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What is a Dual J.D./M.B.A. DegreeWhat is a Dual J.D./M.B.A. Degree

Understanding the law is to understand how corporations, investors, shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other key stakeholders interact with one another. Holders of the dual J.D./M.B.A. credential have a distinct advantage in the corporate world mostly because they’ve combined the practicalities of a business education with the extensive knowledge of the law. This is a powerful combination that brings value to an organization. Graduates of both law school and B-School will be heavily recruited by companies all over the world and stand to make six figures upon graduation from elite institutions. This is a powerful degree combination for those interested in C-level executive positions in Fortune 500 companies and at top-rated law firms. Partnership, at either a Fortune 500 CPA firm or an elite law firm, is certainly within reach for those carrying a dual J.D./M.B.A. degree.

As disruptive technology and rapid globalization add to the complexity of doing business, lawyers and business leaders alike must meet the challenges of an ever-changing, fast-paced industry. A joint J.D./M.B.A. Program is designed for highly motivated students who seek a comprehensive education in both law and business, and who wish to complete their law/business studies and enter the job market a year earlier than traditional joint-degree programs. This accelerated course of study provides the opportunity to earn degrees from both an institution’s law school and its business school. If you are a J.D. candidate seeking an M.B.A. from your law school, this will add an additional year of study upon completion of your J.D. If you are an M.B.A. students seeking to complete your institution’s J.D. program, this will add an additional two years of study upon completion of your M.B.A.

Graduates from ABA-approved law schools will be able to sit for the bar exam in their state upon graduation. Graduates from an AACSB-accredited business school and hold the dual J.D./M.B.A. will be able to sit for the CPA exam if in fact all subject matter requirements are met in the accounting field. Passing both the Bar exam and the CPA exam positions students as elite industry professionals and will be highly sought after in both the business and legal communities.

Students benefit from powerful alumni networks in both law and business, which provide worldwide access to some of the top law firms and Fortune 500 companies in the industry.

Graduates of J.D./M.B.A. programs have pursued careers in law firms, entrepreneurship, in-house counsel for corporations, public accounting firms, nonprofit agencies and government institutions. J.D./M.B.A. graduates can concentration in contract law, real estate law, will and estates, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, investment banking, etc. In other words, the sky is the limit for a graduate holding both a J.D./M.B.A. dual degree from an accredited ABA-approved law school and an AACSB-accredited business school. In most circumstances, an institution that offers the dual J.D./M.B.A. credentials is accredited by both the ABA and the AACSB.

What is the Career Outlook among J.D./M.B.A. ProfessionalsWhat is the Career Outlook among J.D./M.B.A. Professionals

In the ever-changing ultra-competitive business world, elite law firms and fortune 500 businesses covet students with both a J.D. and M.B.A. degree. Individuals interested in business law learn the many rules that regulate corporate America (e.g., mergers and acquisitions, contracts). In today’s high-tech world, an M.B.A. degree helps students understand the intricacies of business and enhances the practice of law; a J.D. helps students understand the laws governing business, putting intellectual clout behind decisions and ventures. Both business and law have many intersecting principles that help contribute to furthering a graduate student’s industry knowledge. Using both the case study methodology in B-Schools and the Socratic method in law school, the prospective dual-degree student is equipped with the analytical skills to break down the most complex business contracts while searching the latest statues that govern business law.

According to BLS, employment of lawyers is projected to grow 9% through 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for legal work is expected to continue as individuals, businesses, and government agencies require legal services in many areas. Simply stated, there will be ample opportunity for graduates completing a J.D./M.B.A. program.

Average Salaries Among Business LawyersAverage Salaries Among Business Lawyers

The median annual wage for lawyers is $118,160. The lowest 10% earned less than $56,910 and the highest 10% earned more than $208,000.

Corporate lawyers average $96,000 per year with total cash compensation varying between $62,000 and $193,000.

