This week’s podcast discusses the joint JD/MBA degree. On the program we have Patrick Chung, a Harvard JD/MBA graduate and current partner at NEA (a venture capital firm in California); Melanie Nutt, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Wake Forest University School of Law; and Richard Hermann, co-editor of the Directory of Law School Joint Degree Programs.
The JD/MBA degree is a staple at most law schools. This joint degree allows you to graduate with both law and business credentials after only four years of school, rather than the five years it would take to complete the programs separately. Although all JD/MBA programs provide the same outcome, different schools may have different requirements for their joint-degree applicants: Some may allow students to apply for a JD/MBA after completing the first year of law school or business school, while others require students to apply to the program before they begin their studies; some programs may require both LSAT and GMAT scores, while others require only one of the two standardized tests. Given these discrepancies, all of our guests suggest that you contact the JD/MBA programs you are interested in to obtain information regarding specific requirements.
Patrick Chung, a graduate of Harvard University’s JD/MBA program and partner in California venture capital firm NEA, says that combining the programs provided him with multiple advantages. By moving within both the law and business school circles, he was able to meet people in two completely different educational programs and build relationships that he wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity of creating. Although that extra year may seem like a long time, Chung states, being able to complete both degrees in just four years can be a very beneficial to your career prospects upon graduation. Even though his current position doesn’t often deal with the law specifically, having both degrees has allowed him to apply new ways of thinking in both the business and law worlds.
Melanie Nutt, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Wake Forest University School of Law, says that she has, in the many years since she began her admissions career, seen an increase in the popularity of the joint degree. She believes that the economy may be one of the driving forces behind its “hype.” Nutt states that having both degrees can offer greater career opportunities for students, and that it may be what students need in order to obtain their “dream job.” She also suggests that students who are trying to decide if the joint-degree path is right for them should speak with professionals in both the business and law fields.
Finally, Richard Hermann, co-editor of the Directory of Law School Joint Degree Programs, agrees with Nutt and Chung by stating that the popularity of the JD/MBA degree isn’t only due to the variety obtained within the academic programs, but also to graduates’ increased likelihood of better employment opportunities. Hermann also discusses the different places joint-degree graduates can seek jobs with a JD/MBA degree. Law firms, corporations, federal and state governmental offices, and non-profit organizations, Hermann says, are just a few of the places graduates can successfully look for employment once their studies conclude.
Patrick Chung – Harvard JD/MBA Graduate
Melanie Nutt – Director of Admissions and Financial Aid – Wake Forest University School of Law
Richard Hermann – Co-Editor, Directory of Law School Joint Degree Programs