What's the benefit of a JD if you don't want to be a lawyer

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  • Jul 5th, 2012 4:43 pm
Deal Addict
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Jan 7, 2005
1753 posts

What's the benefit of a JD if you don't want to be a lawyer

thinking of getting an MBA + JD. Or just MBA.

what is the benefit of having a JD if I don't really want to be a lawyer?

apparently a lot of the company CEOs or top execs all have JD in their portfolio...
3 replies
Jan 27, 2010
440 posts
If you're very high-level management, I guess it makes sense to have a good understanding of the ins and outs of the legal system, as your company will invariably have to deal with some sort of regulatory issues from time to time. It's just another element of making informed decisions.
Mar 11, 2012
327 posts
Yes, many top executives have a JD but this does not mean that one is necessary to attain such positions. There are other top executives with only a MBA, as you probably know. I think you should start with just a MBA and if you feel that you need the JD, you can apply later in your MBA program into to the JD/MBA joint program. Obviously, you can always go back to school after working for a while, but this would be very costly, considering that you would have higher opportunity costs at this point. I suggest you to meet with some people in the industry and ask how the JD is perceived and valued. I believe getting information straight from relevant sources is the best way to resolve this dilemma. Like you, I also thought about taking the joint JD/MBA program for slightly different reasons -- I wanted the MBA to help me get a corporate/M&A biglaw job. However, talking with lawyers from that field made me realize that the MBA, though helpful, would not really wow the recruiters at these biglaw firms because 1) it wasn't necessary and 2) I could learn everything I needed eventually. Oh, and my business undergrad also pretty much negated any benefit that could be had from a MBA.

On a related note, I can't imagine going through law school for three years if you have no plans to be a lawyer or work in the legal field in some way. I say this because law school has been very stressful and daunting at times, especially compared to my Business undergrad, and I have been dreaming of becoming a lawyer since I was in high school. However, it is exactly that goal that pushes me to read case law after case law into the early mornings...
Deal Addict
Sep 30, 2008
1277 posts
Have a JD or LLB shows that u have the legal kwowledge, at least the academic legal knowledge. But, an employer may treasure u more if your major is in commerciall law, and have a few yrs of practical knowledge in commerical law with a law firm.