0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

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DaftAndDirect
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0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:04 pm

Serious question.

Why isn't everyone here who is gunning for Big Law trying to break in to finance instead? If you have an arts and letters background, you could get an MSF and jump into an entry gig at 60-70k and work your way into IB after a couple of years.

Also, corporate attorneys at the end of the day are little more than some banker's bitch. Bankers and lawyers work similar hours (with bankers' being a bit worse up until reaching Vice President) but bankers are paid substantially more.

What's the deal?

in2win
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby in2win » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:09 pm

Is it really that easy to land an entry level 60-70k gig with a msf

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:18 pm

No, you have to hustle a bit more as firms don't run to campus to hire MSF's. It's not much different from the mass mailing of law firms that a lot of the currents students on TLS do to get jobs. If you can pick up hard skills in Excel, Access, VBA, and can truly understand financial statements (and prove that during an interview) it would not be very difficult to land a role as a credit analyst. BMO/Harris Bank in Chicago started their incoming 2010 class at 70k. These were mostly Big 10 graduates with good grades in Finance/Accounting.

An MSF is a bit off the beaten path but IMO it's potentially a better option than dropping 200k on even a T14 law school.

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Gail
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby Gail » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:21 pm

same reason why many of them aren't becoming doctors.


they wouldn't be very good at it.

Napt
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby Napt » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:24 pm

I lack creativity and can't do math or science.

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H.E. Pennypacker
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a

Postby H.E. Pennypacker » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:25 pm

a
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roaringeagle
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby roaringeagle » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:34 pm

I lack creativity and can't do math or science.


:D I cannot do Math at all-I am talking about advanced Algebra here. I am extremely creative and very good at science though. I do care about people who are not sadistic bastards or assholes (an increasing minority of people). I could hack being a doctor. I would probably be an animal doctor though...I like animals more than the majority humans. Use LSAT logic to deduce whether I like you or not.

shoeshine
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby shoeshine » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:34 pm

Been there. Done that. I worked for a bank in the bulge bracket for 4.5 years straight out of UG.

But seriously. The finance industry is just as shitty if not worse off than the legal industry. I have posted about this many times before.

1) Post 2008, the bonuses suck.

2) The hours are just as bad as big law and can be worse depending on your dept. (mine were about 55-65 per week)

3) There is no job security. You are only as good as your last quarter's numbers.

4) It was the least intellectually stimulating work you could ever imagine.

So it is basically like law but with a lower base.

Edit: I am 1L though.
Last edited by shoeshine on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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rayiner
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:35 pm

If you're going to do banking, you do HYP -> GS/JPM/MS. In today's climate, getting an MSF isn't going to get you more than shitbanking, the occasional special snowflake aside. Finance hiring at HYP this year was SPS, and even M7 MBA's are all heading to consulting because finance isn't hiring.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:37 pm

That's definitely true for analysts. First and second year analysts get railed worse than a first or second year Big Law associate. The hours get better as you advance from associate through to VP. My understanding is that Big Law hours don't really change for the better until you make partner (this coming from a couple attorneys I know at Chicago firms).

I buy that at first most law school types don't think they'd be very good at banking. But if they spent the same amount of time and energy on learning how to use Excel/Bloomberg/CapIQ as they did poring over cases during 1L, they'd likely make a fine banking analyst. You don't have to be a mathlete to be a good analyst, you just need to know how to use the programs that do the heavy mathematical lifting for you.

An additional pro for banking is that the exit options are far more flexible than a JD.

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roaringeagle
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby roaringeagle » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:40 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:That's definitely true for analysts. First and second year analysts get railed worse than a first or second year Big Law associate. The hours get better as you advance from associate through to VP. My understanding is that Big Law hours don't really change for the better until you make partner (this coming from a couple attorneys I know at Chicago firms).

I buy that at first most law school types don't think they'd be very good at banking. But if they spent the same amount of time and energy on learning how to use Excel/Bloomberg/CapIQ as they did poring over cases during 1L, they'd likely make a fine banking analyst. You don't have to be a mathlete to be a good analyst, you just need to know how to use the programs that do the heavy mathematical lifting for you.

An additional pro for banking is that the exit options are far more flexible than a JD.


somehow I think that law will give me more opportunity to be creative. I think that I would love litigation.

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hookem7
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby hookem7 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:41 pm

Of my b-school friends I've gathered that the Finance guys have had a tougher time getting jobs than the Accounting/MBA guys and are having to go more into consulting. I can't imagine actually being an accountant though

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:41 pm

rayiner wrote:If you're going to do banking, you do HYP -> GS/JPM/MS. In today's climate, getting an MSF isn't going to get you more than shitbanking, the occasional special snowflake aside. Finance hiring at HYP this year was SPS, and even M7 MBA's are all heading to consulting because finance isn't hiring.


"Shit-banking" isn't really all that shit. I don't see why anyone would look down their noses at mid-market and boutique shops. Firms like these care less about pedigree than they do about about scrapiness (again this is mostly at the analyst level. A lot of the veeps at Houlihan Lokey have Harvard Business on their resumes). No they're not Goldman or Morgan Stanley, but they still provide graduates with an opportunity to make six figures and get great experience in their early 20s. It also doesn't require crushing law school debt.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:45 pm

shoeshine wrote:Been there. Done that. I worked for a bank in the bulge bracket for 4.5 years straight out of UG.

But seriously. The finance industry is just as shitty if not worse off than the legal industry. I have posted about this many times before.

1) Post 2008, the bonuses suck.

2) The hours are just as bad as big law and can be worse depending on your dept. (mine were about 55-65 per week)

3) There is no job security. You are only as good as your last quarter's numbers.

