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Michael Martinez JD/MBA '11

September 14, 2011

The University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Wharton School developed an integrated JD/MBA program to address the needs of students interested in the intersection of business & law.

Penn Law is the leader in cross-disciplinary legal education. Seventy percent of the Law School’s standing faculty hold advanced degrees beyond the JD, with nearly half having PhDs or the equivalent. Wharton is the world’s leader in business, especially finance, accounting, real estate and health care. It is the world’s largest business school with more than 200 standing faculty in 11 departments. The strengths of the faculties and the proximity of Penn Law and Wharton, which are within a few blocks of each other on the same campus, make Penn the leading choice for an accelerated JD/MBA.

Michael Martinez L'11 shares some of his experiences with the JD/MBA program with Penn Law's Communications.

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My name is Michael Martinez, I’m class of 2011 with a joint degree JD/MBA. ??
Well, coming to Penn you realize that the school offers two top tier law and business schools. When I was admitted to Penn Law, it sort of sealed the deal for me. I knew coming into Penn Law that I definitely wanted to make the JD/MBA the degree that I was going to pursue while here.
I think one area where they fed into each other really well was particularly with mergers and acquisitions. I had taken a mergers and acquisitions class here and a corporations class here (at the Law School) and when you go to Wharton you understand what the bankers were doing behind the cases that you are reading. Particularly in a finance class, a banking class, you understand the other side of the puzzle.
In terms of the cross disciplinary aspect of it you kind of get the overall picture of what each player is bringing to the table and how each person views the transaction.
I think one of the great benefits of doing the JD/MBA program, I did the 4-year program, is you get essentially three summers. My first two summers I worked at law firms and last summer I worked at an investment bank. I was able to gauge both professions to understand what goes into banking and what goes into law. The holistic approach to understanding your profession and your professional goals is something that you can’t underestimate when you are doing the joint degree program.
I know that people say that Penn Law is very collegial, but one of the things I valued most was the size of this law school. It wasn’t too large, so you didn’t get lost in the crowd. And you also felt as though you were part of a community. If you came to study, if you’re sitting at the Clock or sitting at the Goat, you do feel like you are part of a community, you don’t feel outside. I know there are kids that come from all over the country or far from home and there is definitely a community feel to the law school and it’s something I certainly will miss moving forward. It’s something special here about Penn Law and I think the more time you spend here, the more you grow to appreciate that.