V15 Partner/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

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itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:07 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
dingbat wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
dingbat wrote:A number of people have suggested doing a summer abroad, because no curve and easy grading virtually guarantees a GPA boost. Is this a worthwhile endeavor, or do you guys see past those tricks?
How about split-summer to include a legal internship? (or take the internship most summers abroad provide)

Thanks


If you are at a school that would actually count a summer abroad into your GPA you already have a hard road to hoe. If you merely mean that I might look at your summer abroad grades and "count" them, then, yes, we see past this.

Further, a summer abroad indicates one of two things: you couldn't find any legal employment (not good) or you aren't really that serious about developing legal skills (also not good). If you otherwise have a great resume, you can get away with a "I took advantage of a last chance to spend significant time abroad before I buckle down" explanation. Other than that, it's pretty much a bad idea.

Actually, I'm fairly certain most schools count the summer abroad into the GPA
That being said, I'm considering a split summer - 3 weeks abroad and the rest working (possibly in the country where I go abroad, because I have connections and might have impressive opportunities)



Your response surprised me. Since I rarely come across study abroad transcripts, I did a quick search. None of the schools I looked at count the grades into GPA -- granted I only looked at about a half dozen, but they ranged from Cornell to Georgetown to some state schools to NYLS.

Don't do study abroad expecting a boost. Look for substantive experience in whatever 1L summer job you get.


This plan sounds "fine". It's 1L summer. Nothing you do will make THAT much of a difference.

Anonymous User
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Is an MBA worth pursuing immediately after law school (specifically for restructuring) assuming good grades from a top school and an MBA from a top school? I'm considering pursuing one so I have a better idea about client needs & operations on the business side and I'm wondering if you think the $100k investment is worth it in the long run.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is an MBA worth pursuing immediately after law school (specifically for restructuring) assuming good grades from a top school and an MBA from a top school? I'm considering pursuing one so I have a better idea about client needs & operations on the business side and I'm wondering if you think the $100k investment is worth it in the long run.


JD/MBA at HYS here.
Law firms don't care and may actually question your commitment to law. From personal experience, they always want to know why (with a degree of suspicion) and I can't say anyone was impressed or it improved my odds at OCS.

HOWEVER, I think it's well worth it, esp if you can pull it off in 4 years because a) you never know how long you'll last in law and how much you'll like it. The MBA opens up a world of new opportunities in case you want to pursue them and b) your network grows by 2-3x.

Also, the client needs, etc. is mostly fluff. It won't be a valuable skill as a junior associate and wherever you end up, both you and the firm know you'll most likely leave before you get to a position where those skills actually come handy at the negotiation table. If you're really concerned about the knowledge, you can get it via cross-registering for a few courses or taking some workshops. Beyond that MBA classes won't really teach you anything that'd be valuable during your early years at a law firm, if ever.

That said, I have heard there is one firm that liked JD MBAs, although I can't remember which one.

HTH

Edit: also your investment is not $100K. Assuming your alternatives are a 2yr MBA vs. Biglaw, it's more like $150K for the MBA + $320+ loss of income from Biglaw - whatever you make in your summer (not much for MBA students) so more like $450K+ than $100K.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is an MBA worth pursuing immediately after law school (specifically for restructuring) assuming good grades from a top school and an MBA from a top school? I'm considering pursuing one so I have a better idea about client needs & operations on the business side and I'm wondering if you think the $100k investment is worth it in the long run.


JD/MBA at HYS here.
Law firms don't care and may actually question your commitment to law. From personal experience, they always want to know why (with a degree of suspicion) and I can't say anyone was impressed or it improved my odds at OCS.

HOWEVER, I think it's well worth it, esp if you can pull it off in 4 years because a) you never know how long you'll last in law and how much you'll like it. The MBA opens up a world of new opportunities in case you want to pursue them and b) your network grows by 2-3x.

Also, the client needs, etc. is mostly fluff. It won't be a valuable skill as a junior associate and wherever you end up, both you and the firm know you'll most likely leave before you get to a position where those skills actually come handy at the negotiation table. If you're really concerned about the knowledge, you can get it via cross-registering for a few courses or taking some workshops. Beyond that MBA classes won't really teach you anything that'd be valuable during your early years at a law firm, if ever.

That said, I have heard there is one firm that liked JD MBAs, although I can't remember which one.

