Why people talk bad about JD/MBA?

WHY DO THEY DO TALK BAD ABOUT JD/MBA?

I was looking at LinkedIn and JD/MBA from the top programs (Harvard, Chicago, UPenn, Stanford) and all those seem to do well in life, getting top positions at top companies

the other guys did summer intern at goldman, etc and top firms and they are so successful.

So why is this degree looked down upon here? I mean, worst comes to worse you can always just hide the other degree.

So you apply for banking jobs, and hide the JD--only mention MBA

Apply for law--only show the JD

I mean, it's ok to hide the degree.

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Comments (36)

Apr 22, 2017

In terms of benefit per dollar, a JD/MBA doesn't really make sense. Ultimately you can only choose one of the two paths to pursue as a career, so why not decide beforehand so you don't have to spend all that money/time/effort? All you have to do is talk to people in that industry...

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Apr 28, 2017

can i ask you question sir? What if u want to get into elite HF or finance, will a JD/MBA be better?
I don't see such good results for regular MBA or JD.

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Jan 31, 2018

Is that really true though? I feel like a JD gives you the opportunity to transition to a relevant state or federal role once after 50+ years in professional services. There your political career begins, especially if you've stayed marginally involved with a political organization over the years.

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Apr 23, 2017

I knew a couple classmates in my MBA program who were JD/MBA. Props to them for being able to do it; it is very demanding and takes away from time networking with classmates. I think if that's what you want to do, then go for it.

Apr 28, 2017

did u go to a top mba or jd program? also how did they fair in the job market? Thank you so much!

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Apr 23, 2017

Yes, I went to a M7 program where the law program is consistently ranked very highly and surpasses the MBA ranking across the board. I'm not too sure where the classmate I'm thinking of went, but on Linkedin it appears to be law related. He didn't utilize the MBA recruiting channels I believe, probably more the law school's.

Apr 23, 2017

I have noticed the same thing. There's not a substantial amount of overlap between the two degrees so it is like training for two different jobs, so the nay sayers certainly have a valid point. One place where this might be beneficial is distressed debt investing though or some other heavily specialized field. In my view, it's a beautiful balance that I hope to pursue in a few years. I agree with electric, if that's what you want to do and have in interest in both fields, then go for it. It is twice the investment as just doing a business agree and they usually take two or three more years, so make sure youre doing it because it's really what youre interested in and not because you are unsure of what profession you want to go into. I'm a huge fan of Northwestern's dual degree program. Best of luck.

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Apr 23, 2017

Because 90% of people who post about JD/MBA's can't articulate their short to medium term career goals. Doubling down the cost of an education and removing most of the good parts of the MBA experience doesn't make sense when the vast majority of career options are equally served by pursuing one degree or the other.

There are a few people who can articulate why they want a JD/MBA and why it makes sense for them; these people I respect. I'm not talking about the "I want to do a consulting internship to figure out if I like it, then recruit for big law, and if big law doesn't work out then recruit for banking so I make a lot of money". This is not someone I want on my team one day. I'm talking about someone who can look me in the eye and say "I want to go into REPE after school, and I want a deep understanding of both the valuation side and the contractual/leasing agreements".

Spending an enormous amount of money for essentially an option to better recruit outside of your degree is senseless; grow some balls, do some research and make a life choice beforehand and save yourself a few hundred grand along the way.

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Apr 28, 2017

thank you for that info. Can i ask u question? What if u say in interview, "I value the intellictual rigor of a law degree. I value the importance of clear writing and of clearly making an argument, and deconstructing an argument."

I really like Harvard's program. That is the only JD/MBA program I'd do w/ out thinking.

U Penn: I won't be able to get into U penn business. So I'd try U penn law (good chance) and then move into MBA, depending on what schoalrship they offer.

Columbia: like U penn.

Now, I doubt you'd look down upon someone who got JD/MBA from those schools.

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Best Response
Apr 23, 2017

i refuse to believe you'd be competitive with that grammar. No offense

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Apr 23, 2017

Business school focuses people on working on teams/working together. Law school teaches people how to never admit that they are wrong no matter how wrong they are. No, I wouldn't be interested in hiring someone for a client facing role in business who took pride in their expertise in making an argument. It's a skill set that really only has one place - law. Maybe intense, zero sum negotiations too but those are niche roles.

Enjoying the intellectual rigor aside, I'd still roll my eyes at someone who would take years out of their career to do something unrelated and tried to pitch it as an indication that they have more worth than someone who made smarter choices.

No, I would not look down on a Harvard JD/MBA who could articulate why they pursued the dual degree. Yes, I would secretly chuckle at the Harvard JD/MBA who lacked that direction, because if they're gifted and accomplished enough to be accepted into both, they clearly directed a wealth of talent and opportunity in a non-optimal direction for a significant period of time.

