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The law school that I am thinking of attending offers a joint JD/MBA program that I could theoretically finish in the same time it would take me to get my JD. Should I take this opportunity? How would this increase my chances of getting a law firm job, since this is what I am sure I want to do?
Adding an MBA to your list of academic accomplishments can only benefit you in the long run, no matter what you eventually choose to do with your life or legal career. Since you seem to have decided that joining a law firm is what you want to do in the near future, there are several benefits to having an MBA when entering law firm life.
First, given the type of training that occurs, in our opinion it would be quite wise if an MBA were an actual requirement for getting a law degree. This is due to the fact that the practice of law is so closely related to business and few attorneys appear to realize this. In fact, attorneys traditionally are known in the business community as some of the worst businessmen. Being an attorney has numerous components that involve business such as marketing, the value of your time, hiring and firing, renting office space, managing payroll and numerous cost-benefit type calculations. While traditionally law was portrayed as something that was not a business, you should make no mistake about one central fact: The law is a business.
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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.