An entry-level corporate attorney with less than five years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $90,000 compared to $111,000 for a corporate lawyer with mid-career experience (5 to 10 years). An experienced corporate attorney (10 to 20 years of experience) can expect to earn a salary of $157,000 compared to $194,000 for a corporate lawyer with greater than 20 years of experience.

Career Options for J.D./M.B.A. GraduatesCareer Options for J.D./M.B.A. Graduates

One of the major benefits of having a dual J.D./M.B.A. is that graduates can seamlessly switch careers compared to those without both credentials. There are many career options for dual MBA/JD graduates. Whether it ’s mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, entertainment and sports, insurance and securities, or investment banking, public accounting, finance, and consulting, all industry sectors need employees that have a firm understanding of both corporate compliance and regulatory frameworks.

In addition to working in different industries, lawyers may specialize in particular legal fields. The following are examples of legal specializations:

  • Criminal lawyers fall into two major categories. Prosecutors (District Attorneys) typically work for the government and file lawsuits against individuals or corporations accused of breaking the law. Public defense attorneys (Public Defenders) defend individuals who can’t afford representation in a court of law. They defend their client in civil and criminal cases.
  • Government counselors represent administrative bodies and/or various branches of government. Their job is to write and interpret laws with the goal of setting up compliance and regulatory procedures. Simply put, these lawyers argue civil and criminal cases on behalf of the government.
  • Corporate counselors, aka in-house counsels, are lawyers who work on behalf of corporations. They advise C-level executives about legal issues related to day-to-day business operations. These issues may involve patents, government regulations, employment agreements, contracts with other companies, property interests, taxes, intellectual property, investor contracts, or collective-bargaining agreements with unions.
  • Public-interest lawyers provide legal services to protected classes of people that might otherwise not be able to afford legal representation. They generally handle civil cases, such as those having to do with leases, job discrimination, and wage disputes, rather than criminal cases. Human rights attorneys (civil law) and immigration lawyers fall into the category of public-interest lawyers. They usually represent underserved populations unable to equitably represent themselves in a court of law.
  • Environmental lawyers deal with issues and regulations that are related to the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency and the legalize around the organization will generate most of the precedent for environmental lawyers. They may work for advocacy groups, waste disposal companies, or government agencies (EPA) to help ensure compliance with relevant laws. Most of the time, environmental lawyers are working to safeguard our planet from improper disposal of hazardous waste material, protecting our natural resources from industry, or simply drafting new compliance/regulations on the proper disposal of corporate byproducts.
  • Real Estate lawyers can fall into the category of corporate counsel and are experts in all-things-property law. Whether it’s the purchase and/or sale of a home or representation in a land dispute, real estate lawyers have extensive knowledge of local, state, and federal housing regulations. From eminent domain to easements to HUD violations, there’s a real estate expert who understands property law will have plenty of opportunity in the business world.
  • Tax lawyers handle a variety of federal and state tax issues for individuals and corporations. From internal audits to individual tax write offs, tax lawyers help navigate complex tax regulations so that clients pay the appropriate tax on items such as income, profits, and property. Tax lawyers are extremely knowledgeable on rules and regulations around IRS tax code and can help organizations protect their bottom line while paying the appropriate year-end taxes.
  • Intellectual property lawyers deal with the laws related to proprietary inventions, company patents, industry trademarks, and creative works. This may include books, movies, inventions, and information disseminated over the internet. An intellectual property lawyer may advise a client about the rules surrounding a new modern furniture design patent prior to listing the item for sale over the internet. Intellectual property attorneys, if they pass the patent exam, are able to file the necessary patent paperwork in order to safeguard company research and development.
  • Family lawyers legally represent family members in the matter of divorce, child custody and adoption. They usually represent one part of the family and help facilitate an expedient resolution to a family matter.
  • Securities lawyers represent and advise corporations on legal issues arising from the buying and selling of company equity. Whether it’s Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure documents or the proper filing of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), securities lawyers are responsible for organizational compliance, the issuance of company stock, and highlighting the legal ramifications if certain rules and regulations aren’t followed with the SEC.

