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How, Why to Apply for J.D.-MBA Programs | Law Admissions Lowdown

Welcome to the latest release of Law Admissions Questions and Answers, a feature that provides advice on law school admissions to readers who submit inquiries. If you have a question about law school admissions, email us for a chance to appear in a future publication.

I am very interested in getting MBA – JD but I am not sure how to go about it. Does every school require you to go to law school first? Can you apply simultaneously but can only enroll in one of these programs? How does this work? – UA

Over the past few decades, trends in law and business have led to significant overlap between these two fields. Lawyers are increasingly being asked to think in terms of business strategy, and business leaders are spending more time than ever dealing with legal regulations, compliance, and risks.

Accordingly, the popularity of MBA – JD programs has grown. These joint programs allow students to finish both business and law degrees concurrently in the same undergraduate system, and they usually cut short one of the five years it generally takes to earn both degrees separately. Some schools, such as Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame, offer three-year MBA-JD programs.

MBA – JD programs vary in details, but in most cases, accepted students complete a year or two of law school, then a year of business school, and then end up with a mix of business and law classes. Besides the typical core courses required for both degrees, participants may be required or encouraged to take additional courses focusing on related topics such as corporate law and securities and finance law.

How to Apply for an MBA Program – Jordanian Dinar

MBA – JD programs are very competitive. Some have an integrated application process, such as the University of Pennsylvania. A few, such as the University of Chicago, even have a special pathway for undergraduate applicants who plan to defer admission by two to four years to gain work experience before enrolling in the program.

However, in most cases, applicants must apply separately to the Business School and the Law School and gain admission to both. If you are accepted into one but not the other, you can try to add the second class later or resign from the cross-registration of classes at the other school.

To apply, you will need a bachelor’s degree and high scores on the LSAT and GMAT. Some programs may waive the LSAT or GMAT, or accept the GRE instead of one or both of these tests.

Both programs will require application essays and letters of recommendation. While you may be tempted to send the same essays and letters of recommendation to both law and business schools to save time, it can be risky.

Law schools and business schools do not necessarily look for the same qualities in candidates, and their application guidelines can vary widely. It is best to write separate articles for each school, even if they are overlapping in content, and to ask your advisors to design their letters separately as well.

If you missed your chance to simultaneously apply for JD – MBA programs, don’t worry. Usually, MBA – JD students can apply to add an MBA during their first year of law school. Since law school is longer and often more selective than business school, this is an easier and more popular route than starting as an MBA candidate and seeking to add a JD

As program details, deadlines, and processes vary, it is safest to decide which MBA-JD programs you wish to attend and research their details. If you have questions, contact the admissions officials.

Are JD – MBA Programs Useful?

JD – MBA programs add a year of tuition and hard work on top of law school. This extra year also entails losing income for an additional year while you are in school full time.

Moreover, it is difficult to predict whether the additional classes you take will help you in your career. After all, most lawyers and entrepreneurs alike do most of their learning on the job.

Whether these programs are worth the cost depends on your personal interests and career goals. For example, if you want to work on mergers and acquisitions, act as an internal consultant for a major corporation or lead a business in a highly regulated business environment, the credentials and knowledge you gain from joint JD-MBA degrees can be very useful.

Certainly, having both degrees under your belt will help you stand out from the crowd in your job search. You will also expand your network with colleagues from the joint program as well as contacts from each school. These contacts will be useful for climbing the corporate ladder and bringing in clients.


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