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Thread: Law & Urban Planning Dual Degree?

  1. #1
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    Law & Urban Planning Dual Degree?

    Hi out there...I'm considering applying for a dual Law/Urban Planning M.U.P/J.D degree. However, I don't want to actually be a lawyer or anything -- I really only want to do the dual degree if its going to allow me to do more to solve the problems t hat are out there now, perhaps on a broader scale. But obviously, if its really only a prestige thing, its probably not worth it. Can anyone offer up any advice between the disadvantages/advantages of each and what additional work I could do with the Law Degree? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    i can see some of the value of a law degree with, for example, a real estate focus - but is it worth the additional time and cost (there are joint, three year degree programs at quite a few schools, though that cut down on the time/expense) if you don't think you'll actually practice law?

    if you want to practice real estate or land use law, that's one thing - but if you want some understanding of law to use during an urban planning career, perhaps it would make sense to seek out a program that offers cross-registration options with a law program?

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    A dual JD & MUP will make a private sector planning consultant a very happy camper. I almost did a JD/MPA dual degree program for the same reason, but decided I was content in the public sector and really didn't want the stress of law school.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
         
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    There was a very similar thread a year of so ago.

    The people I see with the dual degrees work for national consulting firms that write development code, cost of service studies to justify impact fees and community plans and they may do some big real estate deals. I can only guess at how much they make a year but they have to do a lot of traveling. Only very large cities have attorneys that focus only on planning/development issues so you would find more work in the private sector. If you go to the trouble of getting a JD you should go on to take and pass the bar exam. Working with a JD in planning you may never be a trial lawyer but you will help your clients keep out of the court room. You would be able to give legal advise whereas as only a planner you often must defer to the City or County Attorney or other legal counsel eventhough you may know the law better than they do.

  5. #5
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    wooo...that helped (I'm considering this program, or just planning law)! I recently spoke with a planner in my neighborhood, and she said that it does help to have some form of legal training in the professions. Especially when she was starting out, in a small suburban town where they didn't have the resources nor a high demand for the position of someone trained in law (bigger cities have those positions because of the high property values etc.), thus that position got split up amongst the staff. I guess if you don't want to be a lawyer per se (like you said) it would be best to go with an Urban Planning program that would allow you to take courses in Planning Law or Real Estate Law. I have a list of these schools...I just have to dig them out from under my bed! GOOD LUCK.

  6. #6

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    Education

    good thread. thanks amigos!

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