Business school vs. law school, from someone who’s done both

By: M0hamed Kakay

Notre Dame MBAs working through a school project. (Photo courtesy Mohamed Kakay)

As someone who used to practice law and is now in the Notre Dame MBA program, people frequently ask me to compare my experiences in business school and law school. Rather than continuing to give them my standard reply of, “It’s just…different,” I figured the time had arrived to actually share a few key distinctions.

Teamwork:  While you may find study groups to be effective in law school, it is entirely possible to “lone wolf” your way through three years of a legal education. That’s not possible in business school! Once you begin your pursuit of an MBA, you will constantly be called upon to collaborate with classmates to come up with solutions to complex business problems. 

Peer wisdom and experience:  While both business school and law school will attract some of the best and brightest, it’s not likely in law school that you will find yourself sitting in class next to someone with a ton of criminal law experience or someone well-versed in civil procedure. In contrast, in business school it’s likely that you may find yourself in sitting in accounting class next to a CPA, or in a consumer behavior course with someone who has years of market research experience. Because the Notre Dame MBA program has such a family-like atmosphere, the ability to lean on my fellow classmates as well as my professors for assistance has been helpful – especially for an introvert coming from a “non-business” background like myself.

Application: While I am grateful for the knowledge gained from three (LONG) years of law school, a business education will make you a true Renaissance Man (or Woman), as the lessons you learn touch so many different aspects of our lives. Suddenly, instead of glossing past a headline about a company expanding overseas you’ll find yourself pondering questions like, “How will their competitors respond?” and “Is this move sustainable?”

About Mohamed

Prior to business school, Mohamed practiced law in Washington, D.C., and Georgia. He attended Morehouse College for his undergraduate studies. He is concentrating in marketing, and his favorite memory at Notre Dame is a Halloween party thrown by his classmates at Darby Row. You can find Mohamed on LinkedIn and Twitter.