For students interested in pursuing a career in corporate law, a joint JD (Juris Doctor) and MBA (Master’s of Business Administration) degree might be a good strategy to improve marketability and increase knowledge. Many schools offer JD/MBA programs; see if the option is a good fit for you.
What is a JD/MBA Program?
A JD degree:
- •Is the typical degree earned in law school.
- •The Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate degree.
- •Most students earn this degree in a three-year law school program.
- •Is a master’s degree in business administration.
- •The MBA prepares students to be leaders in the business world.
- •This degree, offered by business schools takes 2 years to complete.
A combined JD/MBA program:
- •Allows law students to also receive an MBA during the time that they are in law school.
- •Many students choose specific law courses that focus on corporate law during their second and third years.
- •The MBA curriculum also adds to the student’s knowledge base and allows the student enrolled in both to specialize.
What are the Advantages of a JD/MBA?
The biggest advantage to a joint program is that students are able to save both time and money:
- •JD and MBA programs separately take 5 years to complete; a joint program allows students to complete both in typically 4 years.
- •Students may receive credit for courses at both schools simultaneously, reducing the amount of overall coursework.
- •Students may participate in internships specifically for corporate law during school.
- •You may be able to gain admittance into a higher-ranked school for either law or business, once you are admitted to one of the two programs.
- •You improve marketability with both degrees, for just a little more time and money.
- •Your career options are expanded by earning both degrees; you can work in a variety of fields.
- •Your earning potential may be higher with both degrees.
- •You’ll have a significantly increased depth of knowledge about business and corporate law practices.
How to Enroll for a Joint JD/MBA Program
To enroll for a JD/MBA program, you’ll need to take several steps:
- •Take the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). You’ll need scores for both.
- •Apply both to the law school and the business school of a university. You may decide to undertake the application processes at different times, if the application deadlines work out.
- •Remember that law schools and business schools have different criteria for admittance. Law schools focus on academic performance and your LSAT score; business schools want to see several years of impressive work experience.
- •Contact an advisor (there’s usually a liaison at schools that specifically offer a joint program).
Many schools now offer an accelerated JD/MBA program that allows students to finish both degrees within the normal 3-year period it takes to complete law school. These programs will be even more specifically focused on corporate law, since the law school portion of the program is condensed.