Big Law vs. Investment Banking

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby bdubs » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:24 pm

quakeroats wrote:In a past life I had the pleasure of working with a number of very successful lawyers from all parts of the profession. If we're measuring the height of the legal profession in dollars, personal injury lawyers that dominate their region go to the top of the pile. You can squirrel away north of $50-100 million without the costs and issues of working in New York or D.C. to sap your earnings.


Those guys are also corrupt schmucks who went to TTT law schools.

pocket herc
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:34 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby pocket herc » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:31 pm

Oh noes! They went to TTT's!

Also, many plaintiffs firms with graduates from elite schools, though this doesn't mean very much to me

Anonymous User
Posts: 273182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:53 pm

rayiner wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
ruski wrote:but you never see bankers give up their life and go to law school and become lawyers.


Are you being serious? Tons of IB people go to law school.


And even if more people do law -> IB than IB -> law, how much of that is due to the latter transition requiring $200k and 3 years of schooling?


It's a lot easier to go from law to IB than from IB to law. I would say less than half the IB & CM analysts at BBs have 3.75+ GPA, and they get no time to study for the LSAT after starting work.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby 09042014 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:01 pm

What are the salaries and bonuses like in IB.

2LLLL
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby 2LLLL » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:51 pm

Trading >>>>>> IB


If you're in IB you're always going to be a second-class citizen on Wall Street. This is especially true at the top banks...

User avatar
HarveyBirdman
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:16 pm

sorry to bump an old thread, but I was looking for investment banking related threads, so...

How does one get into investment banking out of college? I mean, is it only finance majors that have the opportunity? I'll have my accounting degree soon, which I guess is related, but we never really covered..uhh...stock market kind of stuff. Which was disappointing to me.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby bdubs » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:26 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:sorry to bump an old thread, but I was looking for investment banking related threads, so...

How does one get into investment banking out of college? I mean, is it only finance majors that have the opportunity? I'll have my accounting degree soon, which I guess is related, but we never really covered..uhh...stock market kind of stuff. Which was disappointing to me.


Do the banks come to your school to recruit? If not it will be hard, but not impossible. They will sometimes take kids with perfect grades from flagship state schools who major in finance, accounting, or economics. If your grades are not above 3.9 and your school is not top notch you can forget it.

stylishlaw
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:28 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby stylishlaw » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:10 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:sorry to bump an old thread, but I was looking for investment banking related threads, so...

How does one get into investment banking out of college? I mean, is it only finance majors that have the opportunity? I'll have my accounting degree soon, which I guess is related, but we never really covered..uhh...stock market kind of stuff. Which was disappointing to me.



Doesn't sound like you go to a IB target school which will make getting an IBD position near impossible to get. The actual amount of information you know is not that important because banking at the analyst level could be done by monkeys. Rather, the finance stuff they test you on in interviews is to demonstrate your interest and that you've done your research. I suggest reading the Vault guides on landing an banking job and read up at the mergersandinquisitions website. That will be important for once you get the interview, and getting that interview will probably be your hardest task. Generally if you have no shot at getting even a foot in the door you'll have to go to a Top 10 MBA program to get looked at again.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:18 pm

lawschoollll wrote:
rayiner wrote:
ruski wrote:
rayiner wrote:
If you're going to limit the IB field like that, you should do the same for law. There may not be a lot of GS associates jumping ship for law, but there aren't many W&C associates jumping ship for IB...


what are you talking about. if anything only the top firms have people jump because it's really hard. there are plenty of cravath associates who jump ship to IB. During my interview there, it was mentioned like 89273 times. it's almost like it was a selling point.



He is sort of right, in terms of the legal profession and litigation, those places are ridiculous. But when it comes to jumping ship to banking, cravath is far superior as a starting point than W&C I would have to think

Cravath isn't really at the top of the legal profession. Places like W&C, Munger, etc, are.