Which Qualities Make for a Successful J.D./M.B.A. GraduateWhich Qualities Make for a Successful J.D./M.B.A. Graduate

Analytical Skills. Lawyers are natural problem solvers and need to strike the balance between representing their clients best interests and following the letter of the law. Whether it’s large volumes of legal precedent or the ability to navigate difficult legal terminology, a lawyer must be able to analyze a slew of information pertinent to his/her case.

Sector Description
Interpersonal Skills Building a trusting, yet the fiduciary relationship with clients is a difficult balancing act. Lawyers must have the best interests of a client in mind and at the same time, stay within the confines of the law. That means building a relationship with clients that may not align with one’s own moral code. Being able to have an open, yet confidential relationship will be paramount to representing a client effectively.
Problem-solving Skills An effective lawyer is one that advocates on behalf of his client. That includes making sure all legal matters are handled with due diligence, clients are given adequate legal representation, and matters are handled with due process of the law. In other words, lawyers have to be master problem-solvers – capable of handling not just the facts of the case but how to navigate the law to best benefit their client.
Research Skills In order to provide sound legal advice, lawyers must research all of the case law, legal precedent, and court opinions surrounding their particular specialization. This usually means hours of research into similar cases, dissenting opinions, and legalize around a particular subject matter. This is no easy task and usually takes countless hours of reading, notetaking, and briefing in order to ensure the best possible representation for their client.
Communications Skills Whether it’s drafting a lawsuit on behalf of a client or speaking in front of an appellate judge, lawyers have to consistently break down complex legalize into well-organized thoughts in order to properly represent their clients.

Why is Business Law ImportantWhy is Business Law Important

Managers and C-Level Executives must be knowledgeable on legal issues in business. While many think this area is reserved for lawyers, a well-rounded leader knows enough about the law to prevent potential legal issues. Avoiding legal problems during the course of business is usually the preferred (and least expensive) course of action. Business owners that are proactive with the legalize of their decision-making are usually far better off than those who are reactive. To run a successful business, leaders must know the legal requirements in their country, region, state and city. If it’s a multinational company, the complexity of law grows exponentially. This is why someone with a dual J.D./M.B.A. becomes invaluable to an organization.

Whether you are an executive of a multimillion-dollar international company or the co-founder of an e-commerce startup, it is important to understand basic legal issues of the business. In addition to navigating the initial corporate liability protection required to start a business, understanding the legalize around your company builds credibility amongst stakeholders. Investors and customers want the reassurance of dealing with a legitimate organization. Leaders who understand how to protect themselves against lawsuits and know the business rules in their respective field will have a distinct advantage over the competition. Hiring a J.D./M.B.A. graduate will ensure that all business matters are handled with due diligence.

How Much Time Will a Dual J.D./M.B.A. Program TakeHow Much Time Will a Dual J.D./M.B.A. Program Take

Temple University Beasley School of Law and the Fox School of Business and Management, for example, cooperatively offer a 4-year dual degree program leading to both the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees upon graduation. Candidates receive two separate degrees upon graduation: a J.D. from the Temple Law School and an M.B.A. from the Fox School of Business and Management. The graduation requirements from each school must be met separately. A J.D./M.B.A. student must complete all requirements for both degrees before either degree can be awarded.

What Licenses Are RequiredWhat Licenses Are Required

Law students, in order to practice law, must sit for the bar exam upon graduation if they want to practice. All ABA-approved law schools allow graduates to sit for the state bar exam in any of the 50 states in the U.S. To practice law in any state, a person must be admitted to the state’s bar under rules established by the jurisdiction’s highest court. The requirements vary by state and jurisdiction. For more details on individual state and jurisdiction requirements, visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

After passing the state bar exam, applicants undergo a character background check prior to being allowed to practice law in their respective state. Prior felony convictions, delinquent child support payments, academic disciplinary actions, are just some factors that may prevent an applicant from being admitted to the bar. Attorney’s who want to practice in more than one state have to sit for each state’s bar exam unless there is a reciprocity agreement between states.

