Transactional Law

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perfunctory

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Transactional Law

Postby perfunctory » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:49 am

My background is completely liberal arts. Would this take me completely out of the running for biglaw - corporate firms? I just realized - I have no experience to spin, nothing to use to say "i'm interested in the transactional practice of your firm." I can only say I like litigation b/c that involves research and writing. But I have obviously seen liberal arts grads in biglaw, so how did they do it?

Or, is it assumed you have no experience? Do they just look for a basic level of competency + whatever interest gained from law school?

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de minimis

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Re: Transactional Law

Postby de minimis » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:54 am

perfunctory wrote:My background is completely liberal arts. Would this take me completely out of the running for biglaw - corporate firms? I just realized - I have no experience to spin, nothing to use to say "i'm interested in the transactional practice of your firm." I can only say I like litigation b/c that involves research and writing. But I have obviously seen liberal arts grads in biglaw, so how do they do it?

Or, is it assumed you have no experience? Do they just look for a basic level of competency + whatever interest gained from law school?


Undergrad major can help you but generally won't hurt you. Just have a good and convincing story on why you're interested in that type of law and firm. You're interested in business, deals, mergers, this stuff excites you...you don't like litigation, its not for you, etc. Spin it the opposite way for litigation: you want to be a "real lawyer", love legal writing, analyzing, researching, etc.

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perfunctory

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Re: Transactional Law

Postby perfunctory » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:07 am

But if my resume has nothing involving business in it, how do i say i like deals, mergers? my contracts course is the only thing i can think of

favabeansoup

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Re: Transactional Law

Postby favabeansoup » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:27 am

perfunctory wrote:But if my resume has nothing involving business in it, how do i say i like deals, mergers? my contracts course is the only thing i can think of


I would say around half of the corporate associates in my biglaw office had no business related work experience or education prior to law school. I did not, it is absolutely not necessary.

A real helpful business background to have is being a CPA or knowing how to read balance sheets well, but you can pick up what you need to know on the job quick enough.

First, Contracts class =/= transactional work. Nothing similar.

As for ideas on how to spin it, lots of ways can work. You can say how much you don't want to do litigation/adversarial work. Tie in usual baloney of "coming together for a deal" and how you appreciate all that. You could go firm specific too, and look into particular transactional specialities a firm has or particular deals they usually work on.

I highly recommend just reading through the Wall Street Journal or other business news section everyday. It can help you pick up some quick business lingo faster. Usually a law related topic every few days too.

This can also be an interview question you ask, and you can use parts of their answers to supplement your own down the road.

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Re: Transactional Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:28 am

perfunctory wrote:But if my resume has nothing involving business in it, how do i say i like deals, mergers? my contracts course is the only thing i can think of


Eh that won't really help since contacts is litigation focused. I'd brush up on some outside knowledge of business transactions (read the journal, poke around tech crunch and look at funding stories, read some business blogs). Building a bit of background knowledge will let you fake interest a little better and you can mention that you read all that stuff because you're interested in it.

Fwiw I met exactly 2 business majors in all of law school and at least 50 others who are going into transactional s law and had no business background.

Alternatively, if you're interviewing with firms that have huge classes and don't want/need you to pick a practice area this is all way less important. But it's generally good to be able to talk about why you want to be a lawyer in any area.

AZ123

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Re: Transactional Law

Postby AZ123 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:30 am

The transactional lawyers I've met love talking about how they get to make everyone happy. They love pointing out that their deals end with dinners and celebrations with BOTH SIDES, rather than fights. Maybe you could talk about how you like working as a team to accomplish a goal, rather than fighting, or something like that.

malibustacy

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Re: Transactional Law

Postby malibustacy » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:48 am

perfunctory wrote:My background is completely liberal arts. Would this take me completely out of the running for biglaw - corporate firms? I just realized - I have no experience to spin, nothing to use to say "i'm interested in the transactional practice of your firm." I can only say I like litigation b/c that involves research and writing. But I have obviously seen liberal arts grads in biglaw, so how did they do it?

Or, is it assumed you have no experience? Do they just look for a basic level of competency + whatever interest gained from law school?


A ton of people enter some of the best corporate law firms with liberal arts degrees and no experience. Firms know and expect this; they're looking for smart, motivated people they can train to do the work.

I mean... you took contracts right? That's kinda transactional, talk about that.



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