going from clerkship to finance

(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: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:27 pm

I graduated from a TTT, but was summa and got a job clerking on the district court level in one of the bigger, more competitive districts (think, NDCA, CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, NDIL, DDC, etc.). I've worked for about 6 months at a nonprofit criminal legal aid place. While my experiences have been interesting and I've learned a lot, I've come to realize that I'd rather not spend the rest of my life doing litigation, either criminal or civil.

I'm interested in going into finance, preferable at a private equity hedge fund or at one of the bigger NYC shops or banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanely, etc.). I'm still relatively young (27), but unfortunately I don't have a finance background at all: I went to undergrad at a decent but small liberal arts school and was a history major. I know some people get hired as analysts right out of undergrad with a wide variety of liberal arts majors, but truth be told I don't know much about what to expect from the world of hiring in finance and I'm just wondering whether given my current background I stand any chance at all of getting looked at? If so, for what kinds of jobs and places should I be looking for?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:10 pm

It would be tough. The best path (probably only path) to finance from a clerkship would be clerkship -> Cravath/S&C/WLRK -> banking -> HF/PE (if you want buy-side). If you want a legal role at a bank/fund, other firms (e.g., STB, Weil, etc.) may get you there.

User avatar
sayan
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:05 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby sayan » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:23 pm

You sound like a dreamer. What sort of value do you bring to a finance firm? Sounds like you just want to make a lot of money, have the prestige of being a "finance guy" and living the models and bottles lifestyle. Sorry, buddy -- like ain't happening and you need to be realistic about your prospects.

user outed and warned for anon abuse

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:46 pm

OP Here: Perhaps I am a dreamer...but, I suppose anyone who wants to leave the formal practice of law is. But don't get me wrong, I'm not attracted to finance because of the lifestyle, which is probably in many cases worse hours than biglaw. I'm attracted to it because I'm interested in it and it by and large is happening in a city where I want to be.

I know it is work to break into another field, especially where one doesn't have much background, but I was interested in how I might go about doing it and what my chances are. I have also been thinking about getting a master's degree in finance or business. Would that make the difference? Or is that too a waste of money like an LLM?

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby bdubs » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here: Perhaps I am a dreamer...but, I suppose anyone who wants to leave the formal practice of law is. But don't get me wrong, I'm not attracted to finance because of the lifestyle, which is probably in many cases worse hours than biglaw. I'm attracted to it because I'm interested in it and it by and large is happening in a city where I want to be.

I know it is work to break into another field, especially where one doesn't have much background, but I was interested in how I might go about doing it and what my chances are. I have also been thinking about getting a master's degree in finance or business. Would that make the difference? Or is that too a waste of money like an LLM?


An MSF at MIT is just a year and will give you the best prospect of getting into finance (a high profile HF/PE gig will probably still be unatainable though). Much better than trying to lateral from a V10. Taking a year off may shoot you in the foot if you do decide afterward that you want to go into law.

Not sure why you went to a TTT but getting into a good masters program is similar to law school admissions; you will need a solid UGPA and a high standardized test score to get in the door.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby minnbills » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:22 pm

You should talk to people who work in finance and see what you can make happen.

There are lots of lawyers/law school graduates in finance, so obviously it does happen. You will probably just have to knock on a lot of doors to make it happen.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I graduated from a TTT, but was summa and got a job clerking on the district court level in one of the bigger, more competitive districts (think, NDCA, CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, NDIL, DDC, etc.). I've worked for about 6 months at a nonprofit criminal legal aid place. While my experiences have been interesting and I've learned a lot, I've come to realize that I'd rather not spend the rest of my life doing litigation, either criminal or civil.

I'm interested in going into finance, preferable at a private equity hedge fund or at one of the bigger NYC shops or banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanely, etc.). I'm still relatively young (27), but unfortunately I don't have a finance background at all: I went to undergrad at a decent but small liberal arts school and was a history major. I know some people get hired as analysts right out of undergrad with a wide variety of liberal arts majors, but truth be told I don't know much about what to expect from the world of hiring in finance and I'm just wondering whether given my current background I stand any chance at all of getting looked at? If so, for what kinds of jobs and places should I be looking for?


I worked at Goldman in the finance department prior to law school. The legal department as a policy won't hire lawyers right out of law school, they require you lateral from another firm/government after significant work experience. (S&C was our big external counsel, so probably a good feeder). You could get a job as a compliance officer but you wouldn't be making a lawyer's salary. I assume most other shops are similar.

Also you could apply to the Ibanking analyst program. I saw a few JDs there, but I think that sucks even harder than being a biglaw associate. Plus all your coworkers will be 21-23, unless you can come in as a 3rd year or something.

jacksonmead
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby jacksonmead » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:59 pm

You really need to figure out more concretely what you want to do. A "private equity hedge fund" is not really a thing. It's either a PE fund or a hedge fund (which I suppose could have a few private equity investments, but that's rare). Both will be very different than bulge bracket banking.

$$$$$$
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby $$$$$$ » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:10 pm

I'll answer your question..... No, you stand a 0% chance of being looked at by any PE fund, Hedge Fund or Investment Bank. You're welcome, stick to what you are good at.


