One Difference Between Business and Law School

by on April 24th, 2011

Business school and law school are different. Kind of like how the left side of your brain is different from the right side. And it’s not just because my classes are different and the topics taught in the classrooms are different.  It’s also because my classmates, their work styles and the flow of the conversation in the classroom are very different.  As the year continues to go by, that fact continues to become more and more evident.

If you are in a business school class, more often than not, numbers are king. You have to think about the financials. Build out the business plan. And think about different strategies to help you execute that business plan.  Likewise, the cases are often about getting the right answer. So even though all the other implications are important, getting the right answer is usually most important, especially in classes like finance and accounting.

On the other hand, law school is more about the reasoning behind the answer. So we read hundreds of pages of cases. Discuss those cases in class. And think a lot about what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. So even if arguments have been made in the past, we are also asked to formulate our own arguments and counterarguments. And not just in written form but also publicly under the Socratic method, which is used by most professors in class.

Like I mentioned in my last post, our arguments have to be good because the professors will probe. And we have to make them in front of people whose opinion we care about, at least during our first year, because things still feel more competitive.  So you have to put in the work to be ready.

For those and other reasons, law school is also usually a lot more work. On the other hand, business school is often times less work. Because once you come up with the answer, then you can be done.  And since you work in teams, that helps the flow of the discussion enormously.

Upon reflection, I’m glad I am in the JD-MBA program. It gives me a chance to mix it up a little. Build different skill sets. Meet different types of people. Indulge in different learning styles. And activate both my left brain and right brain.

What about you? Are you considering a JD-MBA program? If not, then maybe you should be …


  • Good day,
    I have a Law degree and I have been called to the Bar, so I can go to court and practice if I want to. But, I have been working in a Bank for the pass 3 years. I want to further my education so I can be in a more advantageous position when looking for a better job.

    I'm about starting an MBA(law) in the University of Wales(online course, so I can work & also go to school), I keep asking myself if this is the best programme for me at this stage. I don't want to abandon my Law profession completely because in future I will like to work in a Law Dept of a Company.
    I have to study 8 courses in total, 2 Law courses and the rest are a mixture of Management, HR, and one Finiancial course. I'm a Nigerian. so I will be working in my country and doing the online MBA(law).

    I'm a just a little confused, so I decided to google 'the diferences between MBA & MBA(law) and that is how I came across your write up.

    From all I have said, my question is, is an MBA(law) good for me or will I be restricting myself too much?

    I will be grateful if I get a response to this email asap. The MBA(law) starts in less than a month from now.

    Thank you.

  • what are the major differences between business law and law in general?

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