Crossing the Charles: The Experiences, Networks, and Career Paths of Harvard Jd/Mba Alumni

64 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2005

Date Written: August 2005


Since the Harvard JD/MBA program's official beginning in 1971, 350 students have graduated with joint degrees. However, to date, no systematic studies of JD/MBA programs (at Harvard or other universities) have ever been undertaken. "Crossing the Charles," therefore, is the first study of its kind. It presents the results of an empirical analysis of Harvard JD/MBA alumni which focused on understanding their educational experiences, networks, career paths, and relationships to Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. Our methodology included surveying all JD/MBA alumni, conducting in-depth qualitative interviews, and analyzing resume data. This study was conducted under the supervision of Professors David Wilkins, Guhan Subramanian, and Detlev Vagts during our studies at Harvard (from which we both graduated in 2005).

Its results are striking. It indicates that JD/MBAs have substantially different experiences at business school and law school, perceive important differences between the networks of each school, and that the career paths of JD/MBAs have markedly changed over the past three decades. In the process, it offers many insights - and raises important questions - about the Harvard JD/MBA program and joint degrees more generally. Given the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of graduate education and the legal and business professions more generally, we believe that it offers a valuable contribution to the literature on law and business.

Suggested Citation

Wood, Lynn and Osofsky, Justin, Crossing the Charles: The Experiences, Networks, and Career Paths of Harvard Jd/Mba Alumni (August 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Justin Osofsky

Independent ( email )

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