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10 Of The Best JD MBA Programs | Tuition Fees, Average GMAT & LSAT

JD MBA graduates qualify for top jobs across law and management. Here's 10 of the best JD MBA programs with added information on tuition fees, average GMAT, and LSAT scores

Mon Sep 11 2023

With salaries for corporate lawyers averaging over $140k in the US, it pays to work at the intersection of business and law, and studying a JD MBA program is a good way to get there.

This joint degree program unites the general management teaching of an MBA with the foundational legal training of a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. 

While most MBA programs in the US take two years to complete, and most JD degrees a further three, the majority of combined JD MBA programs take only four, allowing you to launch your desired career one year sooner.

While legal knowledge is useful in any business context, JD MBA programs are especially suited to professionals interested in corporate law settings where business knowledge is necessary to excel, a key example being mergers and acquisitions.

Aspiring startup leaders should also consider a JD MBA, as the legal knowledge you will gain on the program can help you prepare your business plan and set up a legal entity for your entrepreneurial venture. 

But before you can reap the benefits, you need to choose your program. Here are the top 10 JD-MBA programs to consider.*

10. UCLA  School of Management

4aa43f84e3e82d0b9cb485596df46e669081bd21.jpg @UCLA School of Management Facebook

Length: 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program. 

Median GMAT: 710

50th percentile LSAT: 172

Tuition: $274,800**

UCLA’s program provides students the opportunity to prepare for careers in business, law and entrepreneurship in which law and management overlap and an understanding of both fields is sought after. 

On the four-year program, students specialize in areas including public service, international trade, industrial relations, corporate law and finance, and specialized areas of management consulting.

9. University of Chicago Booth School of Business


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Length: 3 or 4 years

Apply: Using one joint application with either the GMAT, GRE, or LSAT.

Median GMAT: 740

Median LSAT: 172

Tuition: $352,602

Chicago Booth offers students the chance to accelerate their JD MBA program whilst packing in significant work experience.

On the three-year program, students focus on law for their first year, then undertake a law or business internship alongside two business courses in the summer. In their second year, they pursue a mix of business and law courses followed by another internship, before focusing solely on law in their third year.

Alongside their law and business teaching, Booth students benefit from an added emphasis on leadership through the Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) class.

LEAD classes run throughout the MBA and JD portions of the program and focus on building students’ understanding of their leadership styles, challenges, and priorities, which helps them develop a personalized leadership development plan for their time on the program. 

8. Duke Fuqua School of Business


@Duke Fuqua Facebook

Length: 3.5 or 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program.

Median GMAT: 680-760

Median LSAT: 170

Tuition: $298,200

Like Chicago Booth, Duke offers students the chance to accelerate their JD/MBA program, and complete the joint program in just three-and-a-half years of study.

Duke’s JD/MBA program is the oldest of its Dual Degree programs, allowing students the opportunity to engage in cross-disciplinary study to better serve your business clients in a legal setting or to leverage your legal knowledge in a business setting.

Students can choose to spend their first year at the law school, and their second year at Fuqua, and take classes from both during their third and fourth years, or choose the reverse order with the first two years of study, beginning at Fuqua and then completing the first year of law school.  

Duke boasts students will gain expertise in Contract Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture Capital, and Corporate Litigation, which leads to career opportunities in Law, Consulting, Venture Capital, and Investment Banking. 

7. Yale School of Management

3f99a63eeaca0c8aa8d90a6185f39793c76306ad.jpg © Yale School of Management via Facebook

Length: 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program. 

Median GMAT: 730

Median LSAT: 174

Tuition: $307,480

The JD MBA program at Yale follows the same schedule as the programs at NYU Stern and Berkeley Haas. In their final year, students complete a mix of electives from both schools as well as other faculties within the university. 

Yale foregrounds its commitment to conscientious business, with 14% of its incoming class coming from the non-profit sector.

During the MBA portion of their teaching, JD MBA students can engage in a global study course, which they may choose to spend on a nonprofit consulting project. 

The Law School also houses centers for research integrity and transparency, global health justice, law and racial justice, and more.

6. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management


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Length: 3 years

Apply: Using a joint application with a GMAT score. You will also need to register with the Law School Credential Assembly service (CAS).

Average GMAT: 727

Tuition: $313,290

After one year of law study and one year of business teaching with internships each summer, JD MBA students at Kellogg dive into a mix of electives with the law school as their home base.

As well as gaining a legal qualification, students can also choose to major in one of seven areas during their time on the MBA, selecting from accounting, economics, finance, marketing, operations, strategy, and managing organizations.

On top of this, they are also able to pursue global experiences through both the law school and the business school, which includes working on challenges for international organizations with the business school’s Global Lab. 

Aspiring startup leaders have a slate of opportunities at Kellogg, for instance working at an incubator with the Venture Lab or providing provide legal and strategic consulting to small businesses with the university’s Entrepreneurship Law Center.

5. Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business

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Length: 3 or 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program. 

Median GMAT: 710

Median LSAT: 171

Tuition: $315,000

Applying to the JD-MBA at Cornell is a rigorous process, requiring two separate applications, submitted simultaneously to both the law school and the business school. This means you will need to prep not only for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), but also the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the standardized test required by most law schools.

