Law Students

Majority of Graduates from Harvard JD-MBA Program Choose Business Careers
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

The joint degree program at Harvard started in 1969 and still offers a J.D.-M.B.A. to roughly 12 graduates per year. The list of all-time graduates from the program is full of big names, with the biggest being that of presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney founded Bain Capital and is joined on the list of 500 graduates by Bruce Wasserstein. Wasserstein was in charge of Lazard until he died in 2009. Also on the list are the heads of Canyon Capital Advisors, Silver Lake Partners and Crestview Partners. C. James Koch, the founder of Boston Beer Company, is also on the list of graduates. Theodore V. Wells Jr., one of the United States top trial lawyers, also graduated from the program.

“What was special about these people was that they had bandwidth,” Malcolm S. Salter said. Salter is an emeritus business professor who aided in the creation of the joint program. “They had to be driven, hard-working and organized to a degree that was unusual even for Harvard business or law grad students.”


A 1998 graduate of the program, Guhan Subramanian, now serves as the faculty chairman. Subramanian said that the students could be seen as “résumé builders who haven’t figured out what to do with their lives and are just checking off all the boxes.” He also said that the students are interested in mastering both the legal and business industries. Before a student can apply for the program, he or she must be admitted to the law school and the business school separately.

“I was among the most conservative people at the law school and one of the most liberal people at the business school,” said Peter Halasz, a partner at the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel. Zabel graduated from the program in the 1980s. “Studying at both exposes you to many different kinds of people and various sides of an argument.”

The former head of Putnam Investments and Freddie Mac, Charles E. Haldeman Jr., was one year in front of Romney in the program. “Back then, people were trying to save the world. Because I was interested in business, and doing well economically mattered to me, and I didn’t think the country was controlled by evil people, the law school students did think of me as a little different.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

The quality of life and earnings potential are reasons as to why most graduates of the joint program at Harvard end up in business instead of law, according to Lawrence Golub. Golub is the chief executive for Golub Capital, which is an investment firm. “One learns that the life of associate at a big corporate law firm is demanding, unpleasant and not as lucrative as what you can do on the business side.” Golub is a 1984 graduate of the program. He also created the program’s alumni society.

Romney is one of only two alumni of the program to enjoy a high-profile career in politics. The other is Christopher Cox, who was a congressman and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman.






Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Rohnert Park

Zimmerman Pavone LLP is looking for an attorney admitted to practice in California who is inter...

Apply now

Labor & Employment Partner in Houston, Austin or Dallas (Work From Home)


Culhane Meadows PLLC, one of the largest non-traditional distributed law firms in the country, ...

Apply now

Labor & Employment Group partner in Dallas, Austin or Houston (Work From Home)


Culhane Meadows PLLC, one of the largest non-traditional distributed law firms in the country, is...

Apply now




Search Now

Personal Injury Litigator


Northern Virginia office of our client is seeking a personal injury litigator with 4+ years of stron...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney


Larkspur office of our client seeks an associate attorney with 4-6 years of experience/background pr...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney

USA-MI-Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Hills office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an associate attorney wit...

Apply Now


To Top