Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

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ampm
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Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby ampm » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:31 am

I've posted multiple times so I'll put the facts straight: Technical + Business background from tough school, 99th%ile LSAT, WE in a big firm.

I've been considering what I really want to do and I realize that I really enjoy looking at product/corporate strategy. I enjoy guiding the vision of a new idea and making deals happen i.e. business stuff.

I know from speaking with accomplished attorneys that thats definitely possible to do but they said that it takes upwards of 15+ years to get to one of those positions if I went down the BigLaw route.

The other option that I heard from folks was to simply not work in BigLaw and instead find a job in consulting/ventures/corp. strategy out of law school and use the name of the school to be my cred.

Does it make sense if to do law school if I ultimately want to end up here?

As for why do I like law?

I like law because I like logical argumentation where I need to poke holes in things. Is that a flawed reason to consider it?

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Optimist Prime
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby Optimist Prime » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:02 pm

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Last edited by Optimist Prime on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ampm
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby ampm » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:10 pm

Optimist Prime wrote:TCR is if that's your goal the better option would be an MBA. Is there a specific reason you are MBA adverse?


Not so much MBA adverse but the MBA is becoming one of those commoditized degrees. Its more of a networking tool and doesn't expand domain knowledge in my opinion. Of course its different if I were to focus on finance and more of the technical concepts but MBA is a LOT more networking based/variable in hiring than law is I feel.

Those are a few of the reasons why I'm somewhat hesitant about that route. Not completely averse to it though. I'd have to look into a JD/MBA option just so I don't waste my LSAT score I feel.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:38 pm

ampm wrote:
Optimist Prime wrote:TCR is if that's your goal the better option would be an MBA. Is there a specific reason you are MBA adverse?


Not so much MBA adverse but the MBA is becoming one of those commoditized degrees. Its more of a networking tool and doesn't expand domain knowledge in my opinion. Of course its different if I were to focus on finance and more of the technical concepts but MBA is a LOT more networking based/variable in hiring than law is I feel.

Those are a few of the reasons why I'm somewhat hesitant about that route. Not completely averse to it though. I'd have to look into a JD/MBA option just so I don't waste my LSAT score I feel.

Be careful that you don't feel pot committed just because of your LSAT score. Law is a pretty safe, predictable path with your score, certainly much more than the path you'd have with an equivalent MBA, but that's a bad reason to go to law school. Three years of opportunity cost and a lot of tuition only make sense if you want to practice law. I don't think law school makes any sense if corporate strategy is your goal.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:01 pm

I know a few who did this, but they had serious experience prior to law school as consultants. They admitted, though, that law school was not really all that necessary for them to get to where they got, though it didn't hurt. I wouldn't go to law school on this account, though.

ampm
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby ampm » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:28 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:Be careful that you don't feel pot committed just because of your LSAT score. Law is a pretty safe, predictable path with your score, certainly much more than the path you'd have with an equivalent MBA, but that's a bad reason to go to law school. Three years of opportunity cost and a lot of tuition only make sense if you want to practice law. I don't think law school makes any sense if corporate strategy is your goal.


It just is depressing to think about how that score may just go to waste. But I guess sometimes I may need to just chose the path I agree most with.

Theopliske8711 wrote:I know a few who did this, but they had serious experience prior to law school as consultants. They admitted, though, that law school was not really all that necessary for them to get to where they got, though it didn't hurt. I wouldn't go to law school on this account, though.


Thanks for that input. Yea I have experience in consulting but I have an eng. background so patent is doable for me. Ugh gotta think about this a bit more.

PwnLaw
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:52 am

So I've actually done this. I went from T14 => BigLaw => Startup Biz Dev => Head of Product/Senior Executive (I work in video games and lead the creative wing of the company in addition to doing business development/legal items).

I would say that my law degree provides little, if any, assistance in what I do for the majority of my time now. I rarely, if ever, see other attorneys in positions similar to mine. This isn't to say it isn't possible (because it clearly is), but I wouldn't go into law school expecting to be anything other than a lawyer. Particularly for the associated expense.

I'd suggest an MBA over a law degree if you insist on professional school.

ampm
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby ampm » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:46 pm

PwnLaw wrote:So I've actually done this. I went from T14 => BigLaw => Startup Biz Dev => Head of Product/Senior Executive (I work in video games and lead the creative wing of the company in addition to doing business development/legal items).

I would say that my law degree provides little, if any, assistance in what I do for the majority of my time now. I rarely, if ever, see other attorneys in positions similar to mine. This isn't to say it isn't possible (because it clearly is), but I wouldn't go into law school expecting to be anything other than a lawyer. Particularly for the associated expense.

I'd suggest an MBA over a law degree if you insist on professional school.


1. How long did that entire process take?

2. Do you feel like you would have gone further if you spent those years just working in that field and accruing domain knowledge?

3. Does your degree give you Cred i.e. this guy/gal is smart?

4. Are you considering becoming an entrepreneur anytime? Do you feel like your law degree would help establish cred there? Not Domain knowledge/understanding of the rules and such but Cred.

