NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

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NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:30 am

Are there any Biglaw NYC associates that have gone for a part time MBA while they were working? Specifically I want to know if anyone has done it while being part of the corporate M&A group. I am considering going for a part time MBA at either NYU, U. Chicago or Northwestern. Hopefully would be able to finish in 3-4 years.

I'm thinking it may be difficult considering the unpredictability of the biglaw hours. NYU has a decent evening program and its close by so it seems the most feasible. Northwestern and Chicago have Saturday programs, but I'm not sure how the logistics work out with Biglaw M&A and if the profs are understanding that sometimes there are projects that prop up on Saturdays.

Does anyone have experience with this?

I'm also thinking about an E. MBA down the road if a part time MBA just doesn't work, so if anyone has insights on this that would be great as well.

Thanks.

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thesealocust
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby thesealocust » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm thinking it may be difficult considering the unpredictability of the biglaw hours.


Difficult is probably a big understatement here.

I'm not sure it's impossible, and firms have highly specific things going on (I heard something about Skadden having everyone get an executive MBA during their first few months or something weird like that), but in general the lifestyle of billing 2,000+++ hour per year at your clients whim isn't going to be compatible with part time schooling, and I haven't really heard of people doing it.

Having said that, tax attorneys find a way to get LLMs on the reg, but their lives tend to be a little less crazy and that practice is a little more institutionalized.

Others might have more relevant insight, but my gut tells me part time MBA work while working at a firm wouldn't be very realistic.

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NinerFan
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby NinerFan » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:38 pm

I would be shocked if a full-time associate could pull anything like this off. For 3-4 years? No way, especially in Corporate M&A. Things will pop up. I'm going into my job thinking that I won't be able to make any sort of regular commitments. I think you're far underestimating the unpredictability of biglaw hours.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:42 pm

OP here.

Right. It is of course difficult and I suppose it depends entirely on how tolerant the partners in the practice groups will be. It looks likeI will just have to grind for a few years first to see if I can fit something like this into my schedule. I was simply hoping to see if people have come across a few associates attempting this and their experiences.

Sometimes I regret not going for the JD/MBA since its only an extra year, but the roughly 250k swing from the opportunity costs and actual costs were too much to handle.

Any of you know anyone that was able to get a tax deduction for the full tuition costs from a part time MBA working as an attorney? Was there a lot of push back from the IRS?

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:51 pm

Oh and for Skadden it's essentially jut a crash course in business. Although I'm not doing Skadden so cannot say for absolute certainty. The executive MBA I was referring to is something that usually requires more like 6-10 years of experience. Those programs are definitely more flexible and will work around your schedule, not to mention that going down the EMBA route opens up more stellar MBA programs than are available on a part time basis.

I'm not really looking to an MBA for substantive knowledge. I feel comfortable with what I already have. Its really about the mark and networking opportunities down the road.

Thanks for the input.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:31 pm

I know of an incoming v10 associate who going to finish the last year of his part-time MBA during his first year as an associate.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby bdubs » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are there any Biglaw NYC associates that have gone for a part time MBA while they were working? Specifically I want to know if anyone has done it while being part of the corporate M&A group. I am considering going for a part time MBA at either NYU, U. Chicago or Northwestern. Hopefully would be able to finish in 3-4 years.

I'm thinking it may be difficult considering the unpredictability of the biglaw hours. NYU has a decent evening program and its close by so it seems the most feasible. Northwestern and Chicago have Saturday programs, but I'm not sure how the logistics work out with Biglaw M&A and if the profs are understanding that sometimes there are projects that prop up on Saturdays.

Does anyone have experience with this?

I'm also thinking about an E. MBA down the road if a part time MBA just doesn't work, so if anyone has insights on this that would be great as well.

Thanks.


What do you want to get out of this? Most part time programs don't have a strong focus on recruiting because they tend to cater to career enhancers, rather than industry or function switchers. I think you might be disappointed if you made huge sacrifices to go part time only to find that you didn't have many new job opportunities coming out of the program.

09042014
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:50 pm

Why?

kryptix
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby kryptix » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:25 am

Did this in reverse (part time JD while in BB bank) and yeah you need to be established with a flexible schedule and I've had many classes where I had to remote into work...

desertlaw
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby desertlaw » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Why?


Another desert user here. Asking the same question. What's the benefit from an MBA?

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:19 pm

desertlaw wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why?


Another desert user here. Asking the same question. What's the benefit from an MBA?


