Part 1: IntroductionPart 2: What is a JD-MBA?Part 3: List of the Best JD-MBA JobsPart 4: JD-MBA Jobs: EducationPart 5: Top JD-MBA ProgramsPart 6: FAQsPart 7: Conclusion
While researching different graduate schools and MBA programs, you might have come across a type of dual degree program called a JD-MBA. For those interested in studying both law and business, this might be a great option for you. Not only do you get two whole degrees from this joint program, but you can do it in half the time.
After completing the four-year program, you will have gained valuable skills and experiences in two different industries, providing endless career opportunities. But what is the career outlook for someone with a JD-MBA?
This article will cover the specifics of a JD-MBA , list the best JD-MBA jobs, including the career outlook and salary for each, and provide a few of the top JD-MBA programs you can apply to.
What is a JD-MBA?
The JD-MBA is a dual degree program offered at various law and business graduate colleges. The joint program generally lasts four years and results in a student receiving a Juris Doctor degree (JD) and a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA). Depending on the school, the JD usually takes three years to complete while the MBA takes two years; thus, taking them together as a dual degree program saves one year. There are also a few schools that offer an accelerated JD-MBA program which takes three years to complete.
Some benefits of receiving a JD-MBA are not only that it takes less time, but it also gives you a professional edge and a unique skill set across multiple disciplines. Being involved in two different industries means that you have more opportunities and a larger professional network. JD-MBA graduates also make good candidates for promotions and pay raises in either industry, making the possible career outlook an excellent one.
A JD-MBA comes with both benefits and challenges that you should be aware of before committing to the program. The joint program does take longer to receive than the JD or the MBA alone. While a JD-MBA saves a year of college separately, the additional year spent in the program can add up in extra tuition costs and less time spent in the job market. The coursework within a JD-MBA is also more rigorous given that you will be studying two different fields at once. If you are willing to face these challenges in order to reap the benefits, then the JD-MBA career path might be right for you.
List of the Best JD-MBA Jobs
With such a wide variety of jobs to pursue with your unique skill set, you may need some help figuring out where to start. While you might find a rare opportunity or niche position specifically geared towards someone with a JD-MBA, it is more likely that you will land a job in one industry or the other. You can apply your expertise from your other degree to help you rise above the expectations.
For some direction in your job search, here is a list of the best JD-MBA jobs along with their career outlook and salary, according to Indeed:
National Average Salary: Approximately $64,000 per year
An auditor monitors and investigates the financial records of a company to make sure it is working efficiently. They also make sure the business supplies the government with all the correct financial information. A JD-MBA degree allows you to understand both the financial aspects and the legal obligations of a company.
National Average Salary: Approximately $69,000 per year
A financial analyst analyzes investments such as stocks, bonds, and securities to determine their possible economic outcomes. They also work with executive management to recommend specific investments and offer advice in financial decisions. Receiving a JD-MBA allows you to learn about the financial assets and resources that various businesses use.
Business Development Manager
National Average Salary: Approximately $73,000 per year
A business development manager helps to increase sales and grow the company's influence through marketing strategies. They understand a company's products and business operations to connect them with new and current customers. A JD-MBA gives you experience in communicating with clients and customers in a marketing and business setting.
Business Intelligence Analyst
National Average Salary: Approximately $94,000 per year
A business intelligence analyst evaluates data to help companies find ways to improve their business processes. They use software tools to collect and organize data,providing companies with effective business growth strategies. A JD-MBA teaches you about financial and market software needed to analyze business outcomes.
National Average Salary: Approximately $95,000 per year
An attorney represents the legal interests of their clients in criminal and civil court cases. They specialize in preparing legal documentation and arguments to deliver in court on behalf of their client. A JD-MBA prepares attorneys with both the legal and business side, which will be useful if they decide to open their own firm.
National Average Salary: Approximately $96,000 per year
A controller provides insights and strategies for the financial development team of a company. They create plans to utilize company resources and investments through financial analysis. The JD-MBA gives you the skills needed to analyze the financial state of a company and advise them in financial matters.
Director of Finance
National Average Salary: Approximately $99,000 per year
A director of finance oversees the daily financial operations of a company. They are responsible for managing financial staff and reporting the company's financial activities. With a JD-MBA, you will be able to manage the financial matters of a company and oversee the staff you work with due to the management training you received in the program.
National Average Salary: Approximately $112,000 per year
A risk manager protects a company's interests by analyzing the risks and possible outcomes of operating a business. Not only do they analyze operational and financial risks, but they also evaluate legal matters that could affect a company. A JD-MBA teaches you how to analyze company finances and the laws involved in running a business.