BAM! credibility lost. Cravath isn't at the top of the legal profession? Okay. Elite *litigation* firms are where people transfer to IB from? Okay. Thanks for playing!!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:19 pm

lawschoollll wrote:
rayiner wrote:
ruski wrote:
what are you talking about. if anything only the top firms have people jump because it's really hard. there are plenty of cravath associates who jump ship to IB. During my interview there, it was mentioned like 89273 times. it's almost like it was a selling point.


Cravath isn't really at the top of the legal profession. Places like W&C, Munger, etc, are.


BAM! credibility lost. Cravath isn't at the top of the legal profession? Okay. Elite *litigation* firms are where people transfer to IB from? Okay. Thanks for playing!!


He is sort of right, in terms of the legal profession and litigation, those places are ridiculous. But when it comes to jumping ship to banking, cravath is far superior as a starting point than W&C I would have to think

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:
rayiner wrote:
ruski wrote:
what are you talking about. if anything only the top firms have people jump because it's really hard. there are plenty of cravath associates who jump ship to IB. During my interview there, it was mentioned like 89273 times. it's almost like it was a selling point.


Cravath isn't really at the top of the legal profession. Places like W&C, Munger, etc, are.


BAM! credibility lost. Cravath isn't at the top of the legal profession? Okay. Elite *litigation* firms are where people transfer to IB from? Okay. Thanks for playing!!


He is sort of right, in terms of the legal profession and litigation, those places are ridiculous. But when it comes to jumping ship to banking, cravath is far superior as a starting point than W&C I would have to think


Good job losing the context while resurrecting a year old thread.

My point, I think, was that "top of the legal profession" is not the same as "best for moving into IB." A place like W&C is tops for doing actual legal work (you know, going to court and stuff).

JSC4
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:55 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby JSC4 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:59 pm

People talk about how IB is a job and not a career but can't the same be said for Big Law?
Isn't it true that hardly anybody really stays in Big Law forever, and the only people who do are those who actually managed to slip through and become partners?

Also traders cannot really be considered the kings of wall street anymore. Thousands of traders are being laid off from the BB's these days.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby nealric » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:07 pm

A place like W&C is tops for doing actual legal work (you know, going to court and stuff).


:roll:

Anonymous User
Posts: 273182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
yes and its possible to be a millionare without going to college. just because it happens doesn't mean its the norm. look at some directors' bios. they almost all have advanced degrees.





Completely untrue. You absolutely don't need an MBA to succeed on Wall Street. One of my best friends works at a hedge fund and my girlfriend's older brother works at GS- neither have MBAs.

Caveat- both of them are bond traders, so not truly IB but trading is the way to go in finance. Sure, top IB rainmakers make bank, but, like BigLaw, if you're not making it rain you're toiling away. Trading is much more meritocratic and its a way where you can make a lot more money a lot faster than on the IB side. There's a reason that traders are taking over Wall Street (see Blankfein, Lloyd).

Now will Dodd-Frank change the trading/IB balance of power? Possibly, but ATM traders rule the Street


LOL, Lloyd Blankfein was NOT a trader. He was a commodities salesman. There's a BIG difference between the two. And before that he was a tax lawyer. And successful traders very, very rarely don't have advanced degrees. Ones at the bottom of the totem pole do, but, generally speaking, hedge fund people are some combination of information gatherers (who typically get their connections at least in part from their experience in elite MBA programs), macro traders (who have advanced economics backgrounds) and mathematical modelers (who are largely Ph.Ds). Yes, you can break through without an advanced degree but, today especially, it's really really really hard. That's like saying you don't need a bachelor's degree to succeed at business. No, Bill Gates didn't graduate from Harvard, but, all things being equal, you still generally need a bachelor's to do well in business. Same with an advanced degree in banking. Now, the kind of degree you need really depends-- probably a plurality have MBAs, but a good number (Blankfein at Goldman and Moynihan at B of A, to name two) have JDs, and some have Ph.Ds (Vikram Pandit at Citi, who, unlike Blankfein, WAS a trader, has one).

