What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
Lawl Shcool
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:44 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Wed May 09, 2012 12:14 am

Magnificent wrote:
or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Objection, relevance.

Magnificent
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Magnificent » Wed May 09, 2012 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Lol. Are you a 0L? A couple things. It's unlikely that you would ever be a 1st year at a lit boutique - generally you'd becoming off of at least 1 clerkship (thus 2d year). It's also extraordinarily unlikely that the motions you are arguing are dispositive. And, it's extraordinarily unlikely you would be filing unsupervised briefs. More importantly, if you are smart enough to finish at the top of your class, you are smart enough to know that you need oversight when learning. FYI - clients aren't dumb, if they hired any firm for bet the company litigation, they are certainly not going to allow 1st year associates to file briefs "on their own."


No I'm not a 0L talking out of my ass. I already have SA experience at a boutique where I saw/heard about all the stuff I mentioned. Your right that most people who are hired at the place as a first year associate already have clerking experience. Sure the motions you argue are not dispositive but its alot better than never getting to see the inside of a court room which is the norm at any big firm.

And I never said that briefs were "unsupervised". All I said is there was "very little partner oversight." Which means that your not writing a small section of a brief that is being edited and looked over by 10 other associates before it gets to the lead partner. At boutiques like the one I worked at, the junior associate usually writes the brief on their own and one partner oversees it just to make sure its adequate. Usually the partner doesn't have very many edits and the brief is filed in court almost exactly the same as the associate had it when he turned it into the partner.

Magnificent
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Magnificent » Wed May 09, 2012 12:43 am

Lawl Shcool wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Objection, relevance.


The guy was basically making an argument that no matter whether your in lit or corporate that its boring work as a junior associate. I was merely pointing out that isn't the case if you work at elite lit boutiques because you get alot of responsibility as a young associate and alot of that actually involves interesting/fun stuff like taking depositions, arguing motions, and writing complete briefs on your own.

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed May 09, 2012 7:02 am

Magnificent wrote:
Lawl Shcool wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Objection, relevance.


The guy was basically making an argument that no matter whether your in lit or corporate that its boring work as a junior associate. I was merely pointing out that isn't the case if you work at elite lit boutiques because you get alot of responsibility as a young associate and alot of that actually involves interesting/fun stuff like taking depositions, arguing motions, and writing complete briefs on your own.


You're a fucking idiot.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 09, 2012 5:10 pm

I can stand long hours and boring work. I did that pre-law school. What scares me about the anecdotes are how anal everyone is. It sucks having to deal with the neuroses of multiple partners + demanding banker clients. It just sounds like a cancerous negative feedback loop of resentment and misery.

And again, can someone say what are the non-obvious exit options for M&A associates, other than lateraling into banking or going in-house? I'm really curious.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 09, 2012 5:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can stand long hours and boring work. I did that pre-law school. What scares me about the anecdotes are how anal everyone is. It sucks having to deal with the neuroses of multiple partners + demanding banker clients. It just sounds like a cancerous negative feedback loop of resentment and misery.

And again, can someone say what are the non-obvious exit options for M&A associates, other than lateraling into banking or going in-house? I'm really curious.


Lawyers are paid to be anal–clients don't pay $300+/hr of your time for less than perfect work. And yes, that misplaced comma can change the meaning of a provision.

ruski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby ruski » Wed May 09, 2012 5:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:And again, can someone say what are the non-obvious exit options for M&A associates, other than lateraling into banking or going in-house? I'm really curious.


well you nailed the two big ones. lateraling into banking though is really only possible during bull years, unless you're coming from v5. during the crash i know of only one who lateraled to a BB and he came from s&c.

its hard to tell you what the non-obvious exit options are because they are so varied. it will depend on what you want, who you know, which firm you're coming from etc. of course all these exit options revolve around business/corporate work.

to know what kind of exit options they get you need to understand why its such a desired practice group. m&a lawyers are prized because they have deal experience. they have a thorough knowledge of deal mechanics (which several bankers don't even have -that's why ibanks love hiring m&a lawyers). they know how to run a deal and what exactly is needed along each step of the way. business people love this. this is a very useful skill, and one that is transferable to several business jobs. hence why their exit options are so varied (and good - this is how m&a lawyers are able to transition to more front-office type roles). compare this to someone coming from a fund formation practice group, or some other compliance focused group. these people won't have any deal experience - their only skill is dealling with compliance issues, not much else, which sets them up perfectly for a back-office type job but not much else.

