What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

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Anonymous User
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What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:07 am

I feel embarrassed to even ask this question. I know what a litigation associate does: handle doc review/discovery, do research, and eventually draft motions or pleadings, take depositions, etc. But what does an associate in the private equity or corporate practice group do?

I also know that due diligence is the doc review "equivalent" for junior corporate side associates. What exactly does due diligence entail?


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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:32 am

the vast majority of what you do as a biglaw transactional associate will consist of:

1. drafting documents using older templates. this basically requires you to replace "intel" with "oracle" and do other mindless bullshit.

2. review/proofread enormously long 50-100 page agreements where 99% is boilerplate that never changes.

There will be other tasks, such as combing through SEC filings to see what other companies do, periodically looking at various case law, and sometimes drafting documents from scratch. But as a junior, you will basically use templates to draft new documents (corporate charter, bylaws, various certificates, various agreements, etc) and review other more massive documents for tiny details.

Renzo
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Renzo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:the vast majority of what you do as a biglaw transactional associate will consist of:

1. drafting documents using older templates. this basically requires you to replace "intel" with "oracle" and do other mindless bullshit.

2. review/proofread enormously long 50-100 page agreements where 99% is boilerplate that never changes.

There will be other tasks, such as combing through SEC filings to see what other companies do, periodically looking at various case law, and sometimes drafting documents from scratch. But as a junior, you will basically use templates to draft new documents (corporate charter, bylaws, various certificates, various agreements, etc) and review other more massive documents for tiny details.


Don't forget making charts of things.

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roguey
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby roguey » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:47 am

Yikes. Now I know how to answer the question every interviewer loves to ask - "Litigation or transactional?"

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:16 am

I went for an interview at a "prestigious" boutique firm a few weeks ago. after a short chat the partner offered me a 3-page document - some sort of contract - for me to proofread for any typos and errors. I felt like it was an interview for a clerical position ... Understanding the type of work a transactional lawyer does, I love the firm for this.

I thought I did not get the position though. I sent the partner an email expressing my interest and he got back to me telling me that I did very well on that "proofreading" exercise. They said they would revert to me soon but apparently there are other candidates for this position as well as for another position.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Renzo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:34 pm

roguey wrote:Yikes. Now I know how to answer the question every interviewer loves to ask - "Litigation or transactional?"


Don't be so sure. Your choice is the above, or spending your time paging through endless PDFs of documents and labeling them as responsive, not responsive, or privileged. Then, when you get a break from that, a partner will say, "I need you to find me a case that says that a corporation must indemnify a corporate director if his assistant intentionally destroys his golf clubs."

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:07 pm

Renzo wrote:
roguey wrote:Yikes. Now I know how to answer the question every interviewer loves to ask - "Litigation or transactional?"


Don't be so sure. Your choice is the above, or spending your time paging through endless PDFs of documents and labeling them as responsive, not responsive, or privileged.


So true. Woof.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby RVP11 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I went for an interview at a "prestigious" boutique firm a few weeks ago. after a short chat the partner offered me a 3-page document - some sort of contract - for me to proofread for any typos and errors. I felt like it was an interview for a clerical position ... Understanding the type of work a transactional lawyer does, I love the firm for this.

I thought I did not get the position though. I sent the partner an email expressing my interest and he got back to me telling me that I did very well on that "proofreading" exercise. They said they would revert to me soon but apparently there are other candidates for this position as well as for another position.


CSB.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:33 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:the vast majority of what you do as a biglaw transactional associate will consist of:

1. drafting documents using older templates. this basically requires you to replace "intel" with "oracle" and do other mindless bullshit.

2. review/proofread enormously long 50-100 page agreements where 99% is boilerplate that never changes.

There will be other tasks, such as combing through SEC filings to see what other companies do, periodically looking at various case law, and sometimes drafting documents from scratch. But as a junior, you will basically use templates to draft new documents (corporate charter, bylaws, various certificates, various agreements, etc) and review other more massive documents for tiny details.


Don't forget making charts of things.


