Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

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Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:32 pm

I know I have seen posts about this, but can't find them. I was wondering if anyone could share any recommended reading for an incoming corporate finance associate with no background/experience. I know we are expected to learn on the job, but I'd like to just have a bit of an understanding of things, seeing as how I have another month and a half off.

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:47 pm

Im interested in the same, but for litigation...

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Devlin

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby Devlin » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know I have seen posts about this, but can't find them. I was wondering if anyone could share any recommended reading for an incoming corporate finance associate with no background/experience. I know we are expected to learn on the job, but I'd like to just have a bit of an understanding of things, seeing as how I have another month and a half off.

Wikipedia and Investopedia.

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:24 pm

Devlin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I know I have seen posts about this, but can't find them. I was wondering if anyone could share any recommended reading for an incoming corporate finance associate with no background/experience. I know we are expected to learn on the job, but I'd like to just have a bit of an understanding of things, seeing as how I have another month and a half off.

Wikipedia and Investopedia.



Investopedia saved me during my 1L gig doing corporate work that I had no prior experience with. Consume that shit while you poop, eat dinner, or before going to bed - whenever works. They also have helpful videos for most topics that help explain everything very clearly. I would suggest starting with basic securities like stocks, bonds, and some derivatives.

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JusticeHarlan

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:50 pm

Not specifically for being a corporate associate, but some terrific reads that you might learn something from:

Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis (optional follow-up: The Big Short)
Barbarians at the Gates, by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
When Genius Failed, by Roger Lowenstein
Den of Thieves, by James Stewart (also, his Disneywars is a great read for both corporate governance topics and a behind the scenes look at some classic Disney movies of the 1990s)
Tombstones, by Lawrence Lederman
Fooling Some of the People, by David Einhorn

For emerging company work specifically:
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law, Constance E. Bagley and Craig E. Dauchy

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Im interested in the same, but for litigation...


ETA: The right answer may very well be "don't read anything, nothing will help." But, I have some time to kill and still somehow enjoy reading, so any suggestions would be helpful.

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby gfd973 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:21 pm

Investopedia is good enough for what you're going to need as a junior associate, but don't ever tell any of your clients that that's how you got wise on finance stuff, because I can tell you from experience that bankers routinely eviscerate shithead analysts and interns who read an investopedia article and think they're the next Rodge. I'm a law student but headed to investment banking after school, and have some pre-law school experience working in a leveraged finance practice as a paralegal.

Broadly, if you really want to make the landing a little softer, I'd do the following:

* Khan Academy - watch some corp fin stuff (how does an LBO work, what are CDOs/securitization, etc.)

* Pick up some basic accounting skills. You should be able to understand how the three financial statements fit together and how a change on one affects the others. Don't just pay attention to GAAP accounting; important to also get a handle on things like EBITDA and free cash flow

* Watch Aswath Damodaran (free on YouTube) lectures on Valuation or Corporate Finance. What you'll really want to pay attention to here is just getting a feel for how bankers and investors think about valuation, what it is that debt investors (i.e. creditors) are going to be thinking about when they're negotiating stuff, and what it is that sponsors (i.e. borrowers) are going to be thinking about when they're negotiating stuff. On the M&A side, equally helpful just to understand how the strategics / fin sponsors you're working with are thinking about the transaction. I'd pay special attention to the last few corporate finance lectures where he talks about why a company might do a dividend vs. a buyback, or when it's a good idea to reinvest in the company vs. return cash to shareholders in some capacity.

* Read up on fiduciary duties - can likely just be from your M&A outline or grab from a commercial outline, but make sure it's recent because there's been some wacky stuff coming out of Chancery in the past year or two. More relevant to M&A.

Doing even one of the above is probably overkill - if I had to pick one thing it would be to focus on getting some solid accounting skills. Nobody is going to be asking you to derive FCFF given revenues, but chances are if you went to law school you can't tell an income statement from a balance sheet, and it's going to make sitting through diligence calls that much more painful because you're just fucking lost.

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby fxb3 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:01 pm

Good advice so far, and gfd973 has it exactly right: if you do nothing else, learn how to read financial statements. Not only will it help you when you literally have to review a balance sheet, but understanding the concepts will be invaluable. And so many lawyers, even in corporate, frankly, don't have a strong grasp on this stuff that if you do at a young age, you will stand out.

By the way, this goes for commercial litigators, too. Obviously it's significantly less important that you know some corporate accounting concepts (but I still recommend it), but if you want to do any reading/studying before diving into Biglaw, I strongly believe the best thing you can do is read things that give you a sense for how your clients, i.e. corporations, work.

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby mvp99 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:16 pm

don't watch the big short movie though.. it sucks.

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Re: Biglaw incoming associate corporate/finance reading list

Postby throwaway_ » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:17 am

gfd973 wrote:Investopedia is good enough for what you're going to need as a junior associate, but don't ever tell any of your clients that that's how you got wise on finance stuff, because I can tell you from experience that bankers routinely eviscerate shithead analysts and interns who read an investopedia article and think they're the next Rodge. I'm a law student but headed to investment banking after school, and have some pre-law school experience working in a leveraged finance practice as a paralegal.


This is somewhat overstated: Investopedia is also the go-to resource for bankers. (That is, not to say they won't eviscerate you, but they'll be being hypocritical about it.)



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