Are Joint Degrees Worth It?

Vol. 42 No. 5


G.M.Filisko ( is a lawyer and freelance writer in Chicago.

Nikki Johnson-Huston always wanted to get a master of business administration (MBA) degree, but her ultimate dream was a law degree. She didn’t think she could do both, so she opted for law school.

One of the first things Johnson-Huston learned in law school was that her assumption was wrong. She could—and did—earn both degrees and threw in a master of the law (LLM) for good measure. “I’m really glad I did it because I really challenged myself,” said Johnson-Huston, who nearly 10 years after graduating recently opened her own tax-law firm in Philadelphia. “For my career, it was really helpful. It gave me a set of credentials most people aren’t walking around with. And now in my own practice, it adds to my credibility.”

Johnson-Huston cautions, however, that a joint-degree program isn’t for the faint of heart. Here we reveal the pluses and minuses and offer tips for proceeding wisely when it comes to doubling up on degrees.


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