J.D. vs. MBA Discuss...

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by hrb, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Personally, as someone who has been exposed to both law and business, I had no idea how someone would pick the former over the latter.
     
  2. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Interested to hear which you guys, out there with a number of years (and wisdom) under your belt, feel is a better investment. Cheers,

    HRB


    Answer this question = what do you want to do at work.
     
  3. hrb

    hrb Senior member

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    Ok, I'll give a serious response then - this is a stupid question and there is no logical way to respond to it other than: Well, which path appeals more to the thread starter?

    The intent of the thread was to canvass opinions of people who have had experience with/in each respective field. Then, based on that experience, logically respond to my question of 'which is a better investment.' Some of those experiential opinions could be formed upon

    occupational dexterity
    financial return on investment
    interest garnered across multiple disciplines
    occupational contentment
    hours/lifestyle

    Gaining insight into the what lies ahead on the proverbial paths, from those who have already walked them, is often worthwhile and useful, even for big time gamblers. That said, je vous remercie de votre temps.


    Personally, as someone who has been exposed to both law and business, I had no idea how someone would pick the former over the latter.

    Sorry, to clarify, you still feel that way (law<bus) or have since been enlightened?

    financially speaking, would probably be better off...

    ...

    Would you prefer to manage a business or be a lawyer?

    This is what I am in the process of figuring out..


    Thank you all for your time and thoughts thus far, they are much appreciated
     
  4. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    The intent of the thread was to canvass opinions of people who have had experience with/in each respective field. Then, based on that experience, logically respond to my question of 'which is a better investment.' Some of those experiential opinions could be formed upon

    occupational dexterity
    financial return on investment
    interest garnered across multiple disciplines
    occupational contentment
    hours/lifestyle

    Gaining insight into the what lies ahead on the proverbial paths, from those who have already walked them, is often worthwhile and useful, even for big time gamblers. That said, je vous remercie de votre temps.




    Sorry, to clarify, you still feel that way (law<bus) or have since been enlightened?



    ...



    This is what I am in the process of figuring out..


    Thank you all for your time and thoughts thus far, they are much appreciated


    I meant I "have" no idea how someone could pick law over business. Business is fascinating, jobs are portable, and there are many dynamic industries to choose from. Law, for the most part, is goddamned boring unless you're closing multibillion dollar deals or arguing in front of the Supreme Court, neither of which you will likely be doing.
     
  5. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    I meant I "have" no idea how someone could pick law over business. Business is fascinating, jobs are portable, and there are many dynamic industries to choose from. Law, for the most part, is goddamned boring unless you're closing multibillion dollar deals or arguing in front of the Supreme Court, neither of which you will likely be doing.

    i'm baked but it appears to me that you're making an irrational generalization about a field you apparently know nothing about and have no interest in. not cool, broskis.

    also OP neither, dude. no work exp/mba is dumb and getting a jd/not born to be a lawyer is also dumb.
     
  6. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    i'm baked but it appears to me that you're making an irrational generalization about a field you apparently know nothing about and have no interest in. not cool, broskis.

    also OP neither, dude. no work exp/mba is dumb and getting a jd/not born to be a lawyer is also dumb.


    I'm always annoyed when someone says something like "Have you ever worked as a lawyer? No? Then you know nothing about it!"

    If you enjoy sitting in an office and arguing with clients over $500 whiplash cases or poring over boxes of documents in Paul Weiss' basement, you might enjoy being a lawyer because that's what most lawyers do nowadays. A tiny number of lawyers do what most non-lawyers think they do, i.e. close huge deals,major litigation, defend the innocent, etc. The vast majority push paper all day and create little value to the economy.
     
  7. enjoiii

    enjoiii Senior member

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    i'm baked but it appears to me that you're making an irrational generalization about a field you apparently know nothing about and have no interest in. not cool, broskis.

    also OP neither, dude. no work exp/mba is dumb and getting a jd/not born to be a lawyer is also dumb.


    "born to be a lawyer"? Serious? You have got to quit talking retarded like this. If anyone was not born to be a lawyer it is you. I am consistently amazed at how stupid you come off in almost every thread you post in.

    For the OP, do you have any work experience? Getting the necessary experience to get into a good MBA program is going to be pretty tough with a History degree out of undergrad.
     
  8. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

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    Why do you want an MBA or JD? Do you know anything about either program other than that one leads down the lawyer path, and the other leads down the businessman path? If you think they're both just ways to get paid, think again. If you haven't figured it out by now, neither guarantees employment (hell, I know a guy who has both and is still unemployed), but both will guarantee $150k in student loans. Whichever you decide, make damn sure it's something you're going to like doing, regardless of employment prospective/salary/etc. I think the main problem with whining law students/law grads is that the only reason why they went down that road was because they EXPECTED to be paid, and had little regard for what it actually meant to practice law. Similarly, with little to no relevant work experience (i.e. in a position where you are currently in a managerial role/about to be promoted to managerial role), I don't think an MBA in and of itself will have much value. In other words, if you went straight from undergrad to an MBA program, upon graduation, I don't think employers would consider you any more valuable than someone with just their undergrad degree.
     
  9. bananananana

    bananananana In Time Out

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    Would you prefer to manage a business or be a lawyer?

    occupational dexterity
    financial return on investment
    interest garnered across multiple disciplines
    occupational contentment
    hours/lifestyle


    All these things are just dwarfed by what thin man said. If you go into say finance or consulting with an MBA but would rather be a lwayer, you can have all the occupational dexterity you want but never find what you're looking for, and you're not going to maximize your roi, be content with your job, or enjoy the hours you're at work. What you said is not atypical of someone who's just out of college, give or take a few years, but that's why most people work a couple years before going back to grad school.
     
