SEC Attorneys

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SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:04 am

What is the beginning salary for SEC attorneys in Washington DC? Also, is it possible/likely to lateral into a big firm after working for the SEC for a few years? Possibly the SEC's corporate finance division?

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Re: SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:54 am

seriously. Nobody?

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Re: SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:02 pm

Not only is it possible to lateral into a big firm after working at the SEC, you'll lateral in with a much greater shot at being a partner than someone who went in straight to the firm (and that's if they don't just hire you in as a partner to begin with). The problem with your idea is that the SEC has all but stopped hiring straight out of law school. So you will have to work for a firm or some other government agency (or possibly JAG) to get a job at the SEC to begin with. And FYI, the division of enforcement is usually the division that firms hire from. Former SEC enforcement attorneys are invaluable to a firm's securities litigation/white collar practice.

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Re: SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not only is it possible to lateral into a big firm after working at the SEC, you'll lateral in with a much greater shot at being a partner than someone who went in straight to the firm (and that's if they don't just hire you in as a partner to begin with). The problem with your idea is that the SEC has all but stopped hiring straight out of law school. So you will have to work for a firm or some other government agency (or possibly JAG) to get a job at the SEC to begin with. And FYI, the division of enforcement is usually the division that firms hire from. Former SEC enforcement attorneys are invaluable to a firm's securities litigation/white collar practice.


+1. working for the SEC generally makes you a hot commodity once you want to transition to private practice. plus, if you're a big enough deal you'll often go straight to partner and bypass the politicking necessary to achieve partner at a big firm through the traditional mode.

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Re: SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:55 pm

Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

I'm assuming the enforcement division is quite competitive? Is it grade-intensive like biglaw?

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Re: SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

I'm assuming the enforcement division is quite competitive? Is it grade-intensive like biglaw?


Honestly their hiring just doesn't work like that. They really don't hire law school graduates (they hire about 10 a year total, max). If you want to work for the SEC you're going to have to work somewhere else first and then apply. By that time things like your WE as an attorney will come into play more than grades. Try working for a firm with a strong securities litigation practice and or a strong white collar practice. It's also possible to make the transition from another government agency, maybe even JAG. I'm sure doing a volunteer internship as a 1L with them would be helpful.

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Re: SEC Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it.

I'm assuming the enforcement division is quite competitive? Is it grade-intensive like biglaw?


Honestly their hiring just doesn't work like that. They really don't hire law school graduates (they hire about 10 a year total, max). If you want to work for the SEC you're going to have to work somewhere else first and then apply. By that time things like your WE as an attorney will come into play more than grades. Try working for a firm with a strong securities litigation practice and or a strong white collar practice. It's also possible to make the transition from another government agency, maybe even JAG. I'm sure doing a volunteer internship as a 1L with them would be helpful.

According to their website it's more like 10-15 a year for the entire agency. Enforcement is roughly 1/4-1/3 the entire agency by headcount, but might have more need for new hires then other specialized divisions like TM or OGC. Given the current budget situation, I would be shocked if they went to the high end of the range, so 2-3 openings in Enforcement (and remember, you'll be competing with former CPAs and Wall Street types who went to law school, LL.M. students specializing in securities, finance, or corporations, and judicial clerks from SDNY and DDC). Worth an application, but hardly a basket to put all your eggs in, even if you do intern for them or try to lateral into from another agency. I'm also not sure why the poster above mentioned JAG (I would think an OIG, Treasury, or FDIC would be more applicable), but I'm told JAG hires about 80-100 lawyers a year and you have to become a member of the military (pass the physical requirements and have training in warfare), so the odds might be reasonable there depending on your profile.




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