User avatar
glewz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby glewz » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:02 pm

Desert Fox wrote:What are the salaries and bonuses like in IB.

Really varies; depending on the year & firm, bonuses could be > salary. On average at bulge bracket, around $160k (salary + bonus).*

*1st yr associate
Last edited by glewz on Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
glewz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby glewz » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:07 pm

Also, to answer OP's question, people in IBD view lawyers as 2nd class. A junior analyst may call up a partner at a top M&A law firm and tell him/her whats up.

dissonance1848
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:18 pm

Bankers make far more money than lawyers do, and your chances of progressing in banking are far better, too. In biglaw, you've got eight years max before you are out, and you make shit for that, not more than 300k all in. For banking, eight years in (depending on getting MBA or not), you are at least 400-500k a year, and you have at least a few more years there, which will get you to 1 million + a year. Also, the probability that you make biglaw is far smaller than that you last in banking at least 10 years +, make way more money, and then bail to PE or HF.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Renzo » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:29 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:
BAM! credibility lost. Cravath isn't at the top of the legal profession? Okay. Elite *litigation* firms are where people transfer to IB from? Okay. Thanks for playing!!


He is sort of right, in terms of the legal profession and litigation, those places are ridiculous. But when it comes to jumping ship to banking, cravath is far superior as a starting point than W&C I would have to think


Good job losing the context while resurrecting a year old thread.

My point, I think, was that "top of the legal profession" is not the same as "best for moving into IB." A place like W&C is tops for doing actual legal work (you know, going to court and stuff).


I don't have any idea why this thread came back from the dead twice, or what the fuck's going on in it, but this annoying fucking post by lawschoollll just got him or her put on my ignore list as a preemptive strike.

User avatar
PDaddy
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:42 pm

It's a question of balance....balancing risks, work hours, career flexibility, and long-term goals.

Theoretically, a lawyer can always do anything an MBA can do, but an MBA cannot practice law. If one wants a law degree but the life of an MBA, the best route is to get a law degree but with a business focus. That has always been my preference. If one wants to do PI, teach or be a judge, more power to them. That isn't my goal.

I won't let the IB's and other MBA's have all of the fun and make all of the money while I toil away doing more work for less money. In today's world, $300K a year is peanuts for the super-ambitious. It's a living, but - thanks to the media - I know what ballin' out of control really means. It means a yacht and a villa on the French Riviera, and a home in the Hamptons right next door to Diddy. It means being at the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game every year!

Call me shallow and materialistic, but this world is ruled by money. You can make piles of cash and still give back to the community. I care about community, and I care about public interest and would even be glad to do pro bono work. I just don't think it should mean sacrificing everything else. But IMO anyone who sacrifices like a rich person just to NOT become rich is a sucker. Top IB's can make in one year what top attorneys make in a lifetime. Average experienced IB's make more in one year than average attorneys make in five. Arguments against the pursuit of wealth are counterintuitive for any attorney. The more money one makes, the more resources and freedom one has to give back.

True, IB is not for the risk-averse; however, BigLaw attorneys are not risk averse. Anyone who goes into BigLaw should nurture his career as though he plans to transition into business or banking. That includes getting an MBA at some point, and studying finance, general management and/or marketing.

Early on, attorneys have the edge. But after 3-5 years, the IB's, as well as other MBA's have the better deal...financially, at least. Attorneys can have the whole ball of wax if they build their carrers properly.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:57 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Bankers make far more money than lawyers do, and your chances of progressing in banking are far better, too. In biglaw, you've got eight years max before you are out, and you make shit for that, not more than 300k all in. For banking, eight years in (depending on getting MBA or not), you are at least 400-500k a year, and you have at least a few more years there, which will get you to 1 million + a year. Also, the probability that you make biglaw is far smaller than that you last in banking at least 10 years +, make way more money, and then bail to PE or HF.


