Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig (155k vs 85k)

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Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig (155k vs 85k)

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:58 am

I have an opportunity to work in a corporate M&A gig that pays $85k versus an accepted corporate associate offer of $155k at a law firm. Work would be financial modeling, deal research, and corporate presentations.

Both offers are in the same city. Is the significant money difference worth it if I'm interested in finance based opportunities further down the road? Would I be able to transition to a similar corporate M&A option (albeit at a slightly higher level) in two years time?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby deepseapartners » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:06 am

If you want to get into the business side of M&A, then you should start on the business side of M&A and stay there. It's not that no one ever makes the transition, but (a) it's super hard even if you are ideally placed (see below), and (b) if your law firm offer is $155k you aren't working in a major market at a Biglaw M&A shop, which will make said transition even harder eventually.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=261392

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby Graybrow » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:13 am

deepseapartners wrote:If you want to get into the business side of M&A, then you should start on the business side of M&A and stay there. It's not that no one ever makes the transition, but (a) it's super hard even if you are ideally placed (see below), and (b) if your law firm offer is $155k you aren't working in a major market at a Biglaw M&A shop, which will make said transition even harder eventually.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 4&t=261392


I agree with this as well.

silenttimer

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby silenttimer » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:50 am

That is a lot of money if you have student loans. I wonder if it is worth going to the law firm for 2 years and then transition back? If they think you qualify now, no reason to think that you are not qualified in two years (especially if the job is in the same market).

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:19 am

deepseapartners wrote:If you want to get into the business side of M&A, then you should start on the business side of M&A and stay there. It's not that no one ever makes the transition, but (a) it's super hard even if you are ideally placed (see below), and (b) if your law firm offer is $155k you aren't working in a major market at a Biglaw M&A shop, which will make said transition even harder eventually.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 4&t=261392


Does this matter if I'm trying to make the move to corporate M&A within the same smaller market? I have no interest at all in working in New York/Chicago finance.

My firm has a very steady M&A deal-flow in the middle market and advises on many of the smaller (under $200M) transactions that the local Fortune 500's run.

silenttimer wrote:That is a lot of money if you have student loans. I wonder if it is worth going to the law firm for 2 years and then transition back? If they think you qualify now, no reason to think that you are not qualified in two years (especially if the job is in the same market).


Yeah I can probably pay off all my student loans in 2-3 years in biglaw versus, I have no idea in this corporate job.

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby SFSpartan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:21 am

It's possible to move to business-side M&A after a couple years at a law firm, but you generally need to be at a big M&A shop or have hyper-specialized experience in a particular vertical (for example, I worked with a broker that had previously been an attorney doing storage facility and gas-station M&A - he moved into a role brokering those deals because he learned a lot about the needs of businesses doing that type of work).

Generally, though, agree with deepsea - if you want to be on the business side and you can do that now, you should.

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:32 am

If you want business side, take the business role.

If you want to be a lawyer, take the lawyer role.

Switching from law to ibanking/biz dev/non-law management/consulting is not impossible, but it isn't easy. Without a prior credential (Top tier UG, UG in finance, MBA, v5 firm) it is damn near impossible and as you become more senior it will become a struggle to keep up your practice while also networking like hell and learning the quant and modelling you didn't learn as a new hire.

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you want business side, take the business role.

If you want to be a lawyer, take the lawyer role.

Switching from law to ibanking/biz dev/non-law management/consulting is not impossible, but it isn't easy. Without a prior credential (Top tier UG, UG in finance, MBA, v5 firm) it is damn near impossible and as you become more senior it will become a struggle to keep up your practice while also networking like hell and learning the quant and modelling you didn't learn as a new hire.


How hard is it with one or some of those credentials?

I'm really leaning towards the biglaw job due to student loan concerns and leverage for salary negotiation later down the line. Is the problem in getting interviews, or is it performing in said interviews?