- Law student turned IM associate turned consultant

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby guano » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:30 pm

bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP Here: Perhaps I am a dreamer...but, I suppose anyone who wants to leave the formal practice of law is. But don't get me wrong, I'm not attracted to finance because of the lifestyle, which is probably in many cases worse hours than biglaw. I'm attracted to it because I'm interested in it and it by and large is happening in a city where I want to be.

I know it is work to break into another field, especially where one doesn't have much background, but I was interested in how I might go about doing it and what my chances are. I have also been thinking about getting a master's degree in finance or business. Would that make the difference? Or is that too a waste of money like an LLM?


An MSF at MIT is just a year and will give you the best prospect of getting into finance (a high profile HF/PE gig will probably still be unatainable though). Much better than trying to lateral from a V10. Taking a year off may shoot you in the foot if you do decide afterward that you want to go into law.

Not sure why you went to a TTT but getting into a good masters program is similar to law school admissions; you will need a solid UGPA and a high standardized test score to get in the door.
if you want to go that route, you're better off studying quant or applied math. PhD is the way to go.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:31 pm

Alternatively, you could go for an MBA; if you could somehow get yourself into Wharton or better then you might have a puncher's chance. But even then (a) you're not getting into Wharton/HBS, not with that kind of resume and (b) at Wharton/HBS you'll be competing with folks who are as smart (or smarter) than you and have a quantitative or finance background.

Fundamentally, the problem is that nothing in your resume indicates any interest in finance, so everyone who interviews you will see you as a dilettante and someone who is chasing dollars.

If, just to throw out a hypothetical, you get a job at one of the big white shoe firms, and then after a few years doing corporate there, you switch to the business-side of banking or a fund (which mind you, is really fucking hard to do), then at least there's a narrative. You thought you loved law, but after a few years working along side XYZ guys at ABC bank, you realized it was what you really wanted to do, and you reluctantly left law to pursue that.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I graduated from a TTT, but was summa and got a job clerking on the district court level in one of the bigger, more competitive districts (think, NDCA, CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, NDIL, DDC, etc.). I've worked for about 6 months at a nonprofit criminal legal aid place. While my experiences have been interesting and I've learned a lot, I've come to realize that I'd rather not spend the rest of my life doing litigation, either criminal or civil.

I'm interested in going into finance, preferable at a private equity hedge fund or at one of the bigger NYC shops or banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanely, etc.). I'm still relatively young (27), but unfortunately I don't have a finance background at all: I went to undergrad at a decent but small liberal arts school and was a history major. I know some people get hired as analysts right out of undergrad with a wide variety of liberal arts majors, but truth be told I don't know much about what to expect from the world of hiring in finance and I'm just wondering whether given my current background I stand any chance at all of getting looked at? If so, for what kinds of jobs and places should I be looking for?


I worked at Goldman in the finance department prior to law school. The legal department as a policy won't hire lawyers right out of law school, they require you lateral from another firm/government after significant work experience. (S&C was our big external counsel, so probably a good feeder). You could get a job as a compliance officer but you wouldn't be making a lawyer's salary. I assume most other shops are similar.

Also you could apply to the Ibanking analyst program. I saw a few JDs there, but I think that sucks even harder than being a biglaw associate. Plus all your coworkers will be 21-23, unless you can come in as a 3rd year or something.


OP again: I've been considering I-banking analyst programs...do these have sort of a less stringent requirement of finance background than others since many of these guys, as you note, are hired right out of college. I'm a pretty quick study and I imagine my writing and research skills would relatively easily translate to industry research and the like, but I would probably be much behind if they will expect me to know how to do financial modelling. Does all of it turn on having a quant background?

If so, I certainly would consider more school, though probably the 1 year MIT program or an MBA program rather than a PhD. I agree also that my resume, which is entirely law related (and mostly litigation), will seem totally irrelevant to finance. Just trying to find some way in.

Pokemon
Posts: 1863
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Pokemon » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:14 pm

Maybe after few years of practice in biglaw litigation, you can try MBB, then go from that point on. I know of someone at McK who was litigator. But in all honesty, this whole thread is super-silly. There are math PhD's who have a hard time breaking in a finance job at a level that would be equivalent to that of biglaw.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I graduated from a TTT, but was summa and got a job clerking on the district court level in one of the bigger, more competitive districts (think, NDCA, CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, NDIL, DDC, etc.). I've worked for about 6 months at a nonprofit criminal legal aid place. While my experiences have been interesting and I've learned a lot, I've come to realize that I'd rather not spend the rest of my life doing litigation, either criminal or civil.

I'm interested in going into finance, preferable at a private equity hedge fund or at one of the bigger NYC shops or banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanely, etc.). I'm still relatively young (27), but unfortunately I don't have a finance background at all: I went to undergrad at a decent but small liberal arts school and was a history major. I know some people get hired as analysts right out of undergrad with a wide variety of liberal arts majors, but truth be told I don't know much about what to expect from the world of hiring in finance and I'm just wondering whether given my current background I stand any chance at all of getting looked at? If so, for what kinds of jobs and places should I be looking for?


