JD/MBA for REPE / REHF

Excuse me for all those who have read my similar posts on this in months past, but I'm still looking to get more feedback from all of you... and it's been weeks if not months since my last one.

The questions:

(1) Do you think it would be beneficial for me from a professional perspective to get a JD/MBA instead of just an MBA if I want to continue working in RE/PE and maybe transfer over to a HF working with RE debt etc. one day? Even if it's not beneficial, it wouldn't HURT my chances of landing a spot at a top REPE firm or REIB group after graduation... would it? I'd be 29 or 30 at graduation and already have 3+ years REPE experience and an ivy UG and other solid creds

(2) Do you think I would be crazy for doing a JD/MBA (4 years or maybe 3) "for fun"? I mean I would do the MBA anyways, for professional reasons, but I want to add in the JD (1 or 2 years extra) because I'm curious about the law. I want to expand my mind and point of view... and maybe gain a leg up in making investment decisions related to distressed debt and so on. Am I delusional about law school being fun/interesting? Is it slavery? Let's say I go to UPenn, Stanford, Harvard or Chicago. Is it just too rigorous to be fun? Will I hate myself after 2 years? I also like the idea of doing 3 summer associate positions (some in law, some in banking, etc) and gaining diverse experience that way... is that stupid too? Are internships bullshit even at the associate level?

NOTE: I would not be in debt after graduation... but foregoing income is certainly a drawback

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Comments (22)

Jan 10, 2011

additionally: do you guys know people with JDs (or JD/mbas) working at your PE firms and banks that have been able to add a unique perspective / influence important decisions because of their knowledge of the law?

Jan 11, 2011
International Pymp:

additionally: do you guys know people with JDs (or JD/mbas) working at your PE firms and banks that have been able to add a unique perspective / influence important decisions because of their knowledge of the law?

I'd be interested to hear from others regarding the above as well.

Jan 10, 2011

Posting to sub to this thread - interested in this topic as well.

Jan 10, 2011

anyone?

Jan 11, 2011

What schools are you considering?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

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Jan 11, 2011

In the last few weeks, I've spoken to a few people who did JD/MBAs, and the consensus seems to be that it's not worth it unless you really enjoy and want to learn more about law. Whatever edge you get in a finance role from it will be very little, and you'll spend a lot of your interviews explaining your decision to undertake it. Also, 4 years is a hell of a lot of time and the opportunity cost of that is huge.

Many people who do it plan to go into public service at some point, in which case the legal background from having a JD might help. Others just did it because they always wanted to go to law school, and attending business school as well was an afterthought. For distressed debt or REPE, the small edge you gain is not worth the extra time commitment to the programme. The only firm where it will give you a recruiting advantage is at Paulson & Co. if you do the HBS/HLS JD/MBA. There is also the prestige of course, and it doesn't get anymore prestigious than having HBS/HLS JD/MBA or a Stanford JD/MBA on your resume, but it comes at a high cost. Plus you also have to take the LSAT which might be a pain in the ass.

In any case, I'm leaning against the JD/MBA and will probably just pursue a normal MBA in 2/3 years (if I decide to go back to B school at all).

Jan 10, 2011
Omoba De Jonz O:

In the last few weeks, I've spoken to a few people who did JD/MBAs, and the consensus seems to be that it's not worth it unless you really enjoy and want to learn more about law. Whatever edge you get in a finance role from it will be very little, and you'll spend a lot of your interviews explaining your decision to undertake it. Also, 4 years is a hell of a lot of time and the opportunity cost of that is huge.

Many people who do it plan to go into public service at some point, in which case the legal background from having a JD might help. Others just did it because they always wanted to go to law school, and attending business school as well was an afterthought. For distressed debt or REPE, the small edge you gain is not worth the extra time commitment to the programme. The only firm where it will give you a recruiting advantage is at Paulson & Co. if you do the HBS/HLS JD/MBA. There is also the prestige of course, and it doesn't get anymore prestigious than having HBS/HLS JD/MBA or a Stanford JD/MBA on your resume, but it comes at a high cost. Plus you also have to take the LSAT which might be a pain in the ass.

In any case, I'm leaning against the JD/MBA and will probably just pursue a normal MBA in 2/3 years (if I decide to go back to B school at all).

thanks for your thoughts... I guess to a large degree the answer is that it's not worth it for working in finance, so if you're going to do it you better be damn sure you want to learn about the law (just out of intellectual curiosity, etc)... I think personally I'm leaning to applying to normal MBAs only and maybe also to Kellogg / NW-Law JD-MBA (it's a 3 year program and you don't need LSAT)... anyways. thanks again.

