Of those ambitious born into this world, some went to law school for a JD degree, some went to business school for MBA degree; then there is a rare breed that wants to do both – the JD/MBA’s.
To put things in perspective: a typical JD is a 3-year degree and a typical MBA is a 2-year degree, a JD/MBA is only 4 years; that is 1 year saved if you pursue the two degrees separately. Northwestern, my law school, further reduced the JD/MBA program to 3 years! The opportunity cost of that one extra year can be huge when your expected-postgraduate salary is ~$200k.
I entered law school as a regular JD student like most others at law school. I always thought that Northwestern’s JD/MBA is a bargain because you can get a MBA degree having to spend any extra time (though there is an extra $80k tuition for the JD/MBA). However my friend who originally only wanted to get a MBA degree sees JD/MBA as an extra year for a JD degree. I found his perspective interesting and thus decided to dedicate this comic piece to it.
One common question that law school students ask each other as icebreaker during the first weeks is “why did you come to law school?” While I can’t speak for other people, personally, I came to law school go be a JAG Officer – that is a lawyer in the military. Now, although I never deviated from my original goal, it would be a lie to say that the thought of earning $160k/year in a big-law firm have never crossed my mind; after all, most of law school students I know are taking out at least some debt.
Many first year law students initially wished to practice public interest law, however after a few month many would say, “I think I have to work in biglaw for a few years first because I have to pay off my debt…” While economic pressure might have distracted some passionate idealists, I hope that these idealist never lose their target.
At the end of the day, regardless of public perspection, I believe that lawyer is a revered profession. Knowledge is power, and greater power comes with great responsibility.