The University of Georgia is now offering an option for students to graduate with both a law degree and a Master of Business Administration in three years.
The JD/MBA program, a joint effort between the School of Law and the Terry College of Business, equips students with the skills needed for successful careers combining law and banking, entrepreneurship, finance, international business or commercial interests.
“Students participating in this three-year dual degree will have a distinct competitive advantage when they graduate,” Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “In only three years, students will earn a law degree and an MBA, saving both time and money while gaining the necessary knowledge to succeed in today’s marketplace. This program is another way that UGA is demonstrating its commitment to leadership in higher education and to serving our students in a world-class manner while maintaining our commitment to overall value.”
UGA is one of the pioneers in higher education by offering a three-year JD/MBA option. Students enrolled in the program will have one year devoted exclusively to legal studies, one year focused primarily on the business school curriculum, and the third year will be comprised mainly of law school courses.
“While UGA will continue to offer the four-year program for students who seek broader training in the law, the three-year JD/MBA is ideally suited to meet the needs of the highly differentiated student whose career aspiration is corporate law,” said Suzanne E. Barbour, dean of the Graduate School.
“This program is an excellent opportunity for students to take advantage of two exceptional programs at UGA,” said Terry College Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “Our MBA students benefit from an experiential curriculum that focuses on leadership development with hands-on learning through courses such as Lean Six Sigma and innovative business projects. The new dual-degree program is a tremendous opportunity for highly motivated students to advance their careers.”
The law school has noted a recent increase in the percentage of its graduates securing employment in the business sector. Since 2008, the percent of law school graduates in business-related employment has approximately doubled.
“I believe this new offering will be a game changer,” said Carol E. Morgan, law school’s business law and ethics program instructor. “Georgia Law’s collaboration with the Terry College offers students the chance to work with two nationally recognized programs and to earn two marquee graduate degrees in three years that will give them a great advantage when moving into the workplace. Lawyers need more than ever to understand their clients’ businesses and what affects their bottom line. This dual degree positions our students to do just that.”
James R. “Jim” Borders, president of the real estate development firm Novare Group who earned both his JD and MBA from UGA, said this dual degree will make a profound difference to the highly focused student who would like to manage both the time spent in graduate school as well as the cost of the education, while maximizing the skill and knowledge set that the student will leave with. “I am very proud of the leadership of both colleges in thinking through this and then making it happen.”
Buck Wiley III, managing director of Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consulting who also holds a JD and an MBA from UGA, said business leaders are facing growing regulatory environments in everything from employment, taxes and finances, while corporate lawyers need to fully comprehend their clients’ businesses and what drives their income statements and balance sheets. “This makes dual-degree programs, such as the JD/MBA, relevant to the job demands of graduates and employers as well.”
Elizabeth B. “Beth” Chandler, vice president and general counsel at the global consumer and commercial services company Rollins Inc., who earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and her law degree from UGA, applauded the university for adding this offering. She said the revised JD/MBA provides “great value in a three-year graduate education while still allowing for summer internships and work experience.”
UGA School of Law
Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees—the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law—and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long tradition of providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.
Terry College of Business
Founded in 1912, the Terry College of Business is the flagship business school in the state and consistently ranks among the nation’s best. Terry’s MBA students benefit from small classes taught by top faculty in a market-driven curriculum designed to transform careers. Students gain a competitive edge by connecting with an active and growing network of more than 70,000 Terry alumni. For more information, visit www.terry.uga.edu/mba.