This has nothing to do with information I've heard about banking careers and seems far, far too rosy. I've heard job stability is much lower in banking, pay is much more variable between individuals / banks / years compared to law, etc. Not to mention the layoffs currently running through the industry.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:25 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Bankers make far more money than lawyers do, and your chances of progressing in banking are far better, too. In biglaw, you've got eight years max before you are out, and you make shit for that, not more than 300k all in. For banking, eight years in (depending on getting MBA or not), you are at least 400-500k a year, and you have at least a few more years there, which will get you to 1 million + a year. Also, the probability that you make biglaw is far smaller than that you last in banking at least 10 years +, make way more money, and then bail to PE or HF.


Lasting 10+ years at a bank and then bailing to PE/HF is about as likely as becoming a big law partner.

Given the level of attrition in both industries, after 5 years the typical associate in both fields is going to be in some corporate job making $150k to start. The banker will make probably about twice as much during his stint (if the economy is good) than the lawyer, and once in-house, the banker probably has a somewhat better chance at moving up the ranks.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:30 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:
Cravath isn't really at the top of the legal profession. Places like W&C, Munger, etc, are.


BAM! credibility lost. Cravath isn't at the top of the legal profession? Okay. Elite *litigation* firms are where people transfer to IB from? Okay. Thanks for playing!!


He is sort of right, in terms of the legal profession and litigation, those places are ridiculous. But when it comes to jumping ship to banking, cravath is far superior as a starting point than W&C I would have to think


Good job losing the context while resurrecting a year old thread.

My point, I think, was that "top of the legal profession" is not the same as "best for moving into IB." A place like W&C is tops for doing actual legal work (you know, going to court and stuff).[/quote]

Uhhhh, talk about losing context, I was agreeing with you dude and said pretty much the exact same thing you just wrote.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:
Cravath isn't really at the top of the legal profession. Places like W&C, Munger, etc, are.


BAM! credibility lost. Cravath isn't at the top of the legal profession? Okay. Elite *litigation* firms are where people transfer to IB from? Okay. Thanks for playing!!


He is sort of right, in terms of the legal profession and litigation, those places are ridiculous. But when it comes to jumping ship to banking, cravath is far superior as a starting point than W&C I would have to think


Good job losing the context while resurrecting a year old thread.

My point, I think, was that "top of the legal profession" is not the same as "best for moving into IB." A place like W&C is tops for doing actual legal work (you know, going to court and stuff).


Uhhhh, talk about losing context, I was agreeing with you dude and said pretty much the exact same thing you just wrote.[/quote]

Sorry I thought you were agreeing with the other guy.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:00 pm

PDaddy wrote:It's a question of balance....balancing risks, work hours, career flexibility, and long-term goals.

Theoretically, a lawyer can always do anything an MBA can do, but an MBA cannot practice law. If one wants a law degree but the life of an MBA, the best route is to get a law degree but with a business focus. That has always been my preference. If one wants to do PI, teach or be a judge, more power to them. That isn't my goal.

I won't let the IB's and other MBA's have all of the fun and make all of the money while I toil away doing more work for less money. In today's world, $300K a year is peanuts for the super-ambitious. It's a living, but - thanks to the media - I know what ballin' out of control really means. It means a yacht and a villa on the French Riviera, and a home in the Hamptons right next door to Diddy. It means being at the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game every year!

Call me shallow and materialistic, but this world is ruled by money. You can make piles of cash and still give back to the community. I care about community, and I care about public interest and would even be glad to do pro bono work. I just don't think it should mean sacrificing everything else. But IMO anyone who sacrifices like a rich person just to NOT become rich is a sucker. Top IB's can make in one year what top attorneys make in a lifetime. Average experienced IB's make more in one year than average attorneys make in five. Arguments against the pursuit of wealth are counterintuitive for any attorney. The more money one makes, the more resources and freedom one has to give back.

True, IB is not for the risk-averse; however, BigLaw attorneys are not risk averse. Anyone who goes into BigLaw should nurture his career as though he plans to transition into business or banking. That includes getting an MBA at some point, and studying finance, general management and/or marketing.