Though this sounds daunting at first, the hard work is well worth it. Students on the JD-MBA at Cornell have the option to accelerate their learning with a three-year program, gaining an additional JD qualification with only a year more study than a traditional MBA degree.

On the three-year program at Cornell, students take a mix of law and business courses across all three years.

The four-year program is more traditional, with students focusing first on law, then business, then mixing the two programs in their final two years.

4. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business


©  Haas School of Business - UC Berkeley via Facebook

Length: 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program. 

Average GMAT: 726

Median LSAT: 166-9

Tution: $277,000

In the JD-MBA at Berkeley Haas, students spend their first two years focusing on law and their third in business classes. The final year is spent on business electives and law modules.

Throughout the program, JD-MBA students have access to the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, which runs frequent events and initiatives to support learning around entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions.

Examples of the groups available at the Center include Startup@BerkeleyLaw, whose programming focuses on issues facing early-stage companies, and the Women In Business Law Initiative, where students of all gender identities can connect with peers and mentors through meetings, conferences, forums, and lectures.

3. Stanford Graduate School of Business


© Stanford Graduate School of Business via Facebook

Length: 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program, using your second MBA essay to make your case for a joint degree. The law application requires either an LSAT or a GRE, and the MBA either a GMAT or GRE.

Average GMAT: 738 

75th percentile LSAT: 175

Tuition: $370,128

Students on the Stanford JD MBA have two options for how to complete their studies. 

The first is to split their teaching roughly equally between law and business, with the first two years focused primarily on legal study and the latter on management.

The second is to spend their first two years on law and business respectively, then mix their modules for the final two years.

In another school, this might make for an isolating experience, as changing your course schedule could mean you graduate out of sync with your cohort. However, around 20% of the current Stanford MBA class are dedicated to dual degrees during their MBA, meaning you will have support from other students as you complete your studies.

Though the university’s excellent academic and extra-curricular offerings could benefit any student, the JD MBA at Stanford is perhaps best suited to career switchers and entrepreneurs. Up to 65% of Stanford MBA grads pivot their careers post-MBA, and $1.4 billion in startup capital has been raised by students who have graduated within the last five years.

2. Harvard Business School


© Harvard Business School via Facebook

Length: 4 years

Apply: Separately to each program. Law applications require either a GRE or LSAT, while business applications require a GRE or GMAT.

Median GMAT: 730 

Median GRE for MBA: 163 verbal, 164 quant

50th percentile GRE for JD: 167 verbal, 165 quant

50th percentile LSAT: 174

Tuition: $290,680

Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School are two of the most highly respected learning institutions in the world.

The Harvard MBA in particular is known for its large class size of over 900 students, which is broken up into more intimate “Sections” of around 100 students. With this setup, students can create a network that is both broad and deep, with a large international cohort to mingle with and a smaller support system to study alongside.

As well as excellent academics, Harvard also has a strong record for entrepreneurship, with more than 50% of graduates creating ventures.

1. Columbia Business School


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Length: 3 years

Apply: Using a joint application with a GMAT score. An additional LSAT score is optional. 

Average GMAT: 729 

Median LSAT: 174

Cost: $317,400

Given the accelerated structure of the Columbia Business School JD MBA, with one full year dedicated to each discipline and the final combining the two, it’s perhaps not surprising that there is less room for exploration than on the usual MBA degree.

However, Columbia makes sure that students still have opportunities to broaden their horizons. The school offers JD MBA students the option to “test out” of core modules and take elective modules in their place, and all law students must complete a minimum of 40 hours’ pro bono service to graduate.

Finally, in addition to connecting with their cohorts across the two faculties, JD MBAs can also take advantage of the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, where they can access a program of events specifically designed for students and alumni of the JD MBA program.

Honorable mention: The Wharton School


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Length: 3 years

Apply: Using a joint application during round 1 or 2, with a GRE or GMAT score. You must also register with LCAS.

Average GMAT: 733

Tuition and fees: $319,000

While the Wharton School wasn't ranked in the 2023 Financial Times Best MBA ranking this year due to a lack of data, it was top-ranked in 2022 and is certainly a highly desirable dual JD MBA program. 

With a JD MBA at the Wharton School, you get access to an accelerated program, and earn one of the world's most desirable MBAs.

The cross-disciplinary program features business courses designed specifically for the JD MBA program, which are undertaken in the summer after the first year of legal study. In the second and third years of the program, students take a combination of business and law courses plus a JD-MBA capstone course.

In the 2023 Wharton class, there are 18 JD MBA students, while the class at large represents over 80 countries. It is a particularly welcoming environment for women, as 52% of the MBA and 55% of the JD cohorts are women. 

Unsurprisingly for the top-ranked MBA program globally, post-graduation employment prospects are good. Compensation for the class of 2021 ranged from $130k to $165k, with median sign-on and guaranteed bonuses of $30k.

*This list comprises the top 10 MBA programs ranked by the FT that offer a JD MBA option ; **Cost figures for all the JD MBA programs are estimates of total cost. Actual cost may differ.

This article was originally published in May 2022 and updated in September 2023.

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