Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

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Old Gregg
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to necro, but I'm an incoming SA at one of the two firms listed in the title. Is there anything I should keep in mind during my first few years so I have solid exit options?


Do good work, try to get more responsibility and excel at handling those responsibilities. Network and meet people.

Most importantly, get out of this thread and stop worrying about it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:32 pm

Kirkland Debt Finance practice is blowing up! They are recruiting like mad right now. Must be good times over there.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:41 pm

restructuring --> finance is a pretty rare jump. people think its more common as its the most likely out of the law firm practices to lead to finance, but by most likely its like having a 2% shot instead of 1%. from what i've seen/heard (current resturcuturing associate), it mostly happens through luck/networking. finance shops don't usually go looking for lawyers when they are trying to fill a restructuring role, however they are open to considering one if it happens to be a good fit. thus, you have to really hustle for one and you probably shouldnt expect a recruiter to call you one day offering you a position at a HF.

a huge hurdle will be proving you have good financialy analytical skills. banks/hfs look for people with some serious financial modeling experience, of which lawyers usually have none. you will need to prove you are pretty comfortable with the various financial valuation variables.

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emciosn
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby emciosn » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland Debt Finance practice is blowing up! They are recruiting like mad right now. Must be good times over there.


Sorry if this is a dumb question but how would you describe the debt finance practice area (or at least K&E's version)? Are restructuring attorneys involved?

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:28 pm

emciosn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland Debt Finance practice is blowing up! They are recruiting like mad right now. Must be good times over there.


Sorry if this is a dumb question but how would you describe the debt finance practice area (or at least K&E's version)? Are restructuring attorneys involved?


Restructuring attorneys are involved only when there is some distressed component to the financing. The debt finance group at K&E is better appreciated as a subgroup of the overall corporate group, and the group's bread and butter is acquisition financings for the many deals the PE group runs.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:44 pm

Interested in this. What's the typical path if the finance jump is rare?

Only smaller firms? Is there anything in-house that has reasonable hours?

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:19 am

I know one guy at Lazard who made the jump from KE/Weil/Skadden without a JD. It's easier with an MBA, because to be honest a JD doesn't really add any value -- it just gets you in front of other restructuring finance associates. Although to be honest, if you're actually interested in finance, MBA or no, it's MUCH easier to find something while in school -- you can take finance classes, learn some modeling, and apply to smaller finance shops right out of school. It's much more difficult building the skills and constructing a narrative after years in biglaw.

The guy with the JD only was a second/third. He told me it was a right time, right place sort of thing, and that none of his fellow law associates were able to make the jump.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know one guy at Lazard who made the jump from KE/Weil/Skadden without a JD. It's easier with an MBA, because to be honest a JD doesn't really add any value -- it just gets you in front of other restructuring finance associates. Although to be honest, if you're actually interested in finance, MBA or no, it's MUCH easier to find something while in school -- you can take finance classes, learn some modeling, and apply to smaller finance shops right out of school. It's much more difficult building the skills and constructing a narrative after years in biglaw.

The guy with the JD only was a second/third. He told me it was a right time, right place sort of thing, and that none of his fellow law associates were able to make the jump.


So where do bankruptcy associates who do debtor work go? Can they move in-house like corporate attorneys?

lax11570
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby lax11570 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:04 pm

JenDarby wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How happening is the bankruptcy-boutique scene? I try to stay on top of what's going on in the restructuring world, and the only "elite" boutique firm I can name off the top of my head is Pachulski. Relatedly, are there actually decent options at firms dealing with middle-market bankruptcies?

Togut is involved in many large commercial bankruptcies.


