Research as Corporate Summer Associate

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Anonymous User
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Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:54 pm

Hey All,

I have a summer gig lined up with a big firm, I'm going to be doing corporate work (M&A, Capital Markets, Banking, etc.). I am incredibly inept at legal research. Can somebody with experience tell me how important this might be? I'm pretty sure its much more important for litigation, I just want to know how worried I should be/how much effort I should put into preparing before I start work. Looking for advice from those who have worked corporate in a big firm.

Thanks

imchuckbass58
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey All,

I have a summer gig lined up with a big firm, I'm going to be doing corporate work (M&A, Capital Markets, Banking, etc.). I am incredibly inept at legal research. Can somebody with experience tell me how important this might be? I'm pretty sure its much more important for litigation, I just want to know how worried I should be/how much effort I should put into preparing before I start work. Looking for advice from those who have worked corporate in a big firm.

Thanks


It's pretty rare to have to do real legal research (i.e., caselaw, as opposed to research precedent transactions, which you will almost certainly have to do), but it happens. I had to write three legit memos since we were structuring a somewhat novel transaction and wanted to know if it would pass muster.

It's most likely to happen in bankruptcy, followed by M&A (if you're in the structuring rather than execution phase). Pretty rare to have it happen in banking or cap markets.

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thesealocust
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby thesealocust » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:22 pm

Never logged into lexis or westlaw over a summer while doing corp work. w00t.

Anonymous User
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:31 pm

thesealocust wrote:Never logged into lexis or westlaw over a summer while doing corp work. w00t.


What does one do all day if not on west law?

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Georgiana
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Georgiana » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:31 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey All,

I have a summer gig lined up with a big firm, I'm going to be doing corporate work (M&A, Capital Markets, Banking, etc.). I am incredibly inept at legal research. Can somebody with experience tell me how important this might be? I'm pretty sure its much more important for litigation, I just want to know how worried I should be/how much effort I should put into preparing before I start work. Looking for advice from those who have worked corporate in a big firm.

Thanks


It's pretty rare to have to do real legal research (i.e., caselaw, as opposed to research precedent transactions, which you will almost certainly have to do), but it happens. I had to write three legit memos since we were structuring a somewhat novel transaction and wanted to know if it would pass muster.

It's most likely to happen in bankruptcy, followed by M&A (if you're in the structuring rather than execution phase). Pretty rare to have it happen in banking or cap markets.

I wouldn't call it rare (at least for me, unfortunately), but it definitely isn't as common as it is in litigation. I spend a pretty good amount of time on WL for various things (recent questions being "will a sale of equity trigger this ROFR?" "is there something out there about a party causing the other party to breach?" "look up everything in the Public Utilities Commissions re: X Company"). You'll also do more research if you're in a highly regulated area.

Anonymous User
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:12 pm

Need to bump this.
I'm a 1L with a callback to a mid law firm. They know I'm primarily interested in transactional work.
If I were to get the offer, I would have NO IDEA: a) What I'd be doing, or, b) How to do it. (Edit: Hooray legal education!)
(Relevant background: reasonably intelligent (good grades), normal person, big firm pre-law school WE (non-substantive)).
HELP and thanks!

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traehekat
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby traehekat » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Never logged into lexis or westlaw over a summer while doing corp work. w00t.


What does one do all day if not on west law?


Bumping this question, as well. TSL, where you at?

Geist13
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Geist13 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:26 am

This is what I don't get about transactional work. Seriously, what the fuck do Summer Associates do, not to mention junior level associates? I guess "due diligence?" I don't even know if I could articulate what partners do; "doing deals" doesn't mean anything.

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thesealocust
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby thesealocust » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:02 am

traehekat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Never logged into lexis or westlaw over a summer while doing corp work. w00t.


What does one do all day if not on west law?


Bumping this question, as well. TSL, where you at?


Oh, you know. Deals. And stuff. Mostly stuff.

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quakeroats
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby quakeroats » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:56 am

Geist13 wrote:This is what I don't get about transactional work. Seriously, what the fuck do Summer Associates do, not to mention junior level associates? I guess "due diligence?" I don't even know if I could articulate what partners do; "doing deals" doesn't mean anything.


It depends on the firm, how well you do, and which transactional practice you end up in. Since you'll probably end up in M&A or capital markets (as opposed to finance, regulatory work, executive compensation, funds, etc.) expect to spend a good deal of your first two years doing due diligence. The better associate you are, the less time you'll probably spend in the dungeon. This varies by firm. As for the rest of the work, it's complicated but here's a good place to start: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1430087

MBeezy11
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby MBeezy11 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:13 pm

During your summer how much research you do in a transactional group will largely be in relation to how busy the group is and the type of deals the group is working on. If it is busy, you will get involved because people are slammed and can use the extra hands. However, if the deals are primarily deals involving turns of documents, conference calls and little due diligence, you're unlikely to be involved other than listening in on calls. In that case you end up getting a lot of make work assignments which are primarily research oriented. The good thing is that if a transactional lawyer is giving you a research assignment, they are going to go straight for substance because the other stuff like blue booking is probably why they are not litigators.

Obviously, this is all firm dependent. Some firms try to integrate and utilize summers on real assignments more than others. The ones that dont't you can be assured you will get multiple research assignments and helping out on pro bono which primarily involves research.

dougroberts
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby dougroberts » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:29 pm

I SA'd with a corporate practice group:

  • Never used Westlaw/Lexis for corporate-related work.
  • Drafted contracts (which may mean filling in blanks/using a model or in a few cases, drafting from the beginning).
  • Drafted employee manuals (those things nobody reads).
  • Relatively simple research (compared to litigation folk), such as whether a particular contract clause would be enforceable, how a specific corporate entity type functions in a particular state with respect to a topic (tax, formation, dissolution, etc.), securities research, etc.
  • Reviewed documents (contracts, etc.) for various reasons (may be part of wider due diligence project).
  • Repeat above.

Anonymous User
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:35 pm

Thanks for the helpful info guys. So what you're saying is there really isn't anything I can do or learn to be prepared for this?
That just doesn't feel right...

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quakeroats
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Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby quakeroats » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the helpful info guys. So what you're saying is there really isn't anything I can do or learn to be prepared for this?
That just doesn't feel right...


It doesn't feel right because it's not. There's a lot you can do. Read that article I posted as a starting point.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273259
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Research as Corporate Summer Associate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:05 pm

quakeroats wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the helpful info guys. So what you're saying is there really isn't anything I can do or learn to be prepared for this?
That just doesn't feel right...


It doesn't feel right because it's not. There's a lot you can do. Read that article I posted as a starting point.


Thanks. This is helpful to a degree, and it definitely affirms my intent to take every transactionally related course or extracurricular I can, but at the same time, I feel quite unprepared for doing anything this summer as a 1L, even given my best efforts in law school and pre law work experience.




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