Joined: 08 Sep 2012
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Confused, Advice Appreciated [#permalink]
08 Sep 2012, 12:58
I'm currently a 1L at a tier one school ranked law school in the 20s. I graduated summa cum laude from an undergraduate business school at a top 60 university, studying general business management and finance.
Over the past week, I’ve been contemplating if I made the right decision in reference to law school and my career aspirations. My passion for business led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in business. Whether or not I practice law, I’ve always believed the distinction of a law degree would open more doors to business opportunities.
I have no intention on practicing law. My goals are in the corporate business world, and in particular, to eventually become involved in the corporate travel (possibly cruise) industry (from a non-legal perspective and title). Many business executives have a J.D., and I’ve always assumed that with a J.D., I can do just about anything (corporate business, investment banking, real estate, or if my mind changes, be a lawyer). Although not all corporate executives have JDs or CPAS, many due, and I’m unsure as to whether or not I’d be limiting myself and my endeavors.
I am now contemplating if law school is the right decision for me (or if not, what is). I know it’s late, but I’m trying to affirm this decision before it’s too late – before the accumulating debt makes this decision an irreversible one, one where I’m stuck with law school and possibly doing something I don’t want to do to pay back the overwhelming loans. I know there are probably different paths to corporate business, and I’m trying to figure out other alternatives if the JD path is not the one.
*Some executives have MBAs, but I’ve always viewed this as a less competitive and prestigious degree. But I could very well be wrong? Also, if I was to switch and take this route, would I be better off getting a job before an MBA? If I went straight for the MBA, would I still start off in the basic position as without the MBA, since it will be my first real job? If I work for two years, get an MBA (part of full time), and then get a job, will I advance faster in those 4 years than if I go straight for the MBA and work two years after? Sorry for what may seem like basic questions, but I’m new to the MBA area, and I’m trying to find out as much as I can relating to MBAs that may pertain to me.
Should I be making this $150k investment for a JD when I have no intention of practicing law? Will it help me advance to reach my goals, or will the debt overburden me to an unwanted career in law with limited opportunity? (I've read articles with two very different perspectives which has confused me more - invest in law school only with intentions on practicing and not.)
Without a J.D. how can I distinguish myself? My business mentors have a J.D., but many have other qualifications (many CPAs). I know I need (and want) a professional degree and education for my aspirations, and I always have viewed a J.D., especially coupled with a business bachelor’s degree, as a more powerful degree and background.
Are there any companies that would pay for a young employee to pursue a MBA part-time?
As I mentioned, I’m here because I always wanted this education and assumed it would be best for my envisioned future. But I never looked at it as a possibly limiting decision. If it wasn’t for the debt (or if I had a substantial or full scholarship as many do), I know a JD and/or a JDMBA would be my ideal path to the opportunities I seek. But the reality remains that this path involves a serious financial commitment, and I do not know if it is worth it for me. I’m willing to take the loans, do the work, and do whatever it takes to get where I want, if it is the correct path.
Sorry for all the questions. Thanks so much for your advice given this frustrating and confusing situation I find myself in. I really do appreciate it.