From the Desk of Matt Froelich: Dual Degree Reflection

duStarting in the fall of the 2012-2013 school year, CSL and UNCC initiated a joint JD/MBA degree program. This is a great bundle considering completing each separately would take an additional year, and we all know “time is money.” Now that I’ve been in the business program for nearly a full academic year, it’s time for a brief reflection on my experiences. And, hopefully a prospective student will read this and gain insight into the actual happenings of both institutions.

I want to start by complimenting the quality of both schools’ faculty, which consists of well-respected figures in their fields. Additionally, both of the school’s facilities are exceptional, and they offer similar technologies for students. However, the approach to education each school takes is completely different. In law school, students are expected to abide by the Socratic Method and approach each problem on their own. On the other hand, business school is much more team oriented, and this takes a great deal to get used to.

Group work definitely has its perks. The total workload is divided up among you and your teammates, which greatly lessen the burden imposed on each individual. But here’s the catch: you have to rely on and trust others. For those of you who are like me, this can be an unnerving experience, especially if you are in an unfamiliar group. For students who have been molded through law school, this can be quite difficult. But, business school requires you to re-learn to trust the competency of others, which can be a tall-order. Apart from learning to deal with the different attitudes found in each program, there are other downsides to the program.

The first downside is that for students currently in the law program it adds another year until freedom, I mean graduation. This includes taking any pre-requisites that may be needed the summer before entering the program, as well as enrolling in classes in the following summer. Speaking from my own experience, I can tell you this additional year is much longer and requires more effort than one would think.

Attending law school for 2 years is an intense experience, which drains a lot of energy. For that reason, the majority of the people I know – including myself – are ready to be done with school after the three years. However, even with the added year, I still believe the dual degree program offers an excellent opportunity. Not only does it diversify the skill sets you develop in law and/or business school, but it also improves your marketability for future employers. All in all, this is an excellent way to distance you from the rest of the market that is over saturated with new attorneys.

~Matt Froelich, J.D./M.B.A. Candidate 2014~

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