I worked at Goldman in the finance department prior to law school. The legal department as a policy won't hire lawyers right out of law school, they require you lateral from another firm/government after significant work experience. (S&C was our big external counsel, so probably a good feeder). You could get a job as a compliance officer but you wouldn't be making a lawyer's salary. I assume most other shops are similar.

Also you could apply to the Ibanking analyst program. I saw a few JDs there, but I think that sucks even harder than being a biglaw associate. Plus all your coworkers will be 21-23, unless you can come in as a 3rd year or something.


OP again: I've been considering I-banking analyst programs...do these have sort of a less stringent requirement of finance background than others since many of these guys, as you note, are hired right out of college. I'm a pretty quick study and I imagine my writing and research skills would relatively easily translate to industry research and the like, but I would probably be much behind if they will expect me to know how to do financial modelling. Does all of it turn on having a quant background?

If so, I certainly would consider more school, though probably the 1 year MIT program or an MBA program rather than a PhD. I agree also that my resume, which is entirely law related (and mostly litigation), will seem totally irrelevant to finance. Just trying to find some way in.


You need to meet three requirements to get into a banking analyst program: 1) good answer to why banking; 2) understanding of basic finance (even if you are not required to know how to price an option); 3) be from a feeder (Harvard, Wharton, Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia, you get the point) or have some solid connections to prevent your resume from going straight to the trash.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:24 pm

You should focus on getting the best job you can now. For you, that's gonna be biglaw. After working there a few years, you can try to find your way into finance (but don't count on it).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:24 pm

You should focus on getting the best job you can now. For you, that's gonna be biglaw. After working there a few years, you can try to find your way into finance (but don't count on it).

wons
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:25 pm

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby wons » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:57 am

You have no chance at an analyst program and you'd be crapped on anyways.

Finance is not a viable option for you at this point in your career. You should try to get a job in biglaw.

Sorry, I know it sucks but it happens to all of us. The Red Sox aren't asking me to play shortstop and the banks aren't going to come calling for you.

user outed for anon abuse

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I graduated from a TTT, but was summa and got a job clerking on the district court level in one of the bigger, more competitive districts (think, NDCA, CDCA, SDNY, EDNY, NDIL, DDC, etc.). I've worked for about 6 months at a nonprofit criminal legal aid place. While my experiences have been interesting and I've learned a lot, I've come to realize that I'd rather not spend the rest of my life doing litigation, either criminal or civil.

I'm interested in going into finance, preferable at a private equity hedge fund or at one of the bigger NYC shops or banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanely, etc.). I'm still relatively young (27), but unfortunately I don't have a finance background at all: I went to undergrad at a decent but small liberal arts school and was a history major. I know some people get hired as analysts right out of undergrad with a wide variety of liberal arts majors, but truth be told I don't know much about what to expect from the world of hiring in finance and I'm just wondering whether given my current background I stand any chance at all of getting looked at? If so, for what kinds of jobs and places should I be looking for?


I worked at Goldman in the finance department prior to law school. The legal department as a policy won't hire lawyers right out of law school, they require you lateral from another firm/government after significant work experience. (S&C was our big external counsel, so probably a good feeder). You could get a job as a compliance officer but you wouldn't be making a lawyer's salary. I assume most other shops are similar.

Also you could apply to the Ibanking analyst program. I saw a few JDs there, but I think that sucks even harder than being a biglaw associate. Plus all your coworkers will be 21-23, unless you can come in as a 3rd year or something.


OP again: I've been considering I-banking analyst programs...do these have sort of a less stringent requirement of finance background than others since many of these guys, as you note, are hired right out of college. I'm a pretty quick study and I imagine my writing and research skills would relatively easily translate to industry research and the like, but I would probably be much behind if they will expect me to know how to do financial modelling. Does all of it turn on having a quant background?

If so, I certainly would consider more school, though probably the 1 year MIT program or an MBA program rather than a PhD. I agree also that my resume, which is entirely law related (and mostly litigation), will seem totally irrelevant to finance. Just trying to find some way in.

daryldixon
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:55 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby daryldixon » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:39 am

27 is old

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby guano » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:You should focus on getting the best job you can now. For you, that's gonna be biglaw. After working there a few years, you can try to find your way into finance (but don't count on it).

There are enough people who go from biglaw partners-> Ibank Managing Director
I think it's much rarer at a lower level

Anonymous User
Posts: 273537
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:36 am

guano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should focus on getting the best job you can now. For you, that's gonna be biglaw. After working there a few years, you can try to find your way into finance (but don't count on it).

There are enough people who go from biglaw partners-> Ibank Managing Director
I think it's much rarer at a lower level


When the economy is good, associates who have done a lot of deals and understand deal mechanics definitely can make the switch (especially from places such as WLRK, S&C, Cravath).

User avatar
KD35
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:30 am

Re: going from clerkship to finance

Postby KD35 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:04 am

Is this because you just saw Wolf of Wall Street and want to pop ludes and do coke off a hooker's ass?

But really, probably best way is to try and get biglaw -> in-house finance/banking




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.