I'm an incoming 1L interested in a career in administrative law/constitutional law/politics. My school offers a 3 year JD/MGA (Masters in Government Administration) dual degree. What are the merits of getting a degree like this? Positives and Negatives?
My dad has an MPA (Public Admin) and one of my best friends is about to start work on his. Never heard of MGA, but I'd guess it's similar. It can be quite helpful if you want to run a city or something, but I wonder if it would be useful to a regular lawyer in private practice. I guess my question would be, what is your ultimate career goal(s), and would this degree give you any advantage in that field?
When you say "administrative law/constitutional law/politics" -- what does that mean? Does that mean you want to work for the feds? Or that you want to be a firm lawyer that one day runs for something? The thing is, or at least it seems to be from my (limited) experience, that MPA is sort of a professional degree on its own, where you go into urban planning or city management or some such, often doing internships along those lines. I can imagine an MGA being something of an asset to a city attorney, for example, but maybe not as much if you're working at the DOJ or at a firm with corporate clients.
Still, if it's a three-year program (rather than four like I think a lot of MBA/JD are), that means you're not giving up a whole year to do it, which means it's less opportunity cost. Then again, if you're getting a Master's during your three years of law school, that likely means you'd be overloaded with classes in 2L and 3L (and maybe 1L summer?), which might hurt your GPA or prevent you from taking some other opportunities. You might ask the school if they have some alumni of the program you could contact and see if they found it worth the extra effort.