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Author Topic: MBA v. JD  (Read 4023 times)

ab3

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MBA v. JD
« on: May 06, 2005, 04:41:06 PM »
Okay, so I've read quite a bit on how crazy first year law is.  I don't doubt for a second that it is quite rigorous!  But has anyone out there that has done an MBA before doing law, contrast the two for me in terms of workload?

I did my MBA a couple of years ago so wanted to get a feel for how much more work there may or may not be.  I remember reading all of these crazy stories about how hard the MBA would be - it wasn't easy, but still would like some contrast.

Thanks!

zemog

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2005, 05:05:20 PM »
I don't have a MBA but I've been in the corp world for around 10 years now and at my age, have known many friends that have gone through MBA, law, and medical school, and several that are JD/MBA and JD/MD. 

Here's what I gathered and of course, just a generalization of what I've heard but not have experienced first hand.  Medical school is the hardest and most intensive in regards to course load, mental toll, and pressure, law school is next, and MBA is last.  Part of the reason I ranked Medical and Law school higher is the mere fact that though you can cruise through all three, ultimately, you have to take an exam after Medical and Law school.  With this fact, you can't slack off as you could in MBA school and just get by to get the degree, and actually by law, be able to use that degree. 

Another reason is the fact that medical and law school is longer than MBA school and it's not because medical and law school have less units per semester.  To the contrary, I have a friend currently in their first year of MBA school PT night and is only taking two classes per semester, while I am in first year of law school PT night taking four classes per semester. And he will still graduate 2 years earlier.

My last reason is a lot of information you learn about business is more readily available and more understandable in the real world as opposed to medical or law school.  What I mean is, you can be a Subway manager to a corporate manager to a mom and pop shop owner and know alot about business management, but there are not that many avenues in the real world that can give you knowledge of medical or law. 

Again, this is just what they told me and what I have gathered.  Nothing first hand and nothing here is to minimize MBA or JD or MD or anything like that.

Postmodern Punk

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 10:19:16 AM »
Hey, I have my MBA and am going to Law School this fall, so I can only tell you why an MBA would be easy or not compared to my "idea" of law school.  First, the course work of an MBA is much easier.  Both an MBA and a JD are first degress, meaning you should theoretically be able to have any undergrade and do well in them (this is a big lie!).  However, while the course work for an MBA is easier, the environment creates more pressure.  Much of your coursework will be group based, often half or more of your classes could be contingent on other people.  You can't do thing how you want, and when you get a group of "TYPE A" people together who each thing their way to do something is best, the problems seem endless.

Unlike law school an MBA does have a lot of busy work.  In your accounting classes you will have homework like in undergrade, etc, etc.

If you don't like public speaking don't do an MBA.  I have at LEAST one major presentation for every class.  Sometimes they were taped so everyone could watch and critique them.

They energy of an MBA can be draining.  Often times people with business backgrounds in undergrade complain they aren't learning anything.  You might ask why a finance undergrad is doing a finance MBA in the first place.  Beats me.  Also, people with many years of industry practice complain they know more than the teachers, and that what they are taught in class in not practical in the real world.  They say its just theory.  Of course business theory is hardly theory compared to social science/science theory.

Generally no ones cares about academics outside of the classroom.  In law school while students may at least joke about the material or make casual references to what they thought about a case or something like that, no one in business school gives a flying f*&% about the material.  You won't hear passionate comments about whether ROA or ROE are better calculations.

Lastly, the students are VERY utilitarian in business school.  They have varied backgrounds, but most have very similiar predispositions toward learning.  A degree is something for money, a job, and perhaps a bit of prestige.

Paperback Writer

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 12:26:17 PM »
From what I have read, I do agree with the pecking order - Med -> Law -> Business.

I also have an MBA, but I didn't think it was THAT easy.  I'd say that about 60% of the classes were only moderately tough.  That is, they expected grad school level work out of you.  I'd say about 20% were pretty tough, and the last 20% were very difficult.  I still have nightmares about managerial accounting.