HTH

Edit: also your investment is not $100K. Assuming your alternatives are a 2yr MBA vs. Biglaw, it's more like $150K for the MBA + $320+ loss of income from Biglaw - whatever you make in your summer (not much for MBA students) so more like $450K+ than $100K.


agree with above. i would strongly encourage the 4 year JD/MBA program (because it gives you tremendous optionality at the cost of just one additional year), but not getting an MBA post-law school unless you're directly trying to go to the business side. a useless move if you're trying to join a firm.

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PinkCow
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby PinkCow » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is an MBA worth pursuing immediately after law school (specifically for restructuring) assuming good grades from a top school and an MBA from a top school? I'm considering pursuing one so I have a better idea about client needs & operations on the business side and I'm wondering if you think the $100k investment is worth it in the long run.


JD/MBA at HYS here.
Law firms don't care and may actually question your commitment to law. From personal experience, they always want to know why (with a degree of suspicion) and I can't say anyone was impressed or it improved my odds at OCS.

HOWEVER, I think it's well worth it, esp if you can pull it off in 4 years because a) you never know how long you'll last in law and how much you'll like it. The MBA opens up a world of new opportunities in case you want to pursue them and b) your network grows by 2-3x.

Also, the client needs, etc. is mostly fluff. It won't be a valuable skill as a junior associate and wherever you end up, both you and the firm know you'll most likely leave before you get to a position where those skills actually come handy at the negotiation table. If you're really concerned about the knowledge, you can get it via cross-registering for a few courses or taking some workshops. Beyond that MBA classes won't really teach you anything that'd be valuable during your early years at a law firm, if ever.

That said, I have heard there is one firm that liked JD MBAs, although I can't remember which one.

HTH

Edit: also your investment is not $100K. Assuming your alternatives are a 2yr MBA vs. Biglaw, it's more like $150K for the MBA + $320+ loss of income from Biglaw - whatever you make in your summer (not much for MBA students) so more like $450K+ than $100K.



Some partners at Goodwin Procter love JD/MBAs, and they even give a nice signing bonus for it (I think $50,000, but might be less)

Pokemon
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Pokemon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:05 pm

I think K&E also gives mba bonuses. I know Gunderson also likes people with MBAs. Considering both Goodwin and Gunderson do a ton of emerging enterprises work, it would not surprise me if all law firms in that industry like MBAs.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby MethodMan » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:19 pm

Given the stats about low biglaw job satisfaction, have you found that associates who were undergrad finance majors are able to "enjoy" the work more as it is more relevant to their field of study/interest than a liberal arts major, or does it pretty much equally suck for everyone regardless?

anon168
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby anon168 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:32 pm

MethodMan wrote:Given the stats about low biglaw job satisfaction, have you found that associates who were undergrad finance majors are able to "enjoy" the work more as it is more relevant to their field of study/interest than a liberal arts major, or does it pretty much equally suck for everyone regardless?


I really enjoyed my time at biglaw.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:12 pm

anon168 wrote:
MethodMan wrote:Given the stats about low biglaw job satisfaction, have you found that associates who were undergrad finance majors are able to "enjoy" the work more as it is more relevant to their field of study/interest than a liberal arts major, or does it pretty much equally suck for everyone regardless?


I really enjoyed my time at biglaw.


i think anyone who comes in with a "sunshine, save the world, lollipops, happy" background will be pretty miserable. I don't think you need a specific background major to fall into that camp (or the opposite).

anon168
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby anon168 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:02 pm

itbdvorm wrote:
anon168 wrote:
MethodMan wrote:Given the stats about low biglaw job satisfaction, have you found that associates who were undergrad finance majors are able to "enjoy" the work more as it is more relevant to their field of study/interest than a liberal arts major, or does it pretty much equally suck for everyone regardless?


I really enjoyed my time at biglaw.


i think anyone who comes in with a "sunshine, save the world, lollipops, happy" background will be pretty miserable. I don't think you need a specific background major to fall into that camp (or the opposite).


It's also about expectations, and luck.

I really was fortunate to be staffed on some good cases and worked with partners who were very hands-off.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:51 am

I'm planning to work in the fed. government after graduating law school. What are my chances of lateralling over to big law someday? I'm not doing DOJ Honors. Does it depend on the agency? Which agencies are best for lateralling? Worst (i.e., least seen, rare)?

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Flips88
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Flips88 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm planning to work in the fed. government after graduating law school. What are my chances of lateralling over to big law someday? I'm not doing DOJ Honors. Does it depend on the agency? Which agencies are best for lateralling? Worst (i.e., least seen, rare)?

