Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

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Lions1913
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Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby Lions1913 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:08 pm

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Last edited by Lions1913 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jselson
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby jselson » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:11 pm

It sounds to me like you should be considering ... business schools?

Or if you just want to do general counsel for a company, get into the best school you can, go to a firm with a client you'd like to work for in a few years or a practice that focuses on a particular industry, then try to go in-house. If you want to do tech and are patent-bar eligible, then get into Stanford.

Lions1913
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby Lions1913 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:58 pm

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Last edited by Lions1913 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:02 pm

1) Keep GPA up.
2) Take LSAT.
3) Come back with 170+LSAT score.
4) If you don't have 170+ LSAT score, retake and get 170+LSAT score
5) If you don't want to get 170+LSAT score, get a job in business.

It sounds like you just want a high-paid, prestigious corporate job. With a few exceptions, law school is not a "backdoor" onto that career path. You might be able to work in-house as a lawyer.

Some people from HYS and other elite law schools might be able to swing those jobs out of law school or after a few years in practice. I'm talking one or two people max. Others might lateral over to clients after a few years working in the corporate groups of major law firms and then might be able to transition from there into a non-legal role. But that's a lot of mights. As one 20 year financial industry veteran put it to me, the line of corporate lawyers wanting to work in finance stretches several times around the Goldman Sachs building, and very few of them are getting in.

Think about going into IB or consulting and then getting your MBA if that's what you want to do. Law school might seem interesting, but it tends to limit your options.

Lions1913
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby Lions1913 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:35 pm

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Last edited by Lions1913 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thefox
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby Thefox » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:47 pm

Lions1913 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:1) Keep GPA up.
2) Take LSAT.
3) Come back with 170+LSAT score.
4) If you don't have 170+ LSAT score, retake and get 170+LSAT score
5) If you don't want to get 170+LSAT score, get a job in business.

It sounds like you just want a high-paid, prestigious corporate job. With a few exceptions, law school is not a "backdoor" onto that career path. You might be able to work in-house as a lawyer.

Some people from HYS and other elite law schools might be able to swing those jobs out of law school or after a few years in practice. I'm talking one or two people max. Others might lateral over to clients after a few years working in the corporate groups of major law firms and then might be able to transition from there into a non-legal role. But that's a lot of mights. As one 20 year financial industry veteran put it to me, the line of corporate lawyers wanting to work in finance stretches several times around the Goldman Sachs building, and very few of them are getting in.

Think about going into IB or consulting and then getting your MBA if that's what you want to do. Law school might seem interesting, but it tends to limit your options.


I appreciate your insight. Thank you!

Just to expand on your point as it is a debate I am interested in, would not a law degree open more options than an MBA would? A lawyer could both work as a lawyer in a firm or in business in some capacity. Within the financial world, there are a multitude of compliance/legal jobs opening up. Those jobs are certainly in line with my interests as this time. However, an MBA basically consigns you to working in business, and probably in a position where you plug numbers into excel. I am not necessarily looking for a prestigious corporate job, just one where I can make decisions that matter- I would like to have a little bit of control over my destiny in other words.

I think the question of which provides more career options, a law degree or a business degree, is at the heart of what I am asking. I am grateful for everyone's insight.

Thanks!


Don't go to law school if you want to work in business. It is that simple. If you go to a top School, currently, run to a front office job at a bank or seek out a consulting gig if possible. If you go to an average school get any job u can making north of 55k and work your ass off to get to the above.

Unless you are already at a top school with that gpa going to law school will only delay your ability to 1) make money and 2) work your ass off to get ahead in the finance world.

Also never tell an MBA they just plug numbers in excel all day haha. If you get the MBA at the right time and have the right connections that degree allows you to get somebody to do that plugging for you lol

AllTheLawz
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby AllTheLawz » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:57 pm

Without going into actually evaluating your decision making... the schools you want to look at are Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or Columbia if you aren't doing a JD/MBA. Those are the only law schools that are true targets for MBB (consulting) and BB (banking). Beyond those schools it is possible, but you have to do the legwork on your own.

In terms of increasing options, realize that the choice is going to be somewhat path-dependent. If you go business side first then the likelihood of transitioning back to the legal side is quite low. Lawyers have an easier time transitioning to business side from firms but they often have to take a pay cut and a role below their seniority (with transitions direct to senior management being the obvious exception). As far as internal switching from a GC office role, to a business side role.. that switch happens but not often.

