. [I believe it would be an useful asset as a transactional attorney because X, Y, and Z.] Would it be possible to defer my start date to the fall of 2016? I would also be thrilled to spend another summer at X law firm this upcoming summer."

How's that?
That sounds great. Thanks! But I guess my main concern is that if I split the summer, I might want to go with the second firm instead (especially if it gives class credit or a JD/MBA bonus as a few firms do), and I don't necessarily want to have a binding commitment to return.
Talk to you someone at your CSO about splitting next summer. My CSO said asking to split would be a huge mistake when I was doing OCI in 2009. It basically showed the partners at the firm that you weren't super committed to that firm, and my CSO thought it would maximize the odds of getting no-offered (keep in mind a TON of people were getting no-offered back then). I know the market has improved quite a bit since 2011, but I have no idea of whether it's good enough that it'd be worth risking potentially having your offer rescinded over (it's been a couple years since my last job search).
Thank you for the advice. In my market, it's very common to split, and lots of firms run first/second half programs, so it shouldn't be too big of a problem if I could get offers for both halves. I'm just trying to be careful with how I bring it up because I don't want the firm to think I'm not excited by the offer, but I'd also like to be able to keep my options open.

And there's that whole thing about a bird in the hand.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by NYSprague » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:26 pm

^^^
You can't both convince the firm you will be thrilled to work with them, while at the same time telling them you want to split a second summer.

This whole plan doesn't make sense to me. Why not just apply to the firms you prefer now, as a 3L with an offer?
You really want to come in as a second year,plus get a bonus for your MBA? Is that what is driving this?

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:39 pm

NYSprague wrote:^^^
You can't both convince the firm you will be thrilled to work with them, while at the same time telling them you want to split a second summer.

This whole plan doesn't make sense to me. Why not just apply to the firms you prefer now, as a 3L with an offer?
You really want to come in as a second year,plus get a bonus for your MBA? Is that what is driving this?
No, I actually want the MBA and am in a situation where it's defensible from a financial standpoint. But the bonus/progression credit would be a nice perk.

Also, 3L hiring in my market is basically non-existent (I know it's pretty bad in general).

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by NYSprague » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
NYSprague wrote:^^^
You can't both convince the firm you will be thrilled to work with them, while at the same time telling them you want to split a second summer.

This whole plan doesn't make sense to me. Why not just apply to the firms you prefer now, as a 3L with an offer?
You really want to come in as a second year,plus get a bonus for your MBA? Is that what is driving this?
No, I actually want the MBA and am in a situation where it's defensible from a financial standpoint. But the bonus/progression credit would be a nice perk.

Also, 3L hiring in my market is basically non-existent (I know it's pretty bad in general).
Then don't ask for both things at once. See how they feel about you deferring and working there next summer again. You can bring up splitting later. I don't know how they will react.
It's like you want a commitment from them for a job, but you can't commit to accepting it. It is probably firm specific.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:07 pm

NYSprague wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
NYSprague wrote:^^^
You can't both convince the firm you will be thrilled to work with them, while at the same time telling them you want to split a second summer.

This whole plan doesn't make sense to me. Why not just apply to the firms you prefer now, as a 3L with an offer?
You really want to come in as a second year,plus get a bonus for your MBA? Is that what is driving this?
No, I actually want the MBA and am in a situation where it's defensible from a financial standpoint. But the bonus/progression credit would be a nice perk.

Also, 3L hiring in my market is basically non-existent (I know it's pretty bad in general).
Then don't ask for both things at once. See how they feel about you deferring and working there next summer again. You can bring up splitting later. I don't know how they will react.
It's like you want a commitment from them for a job, but you can't commit to accepting it. It is probably firm specific.
That makes sense. I have a couple months to decide, but I have a feeling I'll start getting emails asking what's going on if I take too long. Still, I'm assuming I should wait until I have another offer in hand first before asking about the possibility of returning next summer? I guess hoping for a deferral might not be realistic in my situation.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:41 pm

I know people who summered at firms 2L year, found out over the course of the summer that they got accepted to a joint degree program, and successfully deferred their firm offers til the following fall. I think you will be fine in that regard, though it does of course depend on the firm.

I agree that asking to split is not good. I think you will need to accept their offer to start in 2016 (assuming they will defer you) now. That means you can't go work for some other place next summer -- because why would they hire you for the summer?

You can always renege on your commitment later (it happens and I'm sure your firm will be well aware a JD/MBA may decide to go another route). But I don't think it is reasonable to expect them to keep your offer open while you openly shop for other jobs.

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Re: JD/MBA - negotiating benefits

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Thanks for the advice. I won't ask to split, but that will pretty much be implied because the summer program only runs for half the summer (6 weeks first half/second half). As I said, a lot of firms in the market allow or even encourage splitting, and I don't see my firm making an exception for me and letting me go the full 12 weeks.

I'm happy to know that others have at least been in a similar situation before and it worked out. I guess my plan right now is to hold off until I do some interviews and hopefully have an offer in hand so I can better assess my options. I guess I'm just having doubts now about my decision not to inform them sooner because I was paranoid about getting no offered.

Another question more relevant to this thread: Would now be an appropriate time to attempt to negotiate a JD/MBA bonus? The firm's nalp form says no bonus and no progression credit is given for JD/MBAs, so I was hoping to apply to other firms that do give a bonus/class credit and use those as leverage.

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