4) It was the least intellectually stimulating work you could ever imagine.

So it is basically like law but with a lower base.

Edit: I am 1L though.


Last quarter's numbers? I don't understand. Were you in sales?

shoeshine
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby shoeshine » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:46 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:An additional pro for banking is that the exit options are far more flexible than a JD.

I disagree. The exit options for me were pretty much consulting, do what I was already doing but at a smaller firm, or law school.

Those options sucked.

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rayiner
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:49 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:That's definitely true for analysts. First and second year analysts get railed worse than a first or second year Big Law associate. The hours get better as you advance from associate through to VP. My understanding is that Big Law hours don't really change for the better until you make partner (this coming from a couple attorneys I know at Chicago firms).

I buy that at first most law school types don't think they'd be very good at banking. But if they spent the same amount of time and energy on learning how to use Excel/Bloomberg/CapIQ as they did poring over cases during 1L, they'd likely make a fine banking analyst. You don't have to be a mathlete to be a good analyst, you just need to know how to use the programs that do the heavy mathematical lifting for you.

An additional pro for banking is that the exit options are far more flexible than a JD.


Banking exit options are also a lot more varied in terms of compensation and less secure. The kind of insecurity lawyers felt in 2008/2009 is just a taste of what bankers have always had to deal with. Armageddon in the legal field involved about 3-4% of the NLJ250 being laid off in total. Banks have been doing lay-offs of 2-3% at a time regularly since the recession.

shoeshine
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby shoeshine » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:50 pm

DaftAndDirect wrote:
shoeshine wrote:Been there. Done that. I worked for a bank in the bulge bracket for 4.5 years straight out of UG.

But seriously. The finance industry is just as shitty if not worse off than the legal industry. I have posted about this many times before.

1) Post 2008, the bonuses suck.

2) The hours are just as bad as big law and can be worse depending on your dept. (mine were about 55-65 per week)

3) There is no job security. You are only as good as your last quarter's numbers.

4) It was the least intellectually stimulating work you could ever imagine.

So it is basically like law but with a lower base.

Edit: I am 1L though.


Last quarter's numbers? I don't understand. Were you in sales?


No, I don't want to out my self but I worked in a division that valued and traded a very specific type of security. If our division did bad someone was always fired. Usually a middle manager and some underlings. It is strange but you could work your ass off and literally have no control over your fate in the long run.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:54 pm

shoeshine - objectively it does sound like your situation sucked. But why is Big Law a better alternative? Why not an MBA (cheaper and more versatile for money making purposes)? Also - if you're getting mad money to go to CCN or something that would be helpful to know, becase in that case this argument doesn't apply to you so much.

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H.E. Pennypacker
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a

Postby H.E. Pennypacker » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:55 pm

a
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FlanAl
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby FlanAl » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:57 pm

any value in a joint jd/msf? this seems like it might be more valuable than the joint jd/mba? I'd love to actually learn something about that stuff. I feel completely illiterate when it comes to that stuff.

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JoeMo
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby JoeMo » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:59 pm

rayiner wrote:If you're going to do banking, you do HYP -> GS/JPM/MS. In today's climate, getting an MSF isn't going to get you more than shitbanking, the occasional special snowflake aside. Finance hiring at HYP this year was SPS, and even M7 MBA's are all heading to consulting because finance isn't hiring.


What do the bolded mean?

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby DaftAndDirect » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:01 pm

H.E. Pennypacker wrote:
DaftAndDirect wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you're going to do banking, you do HYP -> GS/JPM/MS. In today's climate, getting an MSF isn't going to get you more than shitbanking, the occasional special snowflake aside. Finance hiring at HYP this year was SPS, and even M7 MBA's are all heading to consulting because finance isn't hiring.


"Shit-banking" isn't really all that shit. I don't see why anyone would look down their noses at mid-market and boutique shops. Firms like these care less about pedigree than they do about about scrapiness (again this is mostly at the analyst level. A lot of the veeps at Houlihan Lokey have Harvard Business on their resumes). No they're not Goldman or Morgan Stanley, but they still provide graduates with an opportunity to make six figures and get great experience in their early 20s. It also doesn't require crushing law school debt.


College friend I know took HLHZ in a secondary over the NYC BB that he interned for to be closer to family. He ended up working 9am to midnight 6 day a week on a regular basis. So much for QOL. The hours in banking are on another level than any other job.

ETA: From what I've heard they don't drop much with seniority either. The facetime requirement just fades away and more are spent from home.


this is where we disagree - and there's really not much more we can do to resolve that other than pit "my friend said" against "your friend said".

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Bildungsroman
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:02 pm

I want to be a lawyer.

Napt
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby Napt » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:03 pm

JoeMo wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you're going to do banking, you do HYP -> GS/JPM/MS. In today's climate, getting an MSF isn't going to get you more than shitbanking, the occasional special snowflake aside. Finance hiring at HYP this year was SPS, and even M7 MBA's are all heading to consulting because finance isn't hiring.


What do the bolded mean?

SPS = shit pure shit
M7 = MBA from HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, MIT

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JoeMo
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Re: 0Ls gunning for Big Law, why not finance?

Postby JoeMo » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:05 pm

Napt wrote:
JoeMo wrote:
rayiner wrote:If you're going to do banking, you do HYP -> GS/JPM/MS. In today's climate, getting an MSF isn't going to get you more than shitbanking, the occasional special snowflake aside. Finance hiring at HYP this year was SPS, and even M7 MBA's are all heading to consulting because finance isn't hiring.


What do the bolded mean?

SPS = shit pure shit
M7 = MBA from HBS, Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, MIT


Ah, thanks.




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