Penn or UChicago JD/MBA vs BB Analyst Stint

ChelseaFC85's picture
Rank: Orangutan | banana points 254

I'm a senior with an analyst offer with a bulge bracket firm. However, once everything started going to shit this past fall, I took it upon myself to take the LSAT and apply to law school so that I wouldn't be completely fucked had I not gotten an offer with my firm or had an offer revoked.

I was all set to start work in July until I got into Penn Law School. I'm still waiting on UChicago. As such, I was hoping that you guys could lend some insight. Given the current environment, does it make more sense to go for a JD/MBA at Penn or Chicago, or should I still take the analyst gig. I am interested taking the most efficient route into high finance, but suspect that law school would be intellectually stimulating and could provide for a sophisticated understanding of regulation within the financial markets. Thanks.

Comments (20)

Feb 22, 2009

if you want to do finance, take the analyst stint. if you think you might want to be a lawyer, then jd/mba.

Feb 22, 2009

JD/MBA will always be there. You've done well on both the LSATs and GMATs, but while your resume would look great b/c jd-mba, you'd still be missing work experience. You might not place as well as you could if you waited 2-3 years to do the JD-MBA. The JD-MBA is also a shit load of $.

Feb 22, 2009

I guess I'm just afraid of getting canned six months into my analyst stint. There have been an absurd number of analyst layoffs, and I guess I'd like to ride out the storm and eventually re-enter the fray when things improve.

Feb 22, 2009
ChelseaFC85:

I guess I'm just afraid of getting canned six months into my analyst stint. There have been an absurd number of analyst layoffs, and I guess I'd like to ride out the storm and eventually re-enter the fray when things improve.

Can you defer admission? I know of one analyst who was accepted into HLS but deferred for two years of banking.

Feb 22, 2009

Why are you so confident you can do the JD/MBA? My assumption would be you have to be admitted to Wharton/Booth as well in order to do that, and neither of them are exactly easy to get in to.

Free Consultation

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.

Feb 22, 2009

Yeah, that's what I was going to suggest. Ask Penn to defer your admission by a year. If you tell them it's because of financial issues, I have a feeling they'd be willing to do it, although I'm not entirely certain.

    • 1
Feb 22, 2009
Feb 22, 2009

I'm in law school at a simliar school (Harvard/Yale/Stanford) and I can tell you that the JD/MBA does open doors (my buddy is doing it at Stanford with an undergrad English major and no work experience and he got offers this summer at Morgan Stanley SF, Lazard, and a bunch of restructuring shops) but the work experience would really let you have the world by the balls. When alums in high finance come back to speak, students hoping to do the same are almost always dissapointed to learn that the alums did two years at Goldman before law school, and that's why they were so appealing to PE and HF after law school. Granted, these folks don't always have the MBA. But really, do banking, even if only for a year. Your school will defer, and you'll enjoy school more after you've been away a while.

Feb 22, 2009

If you're interested in high finance, then take the analyst gig. Plus, your odds for being accepted into the MBA program are pretty low without any work experience. In the worst case scenario where you did get laid off, you can always go back to law school (I think LSAT is valid for 5 years). While their site doesn't say it, I know they've done 2-year deferrals before for IB analyst programs.

Feb 22, 2009

Work experience > graduate school IMHO

Feb 25, 2009

If you're looking for a career in finance, take the analyst gig.

As much as there's bitching and moaning about how much the analyst life sucks, it is boot camp/basic training. In many ways it's a calling card and in my view the ideal first job if you are looking for a finance career and will open the most doors for you because everyone in the industry respects the experience, whether you decide to go into asset mgmt (private equity, hedge funds, investment management), sales/trading, or whatever.

Grad school can always come later, but you can't go back and be an analyst (and between having pre-MBA analyst experience vs. post-MBA associate experience as your "first" foray into finance, the analyst experience will actually better prepare you and give you more exit options -- as many analysts here can probably attest to some of the clueless associates they've had to work with).

Mar 11, 2009

I'd take Penn Law School (especially in this environment)...but then I'm too risk averse to touch finance with a ten foot pole. And plus I want to be a lawyer anyways.

