I May Add an LLM to My JD and MBA

I received my BA from a school ranked 1-2. Got my JD in 2003 from a school always ranked between 7 and 9. Though I interned both summers, I felt law wasn’t for me at that point. Once I decided that, my GPA went down the tubes. I ended up with a 2.9 (at a school where 3.3 is the mean). 

After graduation, I worked for a few years at some internet startups that failed. Ended up going to a top 10 b-school with the intent of becoming a banker. My summer employer collapsed, and I was left scrambling.  I graduated with my MBA in Finance in May 2008 (with a 3.5 GPA, which is considered good at my school), and I’ve been job hunting for any finance position, but no luck.

Thought of getting back into law via a tax or bankruptcy LLM. Is it even possible? If I were to do well in the program, would I at least get interviews from Am Law 100 firms?

The LLM program director told me it’s hard to say. He said it would have been an easier sell if I had entered the LLM program immediately after receiving the MBA. Now law firms may think that I tried to get a finance job for the past year and am looking at law as a fall back (which is the truth). He did say that it also depends on my network and how many friends I have at law firms. Any constructive advice would be appreciated. Obviously, if law is not realistic at this point, I have no desire to blow $50K and a year. Thanks.

Why not try medical school? Or perhaps an MFA in Screenwriting? 

Now I’ll be serious.  You need another degree like Octomom needs another kid.  Okay, now I’ll really be serious: You’ve got so much damn pedigree you’re almost unemployable.  What you need is some passion.  Some focus.  Stop guessing what prospective employers are looking for and start figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life. 

With respect to your specific question, I think it’s absolutely silly for someone like you to pursue an LL.M.  You don’t even want to be a lawyer, for God’s sake.  So why would you invest more time and money in a career you already know you don’t like.

My honest advice: Take some of that LL.M. money and find a good therapist.  You’re obviously book smart, now it’s time to get life smart.  In other words, stop chasing degrees and start chasing your dreams.

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Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

10 Comments

  1. Al Dickman

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 am

    I don’t know who the bigger dilweed is.  The writer of this inquiry or the d-bags who read it and believe it could be possibly be true.  The writer must be a total bone-head to want to spend $50K and 1 year on a dead end–a degree in a field he doesn’t even like.  Of course, there may be ulterior motives—no job, no women and no-anything in his life now.  I think he should take the $50K that he would spend on the degree and get regular bottle service at a decent NYC bar–good way to meet women, and maybe hook up with one worth banging regularly.  That is a much better ROI (any a-wipe with an MBA should understand this concept)

  2. BL1Y

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Don’t get another degree you don’t want.  This guy isn’t happy with his life and is hoping another degree will magically make things better.  It won’t.  What this guy needs to do is take some time to work a bunch of random jobs, take up some hobbies, and figure out what he actually wants to do with his life.

  3. Ace in the Hole

    April 21, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Unfortunately Al, I think the financing for bottle service is not quite as liberal as it is for government guaranteed and BK-proof student loans that will follow you for life.  But you’re right of course – spending tens of thousands of dollars and a year of your life on a degree in a field you dislike would be idiotic.  Our poster should probably just tend bar somewhere and meditate on options besides entering a field which, if he dislikes it before he even begins, will make him want to kill himself in short order.

  4. Desi

    April 21, 2009 at 7:30 am

    double that find a good therapist.

  5. Bill Dugan

    April 21, 2009 at 7:33 am

    The LLM Program director sees $50K and a douche bag with money burning holes through his pocket.  These days, AMLaw 100 firms aren’t going to cozy up to this douchebag unless he brings portable business.  All he has been able to do is accumulate degrees (along with boogers in his nose).  I suggest this guy go out and get a job in the Parks Department.  This way, he can at least relieve himself quickly behind a tree when the spirit moves him.

  6. MJ

    April 21, 2009 at 8:57 am

    As an MBA, I can feel your pain.  Finance jobs are not forthcoming, and have not been for a while.  However,

    I believe this letter is very real.  A long jobsearch can be soul-crushing.
    If your jobsearch strategy has not borne fruit, you need to re-examine what DOES make you happy. Go back to both Career Services Offices (B-school and Law School) and schedule an appointment, by phone, if necessary.  Contact your study team members and have them vet your resume and cover letters.  Reach out directly to alums. Network network network.
    But before you do ALL of this, you need to tweak your goals.  You may have aimed too high.  Ask yourself which levers you are willing to give on (industry, geography or function).  You need to work on an elevator pitch.  You need to decide what you want to be.
    You are going to be “overeducated.” Get out there and start earning some money.  And quit the “I won’t do THAT job” attitude.  What your resume needs more than anything is job experience.  Get going and good luck!

  7. Tbone

    April 21, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Agree with Ex-Bitter.  MJ too.  More education ain’t the answer here, dude.

  8. embeeyay

    April 21, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t really get it.  No finance jobs makes your MBA obsolete?  When my finance gig went bust I was able to move into marketing last summer like it was nothing.  Same pay, less stress.  that’s the point of an MBA, your good at nothing so you bs your way into anything.

  9. lawdude

    April 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    ya man totally agree

  10. TTT Associate

    June 8, 2009 at 11:40 am

    This kid clearly has no focus or passion for law or business.  I’m sure he interviews as well as a Lampchop puppet with no hand up his backside.  Employers can see right through your facade of top-ranked schools.  Seems like you just went to law school because you got into one, and you didn’t even do well while there.  Way to go!

    Reason #1 law firms won’t hire you: you have no skills.  How about working at a law firm for 2 years, and actually getting legal experience.  Maybe then you will actually be worth your weight, instead of a piece of paper which doesn’t automatically make you good at law.  There are plenty of people who have either a JD or an MBA, and you cant get a job with both.  This guys a douche and im sure it shows to potential employers (or in this kids case, no-potential employers)

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