I've talked with a few of the partners I work with about doing a part-time saturday mba. They seem to think it's a good idea, and that specifically it would make the jump to finance (in restructuring) a lot more realistic. Also, in restructuring at least, and I'm sure other groups, they think the stuff you would learn/pick up on through the mba program would be very valuable. While I think you can learn the finance side without getting the mba, realistically given my hours and schedule I probably wouldn't be motivated to do it outside of some structured system making me do so. Finally, while people like to point out that part-time programs don't have the same networking opportunities as full-time programs, the partners I've spoken with think that I'd meet and develop relationships with a lot of people you could be potential clients one day, and these people would know me as the "restructuring lawyer." Obviously no one thinks it's a ticket to being a rainmaker, but would probably have some value.

I tend to agree with them on all points.

Also, if you have the ok of the partners, doing a saturday program would probably be pretty doable. You would just have to be pretty flexible: willing to work while in class, willing to miss class if absolutely necessary, and willing to take a semester/quarter off if a case/deal comes in and shit has really hit the fan. Will really depend on your group and who you work with though. There's really no way of knowing if it's possible for you until you start working and get to know what the expectations are and build a reputation sufficient to get partner backing.

09042014
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby 09042014 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
desertlaw wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why?


Another desert user here. Asking the same question. What's the benefit from an MBA?


I've talked with a few of the partners I work with about doing a part-time saturday mba. They seem to think it's a good idea, and that specifically it would make the jump to finance (in restructuring) a lot more realistic. Also, in restructuring at least, and I'm sure other groups, they think the stuff you would learn/pick up on through the mba program would be very valuable. While I think you can learn the finance side without getting the mba, realistically given my hours and schedule I probably wouldn't be motivated to do it outside of some structured system making me do so. Finally, while people like to point out that part-time programs don't have the same networking opportunities as full-time programs, the partners I've spoken with think that I'd meet and develop relationships with a lot of people you could be potential clients one day, and these people would know me as the "restructuring lawyer." Obviously no one thinks it's a ticket to being a rainmaker, but would probably have some value.

I tend to agree with them on all points.

Also, if you have the ok of the partners, doing a saturday program would probably be pretty doable. You would just have to be pretty flexible: willing to work while in class, willing to miss class if absolutely necessary, and willing to take a semester/quarter off if a case/deal comes in and shit has really hit the fan. Will really depend on your group and who you work with though. There's really no way of knowing if it's possible for you until you start working and get to know what the expectations are and build a reputation sufficient to get partner backing.


If they thought it would help, they'd pay for it themselves.

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El_Sol
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby El_Sol » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:50 pm

There is no need to do this.

Use your free time, which is not a lot, to work out, chill with your friends/GF, watch sports. You need some type of balancing, or you will burn out sooner than later.

09042014
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby 09042014 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:02 pm

If you are still in school just take the courses you want from the business school you are at. My school lets us take several hours outside of law. And you could probably audit more.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
desertlaw wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why?


Another desert user here. Asking the same question. What's the benefit from an MBA?


I've talked with a few of the partners I work with about doing a part-time saturday mba. They seem to think it's a good idea, and that specifically it would make the jump to finance (in restructuring) a lot more realistic. Also, in restructuring at least, and I'm sure other groups, they think the stuff you would learn/pick up on through the mba program would be very valuable. While I think you can learn the finance side without getting the mba, realistically given my hours and schedule I probably wouldn't be motivated to do it outside of some structured system making me do so. Finally, while people like to point out that part-time programs don't have the same networking opportunities as full-time programs, the partners I've spoken with think that I'd meet and develop relationships with a lot of people you could be potential clients one day, and these people would know me as the "restructuring lawyer." Obviously no one thinks it's a ticket to being a rainmaker, but would probably have some value.

I tend to agree with them on all points.

Also, if you have the ok of the partners, doing a saturday program would probably be pretty doable. You would just have to be pretty flexible: willing to work while in class, willing to miss class if absolutely necessary, and willing to take a semester/quarter off if a case/deal comes in and shit has really hit the fan. Will really depend on your group and who you work with though. There's really no way of knowing if it's possible for you until you start working and get to know what the expectations are and build a reputation sufficient to get partner backing.


This is the general information that I've been getting as well from folks. With regards to networking opportunities, presumably many of these people would be working in some form of a professional capacity so the opportunities aren't terrible. Not to mention that you will always have access to the alumni networks down the road which can be good (or simply worthless, no way to know).

I think I'm just gonna have to grind it out first and develop a reputation as what was said in this thread already. Once I have the green light from the head partner I think it will be fine. I like the concept of taking a semester off if necessary. That probably makes the most sense if things are simply too crazy. Will have to talk to Profs as well to see what their stance is in the future.

Thanks for this input.

