Saturday, August 29, 2009

Joint Degrees/J.D. Programs

Does having a joint degree make one more marketable? I highly doubt it. Maybe if you are an economics and accounting double major, potential employers will be impressed. Perhaps if you are able to double major in Physics and Biology, you will be seen as an asset to a company or government agency. And it should help you get into medical school.

I am looking at Drake Law School’s joint J.D. programs. And I have a few questions:

· Does having a Master of Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate make one more marketable in the legal industry? It might if your goal is to become a lobbyist, a Senate committee lawyer or an aide to the governor. But let’s be honest – positions like the latter two go to guys who went to Ivy League schools or who have inside, personal connections. So you might get a legislative (unpaid) internship, but you will not get the paid job if it is between you and some Princeton graduate.
· What about the MBA/JD program? Drake apparently has a pretty solid business program. The local divisions of major American insurance and banking corporations love to hire Drake grads. But will this help you land a legal job with the government or private law firm? I cannot picture the following decision being made, “We decided to go with someone else. You may have finished in the top ten percent of your law class, done law review and speak three languages fluently, but this other guy did a joint degree. Sorry, but we wish you the best in all your future endeavors.”
· Master of Arts in Political Science/JD. Do I even need to waste my time on this? Poli Sci is a joke. This may actually scare off potential employers. Some employers actually like people with real skills.
· What about the Master of Science in Agricultural Economics/JD scheme? Iowa is a big agricultural state. Plus the catalog description sounds nice, but HOW MANY positions are there for someone with such a combined program?
· Doctor of Jurisprudence/Master of Social Work – this one takes the cake. You will have earned a B.S., a J.D. and a M.S.W. and when you finally enter the job force, you will be making $30-33K a year. I am sure your parents will be so proud of you.
· J.D./Master of Public Health – the program description states, “[this] is a wonderful option for students interested in public health law.” Yeah, sounds pretty lucrative. Furthermore, if you want to go into public policy and advocate for health care reform, you will be up against the wall, i.e. gutless politicians beholden to special interests, Big Money, Big Pharma, and an ignorant public. If you go this route, make sure you take your meds as prescribed.
· Master of Health Admin and J.D. – this may help you get a job in hospital management/administration. But, there is a better chance that the hospital’s board of trustees (or government agency) will go with their cronies/political hacks – and not with some fresh-faced kid out of law school. Not even one with the prestigious J.D. and M.H.S. behind his name.

Drake also has a combined Pharmacy/law program. Does this really help anyone get a job in pharmaceuticals? There is a ray of hope – you might be able to sell yourself as a lobbyist to the industry (as long as you have no scruples about selling your soul to the Dark Side).

Call me a cynic. If you prefer, you can call Drake at 800-44-DRAKE x2782 and listen to some salesperson/admissions officer give you all the glossy details of these excellent educational programs. I am sure the school will provide you with unfettered info.


  1. sorry I accidentally deleted your comment on my Exposing The Law School Scam. I meant to delete another comment instead

  2. You can't be serious about this post. You are arguing that joint programs aren't worth it because having both degrees only increases a person's employment outlook in certain sectors. Wouldn't you want to have the same prospects as other Drake law grads for legal jobs in general, plus increased prospects in certain legal sectors?

  3. Apparently, you are extremely ignorant about the legal job market. Getting a certificate in Constitutional Law will not make one more "marketable." Neither will getting a JD and an M.A. in "Political Science." Law firms do not care about anything other than the law degree. We have already established that Drake is solidly third tier - just look at the US News & World Report rankings.

    I have honestly had people ask me if Drake is an online law school. Others have asked if it is even ABA-accredited. Yes, what a fine, upstanding, prestigious institution, right?! The place is a joke. I only went there because I got a scholarship. (Hopefully, you are not a current student at this third tier institution of higher learning.)


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