Left: Nathan Hutchings, his daughter Miriam, and wife Maureen at the Monroe County Public Library.
When I first started looking at grad schools, my wife and I decided that we either wanted to be on the West or the East Coast. We were both from California originally, and had gone to undergrad in Utah and subsequently worked there. We had never been to the Midwest, we had no family in the Midwest, and we had no intention of ever coming to the Midwest. I thought Indiana correlated with basketball; other than that, I had never put much thought into the state.
That changed quickly when I found out Indiana Law had one of the few three-year JD/MBA programs in the entire country. As I began to research the school and the community, Indiana rapidly moved to the top of my list. I discovered that the school had an excellent reputation, and the people I dealt with at both the Indiana Law and Kelley School of Business were top-notch.
As the first three-year JD/MBA candidate at Indiana Law, I obviously had no one to talk to about cramming five years of schooling into three. The schedule has been intense, but the administrative issues have been minor and infrequent.
The most challenging time was the first year of law school—which is the same for all first-year law students—whether you’re a dual-degree candidate or not. MBA core was also very demanding: during the first year of law school and the semester of MBA core, an average week required 65 to 75 hours of school work. On top of the school commitment, my wife gave birth to our first daughter three weeks into the first semester of law school, so I have had the additional challenge of balancing schoolwork and family duties.
Despite the intense school schedule and demanding family responsibilities, my experience has been better than I had even hoped. Last summer, I had to earn a few more credit hours in order to stay on track for graduation. This challenge turned into an amazing opportunity, though, as I was able to go to Paris for summer study abroad classes. Because going abroad was the only viable option for getting the required credits, the school stepped up and helped finance a good portion of our trip.
Now that my first year of law school and MBA core are in the rearview mirror, my schedule has opened up. Despite the fact that I will complete 19 credit hours this time, I have had more time to spend at home with my family. I was afraid that the heavy class loads in the second and third years of the program would continue to require long hours, but I’ve actually had more time to spend on extracurricular activities and other projects lately.
The workload of the three-year JD/MBA can be trying, but the career opportunities that have surfaced have made all the sacrifices seem small. I have received multiple employment offers from both law firms and businesses because of the JD/MBA. All potential employers with whom I have spoken have looked very favorably on the combination, and it has clearly opened doors.
I’ve been very fortunate to have an extremely loving and supportive wife who has made my life easier during school. Although we are having a wonderful experience in Bloomington, we both look forward to my career prospects upon graduation, which should justify the sacrifices of completing two demanding degrees in three years.
Professor Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, for setting up a basketball game at Assembly Hall between students and professors.
I have had two great summer opportunities working in real estate law. My 1L summer, I worked as a legal intern at Schoolcraft Development, a small commercial developer in Greenwood, Indiana. The attorney I worked with, who also earned his law degree at Indiana Law, was a great mentor to me. We became good friends, he taught me a lot about real estate law, and he introduced me to multiple real estate attorneys and developers.
During my 2L summer, I clerked at Ice Miller, one of the largest law firms in Indianapolis. I was able to work on projects with attorneys in different groups throughout the firm, but I focused primarily with the real estate practice group. I worked on sophisticated real estate transactions and was able to apply many of the skills I acquired while working with Schoolcraft Development. I learned a lot, worked with great people, and had a very enjoyable summer.
I grew up building homes with my father, who owned a custom home building company, and also with my grandfather and uncles, who were builders as well. When I was 12, my father left the home building industry to become a professor of construction management, which was my chosen undergraduate major in college. I have worked with Standard Pacific Homes in California, Centex Homes in California and Utah, and Castlewood Development in Utah, all residential developers.
After graduate school, I want to practice real estate law. My long-term dream job is to start my own real estate development company, grow it, and take it public.