National Average Salary: Approximately $113,000 per year
An actuary analyzes the financial cost of insurance risks. They determine policies and coverage for those insured and the risks involved. Actuariesalso help set prices for insurance and estimate costs of events covered by insurance. A JD-MBA enables you to understand the financial structure of insurance policies and know how best to support a client, and the legal rights involved with insurance.
Director of Compliance
National Average Salary: Approximately $124,000 per year
A director of compliance translates complex legal matters into effective business protocols. They interpret regulations for specific businesses and make sure that the company and its employees follow these standards. The JD-MBA familiarizes you with laws and legal requirements and teaches you how to communicate them to businesses.
National Average Salary: Approximately $125,000 per year
A general counsel acts as the head legal representative of an organization. They are attorneys who guide businesses by advising them on legal matters and representing them in judicial proceedings. General Counsels are involved in decisions not only for legal issues but also business plans, making a JD-MBA graduate have the perfect skill set to attend to the executive and legal areas of a company.
National Average Salary: Approximately $126,000 per year
An employment lawyer represents both employers and employees to ensure that fair workplace standards are practiced. They specialize in helping businesses or employees in workplace-related cases such as wages, benefits, and harassment concerns. JD-MBA gives you the knowledge of business standards and management practices to represent a client in legal matters properly.
Nation Average Salary: Approximately $140,000 per year
A corporate lawyer works to protect business rights and is involved in various legal processes for a corporate client, such as negotiations, documentation, and representation. They are also engaged in monetary transactions by large companies. A JD-MBA graduate can ensure contracts are clear and pose no liabilities to their clients by knowing the ins and outs of a business and its operations.
Corporate Strategy Manager
National Average Salary: Approximately $145,000 per year
A corporate strategy manager creates plans to improve business growth and optimize operations. They analyze data, identify market trends, and review competitors' business practices to advise their company. A JD-MBA prepares graduates for this job by understanding business practices and compliance standards that must be upheld.
Director of Strategy
National Average Salary: Approximately $148,000 per year
A director of strategy works in a leadership role to shape a company's operations, policies, and branding efforts. They utilize data to plan for the long-term direction of a company and form strategic predictions of a company's growth. They also seek business opportunities that create revenue and brand advancement with knowledge of the legal ramifications of the strategies that is easily gained through a JD-MBA.
JD-MBA Jobs: Education
Now that you know the career outlook for JD-MBA graduates, it's time to learn how to get the degrees. Most JD-MBA programs are usually a full-time, four-year or three-year program that consists of a blend of coursework from both areas of study. Your education experience differs from program to program, but the overall concept of gaining leadership skills, legal expertise, and management insight is the same.
JD-MBA programs typically require you to switch between business and law schools, focusing only on one program at a time for the first two years, and a mixture of both programs within the third and fourth years, including several blended courses exclusive to the dual degree.. Whether you begin with business or law school depends on your program; some choose for you while others let you decide your path.
Application requirements for JD-MBA programs also differ between colleges. Many schools will require you to apply to both programs separately, while others may only have you apply to one. Overall, most colleges ask that you receive a bachelor's degree before applying for a JD-MBA program. Exam scores are usually required with either the GMAT or GRE for the MBA program and the LSAT or GRE for the JD program. There are also standard requirements for any graduate program such as essays, letters of recommendation, application fees, etc.
Make sure to check your school's website for their requirements and specifications to see if you have everything covered before starting the application process.
Top JD-MBA Programs
Here are a few of the top JD-MBA programs in the United States, along with their admission requirements and an overview of how to apply to them should you be interested.
To apply for Stanford's JD-MBA program, you must apply to law and business schools separately. You can apply for the joint degree during any round of the application period and students who are already enrolled in either school can also apply..
In your application, you will need to include that you are interested in the dual degree program. From this point, the application process is pretty standard from there when it comes to applying. The only addition is that you will use Essay B of the MBA application, "Why Stanford?" to express and support your rationale for joining the dual degree program.
Stanford also encourages any prospective new students to join their online summer introductory programs. These allow you to connect with alumni, admissions staff, and current students, to ask questions about the JD-MBA program and the application process.
Similar to Stanford, Harvard requires JD-MBA candidates to apply for both programs separately. This also allows current students to apply for the joint degree during their first year of study at either the Law or Business School.
For each application, the Law School requires the submission of a GRE or LSAT score according to their application guidelines, while all Business School applicants are required to submit a GMAT or GRE score. Harvard also makes an important note that the Law and Business Schools have different application deadlines. The Law School deadline is February 1st and their Business School has a rolling admissions process.
The University of Pennsylvania is one of the few colleges that offer a three-year JD-MBA program. To apply, you only need to submit one application to the JD-MBA program through Wharton's application system. The process mainly follows the full-time MBA program's application guidelines, with elements of the Law School application.