Jan 12, 2011
Omoba De Jonz O:

In the last few weeks, I've spoken to a few people who did JD/MBAs, and the consensus seems to be that it's not worth it unless you really enjoy and want to learn more about law. Whatever edge you get in a finance role from it will be very little, and you'll spend a lot of your interviews explaining your decision to undertake it. Also, 4 years is a hell of a lot of time and the opportunity cost of that is huge.

Many people who do it plan to go into public service at some point, in which case the legal background from having a JD might help. Others just did it because they always wanted to go to law school, and attending business school as well was an afterthought. For distressed debt or REPE, the small edge you gain is not worth the extra time commitment to the programme. The only firm where it will give you a recruiting advantage is at Paulson & Co. if you do the HBS/HLS JD/MBA. There is also the prestige of course, and it doesn't get anymore prestigious than having HBS/HLS JD/MBA or a Stanford JD/MBA on your resume, but it comes at a high cost. Plus you also have to take the LSAT which might be a pain in the ass.

In any case, I'm leaning against the JD/MBA and will probably just pursue a normal MBA in 2/3 years (if I decide to go back to B school at all).

Yes, Paulson loves Harvard JD/MBA's. They just hired an ex-Marshall Scholar who just finished at Harvard.

Also, Canyon Ranch, the hedge fund in L.A., hires mostly Harvard JD/MBA's as well.

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Vantage Point MBA's clients are accepted to the top MBA programs at a 3x higher rate than the average acceptance rates. Request a consultation with their team to learn how they can help you gain admission to your dream schools. Learn more.

Jan 11, 2011

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 11, 2011

[x]

Jan 10, 2011

that one link doesn't work for me sadly

Jan 11, 2011
International Pymp:

that one link doesn't work for me sadly

Chinese Gov't must be blocking law school blogs. I'll cut and paste it below.

barelylegalblog.blogspot.com:

Some things just seem to go together: chocolate and peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, or pretty much anything and peanut butter. Some things, however, are foisted together for no apparent reason, like the JD/MBA. Or as I like to call it: Dumb and Dumber.

An MBA is basically a brief crash course in Business Administration. Some of you will remember Business Administration as the third most popular major offered on DeVry's late night TV commercials, after Air Conditioning Repair and Massage Therapy.

When an attorney needs information about a subject matter, let's say business administration, they don't go out and get a degree in it. The attorney hires an expert. The attorney then interviews the expert and if they need to communicate that expert's opinions they use them as an expert witness. You may have seen it done on TV about a million times.

I imagine most JD/MBA interviews go like this:

JD/MBA: Not only can I practice law for your company but I also can balance books, project your finances and manage your people.

Employer: Actually, you'll be busy with legal work for 70 hours a week like all other JDs, so you wouldn't have time to do any of that other stuff even if I wanted you to.

JD/MBA: So, I just wasted another year of my life and $50,000 for nothing?

Employer: Yes. It would seem those financial projection skills you learned leave a lot to be desired.

The thing I dislike most about JD/MBA programs is that the pairing really points out how a JD is not a real doctorate program. Even though evidence teaches us otherwise, guilt by association is real and we will all be victims of it.

Let's face it, JD/MBA programs are just a scam to squeeze more money out of students. I won't be surprised if they start offering JD/MBA/Magic-Bean-Purchasing-Agent degrees.

Obviously this doe not apply to HBS JD/MBA guys and the dude that writes this is pretty cynical but its still fairly entertaining.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 10, 2011

thank you kindly... damn that censorship!

Jan 10, 2011

that post is silly though... I mean, I guess it's sort of funny, but has no relevance on anything... certainly not for high level lawyers that go to good jd/mba programs.

If you want to be a lawyer there is no question in my mind that a JD/MBA would be beneficial over the long run... if you're smart and know how to leverage it. Say you went to harvard to do your JD/MBA... don't you think you'd have some lasting relationships with MBAs at HBS that could lead to you being a superior rainmaker in the future (having a lot of friends in various areas of business who choose your law firm because of your relationship with them). Not only that, once you're done pushing pencils all the time (after 5 or however many years that takes in big law), don't you think people will respect you more in negotiations and other dealings if you actually understand the business interests on both sides of the table? As mentioned above I work in REPE and I can't tell you how many meetings I'm in with lawyers when we're drafting contracts... it's literally about an hour a day, if you average it out. Around deal closings it's like 5 hours per day.... and many of the lawyers are understanding of how we want out distribution structures to work and other stuff to work and why, but many of them just don't get it --- they ask millions of stupid questions and go through draft after draft until they get it right! I have to imagine if you went to HBS as part of a JD/MBA you'd be one of the lawyers that DID get it.