even if you are lateralling into a more back-office GC type job it is still useful. the major hedge funds or banks want someone who understands their business. their entire business revolves around making and closing deals. they value lawyers with deal experience who understand the major risks they are facing. thus, coming from m&a will give a boost especially if you are looking at the more coveted in-house positions at these types of places. im not saying you can't get a sweet gig coming from other practice groups, you certainly can. but you can bet that the GCs of places like goldman, KKR, etc were all m&a or securities lawyers. not employment lawyers or whatever.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 09, 2012 6:10 pm

ruski wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:And again, can someone say what are the non-obvious exit options for M&A associates, other than lateraling into banking or going in-house? I'm really curious.


well you nailed the two big ones. lateraling into banking though is really only possible during bull years, unless you're coming from v5. during the crash i know of only one who lateraled to a BB and he came from s&c.

its hard to tell you what the non-obvious exit options are because they are so varied. it will depend on what you want, who you know, which firm you're coming from etc. of course all these exit options revolve around business/corporate work.

to know what kind of exit options they get you need to understand why its such a desired practice group. m&a lawyers are prized because they have deal experience. they have a thorough knowledge of deal mechanics (which several bankers don't even have -that's why ibanks love hiring m&a lawyers). they know how to run a deal and what exactly is needed along each step of the way. business people love this. this is a very useful skill, and one that is transferable to several business jobs. hence why their exit options are so varied (and good - this is how m&a lawyers are able to transition to more front-office type roles). compare this to someone coming from a fund formation practice group, or some other compliance focused group. these people won't have any deal experience - their only skill is dealling with compliance issues, not much else, which sets them up perfectly for a back-office type job but not much else.

even if you are lateralling into a more back-office GC type job it is still useful. the major hedge funds or banks want someone who understands their business. their entire business revolves around making and closing deals. they value lawyers with deal experience who understand the major risks they are facing. thus, coming from m&a will give a boost especially if you are looking at the more coveted in-house positions at these types of places. im not saying you can't get a sweet gig coming from other practice groups, you certainly can. but you can bet that the GCs of places like goldman, KKR, etc were all m&a or securities lawyers. not employment lawyers or whatever.


Thanks for this! Do you have any idea at what level of firm those exit options(or what would be considered good options) start to become harder to acquire?

ruski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby ruski » Wed May 09, 2012 6:16 pm

the best ones will go to the people coming from the nyc m&a powerhouses - think wachtell, s&c cravath, simpson, davis polk, maybe a few others i'm missing. but even m&a from like shearman or other v20 is still enough to set you up with some sweet exit ops. obv it gets worse as you go down, but by how much i can't really say. i would think at the point where the firm starts to specialize in deals that are significantly smaller, enough to be considered mid-market; but even then you can counter that these associates actually got more substantive experience working on smaller deals. but its still better to come from one of the elite firms. im sure chambers will have a pretty accurate ranking. something like exit opps is always hard to quantify, and there will always be outliers

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 09, 2012 6:28 pm

ruski wrote:the best ones will go to the people coming from the nyc m&a powerhouses - think wachtell, s&c cravath, simpson, davis polk, maybe a few others i'm missing. but even m&a from like shearman or other v20 is still enough to set you up with some sweet exit ops. obv it gets worse as you go down, but by how much i can't really say. i would think at the point where the firm starts to specialize in deals that are significantly smaller, enough to be considered mid-market; but even then you can counter that these associates actually got more substantive experience working on smaller deals. but its still better to come from one of the elite firms. im sure chambers will have a pretty accurate ranking. something like exit opps is always hard to quantify, and there will always be outliers


What about magic circle? Also, I take it M&A is really hard to get as a practice group, given the exit ops are so good?

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Wed May 09, 2012 6:40 pm

making money off of transaction costs ftw

Anonymous User
Posts: 273588
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 09, 2012 6:47 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:making money off of transaction costs ftw


Litigation: making money off of somebody else's douchebaggery ftw.

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Wed May 09, 2012 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:making money off of transaction costs ftw


Litigation: making money off of somebody else's douchebaggery ftw.


