What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

(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.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:48 pm

I'm headed to a large NYC firm, and I'm hoping to do mostly M&A work this summer. I'm wondering if some people with more experience might be able to give me some examples of the types of assignments that they worked on as summer associates (or if similar, as first-year associates). I have a pretty good understanding of how M&A deals work, but I'm hoping someone can give me some definite, technical examples of what the work is, other than, "doing diligence." What kind of assignments and documents did you work on, what was the deal staffed like and who did you report to, and how difficult was the work?
Any help is appreciated.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:56 pm

Not that much. Many firms actually try to avoid giving diligence to summers. You could get small research projects on legal matters related to a deal, or do a lot of "shadowing" where you sit in on calls & meetings, do minor edits to documents that can be easily assigned and reviewed by your senior, etc.

Generally speaking it's harder to integrate summers for corporate work, because it is so fast-paced and often even the simple tasks need to get done urgently and perfectly.

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:45 pm

thesealocust wrote:Not that much. Many firms actually try to avoid giving diligence to summers. You could get small research projects on legal matters related to a deal, or do a lot of "shadowing" where you sit in on calls & meetings, do minor edits to documents that can be easily assigned and reviewed by your senior, etc.

Generally speaking it's harder to integrate summers for corporate work, because it is so fast-paced and often even the simple tasks need to get done urgently and perfectly.

Pretty much dead-on. While I did almost all "corporate work" as a summer, almost none of it was what first and second years normally do (ie, diligence, making execution versions of main documents, preparing ancillary documents, etc) -- instead, I did a lot of shadowing/note-taking and the occasional research assignment.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:01 pm

(non-NYC SA)

I worked on a couple small M&A deals so my experience might differ from the sort of larger deals that NYC firms work on. There was 1 partner and 2-5 associates on each. In general I mostly reported to a single junior associate but sometimes reported to the senior associate on the deal. TSL is right, I mostly did shadowing and minor edits. I would do things like draft simple docs (signature pages, secretary's certificate, etc) from a template, proofread/review sections of various deal docs, update the closing checklist. I did do some due diligence such as reviewing a bunch of company contracts.

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

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:53 pm

Don't forget closing binders.

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

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby dingbat » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:55 pm

thesealocust wrote:Not that much. Many firms actually try to avoid giving diligence to summers. You could get small research projects on legal matters related to a deal, or do a lot of "shadowing" where you sit in on calls & meetings, do minor edits to documents that can be easily assigned and reviewed by your senior, etc.

Generally speaking it's harder to integrate summers for corporate work, because it is so fast-paced and often even the simple tasks need to get done urgently and perfectly.

This is why I hated interns

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:57 pm

I got to do some VERY basic drafting of a certificate of formation for a PE acquisition deal for a corporate assignment (and in doing so I learned how to "redline" which seems VERY important for corporate). Everything else I did for corporate was research -- though some of it was pretty cool like reading through Form S-1's and learning how to use CCH (? - I think that's what it's called but I can't remember).

Note: I'm probably not actually doing corporate, so I didn't really look into how close my assignments were to what first-years actually do, but my gut feeling was probably not (and that it's more diligence and things like closing binders that FP talked about).

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

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:08 pm

(and in doing so I learned how to "redline"


Whoa, ground breaking stuff there.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:15 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
(and in doing so I learned how to "redline"


Whoa, ground breaking stuff there.


Didn't say it was groundbreaking. I just never heard of it before my SA. I thought my assignments weren't demonstrative of first-year work because they were VERY basic and most along the lines of the best they could give you in terms of "busy work" besides just sitting in on conference calls. (Like, more basic than diligence, closing binders, etc.).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:14 pm

Thanks everyone. A few follow up Qs:
dingbat wrote:I got to do some VERY basic drafting of a certificate of formation for a PE acquisition deal

Anonymous User wrote: I would do things like draft simple docs (signature pages, secretary's certificate, etc)

How did you know how to do these drafting items? Template and instructions from the person who gave you the assignment?
thesealocust wrote:You could get small research projects on legal matters related to a deal

Is this research like litigation research (i.e. look it up on Westlaw and write a memo)? Shockingly, my law school education does not have me feeling very well prepared for corporate/transactional research.
thesealocust wrote:do a lot of "shadowing" where you sit in on calls & meetings, do minor edits to documents

This sounds really enjoyable and easy, and hard to screw up. Accurate assessment?