Now, on the flip side... getting a JD and only needing an MBA is probably a lot tougher to justify - at least it is for me (I'm looking for more reasons). For one thing it adds a lot more time / study than an MBA and for another thing knowing the law is not as directly applicable to practicing business (working in finance at a HF let's say) as knowing business is to working as a lawyer.

Jan 11, 2011

I think you're right. Its really no big deal for someone who is going to be in school for 3 years getting a JD to stay another year and get the added benefit of the MBA. Conversely though, if you're only going to be in school 2 years for an MBA, I would imagine its much harder to justify doubling your time in school for whatever marginal benefit there may or may not be to the JD.

The article is silly and mostly just for entertainment but its a good warning to kids that think a JD/MBA from some no name place will make a huge difference in the long run.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jan 13, 2011

International P

For what it's worth I looked the JD/MBA programs myself like a year back. I was looking mostly at Northwestern JD/MBA because it's only 3 years as oppose to Harvard JD/MBA 4 years. And NU only need GMAT, which made it great. To finish the program you have to take classes over summer if I remember correctly and so limited chance for internship.

One aspiration was Mitt Romney who had Harvard JD/MBA. Bain Consulting -> Bain Capital -> Governor, etc. Interesting path he took. For most people not sure if it's worth it.

Jan 13, 2011

While on the subject, permit me to reflect on some of my thoughts. I understand how hard a top-notch MBA program truly is to get into. But I think deep down I've always felt regardless of the MBA (essential top 10-15 to be really worth it) it's just "window dressing". It's great and may pay huge dividends later on in life when you may be tapped for executive suite or whatever. I think my desire for JD was in someway to validate I can get an actual "professional" degree not just an MBA. I feel MBA designation is in some ways too susceptible to flagrancy of market perceptions. I never really planned on actually practicing law, maybe pro bono cases I'd choose. But an MBA is the ultimate exercise in "branding" and schools reaping the benefits.

In the same vein, would most people consider the MBA a "professional" degree or a "masters"? JD is Juris Doctor, MD is self explanatory. MBA is MASTERS of Business ... Regardless, my dice is cast and I am in the process of pursuing an MBA, but it just seems like an onerous institutional burden of uprooting taxed upon an individual to "move" up the ranks. I understand all the nebulous benefits like networks, future payouts, etc. But deep down I can't shake the feeling it's just buying a brand not a "professional" rigorous study of a subject.

Jan 10, 2011

Along with NW, Penn and (just recently) Columbia also offer 3 year JD/MBA's as well. Columbia is particularly interesting because you can do internships in both summers instead of having to do coursework during the first summer like at NW and Penn (I guess you have to work a ton during the semesters, but it's still a huge advantage to have 2 summer associate spots).

I agree with what you mean about the MBA to some degree... I tend to think it's not going to be as EDUCATIONAL, despite the fact that it's very BENEFICIAL. I like the idea of doing a JD/MBA at harvard over 4 years and really learning a ton and taking a ton of electives and doing 3 different cool internships and being a super-freak of talent when you get out... getting in to both harvard law and HBS isn't really as simple as it sounds though - sadly.

Here's another consideration. Next year when I apply I'll consider myself a pretty strong MBA candidate with a shot at HBS / Stanford and a very good chance at a place like Columbia, Wharton, Chicago, etc... I feel like I'd be an okay law candidate too (high LSAT, etc), but not as strong. I certainly think I'd have almost no chance to get into harvard / yale law (I only had a 3.5 from a lower tier ivy... which isn't a huge issue for MBA but is a huge problem for a top law school). So for me, if I wanted to apply to Harvard Law (just out of the longshot chance i got in, through connections, strong work experience, etc), that would actually likely lower my chances of getting into HBS. You have to tell them you're applying to both as a dual degree candidate and that can hurt your chances of getting into HBS since they assume your not getting into the law school, etc...

that's probably not 100% coherent, because I'm writing this quickly, but I'm guessing you catch my drift. I will be hurting my chances of getting in to HBS / GSB by applying to their law schools, even though I'd go to HBS over another school even if I didn't get into Harvard law and had to do just the MBA.

Jan 10, 2011

I'm over thinking this... I may not even apply for another 2 years

Jan 11, 2011

[x]

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