For those who attended a non-ABA-accredited law school (most are in California), graduates must sit for the bar exam in the state where the school is located. Most of the time, there is a reciprocity agreement that states: once a law graduate passes the bar (in one state) and has a certain number of years as a practicing attorney in that state, he/she can sit for the bar in another state.

What Are Typical Classes for a Dual MBA/JD DegreeWhat Are Typical Classes for a Dual MBA/JD Degree

Here are some of the courses that will serve both the J.D. and the M.B.A. curriculums:

  • Corporate Law & Securities Regulation – This hybrid J.D. /M.B.A. course introduces graduate students to the process of forming a business entity and its dissolution. The course also analyzes the rights and responsibilities of stakeholders; the role the SEC plays in regulating investment activities; and the fiduciary responsibilities of parties in a contractual obligation. This course also explores the legalese around mergers and acquisitions.
  • Social Entrepreneurship and the Law – This course examines the growing complexities of corporate social responsibility. The law plays a critical role in advancing social change. Companies interested in integrating a social strategy into their overall mission should consult an attorney to navigate the corporate waters to ensure regulatory compliance. The process of securing financing as a socially-driven company will be explored as well as impact investing, and social impact funding.
  • Corporate Taxation – This MBA course examines the financial implications of forming and liquidating different types of business entities. What does this mean for a public company and its respective shareholders? Non-traditional business entities, like partnerships and subchapter S corps will be analyze from a tax perspective. Venture capital financing, private equity, and social impact investing are introduced as a way to showcase the corporate tax implications of starting certain business entities.
  • Taxation of Property Transactions – This course serves as a hybrid between taxation and real estate law. By examining the federal income tax implications of property purchased, sold, and exchange, students will be able to understand the capital gain/loss with regard to one’s portfolio. This course introduces tax of deferred payment sales and how it impacts the accounting cycle.
  • Global Commerce and Litigation – This is an upper-level survey course exploring the rules governing multinational corporations. Whether it’s international sales, import and export transactions, overseas investments, or international e-commerce sales, there is plenty of opportunity for litigation. This course requires contract law as a prerequisite for entry and focuses on the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Sales of Goods as the main governing body to render court decisions.
  • Antitrust Law – This J.D. /M.B.A. course explores all aspects of antitrust law, with an introduction to the Sherman Antitrust Act – the foundation of all antitrust litigation. Case law, legal precedent, and the Socratic Method are used as classroom instruction to examine unilateral and collaborative business transactions.
  • Commercial and Advanced Contract Law – The course focuses on the legalese around business transactions. This course goes beyond the formation of a binding contract (offer, acceptance, and consideration) and introduces the economics of contract law and how this differs from one industry to the next. From sports law contracts to intellectual property contract, students will have the opportunity to choose an industry of interest and explore the intricacies of contract formation.

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA Law ProgramsGMAT Scores for MBA Law Programs

The average on-campus GMAT score for accepted dual J.D./MBA in students is 613 compared to the average online GMAT score of 600. With a limited number of online dual J.D./M.B.A. programs available, these numbers may be a bit skewed. This also doesn’t reference the incoming classes average LSAT score – which is a critical piece to being accepted to an accredited dual J.D./M.B.A. program. It’s important to note that not all schools require a GMAT score for acceptance, but most of the AACSB-accredited B-Schools want to measure an applicants analytical skills prior to rendering an admissions decision. This is also true for LSAT scores and ABA-approved law schools. There are other factors outside of a GMAT score that go into B-School admission decisions: undergraduate GPA, professional experience, references, and a personal statement; however, a solid GMAT score increases a B-Student’s chances at gaining admission to the most competitive programs.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Law ProgramsStudent / Faculty Ratio for MBA Law Programs