(mad)

ruski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby ruski » Wed May 09, 2012 6:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ruski wrote:the best ones will go to the people coming from the nyc m&a powerhouses - think wachtell, s&c cravath, simpson, davis polk, maybe a few others i'm missing. but even m&a from like shearman or other v20 is still enough to set you up with some sweet exit ops. obv it gets worse as you go down, but by how much i can't really say. i would think at the point where the firm starts to specialize in deals that are significantly smaller, enough to be considered mid-market; but even then you can counter that these associates actually got more substantive experience working on smaller deals. but its still better to come from one of the elite firms. im sure chambers will have a pretty accurate ranking. something like exit opps is always hard to quantify, and there will always be outliers


What about magic circle? Also, I take it M&A is really hard to get as a practice group, given the exit ops are so good?


magic circle working in UK or NY? in NY not really sure what their rep is, dont think its bad though or anything. and no its a pretty easy practice group to get into. its usually the largest group there is, so its pretty easy to accommodate everyone who wants it. remember a lot of people don't want it. it's the worst group to be in hours wise or unpredictability wise. its the epitome of the shitty biglaw work schedule in terms of spending an entire week watching youtube videos (b/c no deals going on) and then spending the entire following week living in your office. their hours are the least spread out (note securities is also pretty bad - pretty much anything that is deal-driven will suck hours wise since deals often die and are reborn and closed, all within a very short time frame. that's why corporate groups like fund formation or derivatives or corporate IP are known to be a bit better since they dont rely as much on deals). also not everyone is interested in the corporate/business type exit ops. many people have other plans. so yea don't worry about trying to get placed into it. it's MUCH harder to get into a smaller groups like RE or tax since they just cant afford to absorb so many bodies. but m&a depts are huge and have really high turnover - its also the generic group for anyone unsure/ambivalent; i.e. if you dont really gun for a small group like IP or bankruptcy, they'll just put you in the securities or m&a usually.

Morgan12Oak
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:59 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Morgan12Oak » Thu May 10, 2012 2:01 am

Magnificent wrote:or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Did someone in corporate law shit on you (literally) or something? Because this "I got shat on (literally) by a corporate bro and now am flaming litigation > corporate over TLS" shtick is getting really old.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby dingbat » Thu May 10, 2012 2:19 am

Kochel wrote:If my company chooses your firm to represent us in a M&A transaction, I will be calling you, as the junior associate, to make sure that your diligence reviews are on-time and in conformity with my company's templates. I will call you at all hours to ask specific questions about individual agreements, and will be annoyed when your knowledge of the contract is only superficial or if you didn't flag the right terms. The diligence will of course need to have been done yesterday, as knowledge about the target's contracts and structure will influence our pricing models. I also won't be shy of calling the senior associate or junior partner to complain about your dilatory diligence reviews.

I'll also need you to familiarize yourself with my company's organizational structure so that you can help us build out the corporate structure for the deal. (Actually, it will be the tax lawyers who primarily drive the structuring, but at least you'll get to draw the flow charts.) That will involve forming new Holdcos and Newcos and running the Delaware filing processes. It may or may not involve you actually getting to meet any of my company's executives or really understanding our business model, but at least you'll get to know the formal legal structures.

I'll be calling the partners, not you, with substantive questions about Delaware law, the target's regulatory landscape, securities laws, etc. Maybe, if my questions are tough enough, you'll be asked to bird-dog the relevant SEC no-action letter. But I'll be annoyed if that work delays your diligence output; the partners will be annoyed if your research memo isn't done by yesterday because I'll be badgering them for answers as well.

When it comes to the actual deal docs, you may, if you're lucky, get to collate the partners' comments and turn drafts overnight after they've gone home. I won't be particularly interested in your own comments, though I will want typos to be caught. What you will definitely be in charge of is the disclosure schedules. Their accuracy and completeness will depend on how good a job you've done on diligence. There will be dozens of such schedules and you'll need to know them cold. Shouldn't be a big deal, though; they're just lists of contracts and dates and employee numbers.

Your finest hour will be running the closing. This will mean painstakingly ensuring that each of the myriad signatures is obtained (and not lost!). It will also mean getting yelled at from all directions about why the stupid deal hasn't closed yet, has the wire cleared yet, etc. Your crowning work product--produced after all the other attorneys have moved on to the next deal--will be the closing binders. Which had better be complete.

And I'm just the client.

This is credited.

I've sent contracts to our attorneys at 2pm with a target closing by 5pm (requiring sign-off and final signatures no later than 4:30).
After half an hour, I'd call to ask if it was done. Then another half hour. After that, I'd call every 15 minutes. If it was coming close, I'd be calling literally every 5 minutes.
(which, of course, makes it that much harder, seeing as a good chunk of said attorney's time was wasted responding to my phone calls)

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby sundance95 » Thu May 10, 2012 2:25 am

dingbat wrote:This is credited.