*edit*

Just want to say, doing the MBA thing is not for everyone and if you are not absolutely certain you want to do it, then it is not a good idea. You should only do the MBA if you are focused and realistic about what can be gained. As others have noted, be careful about burnout. Know yourself and your limits.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby TaipeiMort » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:39 am

Easy reason to do this-- many in-house positions put a restriction on upward mobility if you don't have either an MBA, MAcc, or have spent some time at an
MBA proxy like McKinsey, Bain, BCG. PE and VC firms and I-Banks will usually corral you into a type of "of-counsel" specialist role and not let you make partner. This isn't always true, as there are some companies that let you make the jump from in-house counsel to upper-level management, but it is really hard to tell at the outset and not something you'd ever ask in an in-house interview.

A better option may be to get your part-time or EMBA after you go in-house (some companies may pay for it if they like you enough), or after 4 or so years at a vault firm jump over into MBB-level management consulting.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby ruthevans41 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:24 am

I found a great part time MBA programat Babson College in Boston. They offer different part MBA options - an evening program and a fast track program - which may be suitable for your outside law commitments. It is definitely worth looking into more. The college was very helpful in personalizing my program so it could fit my current life situation...best of luck!

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:41 am

I cannot imagine doing anything outside of big law your first few years that requires a time commitment. I can't even get to the gym on a regular basis and this is basically my only hobby. I'm not even in NYC. I do not think I am unusual, and I have gone through periods of life where I juggled a lot of multitasking (multiple jobs while in school). I would really not recommend this. At least start at your firm for a few months before committing to a program.

$$$$$$
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby $$$$$$ » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:42 am

As someone thinking about doing this as well, I think the best bet is not to jump on board with an MBA just yet. It costs a lot of money for a degree where you will likely learn nothing about distressed debt finance, or restructuring work that is done at major investment banks. MBA is just a credential, I think your best bet is to try and learn outside of work. I was trying to get into distressed debt trading out of law school and have a few good books (highly technical) if you want recommendations. I did this for 3 years in law school, essentially teaching myself finance, and landed a finance job while in law school at a really good asset management firm. People don't care if you have an MBA as long as you are smart and understand what you are talking about. Save the MBA for when you are in finance and your company will pay for you to get it and have you come back as a higher up. Your best bet would probably be studying for the CFA to show that you have a mind finance, even if you just pass level 1 it shows you have interest and have the quantitative ability for finance.

Also, all those people that say you won't have the time .... they are wrong, you could definitely make it happen. MBA course load is not like law school.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby thesealocust » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:49 am

$$$$$$ wrote:Also, all those people that say you won't have the time .... they are wrong, you could definitely make it happen. MBA course load is not like law school.


When you're spending 12+ hours per day at the firm, burning weekends, dealing with things on nights and mornings, etc. because of client emergencies, I think "don't have enough time" means "unless you pick up a meth habit and give up a sleep habit" not "you would be very busy gee gosh golly and who would want that!"

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby debbie_11 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:44 am

spam

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:15 am

As a senior restructuring associate, I can assure that this is a very bad idea, bordering on career-killing.

1) you need to devote 100% of your time to learning your job as an attorney in your first few years. That's when your schedule is most unpredictable and the learning curve steepest.

2) 90% of what you learn in b-school is redundant with what you learn as a junior associate. The extra 10% is like how to build out models and other technical stuff that you absolutely don't need as a lawyer and, even if you go to the other side, you will get run circles around you by the hardcore finance guys. Jack of all trades, but master of none.

3) there are plenty of opps to jump over to the other side without an MBA. If you impress your partners even a little bit, they'll want to help place you on the other side so you can throw business back. There are TONS of funds sniffing for mid level and senior associates. You go in as sort of a hybrid legal/business role, but if you're good you slide over to the business side very quickly because so many distressed trades are effectively bets on litigation outcomes.

4) Restructruing work at banks is largely dead. You describe that as your goal, but that's like aspiring to work in a US steel mill.

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:51 am

Bankruptcy and restructuring associates: if the MBA isn't a good idea what advice would you give to those interested in progressing in this field. Also, how have you liked this practice area / would you choose it again and why?

Thanks!

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Old Gregg
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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:15 am

Sounds like you should have just gotten an MBA instead of a JD. As the Germans say, "schade."

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Re: NYC Biglaw and Part-Time MBA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Bankruptcy and restructuring associates: if the MBA isn't a good idea what advice would you give to those interested in progressing in this field. Also, how have you liked this practice area / would you choose it again and why?

Thanks!



I love the field. I can't really imagine doing something else. It's like lawyer heaven.

You progress by doing good work and impressing those who work with you. You are a lawyer, and this is how lawyers do well. Also, make sure you end up at a firm with workflow.




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