Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

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henry_kravis
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Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:03 am

It seems, based on a search I've done, that most corporate attorneys have very low job satisfaction rates and think that their jobs are very mind-numbing and boring. I was wondering though if being an attorney is really that uninteresting overall. Yes, I know that attorney work isn't the sexy trial room work I see on TV and that its mostly research, drafting, etc. but the reason I want to pursue corporate law is that I am fascinated with how businesses work, and being able to see legal issues that come up and being able to facilitate the dealmaking so that both parties mutually benefit seems exciting to me. I know editing/revising a contract might be boring, but isn't there some intellectual stimulation in helping come up with the contract in the first place? For those of you who are interested in, are working in, or know somebody working in corporate law, what kind of person do you think would enjoy that work (assuming they find it given the job market)?

whymeohgodno
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby whymeohgodno » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:56 am

henry_kravis wrote:It seems, based on a search I've done, that most corporate attorneys have very low job satisfaction rates and think that their jobs are very mind-numbing and boring. I was wondering though if being an attorney is really that uninteresting overall. Yes, I know that attorney work isn't the sexy trial room work I see on TV and that its mostly research, drafting, etc. but the reason I want to pursue corporate law is that I am fascinated with how businesses work, and being able to see legal issues that come up and being able to facilitate the dealmaking so that both parties mutually benefit seems exciting to me. I know editing/revising a contract might be boring, but isn't there some intellectual stimulation in helping come up with the contract in the first place? For those of you who are interested in, are working in, or know somebody working in corporate law, what kind of person do you think would enjoy that work (assuming they find it given the job market)?


Really? I thought it was only 13 year olds watching Boston Legal that wanted to be a trial attorney.

Also I'm no expert on this topic but I'm pretty sure most people are worried about making money, hence the big infatuation with biglaw jobs (pays the best).

I'm pretty sure being mind numbingly bored has nothing to do with most lawyers when they look for a job...

MrAnon
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby MrAnon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:06 am

If you are interested in how businesses work, then start working for one! That sounds like your calling. Otherwise you'll be just another attorney who is trying to do "deal making" that has not ever worked on the business side. Why would a business go to you for that work? And why on earth would you want to continue watching from the outside when there are many many many businesses that you could actually work at instead of servicing. After you have some business experience and contacts, then consider becoming a lawyer.

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am588
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby am588 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:16 am

This is actually what I'm looking to go into. I've been with my company for a few years, though. I haven't heard much yet about what the legal team is like, but I'm curious to see if its enjoyable.

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nealric
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby nealric » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:06 am

Some people like it, many don't. It's hard to know until you get inside of one and really grind out the hours. I loved working as a summer associate at a large law firm, but I've never put in associate hours for years on end.

From everything I've gathered, much of it will depend on the partner(s) you end up working for and the niche you end up in. Some partners at some firms will be tyrants, while others will be wonderful mentors. Some practices involve nothing but grinding out cookie cutter deals, others involve complex and cutting-edge issues.

BTW: "Corporate attorney" or "corporate law" are rather imprecise terms. For that reason, those terms are generally not used by attorneys. I assume you are talking about a large law firm. In such a firm, the "corporate" department will refer to a general transactional practice. However, you could also use "corporate law" to refer to an in-house position at a corporation.

Renzo
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby Renzo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:03 am

I don't think corporate lawyers are any more or less happy, on average, than real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, litigators, patent prosecutors, etc. They're all pretty unhappy on average, so I don't think I'd worry that one particular area of law is going to make you unhappy--especially one that interests you.

henry_kravis
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:05 pm

Renzo wrote:I don't think corporate lawyers are any more or less happy, on average, than real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, litigators, patent prosecutors, etc. They're all pretty unhappy on average, so I don't think I'd worry that one particular area of law is going to make you unhappy--especially one that interests you.


Well any suggestions as to who would enjoy this type of work? Like I said, earlier, and I understand that the experience may vary depending on the deal and all, is drafting the negotiations on average that mind-numbing? I'd imagine, even for standard deals, that there would be a fair amount of assessment needed to determine how to draft it to benefit both parties, assessing legal issues that may come up, etc.

henry_kravis
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:52 pm

bump

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johnnyutah
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby johnnyutah » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:13 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:Really? I thought it was only 13 year olds watching Boston Legal that wanted to be a trial attorney.