Early on, attorneys have the edge. But after 3-5 years, the IB's, as well as other MBA's have the better deal...financially, at least. Attorneys can have the whole ball of wax if they build their carrers properly.


I think you watch too much MTV. If you're a star trader at Goldman Sachs straight out of undergrad, maybe you'll make $200K right out of undergrad (though with D-F, those days are probably over). But there's only one Goldman. Start anywhere with a lower ROE (read: everyone on Wall Street), and even if you do really well, you probably won't crack $100K. Getting a job at Goldman is like getting a job at Wachtell or Williams & Connolly out of law school. And working for a mid-tier law firm is WAAAAAAY better than working at a Wall Street bucket shop. There are 4 or 5 places on Wall Street that are good places to work out of undergrad. The rest are awful. And not "DLA Piper" awful, but "$70K first year salary with Wachtell hours" awful.

User avatar
glewz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: Big Law vs. Investment Banking

Postby glewz » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
PDaddy wrote:It's a question of balance....balancing risks, work hours, career flexibility, and long-term goals.

Theoretically, a lawyer can always do anything an MBA can do, but an MBA cannot practice law. If one wants a law degree but the life of an MBA, the best route is to get a law degree but with a business focus. That has always been my preference. If one wants to do PI, teach or be a judge, more power to them. That isn't my goal.

I won't let the IB's and other MBA's have all of the fun and make all of the money while I toil away doing more work for less money. In today's world, $300K a year is peanuts for the super-ambitious. It's a living, but - thanks to the media - I know what ballin' out of control really means. It means a yacht and a villa on the French Riviera, and a home in the Hamptons right next door to Diddy. It means being at the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game every year!

Call me shallow and materialistic, but this world is ruled by money. You can make piles of cash and still give back to the community. I care about community, and I care about public interest and would even be glad to do pro bono work. I just don't think it should mean sacrificing everything else. But IMO anyone who sacrifices like a rich person just to NOT become rich is a sucker. Top IB's can make in one year what top attorneys make in a lifetime. Average experienced IB's make more in one year than average attorneys make in five. Arguments against the pursuit of wealth are counterintuitive for any attorney. The more money one makes, the more resources and freedom one has to give back.

True, IB is not for the risk-averse; however, BigLaw attorneys are not risk averse. Anyone who goes into BigLaw should nurture his career as though he plans to transition into business or banking. That includes getting an MBA at some point, and studying finance, general management and/or marketing.

Early on, attorneys have the edge. But after 3-5 years, the IB's, as well as other MBA's have the better deal...financially, at least. Attorneys can have the whole ball of wax if they build their carrers properly.


I think you watch too much MTV. If you're a star trader at Goldman Sachs straight out of undergrad, maybe you'll make $200K right out of undergrad (though with D-F, those days are probably over). But there's only one Goldman. Start anywhere with a lower ROE (read: everyone on Wall Street), and even if you do really well, you probably won't crack $100K. Getting a job at Goldman is like getting a job at Wachtell or Williams & Connolly out of law school. And working for a mid-tier law firm is WAAAAAAY better than working at a Wall Street bucket shop. There are 4 or 5 places on Wall Street that are good places to work out of undergrad. The rest are awful. And not "DLA Piper" awful, but "$70K first year salary with Wachtell hours" awful.


No point in posting anonymous dude...especially since your comment doesn't hold on its own. GS, Blackstone are very similar in prestige, and a good number of the top banks have comparable compensation. And I actually think getting a job at GS is easier than at Wachtell/W&C, provided that you attend the right school. At mine, (top public) at least 6 people got GS IBD straight out of undergrad (2009); competition was pretty much business/econ/some engineering & quant heavy majors. I would expect that Ivies had greater success.

Also, it seems that you're comparing post-undergrad salaries with post-law school salaries...which makes little sense to me. By the time an undergrad finishes 2-3 years at pretty much any top bank, he/she would have exit options or an associate level salary. (and no LS debt)




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.