Sarah Nichols, L'22

Sarah's headshot

Meet Sarah Nichols, a 2L and founding student board member of the Richmond Law & Business Forum. Sarah is helping to plan Thursday's conversation about life as a merger & acquisitions attorney.  Sarah is also in the joint JD/MBA program with the Robins School of Business, so we’ve invited her to share her thoughts on that program as well!

Why did you decide to join the Richmond Law & Business Forum?

I joined the Forum because I am pursuing a career in business law and an organization such as this will be pivotal in developing a network of remarkable people within the Richmond business law community.

As one of the founding board members of the Richmond Law & Business Forum, what are your goals for the organization?

I am overjoyed to be a founding board member because we have the opportunity to really maximize the Forum's potential from the beginning. As a dual-degree student, I would love to build a connection between JD and MBA students through networking events, pro bono opportunities, or even clinics. Additionally, I would love to help develop a mentorship program so Richmond Law students can be partnered with an attorney in their practice area of interest.

What are your own career goals?

I hope to practice business law in the Richmond or DC area. I have not narrowed down which aspect of business law in particular, but I am mostly interested in contract work and the legal processes involved with starting/operating a business.

Why did you decide to get a joint JD/MBA? How does the joint degree program work?

I decided to get a JD/MBA because I believe that to be an effective business lawyer, it is crucial to actually understand the business of your client. Clients want the best choice for their business when evaluating business decisions, and often what is the "best choice" is not necessarily the best legal choice. Thus, approaching clients from a purely legal perspective/knowledge base is limiting. Plus, I love the content of the MBA courses and my friends in the MBA program, who I know will be a great network of people as I move forward in my career.

The MBA program can be completed concurrently with your JD, so it will increase your course load. In a typical semester, I take 19 credit hours. That may sound scary, but the MBA offers a whole different type of thinking that I feel is a nice break from the socratic method of law school (plus, there is no curve in the business school!). Plus, being enrolled in the joint program "cancels out" 12 credit hours within the MBA program--in other words, the requirement to take 12 credit hours of electives for the MBA degree is waived. This is what makes it possible to finish both degrees simultaneously. There are of course more details, so I am happy to answer any questions you have via email!

What has been the best part of the joint JD/MBA program?

My favorite part of the program so far has been the people I have met in the program. The staff and students of the MBA program are all fabulous and there is a huge emphasis on networking so people are always happy to make introductions for you. Also, a big part of networking is etiquette and social knowledge, so there are a lot of fun events like wine tastings and food pairings that are offered to MBA students!

What is your favorite thing about Richmond Law?

My favorite part of Richmond Law is our faculty. I have yet to have a bad experience with a professor, and they are always willing to help. There is also a feeling that our professors genuinely care about us and our success, which is certainly not the case at every law school!