My name is Brittany Blakey and I am a recent graduate of the JD/MBA program here at Baylor Law School and Baylor Hankamer School of Business. I have an undergraduate degree in Energy Commerce from Texas Tech University and plan to pursue a career as an attorney in upstream oil and gas transactions in Texas. I hope that after reading this post, you will have a better understanding of Baylor’s JD/MBA program and the benefits of pursuing both degrees.
Baylor offers a dual degree program that generally takes three-and-a-half to four years to complete. The joint curriculum plan requires students to take 32-35 hours of core MBA courses along with successful completion of the Law School curriculum. I chose to get my JD and MBA here at Baylor because Baylor has a unique feature compared to other schools: I could choose when I took my MBA courses for one year. At other schools, it is required that you take one year of law classes, one year of business classes, and then you stagger both schools for the remaining two years. At Baylor, I got to choose which year I would attend my business school classes, which meant I was only in one school at a time. This unique feature of Baylor’s dual JD/MBA program was a huge factor in my decision to attend Baylor rather than anywhere else. I chose to attend MBA classes during my last year in Waco, and I believe it served as a great capstone to an incredible academic experience.
At the law school, there is a strong emphasis on “thinking on your feet” by preparing for unexpected questions or issues. The business school, however, tested my ability to “think outside the box”…
Upon reflecting on my four years at Baylor (and my most recent year here in the MBA program), I believe there are at least five benefits that you can gain from pursuing both your MBA and your JD at Baylor:
- Double your network. Whether you’re working as an attorney or an executive, networking is key. By making connections in both schools, you now have a much broader range of relationships with future colleagues. Baylor has a close-knit alumni network, so by expanding your own personal network within these schools, you can foster and grow life-long relationships.
- Bridge the gap between law and business. If you want to gain a better understanding of how law and business are related, the JD/MBA program is something you should consider. The interplay between concepts—such as mergers & acquisitions, bankruptcy, lending, etc.—is so prevalent that getting both a law degree and an MBA will inevitably deepen your understanding of each field.
- Increase your critical thinking skills. Both programs here at Baylor challenge and test your critical thinking skills. At the law school, there is a strong emphasis on “thinking on your feet” by preparing for unexpected questions or issues. The business school, however, tested my ability to “think outside the box”, as well as challenged assumptions I originally had about certain business cases and concepts. Both skill sets are incredibly useful for your career.
- Learn how to think like an executive. A huge reason I chose to get both degrees was so I could better serve my clients by having a deeper appreciation for their business motivations. By gaining familiarity with business verbiage and practices, I now have a unique perspective of certain business transactions and can better understand from the perspective of a future client. I am hoping that this inside view into business decisions will enable me to provide services to my clients that are better tailored to their business needs.
- Expand your career options. A JD/MBA provides greater flexibility in your career than just one or the other. For example, some executives who have this education do not practice law, but have a competitive advantage over others who do not have the added value of a law degree. Additionally, a JD/MBA may also equip attorneys with a faster track to working in-house for a company rather than a private law firm. Even though I am planning to work at a private law firm (which only requires a JD), my MBA expands my options by enabling me to be considered by a larger number of law firms than if I had only received a law degree.
To learn more about expanded career options through Baylor Law School, check out this additional article featuring JD/MBA aluma, Erika Griffin.
Pursuing a law degree or MBA is no easy feat… and getting both requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice. There were times I was stressed or frustrated, but I received so much in return. I managed time better. I became more disciplined. I developed more patience and appreciation. My self-confidence grew. The JD/MBA program here at Baylor was beyond rewarding, and I encourage anyone considering a dual degree to reach out and ask for more information.
Baylor MBA has a number of dual degree options including social work, divinity, law, engineering, and information systems. Interested in learning more? Click here for more information about any of our dual degree options and concentrations within the MBA.
Brittany Blakey has been hired full-time as an Energy Transactions Associate at Gray Reed where she also completed multiple summer internships.
About Baylor’s MBA Programs
Baylor’s MBA Programs are designed strategically for professionals looking to take their careers to the next level in leadership. Rigorous MBA classes taught by dedicated faculty and industry experts offer both theoretical knowledge and the practical skills required to succeed in modern global business. Wherever you are in your career today, Baylor has an MBA program to fit your lifestyle and move you toward your professional goals: Full-Time MBA, Executive MBA in Dallas, Executive MBA in Austin, and an Online MBA.
Prospective candidates can learn more about all Baylor MBA programs by visiting the Baylor MBA website: https://www.baylor.edu/business/mba/.