Is a Dual Degree Right for you?

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Considering a dual degree? Recently I found myself exploring study abroad programs that with one extra semester of law school, provide you with an LLM degree. Similarly, a number of my 1L friends applied to and were accepted into the JD/MBA program. To see if a dual degree program is right for you, take the quiz below! 

  1. What best describes your geographical career preference?
    1. Major American cities
    2. Asia
    3. European Union
    4. Smaller American markets
    5. Other International
  2. What best describes your career interest?
    1. Large law firm
    2. Boutique Firm
    3. In house counsel /or/ government
    4. Medium – Small law firm
    5. Public Interest
  3. What best describes your ideal practice area?
    1. Corporate
    2. Intellectual Property
    3. Finance
    4. General Litigation
    5. Human Rights /or/ international
  4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    1. Partner in a big law firm
    2. Head in house legal counsel
    3. CEO
    4. Professor
    5. Advocating within the public interest sphere

Scoring yourself:

  • Mostly A’s and/or C’s: A dual JD/MBA degree may benefit you in the long run. Working in the corporate world, or as in-house counsel generally requires specialized knowledge of the business world, which an MBA can provide you. Plus the business specific networking offered through MBA programs will go far in terms of securing you a clientele later on in your career.
  • Mostly B’s: Consider pursuing a specialized LLM degree in your particular field, but be sure to weigh your options. A targeted LLM can help you stand out within a boutique firm, or in the intellectual property world. This is especially useful if your undergraduate concentration doesn’t match your desired practice area.
  • Mostly D’s and/or E’s: It’s questionable whether a full dual degree program is right for you. Smaller markets, and more general practice area firms may not require or seek out the additional expertise that a dual degree offers you. Instead, consider whether a targeted certificate program fits your interests.