Business school and law school are different – kind of like the left side of your brain is different from the right side. And not just because my classes are different and the topics discussed in the classrooms are different but also because my classmates are different and the flow of the conversation in the classroom are very different. As the year continues to go by, that fact continues to become more and more evident.
If you are in a business school class, more often than not, numbers are king. You have to think about the financials. Build out the business plan. And think about quantitatively-proven strategies to help you execute that business plan. Likewise, the cases are often about getting the right answer. So even though all the other aspects of the case are important, getting the right answer is usually most important, especially in classes like finance and accounting.
On the other hand, law school is more about the reasoning behind the answer. So we read hundreds of pages of cases. Discuss those cases in class. And think a lot about what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. So even if arguments have been made in the past, we are also asked to formulate our own arguments and think about how to disprove the counterarguments. And not just in written form but also publicly, because most professors use the Socratic Method in class.
Like I mentioned in my last post, our arguments have to be good. Because the professors will probe, and because we have to make our arguments in front of lots of people whose opinions we care about, at least during our first year. So you have to put in the work to be ready.
On the other hand, business school often has less work. Because once you come up with the answer, then you can be done. Likewise working in teams often helps the flow of the discussion enormously. The exception might be in a very technical subject, and you have to do a lot of work just to learn some of the basics.
Upon reflection, I’m glad I am in the JD-MBA program. The program gives me a chance to mix it up a little. Build different skill sets. Meet different types of people. Indulge in different learning styles. And activate both my left brain and right brain.
What about you? Are you considering a JD-MBA program? If not, should you be?