Should I Get A Joint Degree?

Many students are interested in pursuing a joint, or dual, degree. This may be a JD/MBA (most common), JD/MA (in social policy, for example), or even a JD/PhD. According to one admissions representative, one of the most common questions asked at law school fairs is about dual degrees. However, only about 2 out of every 500 law students actually ends up working towards a dual degree.

There are many advantages to having a dual degree. You may become more attractive on the job market. Also, you can finish both degrees in a shortened amount of time. Generally, students are able to apply for a joint degree after their first year of law school.

Law school takes 3 years, if full time. In a joint degree program, one can obtain both a JD and a Masters in a total of 4 years (1 year shorter, than if pursued separately).

The biggest disadvantage is the time it takes. Since you would be pursuing two degrees simultaneously, this means you will be in two distinct grad schools with two full loads to carry. This is probably not the choice for the social butterfly.

Source: Pre Law Magazine - Fall 2012 - "The Joint Degree Option" by Christina Thomas. pp.19-20

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