  10. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    actually i think he was mostly just making up words there
     
  11. caxt

    caxt Well-Known Member

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    I too debated the merits of A JD vs. an MBA, and while I have largely decided on Law, I'm interested on what advice is being offered here.

    The man obviously wants to be a successful professional. So to those saying neither: what would you have in mind as a non-experienced, fresh off the campus history major?
     
  12. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    I too debated the merits of A JD vs. an MBA, and while I have largely decided on Law, I’m interested on what advice is being offered here. The man obviously wants to be a successful professional. So to those saying neither: what would you have in mind as a non-experienced, fresh off the campus history major?
    First off, any MBA program that accepts a student straight out of UG is not setting that individual up on the path to becoming a "successful professional". They are taking his/her money. Any MBA program worth its salt requires a minimum of 3 years of WE, and usually more. It's a degree for professionals already in the workforce. As for the JD, my best advice is not to go. The law market is incredibly saturated and the cost of attending is so high that many grads are shackled with 150K of student loans and the only job they can get is doing doc review for 12 bucks an hour. Even the bottom half at schools like Georgetown and Cornell are having a tough time finding anything that allows them to pay back their loans. Here's an idea for the OP: How about he finds an entry level position in an industry that interests him, work his way up for 4-5 years, THEN apply for that MBA? By that time he'll have experience, have some money in the bank, and actually have a better idea of what he wants to do with his life. He'll also likely be a successful young professional, as opposed to a debt ridden one with either a useless MBA or JD in his back pocket.
     
  13. level32

    level32 Senior member

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    To me it really sounds like OP just wants to know which one will land him a better future.

    While it may be true in the past, neither of these degrees today will offer you an automatic entry to the upper middle spot in society you seek. You have to work hard to get into a good program and excel from there. There are paths to success for both fields and you definitely need to work hard at either one to succeed.

    The trick is to just pursue the one that interests you more so dedication and long hours come more naturally.
     
  14. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    I'm always annoyed when someone says something like "Have you ever worked as a lawyer? No? Then you know nothing about it!" If you enjoy sitting in an office and arguing with clients over $500 whiplash cases or poring over boxes of documents in Paul Weiss' basement, you might enjoy being a lawyer because that's what most lawyers do nowadays. A tiny number of lawyers do what most non-lawyers think they do, i.e. close huge deals,major litigation, defend the innocent, etc. The vast majority push paper all day and create little value to the economy.
    i didn't say that. i just said you're making stupid generalizations, which you were -- and still are.
    "born to be a lawyer"? Serious? You have got to quit talking retarded like this. If anyone was not born to be a lawyer it is you. I am consistently amazed at how stupid you come off in almost every thread you post in. For the OP, do you have any work experience? Getting the necessary experience to get into a good MBA program is going to be pretty tough with a History degree out of undergrad.
    you seem dumb for a couple of reasons, including how literally you took that phrase and your irrational judgment of someone you know nothing about. by "born to be a lawyer" i meant someone who has a genuine interest in practicing law and isn't simply going to law school because their undergraduate degree is useless. i could see how the statement looks ridiculous if you think like a jackass, though. just like someone who wants to become a doctor because they have the innate desire to heal people was probably born to be a doctor, etc. it's not a dumb statement. it means that i'd only recommend law school this day and age if you really feel like you'll enjoy practicing law and you're basing that judgment on speaking with lawyers and conducting heavy research etc. the comment about "talking retarded" and how i'm "not born to be a lawyer" etc. is all nonsense that removes all doubt as to whether or not you should be taken seriously. it's merely rhetoric that masks an argument that isn't even there -- you never addressed my original post. you're a douchebag.
     
  15. kxk

    kxk Well-Known Member

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    Even the bottom half at schools like Georgetown and Cornell are having a tough time finding anything that allows them to pay back their loans.

    Oh you mean Michigan and Northwestern?

    As far as individual data points (not representative samples) go, there are some competent kids at Columbia and Harvard struggling hard, as well.

    As for the OP's question, I will respond to it as a straight up question on investment/return. However, I would absolutely agree that this is not the right factor by which to decide between the two paths.

    At least for the money, though, MBA is the winner, hands down.

    Law school is an extra year of tuition and one less year of salary you could be making.

    The "best case" scenario out of law school has you making 160k+~30k bonus. Out of a comparable business school, that seems comparable to the "pretty good but not best" case scenario of ending up at a bank, if we accept the argument that folks who go into industry/consulting do so as personal choice, not because they couldn't. Best case scenario out of a b-school kicks law's butt like no other.

    If you miss out on the 160k firm jobs out of law school, you're pretty much out of luck. Many regional firms will pay 145, 120, etc--"market" for that region, which often has lower cost of living. At the same time, these regional markets are much smaller and dominated by top students from local law schools. A large law firm's satellite office in Cincinatti will rather hire top 5% of OSU grads than below median at Michigan, despite the fact that Michigan is still in the "midwest".

    Take a look at: http://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib
    (don't be fooled by the high-looking peak at 160, btw)

    Oh, and by the way, even those 60/70k jobs are really hard to get, especially if you're from a good school. Employees just don't trust that you'll stick around, and have always preferred the hard working local kid than a slacker from a big-name school.

    OTOH, out of business school? I don't know about the prospects in as much detail, but from what I can gather out of employment reports from schools, which are much more detailed and specific than what law schools put out, it seems that salary distribution is a lot more linear--even if you don't end up with an amazing job, you'll be pretty ok.

    What about down the line? Later in career? Not much I know here, maybe the more experienced posters can help out. As far as I can tell, though, making partner in a large law firm is pretty hard, and if you're pushed out, there's not much else you can do. a "business" career seems to have lot more options.
     

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