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I Want To Transfer From Law Into Finance—Do I Need An MBA?

This week, director of the Athena School of Management, Aditya Singh, answers your burning applicant question of the week

Thu Sep 6 2018


It’s that time of the week again—the BusinessBecause Applicant Question of the Week.

Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.

This week, the question comes from Atharva Dandawate (pictured below, right).


Atharva is currently studying law, but has aspirations to one day study for an MBA degree. He’s considering schools in the US or UK, with Alliance Manchester Business School, Tepper School of Business, Cranfield School of Management, and Carrol School of Management his top picks. Ultimately, Atharva hopes that an MBA will give him an edge in the job market.

His question is answered by Aditya Singh, who has been Director of the Athena School of Management for over six years. He is also the chair of Entrepreneurship for a district of Rotary International in Mumbai.

Applicant Question of the Week:

Hi BusinessBecause,

I am a current Law student thinking of pursuing a career in Finance or International Trade. Is an MBA right for me? And if so, what should be my goals, and how do I go about achieving them?

The Answer:

One of the basic lessons taught in every law school is that the best way to get the right answers is to ask the right questions. The three important ones are Why, Where and How. All of them are covered in your question.

In today’s cross-functional and dynamic business environment, a law degree (in corporate/company law) by itself is a professional qualification leading to a career as an advocate or solicitor, or even a corporate counsel. However, when it’s followed by an MBA (or equivalent) it creates a great combination.

Let’s break this down into the three sub-questions.

Is an MBA right for me? In a global world a lot of business is dependent on contracts, agreements, protocols, treaties, and accords. A degree in Law followed by an MBA in Finance or International Business is the perfect foundation for you to enter and navigate the complex and fast-moving currents of global business. Till very recently, the CEO of India’s largest airline was a Lawyer and he wasn’t even an MBA!

What should be my goals? Each one of us has a different set of goals. But speaking from experience you should aim to bring the depth, intellectual focus, and frame of law and legal practice to the dynamic and sometimes instinctual business sector. That can be a unique strength for you both on a personal and professional level. One thing is for sure, the aim must be to excel and reach the pinnacle of your chosen career.

How should I go about achieving my goals? One should begin by researching different business schools and understanding which one of them would add value to you. While one school may focus on analytics and core finance, another may focus on consulting and emotional intelligence. With a base in law it may make more sense for you to find a business school which develops your skills and knowledge and fine tunes them. Most business schools will need a GMAT Score (Indian business schools may also accept the NMAT). Typically, admissions are based on a composite evaluation of GMAT scores, academic history, extracurricular achievement, work experience (if any), essay (statement of purpose), group discussion, and/or personal interviews.

Lawyers who further pursue their MBAs have a wide canvas of career choices. These range from investment bankers to international business specialists to consultants. That is the reason you will always find lawyers pursuing MBAs in some of the top business schools around the world. Of course, an MBA may also stimulate the entrepreneur in you. Who knows, you may launch a startup of your own. In fact, the number of Law graduates choosing to apply for an MBA remains healthy.

So, to summarize – the simple answer to your question is Yes!!!

Ask an Admissions Expert a Question


Next week, we're giving you the chance to ask professional admissions consultant Stacy Blackman a question. Stacey achieved her MBA at Kellogg School of Management and has been consulting on MBA admissions since 2001. 

Stacy has also served on the Board of Directors for the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, so she has a fountain of knowledge for MBA applicants to tap into.

To ask her a question, head to our Twitter and Facebook pages or simply post a comment in the box below!