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby deepseapartners » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:If you want to get into the business side of M&A, then you should start on the business side of M&A and stay there. It's not that no one ever makes the transition, but (a) it's super hard even if you are ideally placed (see below), and (b) if your law firm offer is $155k you aren't working in a major market at a Biglaw M&A shop, which will make said transition even harder eventually.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 4&t=261392


Does this matter if I'm trying to make the move to corporate M&A within the same smaller market? I have no interest at all in working in New York/Chicago finance.

My firm has a very steady M&A deal-flow in the middle market and advises on many of the smaller (under $200M) transactions that the local Fortune 500's run.

It might, I can't speak to that except to speculate, but in general it's not easy to transition from legal-side to business-side M&A. You don't want to stay a lawyer clearly, so if you can start on the business side you 100% should - you'll still have your legal education even if you don't practice (and tbh most business side ppl won't see that as a positive).

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want business side, take the business role.

If you want to be a lawyer, take the lawyer role.

Switching from law to ibanking/biz dev/non-law management/consulting is not impossible, but it isn't easy. Without a prior credential (Top tier UG, UG in finance, MBA, v5 firm) it is damn near impossible and as you become more senior it will become a struggle to keep up your practice while also networking like hell and learning the quant and modelling you didn't learn as a new hire.


How hard is it with one or some of those credentials?

I'm really leaning towards the biglaw job due to student loan concerns and leverage for salary negotiation later down the line. Is the problem in getting interviews, or is it performing in said interviews?



Not going to say this is a gold-standard advice, but I'm likely closest to someone who is and has been in your shoes so here's my two cents:

I come from IBanking background (boutique office of a bulge bracket bank - most deals were $100-200m, largest I did was $1.1b). Did that for 3 years right after UG (went to a top public, non=-business major, if that matters) and then went to LS (T20, but still respectable, decent grades, didn't give a shit for LR, etc). I considered doing a Big 4 consulting gig out of LS but since I spent all this money on a law degree I figure I'd give it a shot. Now I work in secondary market of V50 firm doing M&A. Fortunately I get calls from IBanker recruiters about every 1-2 weeks (just got one yesterday) once I got the first call (and let them know I'd be interested) as well as set up my linkedIn page to show I have interest in jumping to that. I also have been in touch with a few corporate employers who are looking for M&A finance guys for their Corp-Dev teams. So far nothing has been worthwhile enough to peak my interest, but I'm keeping my eyes and options open. Ideal move for me though would either be to a Fortune 50 company for M&A (or at least a $1b+ company, or a <$1B company aggressively growing) or a PEG firm (also looking at VC, too). Wouldn't mind going back to a boutique but the pay won't be where I want it to be, at least not right now.

I'll say most are receptive to the work I've done and the work I'm doing now. They want to make sure my modeling and financial knowledge is up to par, but being a lawyer and making the cross isn't as hard as the above posters make it sound. It's really about getting to know the right people which if you're at a smaller office in a decent market, you're likely to meet these people at ACG events, local bars/clubs (golf, yacht, athletic) or through your alumni network. The money is definitely good on both ends, but IBankers tend to make more on the back-end whereas Lawyer make it on the front end. IB has higher risk in that sense.

happy to chat offline if that's what is more appealing and I'll just sent you a PM.

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby FluidMosaic » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want business side, take the business role.

If you want to be a lawyer, take the lawyer role.

Switching from law to ibanking/biz dev/non-law management/consulting is not impossible, but it isn't easy. Without a prior credential (Top tier UG, UG in finance, MBA, v5 firm) it is damn near impossible and as you become more senior it will become a struggle to keep up your practice while also networking like hell and learning the quant and modelling you didn't learn as a new hire.


How hard is it with one or some of those credentials?

I'm really leaning towards the biglaw job due to student loan concerns and leverage for salary negotiation later down the line. Is the problem in getting interviews, or is it performing in said interviews?



