3-Year Accelerated Joint JD-MBA Programs
An accelerated joint MBA and Juris Doctor degree program allows students to complete law school while simultaneously gaining advanced business skills in three years of study. This article reviews the core courses and admissions requirements for these competitive programs.
How to Earn a 3-Year Accelerated Joint JD-MBA Degree
In a joint Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, students complete law school while also taking master's degree courses in business administration. Because law and business complement each other in many areas, students can count course credits in one degree as elective credits for the other. Common core courses for these 3-year programs include data analysis, financial reporting, criminal law, and torts. A sampling of courses is below:
In this introductory first-year law course, students gain an introduction to the nature, process of exchange and limitations of written contracts. Students will likely learn about the theory and reasoning behind contract law. Topics may include the impact of contracts on third parties, the variety and scope of contracts, limitations on remedies, jurisprudence, and the development of promissory liability.
Most students in their first year of law school complete a civil procedure course. This course covers the litigation process from the introduction of a claim all the way to disposition on appeal. As students learn the litigation process, they also learn the ins and outs of federal and state judicial systems. Students could have the chance to practice litigation with their peers. Topics include jurisdiction, parties, claims, pre-trial motions, discovery of evidence, legal procedure and etiquette, the roles of the judiciary and jury, and appellate review.
In this first-year law course students learn how to analyze, argue, and understand tort disputes. They learn how the US judicial system processes injuries, intentional wrongs, negligence, and strict liability. Students may discuss and analyze microeconomic, moral, and socio economic theories related to laws about injuries and liability. Students can also learn about the related topics of compensation legislation and safety regulation.
One common business core course that is often cross-listed as a law elective is corporate finance, wherein students learn how corporate firms design their financial strategies. Students learn the tools, techniques and frameworks financial managers use to make big-picture financial decisions. Topics may include cash flow models, dividend policy, leasing, risk and return, capital asset pricing, capital market efficiency, capital structure, corporate hedging, adjusted present value, and weighted average cost of capital.
Managerial economics is a subset of micro economics that focuses on providing managers insight into how markets run so that they can improve their business decision-making. To this end, students learn how to use economic models of production and consumption to predict future market behavior. They may learn about how financial managers can grow their market power (the control over the market price of their product) and how they can use market power to increase the value of their firm. Additionally, students may learn about the economic models of risky choice, time discounting, monopolistic competition, and basic game theory.
Federal Income Taxation
In this course, students learn regulations and procedures related to federal income tax. Because this topic lies at the intersection of law and business, taxation courses are often cross listed for both degrees. Students may learn about the impact of taxation in business strategy. Topics may include tax planning, the Internal Revenue Code, treasury regulations, case law, measuring income, calculating gain and loss, and behavioral incentives in the tax system.
Admissions Requirements for a 3-Year Accelerated JD-MBA Degree
In most cases, students who wish to pursue an accelerated joint MBA/JD degree must apply to both the school of law and business school separately. Thus, applicants must fulfill the requirements for both Juris Doctor and MBA programs (including submitting LSAT scores for law school applications and GRE/GMAT scores for their MBA application). In some cases, students can apply directly to accelerated degree programs (in this case LSAT scores may be waived in favor of GRE or GMAT test scores or vice versa). Many students have a few years of relevant work experience, and students without work experience are expected to have higher test scores or a higher GPA. Students also submit letters of recommendation, a personal essay, official transcripts, and a current resume.
High-achieving students pursuing both an MBA and a Juris Doctor degree can save time and money by enrolling in an accelerated 3-year joint MBA/JD course. These programs include the basic law school curriculum, business core courses, and elective courses on topics useful for both law and business careers.