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.
Yale Law School is consistently ranked in the top 3 law schools in America. What makes it so special, and why should you consider Yale for your education? Here are some facts about Yale Law School.
Small School, Big Reputation
You might think that such a highly-ranked law school would be a vast institution with a large student body. That’s not the case:
- Yale has approximately 650 students.
- The student to faculty ratio is 7.9:1.
- Most classes have less than 20 students.
- Over 70 full-time faculty members teach at Yale.
- The number of visiting professors and fellows varies, but is usually around 50.
- New Haven, Connecticut, where Yale is located, has approximately 130,500 citizens.
Yale Law School has some impressive statistics when it comes to performance:
- Last year, student attrition was less than .5% in the 1L and 2L classes; no students dropped out in the third and fourth-year classes.
- Over 93% of Yale graduates passed the Bar last year.
- In 2013, Yale Law School is ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report.
Famous Yale Law School alumni include:
- Former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton
- Current Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas
- Current U.S. Senators Michael Bennett (D-Colorado), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Chris Coons (D-Delaware)
- Current U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington D.C.)
- Current governor of California, Jerry Brown
Yale Law School alumni also hold or have held positions as:
- U.S. Attorneys General
- U.S. Solicitors General
- U.S. Government cabinet-level officials
- Federal Court judges
- State politicians
- State judges
- City government officials
- U.S. diplomats
- International heads of state
- University presidents
- Law school deans
- Legal scholars
- Business leaders
- Military officers
Yale’s clinical programs are one of its main draws for students who want to gain a lot of practical experience during law school. Yale is unique in that:
- Even first-year law students are able to take clinics and appear in court.
- Students who participate in clinics work with real clients.
- Faculty members mentor and supervise clinical program students.
- More than 20 different clinic opportunities are available.
Centers, Programs and Workshops
Opportunities abound for law students at Yale. Centers focus on specific global issues such as environmental law, human rights and corporate law.
Workshops are offered throughout the school year (some as often as weekly) and cover a broad range of topics, including:
- Law and Religion
- Legal History
- Legal Theory
- Dispute Resolution
- Workplace Theory
- Chinese Legal Reform
- Law and Finance
Other Facts About Yale
- As of 2013, full-time tuition at Yale is $51,350 for both resident and non-resident students.
- Approximately 80% of students receive partial scholarships or grants.
- The acceptance rate in 2012 was 8 percent.
- 48 percent of students at Yale Law School are female.
- 29.4 percent of students at Yale Law School are from underrepresented racial groups.
- Nearly 3,000 prospective students applied to Yale Law School for the 2015 academic year; 237 were offered acceptance.
As a prospective law student, you’ve probably heard how tough it is to get accepted to law school—and how difficult law school is once you get there. Students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate education might wonder:
- Do some undergraduate degrees look better on a law school application than others?
- Are some degree programs discouraged for prospective law students?
- Which degrees will help me be successful in law school?
Your Undergraduate Degree and Your Law School Application
Your law school application has many components; your transcript is just one. While admissions committees are certainly very interested in your undergraduate degree, and the specific courses you took, they are also looking at the broader picture. Your law school application includes:
- Application form
- Undergraduate and graduate school transcripts
- LSAT scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal Essay
Law schools want to know that you’ve spent the years prior to your application getting ready to succeed. They look for:
- Strong academic performance
- High LSAT scores
- Compelling letters of recommendation
- A resume that highlights your particular experience, ambitions and achievements
- Diverse personal pursuits
Your undergraduate degree comes into play in many of these application components, because:
1) Admissions committees will look for challenging coursework on your transcript, along with high grades. A student who earned a “B” in a Quantum Physics course might well appear more academically successful than one who earned an “A” in a basic Communications survey course.
2) Your undergraduate studies help you succeed on the LSAT. The LSAT tests your ability to communicate well in writing, assesses your reading comprehension and challenges your ability to use logic and reasoning when making arguments. Degree programs and courses that hone these skills are invaluable.
3) Undergraduate degrees that allow you to gain experience or work closely with professors help bolster your letters of recommendation and resume.
The Law Schools’ Perspectives
Law school admissions committees don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the focus of your undergraduate program. Here are some comments from some of the top law schools in the country:
“The Admissions Committee looks for a showing of thorough learning in a field of your choice, such as history, economics, government, philosophy, mathematics, science, literature or the classics (and many others), rather than a concentration in courses given primarily as vocational training.” - Harvard Law School
“We accept students with a wide variety of majors, from political science to drama to biochemistry.” - Yale Law School
“We like to see that you have taken a well-rounded, challenging course load. We do not prefer any set curriculum or particular major. The most important thing is that you have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, a commitment to academics, and that you have done well.” - University of Chicago Law School
“Columbia Law School does not require or prefer any specific major or minor. A recent review of our entering class finds the following undergraduate majors substantially represented: Political Science/Government, Literature/English, History, Economics, Social Sciences (other), Science/Engineering/Mathematics.” - Columbia Law School