On January 30, I attended an information session regarding William & Mary’s JD/MBA joint degree program. In this program, a student can earn both a Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration in four years. Usually it takes three years for a JD, and two years for a MBA. Therefore, you shorten the total time, and tuition, required to earn both degrees.
At the information sessions were representatives from both William & Mary’s Law School and the Mason School of Business. For current law students interested in the program, the curriculum is designed so that you take classes for the first two years at the law school, the third year at the business school, and the fourth year, a combination of courses from both schools.
There are many reasons why a student may pursue a joint degree. Some students attend law school to receive analytical training, but intend to work for a business after graduation. For these types of students, a JD/MBA program would strengthen a student’s job profile by giving him the business training necessary to succeed at a high level corporate position. It’s important to have strong reasons for getting a dual degree as there can be a downside to the joint degree for law students wanting to enter law practice. Our Office of Career Services staff is available to counsel students who are considering also pursuing a MBA.
Although this program would be a tremendous opportunity, this would mean being in school an extra year, which should be viewed as a large commitment. I am currently undecided about the program, but I have a year to decided whether to apply. Regardless of my decision, law students are allowed to take certain courses in the business school and apply those course credits towards obtaining a JD. These cross-listings encourage law students to take classes offered within various William & Mary graduate schools. This interdisciplinary approach would likely be beneficial for a student simply to observe how other graduate schools operate on a daily basis.
Over the next few weeks I will probably talk to current students within the JD/MBA program to seek their advice. Moreover, the Dean of Admissions for the MBA program offered to let me observe a class lecture. I will likely take advantage of this offer. If you have any additional questions about this program you can either email me, or look up information online regarding the JD/MBA dual degree program.
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