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J.D. Looking at Tulane/Hult... need advice

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Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 2: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
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J.D. Looking at Tulane/Hult... need advice [#permalink] New post 16 May 2010, 22:41
I graduated from law school at the University of Tennessee in 2008, and actually visited at Seattle University Law School the third year where I finished.

In hindsight, I shot myself in the foot a little bit because rather than doing law firm internships, I was more interested in business and was helping my friends on some startup company ideas. Towards the end I started looking into internships, and came very close to getting several, but ultimately had no job waiting when I graduated. I also found my real niche towards the end, primarily in corporate, tax, and intellectual property law. These fields, of course, lend themselves to working with startups, venture capital, etc., and so after passing the bar I did this a while as a solo practitioner. I made money and learned some stuff, but getting work was very tough, given the economy and the fact that a lot of that type of work is concentrated in very large law firms (which generally won't hire someone like me because I wasn't top 10 in my class nor did I go to a top 10 school).

So, after a while I started thinking about an MBA... I applied to a few programs, and got accepted to Hult (with a scholarship), and Tulane. Hult seems to be a greatly emerging school with a cool multi-campus aspect, and is only one year, but may be lacking in name brand. Tulane seems to have a pretty damn good name and alumni network, but it's quite expensive and is two years long. Plus, New Orleans is very fun but I've become a bit more of a San Francisco/New York, coastal sort of person rather than a southerner, but maybe this doesn't matter so much. I should mention too that I have a bit of a tech background; I minored in Computer Science and have done a good bit of web development work.

I'm approaching the MBA as a way to "reboot" my lack of "real" work experience (that is, non-entrepreneurial experience, even though my entrepreneurial works were actually reasonably profitable). I figure with enough legwork I could get an internship via the MBA program, and later, a job. Whereas right now, even with a law degree and a pretty strong background in web/computer science, there seems to be absolutely nothing out there other than hiring freezes (especially in business law). Having to re-take a bar exam every time you move to a new state is a huge hassle, as well.

I have heard some say, however, that an MBA won't make the person nor the opportunity, ultimately... That employers will still look to your previous work experience, and if there is very little, you could still end up screwed.

Any thoughts on this? I have also considered deferring a year, and possibly applying to other programs (perhaps raising my GMAT and going for some Top 10 schools). I'm a bit stuck... Who would have thought a law degree would be so worthless!
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Re: J.D. Looking at Tulane/Hult... need advice [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 21:46
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I think an MBA and a Law Degree are in the same category as neither guarantees you a job, but get you that much closer. Are you sure you're into an MBA-type career, because I assume that with both the law degree and the MBA combined, you'll fall assback into debt.

Hult seems like a cool place, but I always wondered about its merit. They recruit. A lot. Plus, they're expensive in every way. On top of the 54K tuition, there's the flights to Shanghai and Dubai, the room and board, and the touristy stuff you'll wanna do while there.

I think as long as you graduate with an MBA from a decent school, a job isn't out of reach. Everyone needs to start somewhere, and at least an MBA shows you're committed to business since you'll live like a starving student after being out of school for awhile. But it sounds like you're already second guessing the value of the degree, and you certainly don't want to make the same mistake (in your eyes) as before.
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 2: 660 Q V
GPA: 3.64
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 72106

Re: J.D. Looking at Tulane/Hult... need advice [#permalink] New post 20 May 2010, 09:04
krussell wrote:
I think an MBA and a Law Degree are in the same category as neither guarantees you a job, but get you that much closer. Are you sure you're into an MBA-type career, because I assume that with both the law degree and the MBA combined, you'll fall assback into debt.

Hult seems like a cool place, but I always wondered about its merit. They recruit. A lot. Plus, they're expensive in every way. On top of the 54K tuition, there's the flights to Shanghai and Dubai, the room and board, and the touristy stuff you'll wanna do while there.

I think as long as you graduate with an MBA from a decent school, a job isn't out of reach. Everyone needs to start somewhere, and at least an MBA shows you're committed to business since you'll live like a starving student after being out of school for awhile. But it sounds like you're already second guessing the value of the degree, and you certainly don't want to make the same mistake (in your eyes) as before.


Krussel,

Thanks for your reply. This was such a thoughtful and well-reasoned response, and was actually quite helpful. Yeah, Hult seems to be lacking a bit in name recognition... They are new but they do seem to be quite up and coming... They seem to be putting a lot of money into the program (SF campus opens this fall, so they'll have five total campuses now). And the 1-year thing is nice. But yeah, it's quite a bit of money, and I'm guessing they don't have quite the job placement/internship options that some older schools do. Pretty expensive too I guess. Tulane is quite ridiculous in this regard... something like 100k of debt after two years.

You're right that I'm second-guessing the MBA a lot. I would like to have the MBA after my name, but I feel like I've already learned half of what they're going to teach through law education/practice, other entrepreneurial experiences, and self study on accounting and finance... Unfortunately, though, employers want to see the degree, it appears.

Your question about debt is well on point, though... That's the thing, I managed to get through law school with zero debt. I had a full ride at Tennessee, which was ranked something like 51st at the time, while my other option, Tulane, was giving me nothing, and was ranked around 47th. Sometimes I regret not getting the name brand, now that I know more how shallow employers are in that regard, but at least I have zero debt, and this has probably made life different, at least. An MBA would mean a lot of debt, very fast.

Maybe I should just sell tacos, from a taco truck.
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What are the "bottom 90%" doing in college? [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2010, 05:18
You are right on track.
You will get a job with the company with which you have an internship upon graduating from Tulane.
New Orleans is a very poor town, so picking are slim for internships.
If you get the internship, then be prepared to live in New Orleans upon graduation.

Do not believe ANYTHING the "placement" office women say at Tulane. They are so clueless or cruel about the job market that they post "job offers" from penny stock boiler-room sales offices on their bulletin board.

Most "job" interviews offered are for cold-calling "positions" trying to sell financial products.

You should start with the company you would like to work for, try to get an internship and get your MBA nearby on the weekends.

But this is a $200,000 investment, correct? (tuition plus loss of earnings for two years). Why don't you visit Tulane in May when the new grads are interviewing and look at the placement office's bulletin board, ask students about their interviews and job offers? (You can find students in the student lounge in the Business building). Talk to interviewers if you can and ask them how many grads they will hire that are not in the top 10%? That doesn't seem like too much research to do for the time and money!

It is hard to understand what the "bottom 90%" is doing in college. They put forward an extreme effort and financial hardship just to make the top 10% desireable. At the very least IMHO the bottom 90% should take on zero debt for college.
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Re: J.D. Looking at Tulane/Hult... need advice [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2010, 05:35
The professors at Tulane suck up to the execs coming in from important companies and these sleepy old dudes get better grades on their "brilliant" papers than normal people.

Tulane Professors have waaaay too much leeway in giving their favorites--those who are good contacts for them--better grades.
Re: J.D. Looking at Tulane/Hult... need advice   [#permalink] 08 Jun 2010, 05:35
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