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:You could get small research projects on legal matters related to a deal

Is this research like litigation research (i.e. look it up on Westlaw and write a memo)? Shockingly, my law school education does not have me feeling very well prepared for corporate/transactional research.
thesealocust wrote:do a lot of "shadowing" where you sit in on calls & meetings, do minor edits to documents

This sounds really enjoyable and easy, and hard to screw up. Accurate assessment?


I was in a more regulatory-focused practice, but a corporate question might be like "Has X agency ever said anything about this variant of this type of transaction." So you go dig through interpretive letters, enforcement actions, releases, and, sometimes, actual cases, and figure out if the agency has ever winked at a similar deal and write up an email saying yes, no, or that it's unclear, but probably ok.

No, it's easy to mess up. They aren't expecting you to be able to do the hard things they're doing, so if you don't do the easy part you're given perfectly, they'll assume you're completely incompetent to do the hard things.

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

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:26 am

How did you know how to do these drafting items? Template and instructions from the person who gave you the assignment?


Yes. You will be given precedent, and your Ctrl-F and replace skills will be put to the test.

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

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:27 am

All deal research I've done has been through google. If you need something more authoritative or from a specific source, ask the library.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:28 am

Due diligence and due diligence memos, mostly. But I did get to draft an execution document (transfer agreement as a follow-on to MUCH larger deal) and help with the closing schedule on another deal (after an associate's wife went into labor).

I heard of some research/business development assignments masquerading as M&A projects, too, so look out for that.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks everyone. A few follow up Qs:
dingbat wrote:I got to do some VERY basic drafting of a certificate of formation for a PE acquisition deal

Anonymous User wrote: I would do things like draft simple docs (signature pages, secretary's certificate, etc)

How did you know how to do these drafting items? Template and instructions from the person who gave you the assignment?
thesealocust wrote:You could get small research projects on legal matters related to a deal

Is this research like litigation research (i.e. look it up on Westlaw and write a memo)? Shockingly, my law school education does not have me feeling very well prepared for corporate/transactional research.
thesealocust wrote:do a lot of "shadowing" where you sit in on calls & meetings, do minor edits to documents

This sounds really enjoyable and easy, and hard to screw up. Accurate assessment?



the research i did for M&A was along the lines of "look up this statute and see if it applies to how we're doing this deal." then wrote a short memo or sometimes even a short email to the partner / associates on the deal. Usually didn't require much of Westlaw/Nexis or case law in general.

The sitting-in on calls and meetings isn't difficult, but I always made sure to actually pay attention because afterwards, someone would usually ask if i had any questions, and I wanted to actually have intelligent questions. So I guess you could screw it up if you obviously aren't paying attention or getting anything out of it.

Drafting the simple docs is pretty easy- most firms have databases of docs that you can use as a template, and they probably aren't going to give you anything too complicated. I think the real work involved was just making sure every signature block / entity name you inserted is completely perfect, etc.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:50 am

Anonymous User wrote: I heard of some research/business development assignments masquerading as M&A projects, too, so look out for that.



Did this as a SA. was actually really cool. took me back to my UG finance classes.

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6367
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby 5ky » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:35 am

I'll echo pretty much what others have said ITT. People in my summer did work on: the diligence appendices, drafting (or attempting to) draft small sections of the diligence memo, a ton of editing the diligence memo and merger agreement for grammar and typos, a number of research "projects" such as looking into various DGCL provisions, looking into what was market in recent merger agreements for a particular issue, lots of phone calls and meetings that you just listened in on, etc.

It was pretty fun, and a little easier to understand exactly what was going on compared to capital markets and bankruptcy stuff (which were less substantive).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:00 am

Fresh Prince wrote:
How did you know how to do these drafting items? Template and instructions from the person who gave you the assignment?


Yes. You will be given precedent, and your Ctrl-F and replace skills will be put to the test.


Poster who did this -- yes, I was given a template from a previous deal. They're not trying to trick you on assignments or make you do stuff you don't know how to do. And if you're confused or not sure, just ask.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273186
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What does a Summer Assoc. do in M&A?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:04 pm

Anyone else care to comment? I'd love to get more insight before the summer.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.