Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

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Anonymous User
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Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:28 pm

I'm becoming more and more interested in Finance. If I could do it all over again, I'd major in it as an undergrad and pursue an MBA. Too late for that, though.

Anyway to market the JD to accomplish a Wall Street job? Or is it just a lost dream?

abc12345675
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Re: Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby abc12345675 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:30 pm

Do you have any experience? It sounds like you don't. Why would Morgan Stanley or somebody hire you over a Wharton grad or a recently canned guy with 5 years experience? Makes no sense. You have nothing useful to offer them.

Anonymous User
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Re: Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:37 pm

No "finance" experience per se. But it's really what I want to do and I can't figure out why I can't convince someone to give me a chance. I applied to literally 75 finance internships this year. Not one word. I think I'd be really good at it.

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby Na_Swatch » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No "finance" experience per se. But it's really what I want to do and I can't figure out why I can't convince someone to give me a chance. I applied to literally 75 finance internships this year. Not one word. I think I'd be really good at it.


you do realize that this is one of the worst times in the past ~twenty years or so in terms of finance hiring right?

dixon02
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Re: Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:42 pm

abc12345675 wrote:Do you have any experience? It sounds like you don't. Why would Morgan Stanley or somebody hire you over a Wharton grad or a recently canned guy with 5 years experience? Makes no sense. You have nothing useful to offer them.

Anonymous User
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Re: Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:55 pm

It sounds like you are not very sure what you want to do since "Finance" is an incredibly broad field that encompasses equity research, fixed income research, wealth management, trading, investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, mutual funds, portfolio measurement, corporate finance, financial product sales etc etc. If you don't know the distinctions between these various fields than you first need to do more research about what these fields are and why they interest you.

Obviously you are going to be less marketable as a job candidate compared to someone who has demonstrated interest in finance by studying it or working in the field. And yeah like someone else said this is a terrible time to look for a finance job although not as bad as a few years ago. However, you can make yourself more marketable if you are really passionate about this field. If you earn a CFA that would be very marketable to a number of "finance" firms. You can do it in your spare time while going to school or working full time and you will learn a lot. It costs about $1000 to register for each examination including the costs of all the books. Completing the CFA is a way that you can demonstrate genuine interest in finance. You will also learn a lot and perhaps this knowledge will be helpful in refining your career goals. There is a finance work experience component of being a CFA charterholder, however you can pass all three exams with no work experience and those exam results will stay in your file until you complete the work experience requirement.

My advice is to take the best job that you can get that interests you with your current background and then demonstrate your passion (and aptitude) for finance by preparing for and passing each of the three CFA Exams. There are CFA message boards that are the CFA equivalent of TLS where you can learn more: see Analyst Forum. If you are more interested in Corporate Finance (e.g. accounting) then the same advice applies except you can take community college accounting classes and work towards a CPA.

Hope this is helpful. Your JD will set you apart a bit and will not help too much, but will certainly not hurt you. However, you need to demonstrate some commitment to finance if you are finding you aren't currently marketable for those jobs. In my opinion, a CFA is more marketable and valuable for some areas of finance than a MBA from any school apart from wharton/harvard/stanford.

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dingbat
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Re: Marketing a J.D. to non-lawyer jobs

Postby dingbat » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:26 pm

If you don't have a background, the CFA exams are really freaking hard
That notwithstanding, Iran exam is only given twice a year, so it's about a 2 year process.
If you go that route, level one should be enough to show your commitment and capability.
Honestly, though, the answer to getting a job in finance these days is network, network, network.

I can tell you, it's brutal right now, generally firms are firing, not hiring.
For anything other than entry level, you'd be competing with seasoned professionals with direct experience at big firms.
Decent entry level jobs require experience these days (yes, I know the fallacy of that)
You need to get an interview through networking; once you got an interview, you can worry about how to market your JD (there are many ways it can be done, but it would be specific to the position you're interviewing for)

The only exception is to become a financial advisor. Many companies will be happy to hire you, but you will need to build a book of business fast. Most people don't last 1 year in that position




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