Another bit of food for thought, Im really not sure how much of the scarcity of role switching is self-selection. Very few people tend to have the skill set and desire to do both sides.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:48 pm

Lions1913 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:1) Keep GPA up.
2) Take LSAT.
3) Come back with 170+LSAT score.
4) If you don't have 170+ LSAT score, retake and get 170+LSAT score
5) If you don't want to get 170+LSAT score, get a job in business.

It sounds like you just want a high-paid, prestigious corporate job. With a few exceptions, law school is not a "backdoor" onto that career path. You might be able to work in-house as a lawyer.

Some people from HYS and other elite law schools might be able to swing those jobs out of law school or after a few years in practice. I'm talking one or two people max. Others might lateral over to clients after a few years working in the corporate groups of major law firms and then might be able to transition from there into a non-legal role. But that's a lot of mights. As one 20 year financial industry veteran put it to me, the line of corporate lawyers wanting to work in finance stretches several times around the Goldman Sachs building, and very few of them are getting in.

Think about going into IB or consulting and then getting your MBA if that's what you want to do. Law school might seem interesting, but it tends to limit your options.


I appreciate your insight. Thank you!

Just to expand on your point as it is a debate I am interested in, would not a law degree open more options than an MBA would? A lawyer could both work as a lawyer in a firm or in business in some capacity. Within the financial world, there are a multitude of compliance/legal jobs opening up. Those jobs are certainly in line with my interests as this time. However, an MBA basically consigns you to working in business, and probably in a position where you plug numbers into excel. I am not necessarily looking for a prestigious corporate job, just one where I can make decisions that matter- I would like to have a little bit of control over my destiny in other words.

I think the question of which provides more career options, a law degree or a business degree, is at the heart of what I am asking. I am grateful for everyone's insight.

Thanks!


You have two jars. One has 30 red balls. The other has 14 green balls and one red ball. The latter has more options, in the sense that only picking from the 15 ball jar can give you both a chance at a green ball and a red ball on the same pick, but if you're blindfolded and the object is to pick any one ball, you'd rather be picking from the 30 ball jar. An awkward analogy but it makes my point clearly enough (a better one might be that you have a jar with white and red balls and you have to pick a red ball to then have a shot at the jar with one green ball).

Assuming that you get into a T10 school, and assuming you get biglaw, then you might have options in business 10 years down the line. However, what it seems (correct me if I'm wrong) like you're looking for is to skip the "crappy guy on the bottom of the totem pole phase" of a finance, consulting, or corporate career. That's just not going to happen no matter how many letters you have appended to your name. You're going to be doing crappy lawyer work at a huge firm for a few years, then you'll be doing crappy work at a client, then you might get lucky and lateral or get promoted into a job where you can "make decisions that matter." In other words, you'll be in the same position as if you just started out working in business, having spent the same amount of time doing the lawyer equivalent of Excel (redlining contracts or reviewing documents) but at a non-negligible risk of striking out entirely and winding up in something you do not want. Unfortunately, unless you start your own business, that's just how it works in any highly remunerative job.

akg144
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby akg144 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:54 pm

Northwestern

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crazycanuck
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby crazycanuck » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:10 am

I sent OP a PM, but here's some stuff for others:

I will tell you right now that the "skills" you learn in law school are NOT in demand by very many businesses. Maybe some of the really big F500s MIGHT like a JD for specific issues, but most will not. Small and medium sized companies will have very little demand, and the ones that do have demand will be maaaybe 1 person. Very few of my clients when I was at big 4 had GCs, and these were big publicly traded companies and private companies. For instance, at my company, we need some accountants, some business development, 1 marketer, then a bunch of developers. A JD will not build any of these kinds of skills. I don't know anyone who is a lawyer in business.

My advice to you is to take some time off from university and see what happens. I would recommend looking into consulting, big 4 accounting, or even mid-size accounting, financial analysis or operations analsis at companies, project management, junior business development position, etc. These kinds of positions will build far more useful, less expensive, and more relevant skills than a law degree will.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE GO TO LAW SCHOOL IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A LAWYER. Don't buy into the crap that JD builds strong analytical skills that is useful anywhere, those can be built while getting paid. No one in "business" cares that an evidence class you paid 10K for taught you to think critically. Get some experience, get some designations, and build your career from there.

This could lead into another rant of mine about people thinking that they need to continue to go to school to become more qualified, but I won't go there right now...

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OutCold
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Re: Best law schools for jobs in business/industry

Postby OutCold » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:05 pm

The people who end up in a high-level business role with a JD are such a small fraction of JDs that it is ridiculous to pursue a law degree with that goal in mind.




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