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For many corporate lawyers, enrolling in an accredited MBA program is an effective way to sharpen their skills and access new career opportunities. Not only can an MBA increase your value in the marketplace, but it can also broaden your network.

Depending on the business school, tuition and fees for a two-year MBA program can cost between $30,000 and $150,000. If you attend business school part-time, you will spend countless hours on nights and weekends completing your coursework.

This significant investment of time and money may be the right path for some attorneys. However, you must carefully weigh the pros and cons of getting an MBA to determine if its right for you. Here are three things attorneys must consider before enrolling in an MBA program.

1. Can you afford an MBA?

From living expenses to student loans, chances are you have plenty of financial obligations already. Investing in an MBA can be a good career move. However, paying for an MBA can be a burden if the costs exceed your budget.

Even if you qualify for student loans, you’ll be required to repay the money after you graduate. Tens of thousands of dollars in additional loans can increase your monthly expenses by as much as $1200.

Before enrolling in an MBA program, take time to crunch the numbers and forecast the expenses associated with an MBA. If possible, lower your monthly expenses by paying off consumer debt such as credit cards and car loans before starting business school.

2. What do you want to accomplish by getting an MBA?

Whether you want to change industries or acquire new skills, know your reasons for pursuing an MBA. Get clear about your professional goals and aspirations. Make sure you know what is driving your decision.

If you aren’t clear about your goals, you may not have the drive to complete the program. Or you may end up feeling unfulfilled after you earn an MBA.

Top reasons lawyers get MBAs include:

  • Develop advanced business management skills.
  • Specialize in different areas of business including international business, finance, marketing and strategic management.
  • Network with leaders and executives in different industries.
  • Increase their salaries.
  • Learn about the global marketplace.

3. Will an MBA advance your career?

Since an MBA requires a significant investment of time and money, it should advance your career. Explore the prospective career opportunities that may be available to you after you graduate from business school. In many instances, earning an MBA provides lawyers with the flexibility to excel in a variety of leadership and executive positions.

Jobs for lawyers with an MBA include:

  • In-House Counsel
  • Management Consulting
  • Executive Leadership Roles
  • Managing Partners
  • Corporate Lawyers

Completing an MBA program gives you the skills to become a better advisor and counselor. You can gain practical knowledge that can help you remain competitive and achieve your personal goals. By considering these questions, you can determine if an MBA is right for you.

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