How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

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idfatq
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How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby idfatq » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:09 pm

Here's the deal,

I'm a 0L who knows next to nothing about finance and/or business. I also know that biglaw deals with finance and business. Is the world of biglaw reserved only for those who have backgrounds in finance and business through their college majors and/or work experience? If not, is there anything I can read or do in the remaining months before I end up in law school to get myself to whatever level of familiarity I need to get to with finance and business in order to be able to jump into the world of biglaw if the opportunity comes up? I understand there are classes specifically dealing with finance and business related law in law school, but I'm guessing they're not dumbed down for those who aren't familiar with business concepts and terms.

Although I figure its obvious, my honest answer to the "if you don't have any background in finance or business then why are you interested in biglaw?" question is: "because I hear that's where the money is."

Any recommendations?

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Dark Horse
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby Dark Horse » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:22 pm

There are definitely lots of people in biglaw who don't have formal training in business or finance. It certainly helps, since the issues you'll be dealing with relate to big corporations or big banks. Reading the Wall Street Journal or the business sections of other newspapers can help. For me, I read business books that involved lawyers. Their role isn't the primary emphasis of the book, but you get a better idea of what corporate lawyers do and how they assist business/finance people. Try out these two:

http://www.amazon.com/Barbarians-Gate-F ... 0060536357
http://www.amazon.com/Too-Big-Fail-Haza ... 0815781520

idfatq
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby idfatq » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:07 pm

thanks, any other suggestions?

I've never read a page of a John Grisham book, nor do I watch any of the legal drama TV shows... though I hear that might be an advantage since they're both grossly inaccurate. Any books/shows/movies that portray the work biglaw lawyers do or issues biglaw lawyers deal with accurately?


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Dark Horse
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby Dark Horse » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:28 pm

Michael Clayton. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the other, more fun lawyer movies though.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:53 pm

You don't need to have a background in business to work at a corporate law firm, so no need to worry about that.

However, if you want to learn about business I'd suggest subscribing to The Financial Times or The Economist.

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ahduth
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby ahduth » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:15 pm

Come to school with me, I'll teach you.

HWS08
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby HWS08 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:19 pm

I also recommend reading Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin (not to be confused with the other book with a similar title linked in a previous post). I think for someone with little knowledge of economics or banking it would be helpful in understanding the 2008 financial crisis and the role that regulation and law played in it. It reads almost like a novel, so it really pulls you in and makes you want to keep reading. Or maybe I'm just a big nerd :)

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Dark Horse
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby Dark Horse » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:46 pm

HWS08 wrote:I also recommend reading Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin (not to be confused with the other book with a similar title linked in a previous post). I think for someone with little knowledge of economics or banking it would be helpful in understanding the 2008 financial crisis and the role that regulation and law played in it. It reads almost like a novel, so it really pulls you in and makes you want to keep reading. Or maybe I'm just a big nerd :)


Oh crap, I linked the wrong book. This is the book I was talking about, haha.

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starrydreamz3
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby starrydreamz3 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:53 pm

HWS08 wrote:I also recommend reading Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin (not to be confused with the other book with a similar title linked in a previous post). I think for someone with little knowledge of economics or banking it would be helpful in understanding the 2008 financial crisis and the role that regulation and law played in it. It reads almost like a novel, so it really pulls you in and makes you want to keep reading. Or maybe I'm just a big nerd :)


Also - "In Fed We Trust" is also a very readible introduction to the crisis, particularly looking at the Federal Reserves actions during the Lehman collapse and onward.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:10 pm

I would take a course or two in finance and management strategy if you are interested. Most universities have grad school-level classes for your JD that you can take at their respective business school. Its not too bad if you take a class with MBAs. A finance course with MS finance folks could be rough, but you should have some options. You'll be alright.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: How to make up for lack of business/finance knowledge?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:36 pm

Read as many articles, magazines, and newspapers as you can. Personally, the WSJ is easier for beginners to understand than The Economist, so I would start there. Be sure to look up at industry terms or acronyms that you dont understand and make sure, in the end, you can give a pretty good explanation of major financial concepts and events, especially the recent crisis. Brush up on your regulatory agencies and which types of businesses report to which agencies. Also, be sure to keep track of any recent legislation that effects major industries, especially the financial services industry.

Hope that helps!




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