I'm just a 2L so take my answer with a grain of salt, but I think the conventional wisdom is that big law to fed government is exponentially more common than fed gov to big law.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:12 pm

Flips88 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm planning to work in the fed. government after graduating law school. What are my chances of lateralling over to big law someday? I'm not doing DOJ Honors. Does it depend on the agency? Which agencies are best for lateralling? Worst (i.e., least seen, rare)?

I'm just a 2L so take my answer with a grain of salt, but I think the conventional wisdom is that big law to fed government is exponentially more common than fed gov to big law.


all depends on level of seniority.

after a year or so i'm sure it's quite hard. after a few years though you can become quite useful to regulatory practices. many i'm sure are doable - SEC, IRS, FCC, FTC, Energy, etc.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:27 pm

I will be starting as an associate in a major market and working for attorneys who do fairly large private equity and M&A work. I was wondering if you have any insight on what I might actually be doing. Will this consist of due diligence? If so, what does that mean? Checking that certain entities exist? Check they have been complying with their tax obligations? Am I totally off? (I could be).

Also, is there a big difference between private equity (in particular, buyouts) and regular M&A practice or are the two mostly the same?

In this thread you gave some good advice about things summer associates can do to prepare: read WSJ, Dealbook, etc. However, I think that I understand most of the basic lingo used on those websites/blogs. Is there anything else that might help prepare me?

Thanks for your help.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was wondering if you have any insight on what I might actually be doing. Will this consist of due diligence? If so, what does that mean? Checking that certain entities exist? Check they have been complying with their tax obligations? Am I totally off? (I could be).

Also, is there a big difference between private equity (in particular, buyouts) and regular M&A practice or are the two mostly the same?


So, this is based only on experience as a summer associate, so I'll defer to others with more experience. But my best answers to your questions:

1: Due diligence generally is the process of ascertaining the legal rights and obligations of a company. Checking that entities exist, tax issues, etc. are part of this, but often a much larger part is reading through a company's major contracts (i.e., with suppliers, with employees/unions, or with lenders) to make sure you are aware of any legal provisions that will be triggered. For example, do these contracts have a change in control provision that gives rise to certain rights if the company's ownership changes, or are their restrictive covenants that prevent the company from doing certain things.

2: Only ever done work on the private equity side, but I've heard there are two major differences. First, PE firms buy companies all the time (multiple times a year), whereas most public companies engage in large-scale M&A relatively infrequently. Thus, public companies tend to require more hand-holding and shepherding through the process. This relative lack of experience also may lead to unpleasant surprises in the form of last-minute requests since people at the client don't really know what's going on. PE firms by contrast will be more familiar with the process and plan better, but they also are more knowledgeable and thus can be more demanding of their lawyers. Second, since a private equity buyer is usually just buying the company (rather than integrating it into another company's current operations), you'll have relatively less exposure to integration issues (e.g., figuring out how to merge two companies with unionized workforces governed by separate labor agreements). On the flipside, there's typically heavier exposure to the finance / capital markets side of things in PE transactions since PE firms are more heavily reliant on leverage.

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dingbat
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will be starting as an associate in a major market and working for attorneys who do fairly large private equity and M&A work. I was wondering if you have any insight on what I might actually be doing. Will this consist of due diligence? If so, what does that mean? Checking that certain entities exist? Check they have been complying with their tax obligations? Am I totally off? (I could be).

Also, is there a big difference between private equity (in particular, buyouts) and regular M&A practice or are the two mostly the same?

In this thread you gave some good advice about things summer associates can do to prepare: read WSJ, Dealbook, etc. However, I think that I understand most of the basic lingo used on those websites/blogs. Is there anything else that might help prepare me?

Thanks for your help.

Just to add a small tidbit from the other side, here are things that have been part of due diligence on matters I've dealt with:

Checking that numbers are consistent (this can consist of anything, from price, to tax ID number, to policy numbers of insurance products to you name it)
Checking that every document is present, signed and dated in all the right places and that the dates are consistent (not necessarily identical - sometimes doc A must be signed before doc B)
Figuring out how various structures interact with each other
Where applicaple, checking that at the time of the initial transaction (years earlier) that that transaction was completely kosher (which meant effectively doing a separate due diligence on the old transaction)
Warranties and covenants (including interpretation)
In one case, an attorney spotted that someone's signatures didn't match across documents
In one case, where price was based on actual number of days, a matter had been backdated a few months (and priced accordingly), which was perfectly fine, but the day selected was a Sunday (this type of transaction had to occur on a weekday) and at the last minute the date and price had to be changed accordingly

That's all I can think of right now

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby bdubs » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is an MBA worth pursuing immediately after law school (specifically for restructuring) assuming good grades from a top school and an MBA from a top school? I'm considering pursuing one so I have a better idea about client needs & operations on the business side and I'm wondering if you think the $100k investment is worth it in the long run.