50 pages would be a blessing. most prospectuses are upwards of 300 pages.

i also really doubt someone would retain a v100 to draft bylaws or a charter. a capable law student could do this. but i agree you will mostly be drafting based off templates, mostly opinion letters, signature pages, and other minor documents for a deal.

due diligence is pretty much reviewing all documents (charters, bylaws, creditor agreements, board presentations, literally every document of a company) for any material fact that could make the transaction you are working on fall apart - such as finding a lien exists on all the target's stock already or something like that. it's not usual for it to hit in the thousands of pages. super boring, especially since 99% of docs won't pose any problems so you're pretty much looking for a needle in a haystack.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby adt231 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:57 pm

sooo.. why does anyone WANT to do this? lol ..exit opportunities? That's the only reason I can come up with b/c the $ is not enough..

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Renzo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:48 pm

adt231 wrote:sooo.. why does anyone WANT to do this? lol ..exit opportunities? That's the only reason I can come up with b/c the $ is not enough..


I strongly disagree. I'll do doc review until my eyes bleed and my mousing hand cripples up in a ball, so long as the bonuses and lockstep raises continue. I've had really terrible jobs, and that's not one.

But, it's also not gruntwork forever. In just about any job, you start at the bottom doing grunt work and work your way up as you learn.

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Borhas
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Borhas » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:56 pm

adt231 wrote:sooo.. why does anyone WANT to do this? lol ..exit opportunities? That's the only reason I can come up with b/c the $ is not enough..


what I don't get is how they can charge companies so much for drone work

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NYC Law
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby NYC Law » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:59 pm

adt231 wrote:sooo.. why does anyone WANT to do this? lol ..exit opportunities? That's the only reason I can come up with b/c the $ is not enough..


Some of us just have boring personalities.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Renzo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:13 pm

Borhas wrote:
adt231 wrote:sooo.. why does anyone WANT to do this? lol ..exit opportunities? That's the only reason I can come up with b/c the $ is not enough..


what I don't get is how they can charge companies so much for drone work


More and more they can't. The firm I summered with has contract attorneys do all the click-click doc review. While there was some doc review done by the juniors, it was depo prep and such, which isn't quite as mindless.

mrloblaw
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby mrloblaw » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:47 pm

The relevant question, I think, (and one I can't answer) is which turns into something that isn't completely mind-numbing first.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:48 pm

Your choice is the above, or spending your time paging through endless PDFs of documents and labeling them as responsive, not responsive, or privileged.


First year at a big law firm here. I haven't done a lick of doc review yet. While I'm sure that there are junior associates out there, most of whose work is doc review, I'm not one of them, and neither is anyone else in my class year. So while what you say might be true for some people, it isn't universal.

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Your choice is the above, or spending your time paging through endless PDFs of documents and labeling them as responsive, not responsive, or privileged.


First year at a big law firm here. I haven't done a lick of doc review yet. While I'm sure that there are junior associates out there, most of whose work is doc review, I'm not one of them, and neither is anyone else in my class year. So while what you say might be true for some people, it isn't universal.

So what do YOU do?

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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:58 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Your choice is the above, or spending your time paging through endless PDFs of documents and labeling them as responsive, not responsive, or privileged.


First year at a big law firm here. I haven't done a lick of doc review yet. While I'm sure that there are junior associates out there, most of whose work is doc review, I'm not one of them, and neither is anyone else in my class year. So while what you say might be true for some people, it isn't universal.

So what do YOU do?


So far?

Let's see... lot's of legal research, drafting portions of various dispositive pleadings, drafted stuff for clients, coordinating productions (which is kind of fun... gives you a really good window into the mechanics of discovery).

But yeah, in terms of sitting in front of a screen for hours on end, sifting through thousands of documents... it hasn't happened. Can't say it won't happen, but I've been lucky so far. I'm sure there will be some doc review eventually, but again I'm pretty positive it won't take up more than 30% of my time as a first year, and the amount of time it will take up as I progress in seniority will decrease significantly.

Conventional TLS mantra consists of the same tired bullshit that "experienced posters" like to tell themselves so they sound like they're too cool for school. Biglaw ain't that bad. Hours are tough, but that's fine. It's all about perspective.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: What does a transactional associate do in biglaw?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:01 pm

Renzo wrote:I'll do doc review until my eyes bleed and my mousing hand cripples up in a ball, so long as the bonuses and lockstep raises continue. I've had really terrible jobs, and that's not one.


Likewise




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