A lot of it depends on your business school, too.

There are a lot of projects, and you are competing against your peers in head-to-head competitive models based on the subject matter.  This part didn't stress me out, however.  I got stressed out by the difficult subject matter in accounting, economics, finance, and statistics.  The tests in the most difficult classes were the hardest I've ever encountered.

There are a lot of different disciplines you must learn while getting your MBA.  Management, stats, accounting, finance, economics, human resources, marketing, etc.  You can't just learn one area like it's your major, and then coast through later classes.  Of course, some classes are harder than others.

zemog

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 09:20:02 AM »
Moreover, law and medicine both arent for *&^% if you arent in the top of your class

I'd have to disagree with you.  I know many doctors and lawyers who did not graduate top of their class and didn't go to a first tier and are very successful and making good money. 

Postmodern Punk

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2005, 09:44:16 AM »
An MBA is an MBA is an MBA, that's true, but its true because of the homogeneity of programs and accredidation. Only the top 20-30 of MBA are accredited.  As for ease, so many projects have no guidance from profs, they are independent research projects.  If a company you are working with decideds not to cooperate, if you get stood up, etc. your project is skrewed.

In groups, if someone doesn't come through, your grade is skrewed.

In terms of objectivity, at least my tests were not at all.  Example, my strategy class frequently asked questions such as, which strategy would best work in this situation, or marketing classes would ask what is the best marketing approach.  Some classes asked me to create products for new markets, other classes asked me to create optimization programs for hypothetical situations, etc.  Only the very basic core classes in finance, stats, accounting required regurgitation.  Everything else was creative/intuitive/unpredictable headaches.

This is why an mba is hard, not because it requires intelligence, but because it requires you to be both quantiative and qualitative, subdued and type A, creative and analytical, a leader and teamplayer, it simply requires a lot of dichotomous personality traits.  Those who could not cut it dropped out, and there were A LOT of those, perhaps more than in law school.  IQ doesn't get one very far in B-School.

Paperback Writer

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2005, 12:21:41 PM »
About which accreditation are you speaking?  AACSB?  Much more than the top 20-30 are accredited with the AACSB.

You are right about the dual nature of the MBA, but I disagree with you about being able to ace everything because it's all in the book.  I can tell you that was not true in the most difficult classes, specifically managerial accounting, global macroeconomics, and managerial finance.

I still wake up in cold sweats when I think of those classes...

ab3

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005, 12:34:38 PM »
Having researched many schools and done the MBA myself, I don't think I can agree in saying that an MBA is an MBA is an MBA.

Part of the problem these days in the saturated MBA market is that the quality of the programs seems to vary significantly among the schools that aren't in, say, the top 30 - 40 schools.  Ultimately the quality of the students coming out (in terms of their education) can be unpredictable.

I've met so-called MBAs from other schools that I'd never heard of and they didn't know the difference between a credit and a debit.  Likewise, you won't find many of the big companies recruiting at some of these places because of their reputation.  Yes, part of this has to do with the school's name - but if it is a good school with good output and a good program, it's reputation will build.

dft

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2005, 12:45:39 PM »
tag

Highway

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Re: MBA v. JD
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2005, 03:40:32 PM »
I would agree somewhat. I am a physician who will be a 1L this Fall (evening division). Although I haven't had any law classes yet (aside from a very brief course in school dealing with healthcare ethics), I do think that law school may be more difficult. Certainly, the clinical aspect of medicine kicks the sh!t out of law school, but the coursework is probably easier, depending on your forte. I am good at memorizing tons of junk. I could probably memorize the phone book if I had to. Medical school coursework is all memorization. The clinical work is application, which requires a totally different set of skills.

I've been reading some law school exams and E&E's. Based on that limited knowledge, I expect law school to be a tougher curriculum.

I guess we'll see. Maybe I'll be able to definitively answer this topic in a year...