Not going to say this is a gold-standard advice, but I'm likely closest to someone who is and has been in your shoes so here's my two cents:

I come from IBanking background (boutique office of a bulge bracket bank - most deals were $100-200m, largest I did was $1.1b). Did that for 3 years right after UG (went to a top public, non=-business major, if that matters) and then went to LS (T20, but still respectable, decent grades, didn't give a shit for LR, etc). I considered doing a Big 4 consulting gig out of LS but since I spent all this money on a law degree I figure I'd give it a shot. Now I work in secondary market of V50 firm doing M&A. Fortunately I get calls from IBanker recruiters about every 1-2 weeks (just got one yesterday) once I got the first call (and let them know I'd be interested) as well as set up my linkedIn page to show I have interest in jumping to that. I also have been in touch with a few corporate employers who are looking for M&A finance guys for their Corp-Dev teams. So far nothing has been worthwhile enough to peak my interest, but I'm keeping my eyes and options open. Ideal move for me though would either be to a Fortune 50 company for M&A (or at least a $1b+ company, or a <$1B company aggressively growing) or a PEG firm (also looking at VC, too). Wouldn't mind going back to a boutique but the pay won't be where I want it to be, at least not right now.

I'll say most are receptive to the work I've done and the work I'm doing now. They want to make sure my modeling and financial knowledge is up to par, but being a lawyer and making the cross isn't as hard as the above posters make it sound. It's really about getting to know the right people which if you're at a smaller office in a decent market, you're likely to meet these people at ACG events, local bars/clubs (golf, yacht, athletic) or through your alumni network. The money is definitely good on both ends, but IBankers tend to make more on the back-end whereas Lawyer make it on the front end. IB has higher risk in that sense.

happy to chat offline if that's what is more appealing and I'll just sent you a PM.


Can you PM me?

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Re: Dumping biglaw to do business focused M&A gig.

Postby dkb17xzx » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want business side, take the business role.

If you want to be a lawyer, take the lawyer role.

Switching from law to ibanking/biz dev/non-law management/consulting is not impossible, but it isn't easy. Without a prior credential (Top tier UG, UG in finance, MBA, v5 firm) it is damn near impossible and as you become more senior it will become a struggle to keep up your practice while also networking like hell and learning the quant and modelling you didn't learn as a new hire.


How hard is it with one or some of those credentials?

I'm really leaning towards the biglaw job due to student loan concerns and leverage for salary negotiation later down the line. Is the problem in getting interviews, or is it performing in said interviews?



Not going to say this is a gold-standard advice, but I'm likely closest to someone who is and has been in your shoes so here's my two cents:

I come from IBanking background (boutique office of a bulge bracket bank - most deals were $100-200m, largest I did was $1.1b). Did that for 3 years right after UG (went to a top public, non=-business major, if that matters) and then went to LS (T20, but still respectable, decent grades, didn't give a shit for LR, etc). I considered doing a Big 4 consulting gig out of LS but since I spent all this money on a law degree I figure I'd give it a shot. Now I work in secondary market of V50 firm doing M&A. Fortunately I get calls from IBanker recruiters about every 1-2 weeks (just got one yesterday) once I got the first call (and let them know I'd be interested) as well as set up my linkedIn page to show I have interest in jumping to that. I also have been in touch with a few corporate employers who are looking for M&A finance guys for their Corp-Dev teams. So far nothing has been worthwhile enough to peak my interest, but I'm keeping my eyes and options open. Ideal move for me though would either be to a Fortune 50 company for M&A (or at least a $1b+ company, or a <$1B company aggressively growing) or a PEG firm (also looking at VC, too). Wouldn't mind going back to a boutique but the pay won't be where I want it to be, at least not right now.

I'll say most are receptive to the work I've done and the work I'm doing now. They want to make sure my modeling and financial knowledge is up to par, but being a lawyer and making the cross isn't as hard as the above posters make it sound. It's really about getting to know the right people which if you're at a smaller office in a decent market, you're likely to meet these people at ACG events, local bars/clubs (golf, yacht, athletic) or through your alumni network. The money is definitely good on both ends, but IBankers tend to make more on the back-end whereas Lawyer make it on the front end. IB has higher risk in that sense.

happy to chat offline if that's what is more appealing and I'll just sent you a PM.


Would you please message me as well? I'm currently V5 corp and thinking of a similar transition, and would love to talk to you about it. Thanks!



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