Briefing Room


Joint-Degree Program Sets 3L Up for Future Success in Business

December 15, 2014 | Students

When 3L Drew Danielson decided to major in microbiology in undergraduate school, he thought he knew exactly what he would be doing after graduation – working in a lab. But when the economic crash hit, his interests began to drift toward business where he found his passion for helping others in his community, something he had loved about the scientific field, could be easily applied.

That path would eventually lead him to law school, where he is currently working toward a joint J.D. and M.B.A degree, which he hopes to use to help businesses and other organizations solve their problems so they can continue to support their customers, employees, and communities.

“Around the crash I started getting interested in topics outside of the sciences. I took, just for fun, a couple of economics and government classes. I had never really spent time thinking about the institutions and other formal structures that we have built up in society. In my opinion, businesses are a societal lynchpin; they create value and wealth through serving their customers, they provide their employees the dignity of work, all the while generating value for their owners. In essence, businesses attempt to facilitate transactions that make all parties involved better off. I decided that these individuals and entities: the builders, makers, and doers, were the customers I wanted to serve,” he said.

After undergraduate school, Danielson began working for the Arizona state laboratory testing water and food samples, before moving on to work at a hospital lab helping with bench research. When he realized he wanted to leave the sciences and instead go to law school, being able to get a solid business background to better understand his future clients was an important factor in deciding where to go.

“I spent some time thinking about where I felt I would fit in. I felt the law was a means for me to use my strengths to help businesses solve their problems, which according to Professor Douglas Whaley, my Debtor & Creditor teacher, is really what an attorney is supposed to be – a problem solver. I understood how important free market enterprises are to the health of a society, but if solving problems for businesses was what I wanted to do, I needed to be able to speak their language and try to understand the problems they may face. That is why I decided to pursue a joint degree through the Fisher College of Business.”

Being able to take classes at both the Moritz College of Law and Fisher College of Business as part of the joint degree program has been a great educational experience, teaching Danielson to think as both a lawyer and an industry client, he said. It’s something that has taught him to be flexible and approach both legal and business problems from different angles he may not have thought to have if he was studying just business or the law on their own.

“I would certainly recommend the joint program if you know you want to practice business law and it’s not something you’ve been exposed to in the past. I felt it was a perfect fit for me. But I would say even the students who went through a business undergrad program will learn something new,” he said.

But it isn’t simply the education Danielson said he’s felt has been a great experience over the last several years at Ohio State. He said the people, traditions, and community have made him feel at home in the Buckeye state as well.

“My wife and I came out and visited the school and I loved the campus. The people that I met here while I was looking at law schools just felt right, the community felt right,” he said. “The community here has been really great. We love it here.”