New USD MBA Program Expands Horizons for Corporate Counsel

Corporate counsel and in-house attorneys can advance their careers through a new customized MBA program offered by the University of San Diego (USD) School of Business Administration.

The 17-month, accelerated program is specifically tailored for the needs of corporate counsel and complements their legal background with a thorough grounding in management and business.

“Corporate counsel already play a key role in their firms’ growth and success,” said Christina de Vaca, program director. “Our program positions them for even greater opportunities and leadership roles in private and publicly traded companies as well as in areas of consulting and entrepreneurship.”

Taught by expert faculty from USD’s nationally ranked School of Business Administration, the program includes a core curriculum in accounting, finance and marketing, along with specialized courses in areas such as strategic thinking and management, globalization and mergers and acquisitions.

“An MBA degree for corporate counsel helps to strengthen the organization’s law department and establishes a common language that is shared by many senior business leaders,” said Darragh Davis, general counsel at San Diego-based Petco.

Randy Berholtz, Acting General Counsel and Secretary, Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., . a San Diego-based pharmaceutical firm, added that “when the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel initiated its discussions regarding a customized MBA program with USD, it was seeking to assist corporate counsel in maintaining relevance over time and expanding their careers. It is also a way to retain attorneys who could be transferred into business roles if the company has growth opportunities.”

Classes meet one weekend per month on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for 17 months. Applicants for the MBA for Corporate Counsel program must have earned a JD, be mid-to-senior-level corporate counsel with at least five years of experience, have been admitted to a state bar. Applications are now being accepted for the program that begins in September. For more information go to or call (619) 260-4828.

About the University of San Diego School of Business Administration
USD’s School of Business Administration is nationally ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. It is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

The USD School of Business Administration is committed to developing socially responsible business leaders with a global mindset through academically rigorous, relevant and values-based education and research. Graduates hold professional positions in high technology, new economy corporations, consulting firms, and other entrepreneurial endeavors throughout the Pacific Rim and beyond.

About the University of San Diego School of Law
Celebrating 60 years of alumni success, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Denise Ward
(619) 260-4659