Unfortunately, Togut is a terrible to work (Al Togut is such a pompous asshole, even in comparison to many other big firm partners).

anonymous2012
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby anonymous2012 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:46 am

Most projections have filings starting to speed up in q4 of 2015 actually. 14 is another bloodbath. 15 will be as well, for the most part. 16 it may be better. Need substantive changes to the law though. PE has destroyed a lot of middle market bk.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:35 am

Hopefully bk work picks up. I'm heading into the practice group after graduation doing mostly middle-market stuff.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:29 am

How often to Weil/Kirkland restructuring associates transition to restructuring groups at banks (Lazard, HL, or Blackstone advisory, which will now be PJT Partners)? Also, can somebody explain what these hybrid law/finance roles exactly are at funds? Thanks!

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:How often to Weil/Kirkland restructuring associates transition to restructuring groups at banks (Lazard, HL, or Blackstone advisory, which will now be PJT Partners)? Also, can somebody explain what these hybrid law/finance roles exactly are at funds? Thanks!


The short answer to question is not often. In my experience (I worked in a restructuring group in big law firm other than Weil or Kirkland for a few years before moving to a boutique) I have worked with and known associates at both Weil and Kirkland and none of them went to work for any of the places you listed.

Weil is predominately a debtor shop that handles very large chapter 11's (I have not worked with them on out-of-court restructurings) and operates as a mill (which I don't mean that as a bad thing; it's impressive that they could handle a case as large as Lehman). Most of their associates only get to work on a small piece of a large case, which limits there experience and skills. Indeed, I have always been underwhelmed by the quality of legal work that I have seen from Weil. Admittedly, Weil has brand-name recognition, which is why most of the associates that I know who left there (either out of free will or because they were laid off) were able to go to other firms (often top firms).

Kirkland on the other hand handles both major bankruptcy cases as well as large and mid-market out-of-court restructurings. The associates (and partners) I have dealt with from Kirkland are aggressive (they take being assholes to an art-form) and well trained. They also get a lot more substantive work on both the litigation and corporate side of restructurings. While most people I know stay at Kirkland, those who have left also have not gone to work for those places. In fact, the few people I know who left Kirkland have gone in-house at PE funds that act as equity sponsors (probably because they were clients of Kirkland).

At the end of the day, there is a simple reason for this--bankers/financial advisors and lawyers handle very different aspects of a restructuring matter. A banker or financial advisor will spend his time running financial models, performing valuations of assets, and countless other financial analyses in connection. The lawyer will prepare court documents and draft transactional documents. While each of them has a basic idea of what the other one is doing and how the other's work fits into the overall process, there is a reason that debtors and creditors retain both sets of professionals. Each is an expert at what he does.

If you're looking to get a job at one of the places that you listed, you're probably going to need to get an MBA in finance since the few lawyers I know who do work at these places all have an MBA from a top school. I suspect that having experience as a restructuring lawyer will help (it can't hurt), but those firms want people who understand and do finance work.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:08 am

its harder than most people think. first, off its a niche field and not a lot of openings. remember for those positions your also competing with all credit analysts and lev fin analysts out there, as well as every single BK attorney. also, what is your background? do you know how to do a DCF? EBITDA comps? do these things mean anything to you? knowing the legal side will only be helpful, you have to demonstrate you have a strong grasp of the financial stuff as that will me your main responsibility.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:36 pm

Would taking a modeling course or completing the first level of the CFA help? Since you're doing debtor work, you would be in contact with the banks that handle these cases and networking into one of these positions would then be easier, right?

Also, what exactly is the role of former restructuring associates when they go in-house in PE/HF? Is there a possibility to jump to an investing role within the same firm later on?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:40 pm

Get a fucking MBA if you want to do business. I don't understand people who go to law school with the goal of going into business.

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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:02 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Going from Weil / Kirkland Bankruptcy practice to....

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Don't think an MBA is worth the opportunity cost. It might be more difficult, but networking with people in finance who I know through work already might be a better route. At this point, I'm strongly considering the CFA level 1 exam.


Sorry, I agree. I think it's too late to get the MBA now. I just want this thread to serve as a reminder for those considering law school that they should apply for an MBA instead.

The amount of posts in this forum where an OP seems to have applied and gone to law school to end up in a business role is staggering. Just stupid.





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