Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Tomas Rua ’16 JD/MBA

I decided to attend Yale Law first of all based on my prior experience at Yale. I was an undergraduate here and knew for a fact that I loved New Haven and the University at large. So I felt really confident in that I wanted to come back here and be part of this community again. But Yale Law in particular I was drawn to a couple of different things. One that really stands out is the small size of the school. Another thing that really stood out for me about Yale was just the ability to self direct in terms of your studies. Yale has fewer requirements than a number of other law schools do. You, of course, take a required set of courses your first semester, but starting as soon as your second semester you can actually pursue more or less any course that you want, which is pretty unique and certainly something that I took advantage of and, you know, knew I would want to, knowing that I was going to be taking some business courses as well and wanted to make sure I could drive in pretty quickly to some things over here. So those things that were really unique about Yale just, you know, in addition to my own strong feelings for the University, you know, my own sentimental feelings, but those were really strong drawing factors for me. And they’ve been validated by my experience here.

My decision to pursue a joint degree dated back to my experience prior to law school. I had worked at a company that was working with law departments on how they managed their business issues in particular around costs. So I thought, knowing that I wanted to be a lawyer, I thought it was really important to add a certain skill set that would help me in my career think about the business issues that come with actually managing a legal organization, not just serving your clients on legal issues but actually running a business itself. And so I thought Yale was a particularly good choice to do that for a couple of reasons. One was the three-year program that is offered here, which is really unique. There are only a few schools that do that, and Yale’s is particularly flexible in the sense that they allow to work both of your summers, which is great for students who have interests on both the business side and the legal side and maybe want to explore a little of both. So that was one thing. Another was just because of the particularly condensed curriculum here, I really had a sense as I sat down and evaluated different options that Yale was a particularly thoughtful program in terms of how they were actually selecting classes for joint degree students and merging the two curriculums. There’s, of course, a lot of overlap between business and the law, but I think some other programs out there that are longer, you may find yourself taking courses that might not feel as core to your own interests. I think that the Yale program is really very streamlined and allows you to package that very neatly in three years, which was really appealing to me.

My involvement in corporate law here began my 1L fall. I participated in something called the Transactional Law Competition here, which is designed for students who are interested in pursuing corporate law paths or may have other business-related interests. But really it gives them an opportunity to sit down with outside lawyers who come in and run through a mock transaction, including drafting an agreement for it and actually carrying out a negotiation. That was actually run by an organization here called the Yale Law and Business Society, which would end up being important to me here. I last year served as the president of that organization, and the organization focuses on putting together programming for sort of that same set of students who have business interests, corporate law interests, things that may assist them in figuring out what kind of career path they want to go down. Also notably that organization works really closely with the Corporate Law Center here and Professor Romano who leads that.

A student perspective on pursuing a JD/MBA degree and on corporate law.