Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

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Kring345
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Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby Kring345 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:45 am

Hello everyone-

I tried the search function a bit, but only found stuff about starting solo firms, etc. Im pretty excited for law school, so lots of questions like this are swirling and fueling my excitement.

My dad owns his own business. It's just him and 2-3 other people. He's actually fairly wel known for what he does, but it's so specialized that it's really not that big of a deal at all -- think green engineering. Anyhow, part of what he does is engineering and part of what he does is more financial, marketing, etc. He intends to "give me" the business portion of his business when he retires (10+ years).

Im committed to law school (likely going to Columbia this fall), and I am very excited to be a lawyer. But the business portion is fairly hands-free and only accounts for 30% or so of his income and hours-worked. So it's not like I would take over a large corporation (he works out of his basement, if that you gives you an idea). But 30% is still about 100k/yr, so it's something that I'm fairly interested in, and not just for the money. I'd like to be able to keep his business alive and possibly expand it. He wouldnt fully retire; he wants to be an 'advisor.'

So... what sort of law would most likely benefit me? It's actually fairly likely to happen. He said he cannot wait for me to be a lawyer, because he's up to his eyeballs in contracts (many of them international), real estate/bldg/govt code issues, and financial/capital agreements (many from Wall Street). He doesnt deal too much with environmental regulations, though, despite it being "green" in nature.

Im not going to let my father's business steer the course on my entire legal education, but I'd like to ensure Im atleast in the right ballpark in regards to practice areas.
That is, working in criminal law is likely not going to help. Tax law may, but more so than transaction? I dont know enough about this stuff to comment at all.

tl;dr: what field of law would prepare one most for being an entrepreneur?

Thanks everyone. Hope this all made sense. Kinda cracked out on cold medicine.

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dingbat
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby dingbat » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:50 am

You should talk to your father about what's most beneficial.

Barring that, you need to take mostly business related classes (contracts, transactions, etc.)
Also, any classes that pertain to the actual business (you said green engineering, so my guess would be environmental laws and patents)

When reading course descriptions, you should think practically of which ones seem to fit the business

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Kring345
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby Kring345 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:57 am

He just keeps talking about contracts and legalese making his eyes bleed.

Unfortunately, he's not as good at business as he is at engineering, and Im not so sure he understands enough about the law to guide me. He's at the point where he's actually slowing the progress/growth of his company because it's getting too big for him to manage. Hence his excitement to have a lawyer for a son. The contracts are in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars (much of which is funneled elsewhere to buy machinery, real estate etc -- but he oversees the spending of much of it), so he's feeling a bit overwhelmed from his meager beginnings in our basement.

With those shortcomings, Im trying to figure out what practice areas would be most practical. To be honest, he just recently approached me about this, and I dont know the ins-and-outs of his business, so clearly you folks do not either. Im just in a lull at work and have too much time ot think. Becoming excited for 1L rapidly approaching.

So, more generally, any good practice areas for ANY entrepreneur looking to expand a business? I'd likely be working in BigLaw for 1-5 years (?) prior to taking over his company.

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dingbat
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby dingbat » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:51 pm

Kring345 wrote:He just keeps talking about contracts and legalese making his eyes bleed.

Unfortunately, he's not as good at business as he is at engineering, and Im not so sure he understands enough about the law to guide me. He's at the point where he's actually slowing the progress/growth of his company because it's getting too big for him to manage. Hence his excitement to have a lawyer for a son. The contracts are in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars (much of which is funneled elsewhere to buy machinery, real estate etc -- but he oversees the spending of much of it), so he's feeling a bit overwhelmed from his meager beginnings in our basement.

With those shortcomings, Im trying to figure out what practice areas would be most practical. To be honest, he just recently approached me about this, and I dont know the ins-and-outs of his business, so clearly you folks do not either. Im just in a lull at work and have too much time ot think. Becoming excited for 1L rapidly approaching.

So, more generally, any good practice areas for ANY entrepreneur looking to expand a business? I'd likely be working in BigLaw for 1-5 years (?) prior to taking over his company.


I'd actually recommend getting an MBA over a JD.
But, to answer your question, practice area depends on what kind of business (e.g. trusts & estates for a financial planning business)
Have you interned at your father's company at all?
I think that if you spend a few weeks working with him (or just following him around, reading what he reads, listening in on his conversations) that will inform you far better than getting half-baked advice on a forum with total strangers, based on an incomplete description

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Tom Joad
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:39 pm

Congrats to you and your dad!

bproteus
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby bproteus » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:26 am

An MBA degree is very different from a JD degree. As far as a legal degree is concerned, you'll find the basic courses you'll study don't vary greatly regardless of which field of law you study. As you go through more and more cases you build knowledge in a field of law, law school is about getting the technique down (is how I sees it anyway). But a JD/MBA program could be a great option for you if your school offers it. You'd have to bring your MBA requirement credentials up to speed with your JD prerequisites, I think its the GREs (and undergrad record etc) for the MBA along with the LSAT that you already have. Sounds like that's the employee your dad is looking for. Good luck!

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dingbat
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby dingbat » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:46 pm

bproteus wrote:An MBA degree is very different from a JD degree. As far as a legal degree is concerned, you'll find the basic courses you'll study don't vary greatly regardless of which field of law you study. As you go through more and more cases you build knowledge in a field of law, law school is about getting the technique down (is how I sees it anyway). But a JD/MBA program could be a great option for you if your school offers it. You'd have to bring your MBA requirement credentials up to speed with your JD prerequisites, I think its the GREs (and undergrad record etc) for the MBA along with the LSAT that you already have. Sounds like that's the employee your dad is looking for. Good luck!


Skip the GRE, it's the GMAT that counts.
Believe it or not, Getting the first few questions right matters more than anything else - even not finishing on time and having questions left unanswered.
As for the written portion, volume matters more than anything else - including finishing the essay (you could end in the middle of a sentence and still get a perfect score. I did.)

While law school teaches you how to think and act like a lawyer, you really should pick upper level courses that are relevant.

HWS08
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Re: Take over fathers business. What kind of law?

Postby HWS08 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:15 pm

I also agree with the advice to get an MBA or JD/MBA. It probably makes more sense to talk to an academic adviser before you pick 2L classes than a bunch of TLSers, but I'm going to guess that after you finish your 1L requirements you'll want to load up on contracts, tax law, maybe some sort of practical negotiating skills class if your school offers one. It might help to take administrative law so you understand the regulatory process, even though your dad doesn't deal too much with regs directly.




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