In addition to applying to Wharton, applicants must register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Credential Assembly Service (CAS) but not submit their application through that system. Transcripts and letters of recommendation, however, must be submitted through both systems.
Applicants to the JD-MBA program must send their application in during Round 1 or Round 2 of the MBA program's application timeline. To be accepted, you must hear back from both the Law Business schools, according to the MBA program's decision release timeline.
The University of Chicago offers its JD-MBA program both as a three-year or four-year program. A joint application process streamlines the usual application process, so you do not need to apply to both schools. Applicants must apply in either Round One or Round Two.
Candidatesmust also create an account with LSAC, submit the JD/MBA Form through LSAC, and all undergraduate and graduate transcripts through CAS.
The University of Chicago also accepts applications from current undergraduate students in their final year of study through UChicago's JD-MBA Scholars Program. Upon acceptance, students defer admission for two to four years to gain substantive work experience before starting the program.
Columbia is another college that offers a three-year JD-MBA program. Applicants are required to apply for both the law and business schools separately and include that you are applying for the JD-MBA program in both applications.
The application must be submitted through the Business School and you must also submit a CAS report via a supplemental form through LSAC. Applicantswill also have to answer an additional essay question: "Why are you interested in the JD/MBA at Columbia University? What are your career goals after completing the program? (500 words)."
Regarding exam scores, JD-MBA applicants only need to submit a GMAT test score to apply, although GRE scores are also accepted. While LSAT scores are accepted, they must be submitted with a GMAT or GRE score and cannot be submitted alone to apply for the program.
1. Is a JD-MBA worth it?
While this depends on your career interests and goals,there are many benefits of pursuing a JD-MBA.. Not only do you receive two separate degrees, but it broadens your career options, builds a diverse professional network, and helps you gain transferable skills that you might not receive in only one program.
You should keep in mind that a dual degree is a bit of a commitment and requires more time and money than a singular degree. Still, the skills and experiences you will gain in a JD-MBA program are invaluable in the professional world and will only help you further your career path.
2. Is it better to get a JD or an MBA?
If you cannot pursue or complete the dual degree, and want only to get one or the other, the answer depends on what field you are most interested in. If you would like only to practice law, then you would need to get a JD. On the other hand, an MBA degree and program can give you a wide range of skills and flexibility that you can use in various roles and industries, making it a more adaptive choice in the long run.
All the schools mentioned in this article have excellent programs for both degrees if you decide only to pursue one of the programs. In addition, many universities allow students to apply for the JD-MBA program while enrolled in either a Law or Business degree. This option allows students to easily switch from a traditional program to a joint program.
3. How much does a JD-MBA cost?
This depends on the school and programs you choose to apply for, but the average cost of tuition comes out to about $50,000 per year, according to US News. Due to being a dual program resulting in two degrees, the cost of tuition is relatively more than either of the programs separately at any school.
Don't let the high tuition and impending debt scare you away. Thankfully, most JD-MBA careers offer high salaries, which will counterbalance the tuition cost and will pay off for you in the long run.
4. What test should I take to apply for a JD-MBA?
All program requirements and preferences differ, but their application information page will explicitly state which GMAT, GRE, or LSAT score is required to apply. The test you should take also depends on whether the JD-MBA program requires you to apply for both programs separately or submit a joint application.
Many programs only require the GMAT or GRE with a joint application with the LSAT as optional, while others require the GMAT or GRE for the business school application and LSAT and/or GRE for the law school. The application should always inform you upfront which tests you should take, so make sure to check.
5. Does it matter which program I focus on in my first year?
It doesn't matter in the long run, and the degrees themselves are not affected by which program you focus on in your first year. Sometimes the program will suggest which to take first, but it's ultimately your choice. .
However, some joint programs can blend the two schools, meaning that you will take courses from both schools during a semester. Overall, what you focus on first is for you or the program's curriculum to decide.
6. Are there any online JD/MBA programs?
None of the schools listed within this article offer online JD-MBA programs. Acclaimed online JD-MBA programs are less common, none of the top graduate schools provide them.
A JD-MBA is an excellent option for those interested in law and business,who also wish to gain a professional edge. Though the length of time and cost of tuition are high in this challenging program, it will pay off in the long run by giving you a bountiful supply of careers and job opportunities to choose from. With two degrees and a versatile set of skills, you will be an invaluable member of any company.
Whether you decide to pursue a managerial role, legal representative position, or anything in between, a JD-MBA will help you achieve your long term career goals. If you want to pursue a JD-MBA degree, check out some of the programs listed in this article and start planning your future career path into the law and business worlds.