According to a recent Gallup report, postgraduates with a law degree or masters of business administration say their degree prepared them well and was worth the cost at lower rates than other postgraduates.
The report also found these same law and MBA graduates are less likely to receive hands-on learning experiences and support while completing their degree. Specifically, less than 1 in 5 MBA and law graduates report having a strong mentor compared to the 1 in 2 medical and doctoral graduates.
“Most of the practice of law is not like what you see on TV on Law and Order,” said Elizabeth Bangs, Texas Law asistant dean for student affairs. “There’s a whole world out there and so learning from a mentor about what their practice area is and what they do
The UT School of Law and the MBA program already have resources in place to combat these statistics. MBA students have the opportunity to work on micro-consulting projects, get set up with a peer advisor and have access to career and communication coaches.
“I think those resources prove why McCombs is really an elite school for getting your MBA just because a lot of other MBA programs don’t necessarily provide those resources,” said Charles Hill, a finance and Plan II junior planning to pursue an MBA. “If you’re able to have those mentorships and peer resources, you’re able to see things a year ahead and … prepare for that.”
Similarly, Texas Law students can partake in one of the 16 career clinics and work with the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program. Law students can also get appointed a Dean’s Fellow and alumni mentor, which Bangs feels is vital to feeling prepared for life after one’s degree.
“Networking is critically important to the job search and making sure you found a job,” Bangs said. “You have to know people and mentors can introduce you to those people.”
Government senior Mariadela Villegas, who plans to attend law school, said she believes graduate students’ perceived lack of worth in their education can be attributed to the fact that many go into these professions solely for the money.
“The people that are going into (law) for something more than the money appreciate their degree a lot more,” Villegas said. “If they’re going into their career just because it’s a high paying job … I can see them not really caring about their degree and feeling that it’s less worthy.”