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Apr 28, 2017

Thanks a lot for your thoughtful response. You really made me think twice about it, and I really do appreciate your time and help.

I can certainly see the value of an MBA alone. Frankly, if I had a solid work history, and could get into an M7 by itself, I'd take the offer. But I don't have a solid work history; its mostly working as research assistant in biology labs. So I don't really have a shot at M7 alone. Also, I don't have the confidence to spend 100K + on an MBA from a lower ranked program, given my state.

However, I can get into a top law school, based on my LSAT and GPA. I also have 5 publications in the field of biology. I can write an essay about my personal battle w/ cancer, and working in a lab, and my desire to work in pharma law. Once in law school, I think I have a good chance of getting into the MBA program; I can write an essay on how I feel a JD + MBA would help me work in a research drug company. A lot of biology lab research is very inefficient.

(Of course, I don't intend to work directly in pharma; that would just be my essay to get in. I would be interested in a life sciences investment firm, however.)

So if I get into, say, Northwestern Law, or U penn law (which are not too highly ranked), I can maybe work my way into MBA at those schools. However, I have no chance of Kellogg or Wharton based off my work experience and GPA. I have a distant shot at Harvard Law (based on the responses I got at Top-law-schools). I think that once in, I can maybe work my way into HBS. A distant possibility, of course, but better than 0--which is my chance at HBS now.

The question I want to ask you is, is this a good idea?

For what its worth: I have an extremely supportive and well-off family. I have no debt. I am also 26, about to be 27, and realize that my time is running out.

Thank you again, and I appreciate greatly your advice.

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Apr 25, 2017

I thought the GPA cutoff for law is higher than MBA, and that law schools are harder to get into than business schools. I could be wrong though. Anyways, if you have the gpa for law school, the intellectual ability for scoring a hight GMAT (given your confidence in your LSAT) plus a sob story on cancer, I don't see why you won't have a shot at an M7. Yes your work experience is not business related but it seems technical and serious enough (you got some publications). You see engineers getting into M7's and they don't necessarily know business neither.

What you lack, based on what I see, is personal conviction as well as too much obsession on academic prestige. If you want ( like really really)to work in a life science investment firm, you can achieve that with a top 15 or even a top 20. It seems to me that you just want to get into a prestigious school - and will take whatever cool sounding job that comes around. Feel free to challenge me by telling me why you REALLY want to get into life science investment.

The thing is, a two year MBA is already a huge commitment on both time and money. It's almost stupid to spend extra time on a JD if you have no interest or planning to do anything relating to it in the future. More importantly, an MBA is NOT a magic pill, far from it. I've seen people failed with an M7 degree (the same one I am heading to), and successful folks without a top degree. Yes an MBA may help, but at the end of the day it's about that personal drive and commitment (sacrifice on some aspects even)

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Apr 23, 2017

It's much harder to get into an M7 than you imply. Without appropriate work experience it's harder than getting into a top law school will stellar grades and LSAT.

Engineers define a specific niche that b-schools intentionally recruit. They typically take those that are looking to apply their technical skills in a business environment such as consulting. They do this because firms come to MBA programs looking for both creatives and quantitative people. But they know how to compare engineers, do it regularly and have criteria for selection here. This is not the case for a lab assistant. If he's been impactful and managed others at a level above whats normal for his tenure, then the experience MIGHT fly with some sweet story telling. Resume/work experience is probably 50% of the application though.

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Apr 28, 2017

@skyblueseven @BreakingOutOfPWM @HugLife Hi thank you all for that info and advice. Yeah I just want a high paying job. I'm willing to work like a dog, no problem. I mean, to get the 5 publications I had to work a lot overtime for no pay, its quite hard to publish papers. But the thing is, I need an break in into the good jobs.

Now you may wonder why I just can't get a job in some pharma company in R&D and work up. But thats not how it really works. I have a master's so I can get a job in a lab or whatever, but to get promoted and stuff, you really need a PhD. And fuck that.

And anyways, its hard to make it into the business aspect without a PhD or MBA.

I may just go into law then; I have good chance at T6. I just don't think a M20 program would open as many doors. I'm not interested in life science or whatever; I just wanted to write an essay on that to get in me.

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Apr 23, 2017

Given your lack of English skills I don't see either an MBA or JD in future.

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Apr 23, 2017

Does anyone have any theories on why the dual JD/MBA seems to be the most popular combo?

My thinking is that although they are entirely different paths/degrees, the same "type" of people pursue law and/or business, but I am curious what everyone else thinks

Apr 28, 2017

It could be, getting a JD is a good way to "backdoor" into a top business school. In general, getting into a law school requires just good grades and LSAT, while top business schools require a good job as well. So you can get into, say, U Penn Law (pretty easy), and then "backdoor" into Warton. Same for northwestern.

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Apr 23, 2017

academic insecurity - i just can't see any other reason

Apr 25, 2017

If I went back to school I'd do JD/MBA.

