Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

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Verity
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Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Verity » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:58 pm

What practice group is most beneficial to someone thinking of entering the financial sector (i.e., getting into professional investment) after about a decade in law? Debt/Equity CM, M&A, Securities Lit., etc.?
Last edited by Verity on Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Renzo
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Renzo » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:00 pm

Verity wrote:What specific type of law is most beneficial to someone thinking of entering the financial sector (i.e., getting into professional investment) after about a decade in law? Debt/Equity CM, M&A, Securities Lit., etc.?


After a decade in law?

Death and reincarnation is probably the easiest path.

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Verity
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Verity » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:00 pm

Renzo wrote:
Verity wrote:What specific type of law is most beneficial to someone thinking of entering the financial sector (i.e., getting into professional investment) after about a decade in law? Debt/Equity CM, M&A, Securities Lit., etc.?


After a decade in law?

Death and reincarnation, probably.


Let's say 5-10 years.

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thesealocust
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:04 pm

I've heard good sources suggest that it's substantially easier to jump to the business side of finance after a short (1-3 years?) career at a firm.

There are some obvious things (choose corporate practice over litigation) and some more subtle things (choose firms that represent a lot of banks and financial institutions) and some things that will be harder to pin down (i.e. what practice group would be best).

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Bronte
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Bronte » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:11 pm

Would looking towards moving into general counsel's office at a bank be a good call after 2-3 years? (Personally not interested in moving into finance.)

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rayiner
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:15 pm

Bronte wrote:Would looking towards moving into general counsel's office at a bank be a good call after 2-3 years? (Personally not interested in moving into finance.)


The CW is that the best in-house exits (on the law side) open up after 4-6 years, rather than 2-3.

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Bronte
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Bronte » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:17 pm

rayiner wrote:
Bronte wrote:Would looking towards moving into general counsel's office at a bank be a good call after 2-3 years? (Personally not interested in moving into finance.)


The CW is that the best in-house exits (on the law side) open up after 4-6 years, rather than 2-3.


Gotcha. (What's CW, credited word?)

Edit: Of course, after moving to GC at a bank, there's still the difficulty of actually moving into banking. From some undoubtedly overly cynical accounts, I've gathered that "everyone in GC" wants to move into banking.
Last edited by Bronte on Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Verity
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Verity » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:18 pm

thesealocust wrote:I've heard good sources suggest that it's substantially easier to jump to the business side of finance after a short (1-3 years?) career at a firm.

There are some obvious things (choose corporate practice over litigation) and some more subtle things (choose firms that represent a lot of banks and financial institutions) and some things that will be harder to pin down (i.e. what practice group would be best).



That's really my question. I'm also not talking about necessarily taking a legal job afterwards. I'm talking about doing real investment work. My gut feeling is that M&A probably gives you the best deal-making insight, but that Debt/Equity CM gives you the best investment knowledge.

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thesealocust
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:20 pm

M&A would give you the best insight for M&A. Capital Markets would give you the best insight for Capital Markets. Credit would give you the best insight for Credit.

Also, I assumed you meant business side and not legal side. That's a more rare jump that requires more careful though; people jump to legal departments of financial institutions all the time from wall street law (and other) firms.

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rayiner
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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:21 pm

Bronte wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Bronte wrote:Would looking towards moving into general counsel's office at a bank be a good call after 2-3 years? (Personally not interested in moving into finance.)


The CW is that the best in-house exits (on the law side) open up after 4-6 years, rather than 2-3.


Gotcha. (What's CW, credited word?)

Edit: Of course, after moving to GC at a bank, there's still the difficulty of actually moving into banking. From some undoubtedly overly cynical accounts, I've gathered that "everyone in GC" wants to move into banking.


CW = conventional wisdom.

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Bronte
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Bronte » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:22 pm

Yeah I think everyone understood you mean moving into finance (not financial law). When I said moving to GC, I meant law firm > GC at a bank > banking. Obviously I'm sure you're aware that if you wanted banking, LS wasn't the best option. You're gonna have to play your cards right, including making sure you don't signal to firms that you're trying to jump ship.

rayiner wrote:CW = conventional wisdom.


Thanks. Credited word would pretty much mean the same thing lol.

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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Renzo » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:31 pm

Verity wrote:
thesealocust wrote:I've heard good sources suggest that it's substantially easier to jump to the business side of finance after a short (1-3 years?) career at a firm.

There are some obvious things (choose corporate practice over litigation) and some more subtle things (choose firms that represent a lot of banks and financial institutions) and some things that will be harder to pin down (i.e. what practice group would be best).



That's really my question. I'm also not talking about necessarily taking a legal job afterwards. I'm talking about doing real investment work. My gut feeling is that M&A probably gives you the best deal-making insight, but that Debt/Equity CM gives you the best investment knowledge.


Your best shot to make the jump is about a year, maybe two of M&A work. After that you're a lawyer, not a financier.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:31 pm

Go to a top business school instead.

hth

seriouslyinformative
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby seriouslyinformative » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:15 pm

Work in the corporate department of a Wall Street law firm. The options will start appearing at some point in your career as an associate.