It really depends on your situation and your future goals. But I don't see any value in doing a JD/MBA if you want to stay in IB and If you're sure of it. IB associates aren't lawyers, they're not expected to know the law. That's what the lawyers are there for. If you find yourself choosing or flip-flopping between IB and corporate law, then I don't know what to say.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Feb 22, 2009

More than a few of the folks in my group had JDs; they often transitioned into IB after spending a year or two at a big law firm doing work related to the industry group. However, considering how relevant regulation is (and certainly will be), I suspect that this isn't the case for other groups.

Only an idiot would attend law school for the sole purpose of being a banker; I'd be happy as an M&A lawyer. However, plenty of the most successful bankers (Lloyd Blankfein, Robert Rubin, Bruce Wasserstein, Ray McGuire, among others) went to law school, so I don't know that that option would be closed to me down the line. However, unless I get Chicago or get off the waiting list at Columbia, I'm going to be an analyst next year.

Thanks for the insight everyone.

Edit: And the plot thickens. I just got into the University of Chicago with a 65k scholarship. I have no idea what the fuck I'll end up doing at this point.

Mar 14, 2009

Given all the shit talking you have done on this site Mr. ChealseaFC, one would think you are a big-dick slinging MD. JD/MBA's are a waste of 4 years. Congradulations on the scholarship though, they must have needed "diversity"

Feb 22, 2009
MoneyKingdom:

Given all the shit talking you have done on this site Mr. ChealseaFC, one would think you are a big-dick slinging MD. JD/MBA's are a waste of 4 years. Congradulations on the scholarship though, they must have needed "diversity"

I don't know man, I feel like I'm a pretty solid contributor to this forum, although I'd be happy to hear others weigh in on whether that is the case. As far as diversity is concerned, I'll just say that, based on your history and pathetic inability to spell the word "congratulations" correctly, I am a hell of a lot smarter than you. Thanks for your input though.

Feb 22, 2009
MoneyKingdom:

Given all the shit talking you have done on this site Mr. ChealseaFC, one would think you are a big-dick slinging MD. JD/MBA's are a waste of 4 years. Congradulations on the scholarship though, they must have needed "diversity"

Isn't Harvard the only JD/MBA that takes four years? Everyone else I've seen is three.

Mar 14, 2009

But you may want to consider meeting with a counselor at either school and telling them. Rarely, you can apply and get a deferral, though usually it's for one year and offered in extreme situations, but you'll never know unless you ask.

Mar 14, 2009

if you can get into the program, DO IT...once you get a JD/MBA, you will be in a much stronger position in terms of job safety and pay as well. look at the top C-level executives. a good number have jd/mbas. even if you can't get it deferred, i'd still take the opportunity.

not sure about Booth by itself, but it's worth a consideration.

here is why you shouldn't take the analyst gig:
1) you don't know if you'll be fired a few months into the job.
2) pay is shit, and will be shit for the foreseeable future
3) there are thousands of people with BB experience currently unemployed with more experience than you. what makes you think you'll get a job over them if you get fired?

Mar 19, 2009
ChelseaFC85:

suspect that law school would be intellectually stimulating and could provide for a sophisticated understanding of regulation within the financial markets.

What the elephant guy said makes perfect 100% sense. So this is what you do. Sign on to the analyst position, but get a deferral at Penn. It doesn't seem too difficult (2-year is even available):

PennLaw:

If you are admitted and wish to defer your admission, you must submit a written request to the Dean of Admissions stating your reasons for wanting the deferral. One-year deferrals are typically granted for reasons such as work, finances, completion of a graduate program, or extenuating circumstances, such as illness or injury. Two-year deferrals are granted only if you are enrolled in a two-year program such as Teach for America, Peace Corps, or have a military commitment.

Work at the Analyst position for 1 (or 2) years. Then go to Penn Law. Having BB analyst experience and Penn Law would put you in a great position for Associate recruiting- catapult you to the top of the list among all the other lawyers who want to do banking. And If you can actually secure JD/MBA you would be ABSOLUTELY golden.

Jun 8, 2009
Comment