The JD-MBA Revolution

There is a new movement taking place in the world of business education, which seeks to combine some of the world’s most challenging business problems with other problems in the world. One way it’s doing that is by combining the challenging business and legal problems in JD-MBA programs. The JD-MBA program is an accelerated course of study that allows students to graduate from business and law school in three years. And it not only allows them to take courses in business and law, but also then also work in areas such as finance, entrepreneurship, business law, real estate and an endless number of other professions.

Top MBA programs, of course, will continue to thrive, and they will continue to enroll some of the most talented business people in the world.  But more and more these program will integrate with schools, such as law, public policy, education and others, as business continues to become more cross disciplinary and as teams become more cross functional to tackle today’s most important business decisions.

Meanwhile, everything in the JD-MBA program exudes that integration. Because it not only gives you the legal and business training but also the networks and resources from both schools. A network of diverse students and alumni, professional and academic resources, professors that you can call upon later in your career, and a mix of interesting classes to help you triangulate around your interests, both in business and law.

Sound like something you might be interested in?  If so, then you’re definitely not alone. People are increasingly starting to look more and more into the programs. And further, schools are also becoming enormously interested. This year Columbia and Cornell recently launched three year JD-MBA programs and last year, Wharton and Yale came out with accelerated programs.

  • Click here to learn more about Kellogg’s dual degree program. Launched in 2001, Northwestern had the first fully integrated JD-MBA program and today it continues to serve as one of the leading programs, given it’s size, number of alumni, and reputation with recruiters.
  • Click here to learn about Columbia’s new dual program, which will begin in 2011. Also, click here to read their press release from Wednesday. Given its NYC location, the Columbia program will be a good draw for many students.
  • Click here to learn about the Wharton program, which was launched in 2009, as the second fully integrated JD-MBA program. The creation of Wharton’s program was significant, as it helped spur Cornell and Columbia to recently to launch their respective programs
  • Click here to learn about Cornell’s new program, which began last year in 2010. Cornell was the first school to launch a program in NYC
  • Click here to learn about Yale’s program, launched in 2009. Given its unique application procedure – must apply and get into the Yale Law and then apply to Yale SOM as a 1L – the program will likely be a good draw for students more interested in law than in business

On the other hand, some top schools are still in decision mode.  Stanford, for example, has decided against the program so far. Just last year, the Dean of Stanford University Law School, said they also thought about creating a program (i.e. shortening its four-year program to three years) but decided not to create one. (click here to see the article). I’m interested to see if they change their mind over the next few years.

But more important than them, what about you?  Are you looking to join the revolution in the business and legal worlds? And are you considering a joint program in business and law? If so, then check out the programs above, and see if one of them sounds appealing to you.

Personally, I’m a big proponent of the Northwestern JD-MBA program, but I suspect different programs will work better for everyone, depending on what you want to get out of the experience. Best of luck in your choice and feel free to get in touch with me if you have any immediate questions.

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 Law School

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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