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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Verity » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:16 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Go to a top business school instead.

hth


This is usually credited, but there are a number of Wall Street execs that actually went the law school route, most famous probably being Blankfein.

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IrwinM.Fletcher
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:39 pm

Verity wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Go to a top business school instead.

hth


This is usually credited, but there are a number of Wall Street execs that actually went the law school route, most famous probably being Blankfein.


It's possible to break into *some* areas of finance these days with a JD after working at a firm, but using examples like Blankfein is a poor idea. That was thirty years ago. Things are so different now that the comparison is hardly worth making.

If your interest lies in the investment management side of the business, then there really is almost no way to break in with just a JD. The quant guys have made the industry so ridiculously technical that a minimum of a CFA is almost an absolute requirement even for separate accounts and mutual funds. And frankly, the CFA is hard shit- I passed Level I and it was about 1000x harder than anything I've seen in law school so far. Something like 27% pass the first stage on their first attempt.

If you want I-banking, you better be one affable, well-connected, well-bred SOB if you're gonna transition from law into one of the white shoe banks.

Some other departments would be more accessible but are also often lower-paying, and I really don't see the appeal of working biglaw hours for less $.

EDITED to add: A JD and firm experience will absolutely get your foot in the door for the low-end retail side of lots of investment firms, but it is about the most convoluted route imaginable for a gig that you can access just as easily with a TTT MBA or sometimes even a bachelor's degree. The reason being that these positions are 99% sales oriented and have an equally high wash-out rate in the first year. Bring in $15 million of assets in the first twelve months or so after licensing or GTFO is the general rule.

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Re: Best path for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:23 am

Bronte wrote:Would looking towards moving into general counsel's office at a bank be a good call after 2-3 years? (Personally not interested in moving into finance.)

very interested in this as well

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BunkMoreland
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby BunkMoreland » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:40 am

Tagging too, for interest in 9-5 in-house jobs

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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby IAFG » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:45 am

Verity wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Go to a top business school instead.

hth


This is usually credited, but there are a number of Wall Street execs that actually went the law school route, most famous probably being Blankfein.

Lots of famous actors waited tables before they made it big, which is why I am gonna résumé bomb Chili's and TGIFriday's.

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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:50 am

IAFG wrote:
Verity wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Go to a top business school instead.

hth


This is usually credited, but there are a number of Wall Street execs that actually went the law school route, most famous probably being Blankfein.

Lots of famous actors waited tables before they made it big, which is why I am gonna résumé bomb Chili's and TGIFriday's.


You just wanna [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.] hag our chilis waiter don't you.

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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Danteshek » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:51 am

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
Verity wrote:
IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:Go to a top business school instead.

hth


This is usually credited, but there are a number of Wall Street execs that actually went the law school route, most famous probably being Blankfein.


The quant guys have made the industry so ridiculously technical that a minimum of a CFA is almost an absolute requirement even for separate accounts and mutual funds. And frankly, the CFA is hard shit- I passed Level I and it was about 1000x harder than anything I've seen in law school so far. Something like 27% pass the first stage on their first attempt.


CFA isn't that hard. I'm terrible at math and passed both Levels I and II on my first attempt. You do have to study hard for about six months for each exam, so it is a lot of work.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:58 am

The "financial sector" won't exist in the form that it does today in about 5-10 years after the giant fucking bubble of fake assets that every idiot on Wall Street is betting on finally pops.

HTH

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Bronte
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby Bronte » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:18 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:The "financial sector" won't exist in the form that it does today in about 5-10 years after the giant fucking bubble of fake assets that every idiot on Wall Street is betting on finally pops.

HTH


You're a little late to the party. The biggest financial crisis in years just recently occurred, and Wall Street is still alive and kicking. If it was gonna go, it would have went. And if it does go, big law's going with it. HTH.

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rayiner
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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby rayiner » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:59 am

Bronte wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:The "financial sector" won't exist in the form that it does today in about 5-10 years after the giant fucking bubble of fake assets that every idiot on Wall Street is betting on finally pops.

HTH


You're a little late to the party. The biggest financial crisis in years just recently occurred, and Wall Street is still alive and kicking. If it was gonna go, it would have went. And if it does go, big law's going with it. HTH.


Wall Street is alive by trading shit like securitized agency-backed mortgages. Washington isn't going to be able to prop this shit up indefinitely.

Wall Street isn't going anywhere of course, but I think there are still bubbles left to pop. That'll certainly take a bit bite out of NYC big law, but if it results in resources being diverted to productive parts of the economy then law as a whole will limp along. Lots of big law firms don't do a lot of financial work, which is why much of the industry has been hurting despite a quick recovery of the financial sector.

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Re: Best practice group for an exit into the financial sector

Postby ruski » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:26 am

i wouldn't recommend the biglaw--> GC office --> front office of bank path. once you're working in compliance/back office it is extremely hard to get out, especially since everyone else there is also looking to move out.

it would make much more sense to go to a top MBA program after a few years of biglaw rather than going in-house. i know a few directors (pulling in maybe 1-2 million by my guesses) at bulge bracket banks that did the biglaw --> MBA --> investment management route.




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