Kellogg JD/MBA still a bad idea if tuition is fully covered?

badmonkey5's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

Military Vet admitted to Kellogg JD/MBA, MIT Sloan, and Tuck. Due to GI Bill + Fellowships, tuition at Sloan and Northwestern will be completely covered and Tuck will cost 15k a year. My long-term goals are admittedly weak due to having zero interaction with any industries due to 6 years in the military, but looking to go consulting or finance, and would consider big law if I choose the JD/MBA program.

Understand reading the forums that the JD/MBA is typically considered a bad idea, but if its free and incurs only 1 year of opportunity cost I don't really see the negatives. Got it 1L sucks, but would be a nice academic change after 6 years of the military.

Comments (5)

Most Helpful
Dec 22, 2018

If you want consulting or finance, the JD doesn't give you a leg up over the MBA program. If you want big law, the MBA doesn't help. There's not really a benefit from a recruiting perspective.

Long term - it's a little resume oompf but not too relevant for the paths you described.

You lose out culturally with the MBA program by taking a year out of it for law school. My JD/MBA friend at Booth disappeared once law started. So if you're in consulting or finance, it can be a negative networking impact.

The opportunity cost is ~$170-200k+ for an extra year of school (if you land MMB/T2 consulting or a good IB role). It's nothing to turn your nose up.

In my opinion, JD/MBA makes sense for folks with a very targeted career path where it makes sense (niche finance roles, real estate, etc). The benefits are much more marginal outside of that.

    • 3
Dec 22, 2018

MBA definitely helps in big law. You will start as a second-year associate ($200k salary). Also, as a vet, companies will be trying pretty hard to recruit you. Compare your experience to the typical law school applicant straight out of undergrad and it's easy to see why you are better.

I can give you more details on Northwestern JD/MBA as a vet if interested. We have a couple each year.

Dec 22, 2018

I think the JD/MBA given it's only 1 additional year, isn't really at a huge cost. You get to try a summer in big law, one in business, then figure out your life. Also post-tax the $150-170k consulting salary isn't really meaningful... If your tuition is covered, I'd strongly consider it. Try chatting with some Kellogg JD/MBAs who are a few years out of school.

Also: try to spend a summer in big law in a state where they pay you for overtime. The foregone income becomes even more insignificant at that point.

Dec 28, 2018

depends on which degree you might use primarily

if you feel like 6 years in military is risky for actual business skills..... if the "vet recruiting specials" might not get you into banking or consulting, then a full JD is very marketable. If JD is "nice to have" then it might be a lot of workload for it....

but JD is a nice standout IMO. also especially in the context of free (except living costs). it probably won't help much from $$ perspective, but you'd rather have it than not when $ isn't the primary concern

Dec 29, 2018