I went from wanting to do corporate shit as a 1L to being dead set on trial work as a 3L. Trials are always on TV for a reason (i.e. - they are fun as shit).

JakeL
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby JakeL » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:50 pm

Renzo wrote:I don't think corporate lawyers are any more or less happy, on average, than real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, litigators, patent prosecutors, etc. They're all pretty unhappy on average, so I don't think I'd worry that one particular area of law is going to make you unhappy--especially one that interests you.


I don't think you know what you are talking about. I'd like to see the poll/reference that led you to conclude this..

henry_kravis
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:18 pm

JakeL wrote:
Renzo wrote:I don't think corporate lawyers are any more or less happy, on average, than real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, litigators, patent prosecutors, etc. They're all pretty unhappy on average, so I don't think I'd worry that one particular area of law is going to make you unhappy--especially one that interests you.


I don't think you know what you are talking about. I'd like to see the poll/reference that led you to conclude this..


Here's a reference for starters:

http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/20 ... ould-care/

Renzo
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby Renzo » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:54 pm

henry_kravis wrote:
JakeL wrote:
Renzo wrote:I don't think corporate lawyers are any more or less happy, on average, than real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, litigators, patent prosecutors, etc. They're all pretty unhappy on average, so I don't think I'd worry that one particular area of law is going to make you unhappy--especially one that interests you.


I don't think you know what you are talking about. I'd like to see the poll/reference that led you to conclude this..


Here's a reference for starters:

http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/20 ... ould-care/

And another

And only slightly more than half are satisfied with their careers.

henry_kravis
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:15 pm

Alright, so doom and gloom aside, how can I figure out for myself whether or not I'd enjoy a legal career in corporate law? As of right now, I feel as though restructuring or M&A/IPO advisory would be ideal for me, but how can I know for sure whether a legal career in those areas would suit me?

I guess I can start by stating why I THINK I'd enjoy a career in those fields and then some of you more experienced people can tell me whether I'm delusional or if they will suit my goals.

So here's why I believe I'd enjoy a legal career:

Essentially, I love reading about high finance deals and seeing how they work. I feel that as an attorney, my job will basically be to read about intricacies behind the deals or the restructuring, come up with the agreement/write memos or reports about it, and then I'll be able to add to the deal by adding my expertise and advise over time as I learn more. In a way, I'd envision that my job as an attorney would be basically the same as being paid to work on real live case studies in M&A, restructuring and whatnot, which I think is intellectually stimulating and will show me how businesses work, which is what I love to study. I know that it will be writing contracts and drafting agreements, but I'm guessing that the process of coming up with those agreements will allow me to learn the inner workings of the business. Furthermore, it would allow me to work on the deals without having to be the deal maker. I feel that after a while, an investment banker's job is basically becoming a glorified salesman, which I want to avoid to some extent. Finally, being a lawyer should allow me to become a banker afterward if I want to make the switch (see Lloyd Blankfein).

So based on my description of goals, do you think I would enjoy being a lawyer or would I want to look more into actually being a businessman?

M.M.
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby M.M. » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:21 pm


Renzo
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby Renzo » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:58 pm

henry_kravis wrote:Alright, so doom and gloom aside, how can I figure out for myself whether or not I'd enjoy a legal career in corporate law? As of right now, I feel as though restructuring or M&A/IPO advisory would be ideal for me, but how can I know for sure whether a legal career in those areas would suit me?

I guess I can start by stating why I THINK I'd enjoy a career in those fields and then some of you more experienced people can tell me whether I'm delusional or if they will suit my goals.

So here's why I believe I'd enjoy a legal career:

Essentially, I love reading about high finance deals and seeing how they work. I feel that as an attorney, my job will basically be to read about intricacies behind the deals or the restructuring, come up with the agreement/write memos or reports about it, and then I'll be able to add to the deal by adding my expertise and advise over time as I learn more. In a way, I'd envision that my job as an attorney would be basically the same as being paid to work on real live case studies in M&A, restructuring and whatnot, which I think is intellectually stimulating and will show me how businesses work, which is what I love to study. I know that it will be writing contracts and drafting agreements, but I'm guessing that the process of coming up with those agreements will allow me to learn the inner workings of the business. Furthermore, it would allow me to work on the deals without having to be the deal maker. I feel that after a while, an investment banker's job is basically becoming a glorified salesman, which I want to avoid to some extent. Finally, being a lawyer should allow me to become a banker afterward if I want to make the switch (see Lloyd Blankfein).