Apr 28, 2017

why? You are the first one to say so here.

Apr 26, 2017

Hey, I think you may have a good background even for top MBA programs (biology labs, publications, battle with cancer, etc) without applying to JD, depending on how you spin your story. MBA programs accept all kinds of people so they may value what you can bring to the discussions with your STEM background.

If you are interested in law, you can always read law books on the side. No need to lose your soul and couple of years for a degree that you will not need (if you get into MBA without law).

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Apr 28, 2017

Thanks a lot for that advice. I'm thinking of applying to the JD/MBA program for the admissions advantage. and then I'll back off the JD, unless its Harvard.

Apr 26, 2017

Know several JD/MBAs from top schools.. Penn/Columbia/Chicago.

The reason people say its worthless is because the kid that gets into big law didn't need the MBA and the kid that gets into Goldman didn't need the JD. It may make you look better on paper when they cull through the resumes but it isn't the magic answer to your questions.

Talk to anyone who has done a T14 JD. They will tell you it is the biggest waste of money, and could be done in 2 years. Talk to MBAs and it is basically for career changers and kids who get kicked out of PE. Or kids who are going back to PE and get to kick their feet up and chill.

I excluded Stanford and Harvard because there are actual advantages to the JD/MBA from both... the kids that go big law go to Wachtell and the kids that go into the buyside go to places like Third Point. Caveat being that just having the degrees doesn't guarantee you shit. The profile I saw of the kid at Third Point was at TPG prior to the JD/MBA and one could argue he didn't need the degrees at all, or at least didn't need the JD. Same goes for the kids at Wachtell and the MBA. Other than a couple niche distressed funds (Aurelius, Elliott) there is no value in both... and there is 0 value from the JD in finance unless you do 2-3 years of restructuring at K&E, Davis Polk, Weil, Akin, etc.

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Apr 28, 2017

As a lawyer with MBA the gist of replies here are spot-on. Getting JD and MBA is a waste of time, money, no overlap. The dual degree is merely another revenue stream for the academic institution. Linkedin is merely FB with a resume. You will be hired for your JD or you will be hired for your MBA. My advice - if you have respect for yourself get a JD and hang your shingle as a solo. You'll make a lot more money and control your life.

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Apr 23, 2017

I thought an MBA and finance were considered better than law?

Also, hanging a shingle is only possible for litigators as opposed to corporate attorneys

Apr 28, 2017

Maybe it is an Asian thing. The most successful guys that I know are not on LinkedIn.

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Apr 28, 2017

Ppl think its worthless b/c of the duplication. Ultimately, the arguments against getting a JD/MBA from a top school (if you could get in) are the same ones against getting an MBA in the first place: cost vs. value add in terms of knowledge/ career gains. The answer here is that life isn't a formula and you should do what pleases you.

Ppl with JD/MBA from top schools will tend to do very well, but would likely have done very well regardless. There will be people that do as well or better (and in shorter periods of time) without the credentials. WRT to HF/PE, how many of the top guys have similar credentials? Not very many, and likely that will continue to be true because ppl that excel early on don't take breaks for schooling.

If you have other long term goals (politics, corporate, etc) or just get a kick out of having top-ticked the professional credentials possibilities then its all good. If you get a top finance job you'll pay the debt off in a few years anyways

Apr 28, 2017

There are maaaaybe one or two fields where having a JD/MBA could be useful. As others have noted, restructuring and RE seem to be the most suitable options. Possibly politics, if your plan is to go into business first and then parlay that experience into a political career. Other than that, a JD/MBA is just a hell of an investment for not much return.

Might be easier to argue for the JD/MBA if you're talking about Columbia or Northwestern, though. Or any other school with a 3-year JD/MBA program.

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Apr 23, 2017

What about for M&A?

Apr 28, 2017

Marginal benefit. Very marginal. Not worth the extra cost, IMO, but you might feel differently if you can get a fat scholarship or have parents paying for it or you're secretly a millionaire.

May 1, 2017

It's the status of having the credentials. The peers I knew pursuing JD / MBAs were loaded, they didn't give af about an extra year. Already rich and dad paid the tuition. They studied hard but got to have fun on college campus for a few years ... now they do well professionally. I've never heard any of them say it was a waste of time.

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Apr 28, 2017

Do you think the JD/MBA helps them professionally?

Apr 28, 2017

100% right - its all about status. Does it help professionally? Kind of impossible to say.

It's very easy to quanitfy the value of the money lost, cost of schooling, etc.

It's much harder to quantify the value of having people (both personally and professionally) assume you're smarter than everyone else. This is especially true since the people in these programs are likely no smarter than their peers in BB/MF or whatnot.

The Prestige benefits are even more powerful internationally (especially in emerging markets).

Oh, they also work wonders on women (most people don't know what Blackstone is, but when they hear HBS/HLS they think $).

Apr 28, 2017
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