Compliance Job for JD's - Smart Choice?

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Compliance Job for JD's - Smart Choice?

Postby JHP » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:44 pm

I've been offered a compliance summer associate position at a very big bank in NYC.
Pros: compliance is interesting, I love regulatory law, job stability, would be offered a position after graduation, getting paid
Cons: it's not a legal position (I would not give legal advice), it feels like my JD is for nothing, concerns that I couldn't transition to a legal role after this position in a few years

Any insights about compliance officer roles for JD's and then trying to transition to a legal role after a few years of compliance? Is it hopeless, or are you actually more marketable to go big law because of a ground-level understanding of regulatory implementation?

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Re: Compliance Job for JD's - Smart Choice?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:56 pm

First off, congratulations on the offer.

I am assuming you are a current 2L. I worked in Compliance at one of the big investment banks in NYC prior to going to law school. There are definitely pro's to staying in compliance (job security, hours, etc). However, I think it would be pretty difficult to jump from any compliance position to a Big Law job (this may have been easier before a lot of the banks divided their legal and compliance division). If you are looking for a better work life balance then this might be a good option for you.

Also, you should know there are a lot of positions within compliance that aren't as glamorous as it might be made out to be. For instance, IBD or Capital Markets compliance will be way more interesting than a non-market side compliance role (which you run the risk of being slated into). So if you have a choice, definitely try to get into markets compliance if you are interested in securities regulation. While there were a decent amount of JD's working in compliance at the bank I was at, I never heard of any of them leveraging their current job to get into a big law job.

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