I've sent contracts to our attorneys at 2pm with a target closing by 5pm (requiring sign-off and final signatures no later than 4:30).
After half an hour, I'd call to ask if it was done. Then another half hour. After that, I'd call every 15 minutes. If it was coming close, I'd be calling literally every 5 minutes.
(which, of course, makes it that much harder, seeing as a good chunk of said attorney's time was wasted responding to my phone calls)

y so hurried? srs Q

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby dingbat » Thu May 10, 2012 2:28 am

sundance95 wrote:
dingbat wrote:This is credited.

I've sent contracts to our attorneys at 2pm with a target closing by 5pm (requiring sign-off and final signatures no later than 4:30).
After half an hour, I'd call to ask if it was done. Then another half hour. After that, I'd call every 15 minutes. If it was coming close, I'd be calling literally every 5 minutes.
(which, of course, makes it that much harder, seeing as a good chunk of said attorney's time was wasted responding to my phone calls)

y so hurried?

Our deals had set deadlines and if those were missed, we'd have to start over from scratch.
If we had plenty of time, there was no rushing whatsoever, but if we had a Thursday 5pm cutoff and we only got XYZ's signature Thursday morning, then it was full-scale frantic mode from then on.

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby sundance95 » Thu May 10, 2012 2:30 am

dingbat wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
dingbat wrote:This is credited.

I've sent contracts to our attorneys at 2pm with a target closing by 5pm (requiring sign-off and final signatures no later than 4:30).
After half an hour, I'd call to ask if it was done. Then another half hour. After that, I'd call every 15 minutes. If it was coming close, I'd be calling literally every 5 minutes.
(which, of course, makes it that much harder, seeing as a good chunk of said attorney's time was wasted responding to my phone calls)

y so hurried?

Our deals had set deadlines and if those were missed, we'd have to start over from scratch.
If we had plenty of time, there was no rushing whatsoever, but if we had a Thursday 5pm cutoff and we only got XYZ's signature Thursday morning, then it was full-scale frantic mode from then on.

ty.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu May 10, 2012 2:52 am

Morgan12Oak wrote:
Magnificent wrote:or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Did someone in corporate law shit on you (literally) or something? Because this "I got shat on (literally) by a corporate bro and now am flaming litigation > corporate over TLS" shtick is getting really old.


This sort of response reminds me why I don't waste a lot of time on here anymore. Exactly how the original quote led to this juvenile b/s is beyond me.

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby sundance95 » Thu May 10, 2012 2:54 am

If you'd seen Magnificent's work on the rest of TLS you'd understand, trust me.

He's a tool.

Morgan12Oak
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:59 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Morgan12Oak » Thu May 10, 2012 2:57 am

BruceWayne wrote:
Morgan12Oak wrote:
Magnificent wrote:or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Did someone in corporate law shit on you (literally) or something? Because this "I got shat on (literally) by a corporate bro and now am flaming litigation > corporate over TLS" shtick is getting really old.


This sort of response reminds me why I don't waste a lot of time on here anymore. Exactly how the original quote led to this juvenile b/s is beyond me.


This sort of response reminds me why I don't waste a lot of time on here anymore. Exactly how someone comes in and says things like this without really knowing the context of the situation. Also, note the title of this thread and the original quote and let's talk juvenile chief.

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Old Gregg » Thu May 10, 2012 7:32 am

BruceWayne wrote:
Morgan12Oak wrote:
Magnificent wrote:or you could finish top of your class at an elite law school and get a job at a lit boutique like Susman/Bartlit Beck/etc. and be taking depositions on your own as a first year, arguing motions in court, and writing entire briefs on your own which are filed directly to the court with very little partner oversight

I think working at a top shelf lit boutique is the much better than any other private sector job in law for a young associate.


Did someone in corporate law shit on you (literally) or something? Because this "I got shat on (literally) by a corporate bro and now am flaming litigation > corporate over TLS" shtick is getting really old.


This sort of response reminds me why I don't waste a lot of time on here anymore. Exactly how the original quote led to this juvenile b/s is beyond me.


Believe me, absolutely no one here has a problem with you spending less time here.

User avatar
Indifferent
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:04 pm

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby Indifferent » Thu May 10, 2012 7:39 am

RVP11 wrote:My obvious sarcasm was not obvious enough.

I loled.

I don't know a ton about M&A specifically, I helped some attorneys close a couple deals over the summer. It's a lot of assembling documents and making sure everything is where it's supposed to be, at least at the end of the deal. At the beginning it's a lot of drafting and research (mostly researching the companies, not really legal research).

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2398
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: What exactly does a junior M&A attorney do?

Postby nealric » Thu May 10, 2012 10:44 pm

sundance95 wrote:Nealric, are tax LLMs necessary to get bigtax out of the T14?


No, but some firms will pay for a PT LL.M while you are working.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.