Chances for top JD/MBA programs in the US?

Hi there,

I was planning to devote the next couple months to LSAT prep so that I can apply for JD/MBA joint degrees at Top-Schools this September. The schools I will apply for are the following:

Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, University of Chicago, NYU, UC Berkeley, Northwestern, Cornell.

As by the time I apply I will only have 12 months of work experience (Tier2 Consulting), and by the time I would start the JD/MBA it would be 22 months of work experience, I know that chances are by far not high that I get accepted. I would like to give it a shot nevertheless, and actually would also be fine with a JD admission only.

My profile is as follows:

  • GMAT 740 (I do have time to re-take and aim for 760+)
  • 1 year Tier2 consulting, though quitted so that I can a) get the chance to see another industry as well (also my previous firm had a toxic culture) and b) prepare for LSAT
  • Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering at German university, top 3% of my class
  • Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Top-US-University (think of Stanford, MIT etc.), GPA 3.68
  • Undergrad full-time internship at well-known OEM
  • Recently co-founded a local organization in my home town, currently president
  • Other extracurriculars during undergrad were TA and RA positions & participation in an initiative, but no leadership positions
  • White male

I know many will say that most competitive applicants have 5 years of experience. But I already have a Masters degree and, if I decide to start a JD/MBA in 2022, I will already be 31 by the time I graduate. Therefore, I think it is at least worth giving it a shot, even if having a minimal chance, to start early (and, as I said, I would be also fine if I just get admitted for a top JD program).

Would I have any chance of being admitted in one of the programs above?


Do you actually want to be a lawyer? Why a joint program?

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Difficult to assess your chances at these elite law schools without an LSAT score, but your engineering background should generate a lot of positive interest.

Do not worry about your lack of work experience as your background should appeal to MBA programs. 5 years of work experience is on the high side as 3 years is more than adequate for most MBA candidates while 2 years is a soft minimum.

While a 740 GMAT is outstanding, a 760 GMAT may help. Since you have the time to retake & because you seem confident of achieving a higher score, then retaking even a superb score of 740 may prove fruitful.

P.S. I find your situation interesting as I just came from another website where some attorneys are considering leaving law for an MBA program and some MBA consultants are considering leaving consulting to attend law school. In my opinion, applying to a joint degree program (JD/MBA) in your case is a wise course of action. Will be interesting to see if you are admitted to a school’s JD or MBA program, but denied at the other. At least you are targeting all the right schools in both programs.

Important to understand that one’s law school personal statement is typically quite different from one’s MBA application essay.

Although you have shared that you would be fine with only law school admissions, would you also be satisfied with just MBA school admissions ?

If you were denied admission to Harvard Law School, but admitted to Harvard Business School, would you forego admission to Cornell Law, NYU law, UPenn law, Northwestern law, or Berkeley law school ? Tough choice.

I have my reasons :slight_smile: But tbh it would take too much time to analyze theme here, prefer to spend that for my essays :slight_smile:

@Publisher Thanks :slight_smile:

@Publisher Yes, of course I would be satisfied with just MBA school admissions as well. Just stated JD because I believe the chance for admission are more realistic compared to MBA, given that I have little work experience.

what is your undergrad GPA? (Master’s grades are of little value to law schools.) Do your German grades convert to a 4.0 or A scale?

Are you a US citizen? If not, obtaining a legal job in the US is difficult.

Most who attend the top law schools do so for the job placement. Most biglaw jobs go to those who were summer associates at a particular law firm between one’s second & third year of law school.

Most who attend top MBA programs do so for job placement that often results from an internship done during the summer between one’s first & second year of MBA school.

How will a joint degree program affect your summer associate/ internship opportunities ?

How will a 3 year joint JD/MBA program differ from a 4 year joint degree program with respect to summer employment opportunities ?

Have you determined which of your targeted schools offer a 3 year joint degree ?

If accepted to Harvard Business School, but not to Harvard law, will you decline other joint degree options to pursue just a Harvard MBA ?

Same question for Stanford MBA.

Have you made a list of priorities. For example:

Yale Law School over all other possible options.
Then Harvard Law.
Then Stanford Law.
Then Harvard MBA, etc.

Have you ranked the joint degree programs if accepted to all ?
For example:
#1/#2 Harvard JD/MBA or Stanford JD/MBA
#3 Penn JD/MBA
#4Chicago JD/MBA
#5 Northwestern JD/MBA
#6 UCal-Berkeley JD/MBA
#7 Columbia JD/MBA
#8 Yale JD/MBA or is the Yale law degree worth more than the joint Yale degree ?
#10 Cornell JD/MBA

Are you in need of scholarship money ?