Law School Discussion

JD/MBA benefit analysis

JD/MBA benefit analysis
« on: July 17, 2005, 10:14:11 AM »
Recently a number of people have emailed me asking about salary statistics for JD/MBA graduates. This is very hard to quantify as there is no such thing as a "JD/MBA position". JD/MBA graduates work as attorneys or in business and their salaries will correlate strongly (at least in the short term) with their JD or MBA counterparts depending on the route they choose. Many large law firms are now offering recent JD/MBA graduates a bonus and or 2nd year associate status.

Here is a very interesting link from Columbia (but a few years old):

Some drawbacks of a JD/MBA:
Clearly the bonus itself will not pay for the extra year (the Northwestern 3 year JD/MBA program is an exception) of school and opportunity cost of giving up another years income.

Some law firms may be scared that JD/MBA graduates will be more likely to leave in a few years for jobs in finance or business. These firms need to be convinced of your passion to practice law or they will be hesitant to hire you.

Unlike top law schools, most top MBA programs will not admit people without significant full time work experience. For those with limited work experience it may become slightly easier to gain admission to business school after already being admitted to law school. Many JD/MBA programs will allow law students to apply to the business school during their first year at the law school.

Some advantages of a JD/MBA:
Increased flexibility: It will be much easier to leave a law firm job to go in house at a corporation, investment bank, venture capital firm, etc later in your career.

More credibility: As a lawyer your clients (business people) will respect you more if they feel you can understand their business and financial statements, etc. An MBA may help here. This may help you with rainmaking (bringing in clients) or making partner at a law firm (which is a business itself) down the road. This does not imply that without an MBA you cannot be credible. Most attorneys learn what they need to about business on the job and do just fine.

Of course you do not need to practice law at all. A JD will help you make better decisions in the business world if you decide to go the business route right away after a JD/MBA program. Investment Banking is a common option here. However if you are sure you do not want to ever practice law you should think carefully about going to law school at all. Just about any business (non legal job) is accessible without a JD and a MBA may suffice by itself.

If you are an entrepreneur at heart like me you may also find that having a JD may make it easier to raise capital for new businesses, etc as it will increase your credibility. My goal is to ultimately start my own hedge fund and or venture capital firm with an emerging market (China) focus. For finance related jobs a CFA is perhaps just as good or even better (depending on your MBA program) as an MBA. I recommend that as well.

p.s. Most law schools will allow you to apply to the MBA program during your first year of law school.

Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2005, 08:55:09 PM »
does anyone have any questions for me about the benefits or drawbacks of a JD/MBA program?

Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2005, 08:01:01 PM »
I have a question for you.  I just finished my first year of law school and I have to decide in the very near future whether to take the GMAT and try to get in the JD/MBA program.  If I decide to go into business right out of school and I end up unhappy, do you think that my value on the legal market will decline substantially (because I have spent a year or 2 in business not using my legal skills and have not established the credibility/networking to bring business back to a law firm)?  What are your thoughts about this?  Thanks.   

Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2005, 09:14:08 PM »
If you want to do a JD/MBA I recommend you do it now instead of waiting until you finish law school.  During my interview process for 1L summer associate positions I was always asked why an MBA? I think many law firms will question your desire to practice law as a career if you do a MBA. I have been able to overcome this argument based upon the concept that a better knowledge of the business world making it easier for me to understand the needs of clients. If you do an MBA after law school instead of before law school of a JD/MBA program you will have a much harder time selling yourself to law firms.

In my opinion in the legal field the value of an MBA depends on the type of work you want to do. In finance (securities law, M&A, etc) it may be more valuable because your clients (investment bankers, etc) will appreciate your superior financial acumen. For legal employers such as the SEC, etc it may also be a plus. For finance the optimal professional designation may be CFA (which I am studying for) and an MBA does not mean a whole lot unless it comes from a top b school.

For criminal or family law an MBA may not be worth much.

Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 06:47:17 PM »
Have you ever heard of anyone doing the program backwards? i.e. MBA/JD?. haha

What I mean is I'm a 1st year MBA and I know that most people do the 1st year olf law school first, but I was in real estate development for 3 years before school and I realize how important law is to the real estate industry.  There is just tons of law in real estate.

Have you ever heard about anyone doing this?

Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2005, 10:17:12 PM »
Yes, MBA students can go in and do an MBA/JD.  I just spoke with someone today who told me that he went into Business school, and then decided he would try law as well.  After his first year in the MBA program he worked for Price Waterhouse.  After year 2 (year 1 of law school), he went to work for a firm, where he got an offer and then decided to work there.  Something to consider is that some law schools are better known than the business programs and vice-versa, this may affect your admissions chances. 

Another item to think about in doing a JD/MBA is that you will be thrown off the usual recruiting track.  You will also be removed from your peers at many schools and the social system will be tougher.  On the other hand you have a larger network.

Has anyone seen any other employment statistics, perhaps from their office of career services?


Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2005, 05:57:50 AM »
Hey I have a question too!

 I took my GMATS before law school started and was wondering if it is possible/good idea to do the MBA immediately after JD while working (or maybe not working). I'm considering this option because I did better than I thought on my GMATS (not excellent but good enough so that I MIGHT have a couple more choices) Also, I'm thinking of trying to transfer law schools. Amid all this, I do want a MBA and a JD but considering my circumstances, how do you think its a good idea to wait until I graduated to get my MBA? And I know work expeirence is a very imp factor in buisness school. The problem is, since Ive been in college and just started ls, I only have a few pt jobs here and there. Would summer internships during law school help my cause? How likely are schools like BC/BU going  to take students with good academeics but very little buisness background/work experience? Thanks so much! :D

Re: JD/MBA benefit analysis
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2008, 02:29:47 PM »
I have a question too... how hard is an MBA compared to a JD? I signed up for the JD/MBA at my school and wondering how hard the MBA classes will be