Which corporate practice should I try?

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Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:46 pm

2L here, always thought I was headed towards litigation. After taking some business law courses though (Securities Regulation, Corporations) I think I actually really might be interested in corporate work. I'll be summering at a NYC firm with a robust corporate practice this summer, and I absolutely want to try at least one practice area to compare to litigation before committing to something for the long haul if I get an offer. I would be most interested in trying one of M&A, Securities, or general Corporate. I also think that I may want to eventually go in-house, mostly for the lifestyle considerations, which is another factor pushing me towards corporate work. Here are some of my thoughts:

Loved learning about M&A basics in Corporations class, even though I know the junior associate gruntwork is far from glamorous. But the firm I'm headed to is one of the best M&A firms in the world, so it could be great to take advantage of that. On the con side, I've heard M&A lawyers have the absolute worst lives.

Securities/Cap Markets work seems a little more boring to me, but would it be better for an eventual transition to in-house?

Or, having no prior experience in Corporate work, should I sample the general corporate practice for a more holistic view? Would joining the general corporate practice make me more marketable to an eventual transition in-house?

Thanks.

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Re: Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:59 pm

I don't have answers to OP's questions but for those who know - is there a meaningful difference between how M&A deals are staffed (in terms of partner - associate leverage) between the top M&A firms in NYC?

I imagine WLRK is an outlier - how are their deals staffed, what's the substantive work experience like?

What about Skadden (200+ deals in 2014) compared to CSM/S&C (71/116 deals)?

Or are there no differences in the type of M&A deals each firm does and how these deals are staffed?

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2015/01/01/ ... n-7-years/

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Re: Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:36 pm

.

desertlaw
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Re: Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby desertlaw » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:18 pm

There are some recent threads that I posted in that you should look at, but a few things...

1 - Most likely going to be hard to really sink your teeth into a corporate deal over the summer, so you should tell your recruiting manager or whomever is staffing people, that you want to try corporate work on Day 1. And then befriend some junior associates early during the summer and they'll hopefully give you work or at least tell you more about their lives/work. That's where you'll pick up the most info is from the junior associates. I did very minimal corporate work during my summer but learned a lot about it just from talking to junior associates.

2 - M&A and Capital Markets work is very different day-to-day, but I think they are pretty even when it comes to in-house exit opps, especially if you're at a top firm.

3 - I think finance deal lawyers have it worse, but yes, M&A is usually a 2 to 3-month sprint/rollercoaster of work. That being said, if you hate your client/deal, it at least is over after those 2-3 months. One litigation matter can last your entire BigLaw career.

4 - Deals are usually staffed like this, depending on the size of the transaction (for the corporate team, excluding specialists): 1-2 partners, with 1 taking the lead; 1 senior associate; 1-2 mid-levels, 2-6 junior associates (usually less than more). I would guess that differences in staffing depend more on the deal itself and how the senior associate/partner likes to staff his team, rather than the firm. Most firms staff their deals pretty thin lately because there aren't enough mid-level/senior associates to handle all of the work.

5 - It seems to me like you get more substantive work (client contact, negotiating parts of deal documents) in corporate matters sooner in your career than in litigation, but that can vary by firm/practice as well.

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Re: Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:25 pm

desertlaw wrote:There are some recent threads that I posted in that you should look at, but a few things...

1 - Most likely going to be hard to really sink your teeth into a corporate deal over the summer, so you should tell your recruiting manager or whomever is staffing people, that you want to try corporate work on Day 1. And then befriend some junior associates early during the summer and they'll hopefully give you work or at least tell you more about their lives/work. That's where you'll pick up the most info is from the junior associates. I did very minimal corporate work during my summer but learned a lot about it just from talking to junior associates.

2 - M&A and Capital Markets work is very different day-to-day, but I think they are pretty even when it comes to in-house exit opps, especially if you're at a top firm.

3 - I think finance deal lawyers have it worse, but yes, M&A is usually a 2 to 3-month sprint/rollercoaster of work. That being said, if you hate your client/deal, it at least is over after those 2-3 months. One litigation matter can last your entire BigLaw career.

4 - Deals are usually staffed like this, depending on the size of the transaction (for the corporate team, excluding specialists): 1-2 partners, with 1 taking the lead; 1 senior associate; 1-2 mid-levels, 2-6 junior associates (usually less than more). I would guess that differences in staffing depend more on the deal itself and how the senior associate/partner likes to staff his team, rather than the firm. Most firms staff their deals pretty thin lately because there aren't enough mid-level/senior associates to handle all of the work.

5 - It seems to me like you get more substantive work (client contact, negotiating parts of deal documents) in corporate matters sooner in your career than in litigation, but that can vary by firm/practice as well.


Thanks for the reply. To be clear, did you end up going into a corporate practice area full-time after doing minimal corporate work during your summer? If so, what helped you make that decision?

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Re: Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:11 pm

desertlaw wrote:There are some recent threads that I posted in that you should look at, but a few things...

1 - Most likely going to be hard to really sink your teeth into a corporate deal over the summer, so you should tell your recruiting manager or whomever is staffing people, that you want to try corporate work on Day 1. And then befriend some junior associates early during the summer and they'll hopefully give you work or at least tell you more about their lives/work. That's where you'll pick up the most info is from the junior associates. I did very minimal corporate work during my summer but learned a lot about it just from talking to junior associates.

2 - M&A and Capital Markets work is very different day-to-day, but I think they are pretty even when it comes to in-house exit opps, especially if you're at a top firm.

3 - I think finance deal lawyers have it worse, but yes, M&A is usually a 2 to 3-month sprint/rollercoaster of work. That being said, if you hate your client/deal, it at least is over after those 2-3 months. One litigation matter can last your entire BigLaw career.

4 - Deals are usually staffed like this, depending on the size of the transaction (for the corporate team, excluding specialists): 1-2 partners, with 1 taking the lead; 1 senior associate; 1-2 mid-levels, 2-6 junior associates (usually less than more). I would guess that differences in staffing depend more on the deal itself and how the senior associate/partner likes to staff his team, rather than the firm. Most firms staff their deals pretty thin lately because there aren't enough mid-level/senior associates to handle all of the work.

5 - It seems to me like you get more substantive work (client contact, negotiating parts of deal documents) in corporate matters sooner in your career than in litigation, but that can vary by firm/practice as well.


Can't imagine an M&A deal with six junior attorneys. At my (NYC V10) firm, one is normal, two is unusual but happens and three is extraordinarily unusual. Four or more would be basically unheard of, only happens if the deal comes in the door with some sort of insanely tight deadline to the point that completing diligence would be physically impossible otherwise. Most typical structure is partner-senior/midlevel-junior for a smaller deal, or partner-senior-midlevel-2 juniors for a bigger deal (especially if the diligence volume is high).

desertlaw
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Re: Which corporate practice should I try?

Postby desertlaw » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:49 pm

I guess 6 was the most I saw for juniors on one deal but it was, like you suggested, a ridiculous timeline with a lot of diligence needed and not normal at all. But yes, 1-2 juniors is typical on an M&A deal.

To the OP, the main reasons I chose corporate over litigation, despite not doing much corporate my summer (in order of importance): 1) talking to junior/mid-level attorneys to see what their lives/practices were like, it seemed exciting and substantive; 2) seeing that corporate associates were getting better in-house gigs that litigators; 3) knowing I hated LRW; 4) personality fit in the corporate department.




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