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JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

I'm contemplating pursuing a combination JD (Juris-Doctorate)/MBA degree next fall and was curious if anyone on here has done this combination of Law and Business Degree? Questions:

1) What benefit would it provide me with?
2) Is it useful for engineers?
3) I would rather not be a number cruncher the rest of my life, but would like to advance my career to the highest level possible...is this dual degree something that would be good in that respect?
4) What potential doors and opportunities might it open up for me?

I currently practice structural engineering and am a licensed general contractor in a few different states and do all the general contracting and construction management for my company. I keep our legal department very busy and was thinking having this extra background might relieve some pressures off of our lawyer.

I'm going to meet with some folks at UNLV to discuss a little further, but I would like to have some input prior to going into my meetings. Thank you for any info.
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RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

High-dollar patent attorney?
Higher-dollar forensic investigator?

Lots of possibilities. I almost did it myself, way back in 1980, but I was too darned tired of school...

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

if you yourself cannot find exact justification of usefulness i daresay you don't need it.

being tired of numbers, but with desire to continue engineering career lends itself to career of project/construction manager, where adequate courses and trainings can be more beneficial than formal degrees.

while i strongly believe in value of basic engineering diploma, over years i became suspicious about too many diplomas.

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

Ultimately it is the client that pays for your income. Most clients don't care if you have dual or multiple degrees. They have a property and need a design team and contractors. You are already a structural engineer and a contractor. Might consider finding an old timer who has been a contractor for decades. Learn from him the contracting/business side and also get into more structural design specialties- shoring, geoconstruction, prestressed concrete, etc. Within few years you can have your own design build firm.

I have a colleague who is a structural engineer and also a licensed contractor. He usually is brought in by the Architect as the S.E. and later when plans approved, turns around and bids as the G.C. On some jobs he gets both and in a few he gets one or the other. He only has BSCE, P.E. and a general contractors license in a single state.

It is risky to go on your own at any time, but I believe it is even riskier to put your fate in someone else's firm. So find out what you need- may be marketing skills, negotiating, or whatever. Those can be picked up at evening courses, books and specialty workshops.

I also have a client who was a civil engineer but very early on went into patent law and is doing better than most CE's. I have another colleague who owns a civil engineering practice and MBA. But he is having hard time growing his practice- what use was that MBA? I once worked for a G.C. who only had contractors license and some specialized knowledge. He hired the staff he needed - including engineers, accountants, lawyers, etc.

Sometimes you want to bring in the work and then find staff to help you grow. If you do not enjoy estimating, hire college students for it.

I will end with my own situation - I am a soils gut but enjoy the design of earth retaining structures. Over the past several years, I picked up skills from Authors, S.E.'s, Fergusson's book, etc. Now it is about 10% of my income. However, I still don't know AutoCAD! So I have someone from 8,000 miles away who is very good at it and who helps me with plans. Clients- don't care about AutoCAD, but they appreciate when I tell them I will do the soils report first and then proceed to the cantilever wall design or shoring design with one stop shop. Good luck.

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

Ask Snorgy that question and you will get a memorable reply.



RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

Thank you for the info and comments

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

So you will be a highly paid lawyer that can understand the engineering aspects of certain cases. Good for you. Good luck. Just remember that juries are usually pretty "dumb" when it comes to engineering - tone it down a bit. You should do OK and if highly paid lawyers go out of style - you can fall back to being one of us lowly engineers!!

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

There are a lot of lawyers and business people in Congress. winky smile

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

Interesting question. I know of two PE/JDs. I work with one in NC and the other works for HEC in Cali. The guy in NC was a JD first...practiced law for a while....yadda yadda yadda, his wife told him he had become an asshole. His father was an engineer, so he left the law field and pursued an engineering degree at a very fine NC college - where I met him. He graduated and earned an EIT certificate. He worked for four years and then became a PE. Knock, Knock, Knock....the old law firm where he had worked came knocking. He went back to work as a lawyer, tripled his salary. About two years later I received a call, "I know why I didn't want to be an attorney again, I'm coming back to engineering."

True story. That was about seven years ago. I still work with the guy. He really likes having a life and going home to his family. One of the smartest and best guys I've ever known.

So, in response to your question, I think a PE/JD combination is a ticket for big $$$. I also know some folks that have a MBA and a PE, also a very good combination but not like a PE/JD.

Robert Billings

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

Well for the JD, check this out for the cons (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37244113/5-...) and the last one was what Rye1 posted. I have a brother inlaw who passed the BAR two years ago and still can't find a firm who will hire him and he is stuck with $125K bill.

"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."
“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity”

Perception is reality: You may build your skill set, but what you think of it doesn't really count. The only thing that really matters is what your boss and or customers think of it. Likewise, the real you is how others perceive you, not

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

Good information. My company is going to pay for an MBA so I was thinking that adding the JD onto it might be worth it. The cost isn't really too much different. I was just unsure of the benefits would be for it.

Good info in the last 2 posts...thank you!

RE: JD/MBA - Is it useful or beneficial?

What business are you in dhoward26? I have worked with MBA's in consulting engineering, and can tell you it was a liability not an asset. In a construction business where management of materials and blue collar labor is a bigger factor, an MBA could make sense. A JD makes sense if you want to work for a law firm.

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