So based on my description of goals, do you think I would enjoy being a lawyer or would I want to look more into actually being a businessman?

Best way is straight from the horse's mouth.
Go to networking events at your school, join the local bar association and go to their events and talk to practitioners, or even email alumni doing the kind of work you want to explore, & ask them questions.

thegor1987
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby thegor1987 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:05 pm

when you log onto free wifi at starbucks, do you READ the terms of agreement before accepting? Or do you just accept the terms of contract without any intellectually stimulating reading of such terms?

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Doritos
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby Doritos » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:06 pm

corporate attorneys are the happiest people on earth. you want to be one

Renzo
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby Renzo » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:12 pm

thegor1987 wrote:when you log onto free wifi at starbucks, do you READ the terms of agreement before accepting? Or do you just accept the terms of contract without any intellectually stimulating reading of such terms?

I'm in an internet contracts seminar. Now I read them.

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northwood
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby northwood » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:21 pm

thegor1987 wrote:when you log onto free wifi at starbucks, do you READ the terms of agreement before accepting? Or do you just accept the terms of contract without any intellectually stimulating reading of such terms?



i used to read it every time... but then i noticed that id finish my first cup, and have to buy another one.. that got too expensive, so i stopped going to starbucks. ( but i do enjoy reading that stuff)

henry_kravis
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:24 pm

thegor1987 wrote:when you log onto free wifi at starbucks, do you READ the terms of agreement before accepting? Or do you just accept the terms of contract without any intellectually stimulating reading of such terms?


I just accept it in the interest of time. Would reading through all of those terms and seeing if I enjoy reading it be an indication as to whether or not I like it or is this just a random question :D?

JakeL
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby JakeL » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:44 pm

Renzo wrote:
henry_kravis wrote:
JakeL wrote:
Renzo wrote:I don't think corporate lawyers are any more or less happy, on average, than real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, litigators, patent prosecutors, etc. They're all pretty unhappy on average, so I don't think I'd worry that one particular area of law is going to make you unhappy--especially one that interests you.


I don't think you know what you are talking about. I'd like to see the poll/reference that led you to conclude this..


Here's a reference for starters:

http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/20 ... ould-care/

And another

And only slightly more than half are satisfied with their careers.


So you are saying that because a minority or corporate attorneys are not satisfied with their career, that all corporate attorneys are "pretty unhappy on average?" I can only see the abajournal.com article from the computer I'm on now, but as long as the other article is similar, your conclusion is bogus. Certainly job satisfaction can contribute to happiness, but they aren't dependent on eachother.

Renzo
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby Renzo » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:14 pm

JakeL wrote:So you are saying that because a minority or corporate attorneys are not satisfied with their career, that all corporate attorneys are "pretty unhappy on average?" I can only see the abajournal.com article from the computer I'm on now, but as long as the other article is similar, your conclusion is bogus. Certainly job satisfaction can contribute to happiness, but they aren't dependent on eachother.

Nah. I'm sure you're right. People who work long hours and hate their jobs are winning at life.

henry_kravis
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Re: Is Being a Corporate Attorney That Bad?

Postby henry_kravis » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:35 pm

henry_kravis wrote:So here's why I believe I'd enjoy a legal career:

Essentially, I love reading about high finance deals and seeing how they work. I feel that as an attorney, my job will basically be to read about intricacies behind the deals or the restructuring, come up with the agreement/write memos or reports about it, and then I'll be able to add to the deal by adding my expertise and advise over time as I learn more. In a way, I'd envision that my job as an attorney would be basically the same as being paid to work on real live case studies in M&A, restructuring and whatnot, which I think is intellectually stimulating and will show me how businesses work, which is what I love to study. I know that it will be writing contracts and drafting agreements, but I'm guessing that the process of coming up with those agreements will allow me to learn the inner workings of the business. Furthermore, it would allow me to work on the deals without having to be the deal maker. I feel that after a while, an investment banker's job is basically becoming a glorified salesman, which I want to avoid to some extent. Finally, being a lawyer should allow me to become a banker afterward if I want to make the switch (see Lloyd Blankfein).

So based on my description of goals, do you think I would enjoy being a lawyer or would I want to look more into actually being a businessman?


Bump for more on this potentially?




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