Student/Faculty ratio can be a difference maker for the 1L (1st year law student) interested in networking with industry professionals. The first year of both law school and B-School are highly demanding. Whether it’s the case study method of teaching business courses or the socratic method for 1st year law classes, grasping highly difficult legal concepts may be more challenging for students with high student/faculty ratios. For aspiring MBA students who seek a more intimate learning environment, a smaller student/faculty ratio is critical to their success in the first year of a dual J.D./M.B.A. program. For those who don’t mind the lecture hall environment, a larger student/faculty ratio may work just fine.The best on-campus MBA Student/Faculty ratio is 0.27 compared to the worst ratio at 13.98. Since online MBA programs rely heavily on faculty participation, student blackboard collaboration and eLearning interaction, it may be more beneficial to have a smaller cohort for online MBA courses. The Best online MBA Student/Faculty ratio is 0.27 compared to the worst online MBA Student/Faculty ratio of 10.56. Keep in mind that law classes, especially at ABA-approved institutions, will rarely offer 1L courses online to students. Teaching and learning the Socratic method of instruction is considered paramount to the success of future lawyers. This is difficult to replicate in an online learning environment.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA Law ProgramsStudent Population for MBA Law Programs

From on-campus recruiting events to coveted law clerkships, student population plays an important role in your Business/Law School experience. The average full-time online MBA enrollment is 344 compared to the average full-time traditional MBA enrollment of 619. This is a testament of the difficult of pursuing both your J.D. and M.B.A. within a four-year window. A J.D./M.B.A. program with a large enrollment size may have more opportunities with job placement but it will also have greater competition from fellow law students. Even though there are very few ABA-approved law schools that allow students to complete online coursework, students who take business courses online interact with fellow students via Blackboard/eLearning platform. This allows for seamless collaboration with future industry professionals. Collaboration online may be a bit more difficult if there is a larger discussion board compared to an online cohort. Due to the socratic method, the traditional law school experience may be compromised online. This is certainly something to consider if your law school decides to offer some of its coursework online.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Student Population from the United StatesStudent Population from the United States

A dual J.D./M.B.A. program should have a nice balance between international students and U.S. students. In the ever-changing global economy, the strength of a company usually depends on its diversity, especially if it’s a multinational organization. The same rationale should apply to a dual J.D./M.B.A. program. The dual program with the smallest percentage of students from the U.S. is 34.68% compared to a program with 100.00% of the student population from the U.S. The average percentage of students from the U.S. is 85.20% for online dual J.D./M.B.A. programs. Since lawyers work for large law firms, banks, and consulting firms, dual law/business programs can benefit from admitting students from all over the world. Having access to alumni from other countries can become a valuable asset for networking. This is especially true for the dual J.D./M.B.A. program.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA Law ProgramsFaculty Information for MBA Law Programs

Professors are not just faculty mentors but experienced managers/C-level executives. Academics are not just invaluable resources for networking outside the classroom but are excellent reference points for the latest industry trends. This is especially important for those students wanting to stay on the cutting-edge of legal reform. For most, law professors are their first exposure to the legal field. Needless to say, they are a valuable resource because most are still practicing attorneys are are influencers in their respective industry. The quality of a dual J.D./M.B.A. program is directly related to the credentials of its faculty. The average number of on-campus full-time MBA faculty is 89 compared to an average of 113 professors in part-time programs. An accredited J.D./M.B.A. program hiring a significant number of professors with doctorate degrees signifies a strong program. The average full-time dual J.D./M.B.A. program has 85 number of doctorates compared to the average full-time online MBA of 85 doctorates.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA Law ProgramsList of Campus and Online MBA Law Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA Law programs offered: 15
  • The number of online MBA Law programs offered: 4

There are 15 on-campus MBA programs in Risk Management compared to 4 online MBA programs. With a limited supply of dual J.D./MBA programs, B-Students will experience heavy competition from the applicant pool. If networking with industry professionals is a primary motivation for attending an dual law/business program, MBA Guide highly recommends researching faculty bios, analyzing employment rates, and researching law companies that hire graduates at your institution.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.