JD/MBA at HYS here.
Law firms don't care and may actually question your commitment to law. From personal experience, they always want to know why (with a degree of suspicion) and I can't say anyone was impressed or it improved my odds at OCS.

HOWEVER, I think it's well worth it, esp if you can pull it off in 4 years because a) you never know how long you'll last in law and how much you'll like it. The MBA opens up a world of new opportunities in case you want to pursue them and b) your network grows by 2-3x.

Also, the client needs, etc. is mostly fluff. It won't be a valuable skill as a junior associate and wherever you end up, both you and the firm know you'll most likely leave before you get to a position where those skills actually come handy at the negotiation table. If you're really concerned about the knowledge, you can get it via cross-registering for a few courses or taking some workshops. Beyond that MBA classes won't really teach you anything that'd be valuable during your early years at a law firm, if ever.

That said, I have heard there is one firm that liked JD MBAs, although I can't remember which one.

HTH

Edit: also your investment is not $100K. Assuming your alternatives are a 2yr MBA vs. Biglaw, it's more like $150K for the MBA + $320+ loss of income from Biglaw - whatever you make in your summer (not much for MBA students) so more like $450K+ than $100K.


At Northwestern JD/MBAs get a significant boost in legal recruiting relative to JD counterparts. This may be because JDs from NU don't have as easy of a time as JDs from HLS or it might have something to do with our program being 3 years and not 4.

I agree that it doesn't make any sense to go get an MBA on its own as a junior associate. Although in my experience there are very few former attorneys at b-schools no matter their tenure (not sure if it's lack of supply or demand).

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:13 am

thanks for doing this.

i've tried asking around in other threads but it seems no one has a real idea, so i thought i'd try my luck here -

im going to be doing M&A work in Tokyo for one of the few american firms that have a big japan presence. japanese foreign acquisitions are really active right now, so im looking forward to good experience. i was wondering if you had any idea about what my exit options would be if i tried to return to the states around the 4-5 year mark. this is a somewhat off the beaten path experience, so i really have no idea what comes after. any input is appreciated!

kwwill3
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby kwwill3 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:08 pm

Does TFA provide a benefit of any kind during the recruitment process provided that your grades are high enough for the firm? Curious as to how firms will view my experience.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:thanks for doing this.

i've tried asking around in other threads but it seems no one has a real idea, so i thought i'd try my luck here -

im going to be doing M&A work in Tokyo for one of the few american firms that have a big japan presence. japanese foreign acquisitions are really active right now, so im looking forward to good experience. i was wondering if you had any idea about what my exit options would be if i tried to return to the states around the 4-5 year mark. this is a somewhat off the beaten path experience, so i really have no idea what comes after. any input is appreciated!


i guess it depends on what you're doing. if you're specializing in US deals for japanese companies you'll likely be much more useful in the US than other way around. but if you're looking at companies looking to grow in japan sure it's helpful too

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:54 pm

kwwill3 wrote:Does TFA provide a benefit of any kind during the recruitment process provided that your grades are high enough for the firm? Curious as to how firms will view my experience.


uh. what's tfa?

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Blessedassurance
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:06 pm

Teach for America, I think.

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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:53 pm

I am a 2L at a t14, and have an SA lined up in NYC with a V20 firm. My GPA after 1L was slightly above an A- average, but this past semester I received straight B+'s. Do you think such a grade drop will jeopardize my chances of getting an offer this summer? I will definitely work a lot harder this coming semester to pull up my GPA nosedive.

Thank you.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:50 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:Teach for America, I think.


then not really i think. not terrible but no big boost.

itbdvorm
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Re: V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer Answering Questions...

Postby itbdvorm » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at a t14, and have an SA lined up in NYC with a V20 firm. My GPA after 1L was slightly above an A- average, but this past semester I received straight B+'s. Do you think such a grade drop will jeopardize my chances of getting an offer this summer? I will definitely work a lot harder this coming semester to pull up my GPA nosedive.

Thank you.


probably fine




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