A JD/MBA dual degree program prepares graduates for careers in which an understanding of both legal and business principles is essential. This program is good for students aspiring to business leadership roles with a legal expertise or a legal career in corporate law. However, because of the time and financial commitment of this program, pursuing this dual degree may not be for everyone.
General Degree Program Information
Many universities that have a law school and a business school offer a JD/MBA dual degree program. It typically takes three to four years to complete this degree, depending on whether you are a full- or part-time student, or are in an accelerated program. For comparison, individual JD programs commonly take three years to complete, and MBA programs usually take two years for completion.
Generally, JD/MBA students will begin their first year in law school and their second year in business school, though students may begin their first year of the program in business school. Here are some courses that you may encounter:
This course offers an introduction into the foundations of contract law, focusing on what creates a contract, how to enforce promises, and remedies for breach of contract. This class will offer an overview of different kinds of agreements, such as contracts for the sale of goods, the sale of land, employment contracts, and family or service agreements.
Legal Research and Writing
Legal research and writing will train students how to use legal search tools and develop legal analytical skills that can be applied to other courses. Students will learn how to use resources such as Westlaw and LexisNexis and how to take research and turn it into legal briefs and memos.
In civil procedure, students will learn the basics of the civil litigation process, focusing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Students will also find out about procedural requirements, phases of a lawsuit, and what happens between the filing of a complaint and the trial.
Corporate finance will teach students the fundamentals of modern financial theory, corporate financial policy, and business finance. Students will learn the frameworks and concepts to analyze financial decisions and approach corporate financial management.
This course will teach students concepts and techniques to improve operational capabilities of businesses. Students will learn about managerial processes for effective operations in organizations and the common principles and practices in operations management.
Program Admittance Requirements
Several schools offer an integrated application for JD/MBA programs, while some require prospective students apply to and be separately admitted to both the law school and the business school. Even so, students may not need to apply to both schools at the same time. For example, they may be law students and apply to the business school during their first year of law school, and vice versa.
If applying separately to the law school and the business school, students would need to meet the admittance requirements for each school. This may include taking two different standardized exams, like the LSAT and the GMAT. However, there is a trend for dual degree programs to accept mainly the GRE for both the law school and the business school. Colleges tend to accept a bachelor's degree in any field.
The GPA and test score requirements will depend on the school, though there may be a greater emphasis on work experience, recommendation letters, and essays for dual degree programs. Schools might want to know why both degrees are integral for the student's career goals.
A JD/MBA dual degree program may not be right for everyone. However, for prospective students with a clear career goal in mind, a JD/MBA offers a solid foundation in business management principles and legal analytic approaches to help graduates excel in their careers.