5. I was thinking of doing patent work and using that knowledge to guide product strategy. From what I've heard, this takes a looooooong time for an attorney to end up in such a position. Do you agree?

I may not mind the actual work of a lawyer if its not too mundane. I like looking at numbers and charts now and then. But whether or not I want to do this to get to a point where I can be more entrepreneurial is still confusing for me.

Big Dog
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby Big Dog » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:53 pm

Its.... doesn't expand domain knowledge in my opinion.


There is (almost) nothing in LS that will expand your domain knowledge about corp strategy. B-school is a no-brainer for you. You might even consider a PhD in Org if you want to really want to become an expert in that domain.

Product strategy is different that Org, however. B-Schools will also track you towards a product manager role.

PwnLaw
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby PwnLaw » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:25 pm

ampm wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:So I've actually done this. I went from T14 => BigLaw => Startup Biz Dev => Head of Product/Senior Executive (I work in video games and lead the creative wing of the company in addition to doing business development/legal items).

I would say that my law degree provides little, if any, assistance in what I do for the majority of my time now. I rarely, if ever, see other attorneys in positions similar to mine. This isn't to say it isn't possible (because it clearly is), but I wouldn't go into law school expecting to be anything other than a lawyer. Particularly for the associated expense.

I'd suggest an MBA over a law degree if you insist on professional school.


1. How long did that entire process take?

2. Do you feel like you would have gone further if you spent those years just working in that field and accruing domain knowledge?

3. Does your degree give you Cred i.e. this guy/gal is smart?

4. Are you considering becoming an entrepreneur anytime? Do you feel like your law degree would help establish cred there? Not Domain knowledge/understanding of the rules and such but Cred.

5. I was thinking of doing patent work and using that knowledge to guide product strategy. From what I've heard, this takes a looooooong time for an attorney to end up in such a position. Do you agree?

I may not mind the actual work of a lawyer if its not too mundane. I like looking at numbers and charts now and then. But whether or not I want to do this to get to a point where I can be more entrepreneurial is still confusing for me.


1) Law school 3 years. Associate 3 years. In industry now for ~4 years.

2) I had a pretty unique set of circumstances tied to my career (just a lot of hard work and right place/right time), so it's hard to second guess the path I traveled. That said, I think if my goal was to do the career I am currently doing, I probably would not have attended law school.

3) People are confused when they see lawyers doing things other than lawyering. My background in law (specifically the time I spent as an associate) makes me very strong on the deal side of the business. I have a very strong grasp of business requirements and how they link with legal risk management. People generally respect me for my ability to marry these two sides in a way that is mutually beneficial. People don't care about my law degree, though it is partly responsible for my skill set.

4) Yes (I'm currently at a VC backed startup as a member of the exec team). Not really on the credibility side -- they care almost exclusively for how you present yourself. If they care about credentials, it is generally what your former startups are or what MBA/UG you went to.

5) Not a worthwhile approach.

To be frank (and pardon the bluntness), nothing about the things you are saying leads me to believe you should enter law. Period. It's not a statement on your ability or fitness for the task, it's just that you're clearly thinking about things with a business mindset, not a legal one. You're going to stick out like a sore thumb in law school, much the same way I did.

EliPedDH
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby EliPedDH » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:42 pm

ampm wrote:I've posted multiple times so I'll put the facts straight: Technical + Business background from tough school, 99th%ile LSAT, WE in a big firm.

I've been considering what I really want to do and I realize that I really enjoy looking at product/corporate strategy. I enjoy guiding the vision of a new idea and making deals happen i.e. business stuff.

I know from speaking with accomplished attorneys that thats definitely possible to do but they said that it takes upwards of 15+ years to get to one of those positions if I went down the BigLaw route.

The other option that I heard from folks was to simply not work in BigLaw and instead find a job in consulting/ventures/corp. strategy out of law school and use the name of the school to be my cred.

Does it make sense if to do law school if I ultimately want to end up here?

As for why do I like law?

I like law because I like logical argumentation where I need to poke holes in things. Is that a flawed reason to consider it?


You need to show that you are smart (top UG/top LS), have rigorous deal-execution experiences (top wall street law firm), and have a keen strategic sense.
Last edited by EliPedDH on Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Incubateus
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby Incubateus » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:16 pm

I think that a law degree would help out a lot in pursuing your goal for two main reasons: 1) it helps you to understand the form, formation, and dissolution of a business and the positives and negative of each different option; and 2) it gives you professional-social capital. Ideally (and this is dependent on your age, desires, finances, etc.), I would pursue a JD/MBA at a well-ranked school (Northwestern, Duke, Harvard, Penn) and focus my MBA courses on hard skills such as corporate accounting. The hard skills will have the most transferability into the real world IMO.

With regards to number one, I've taken quite a few corporate law classes and, having worked in finance and co-owning a business with my brother, I find these classes are very helpful. Corporations (or Business Organizations) was a very useful class for many reasons. It helped me understand a lot about fiduciary duties and potential liabilities, positives/negatives of different corporate forms, taxes, etc. If you'd like to look over the content in that course, my professor had a website with the material on it (http://users.wfu.edu/palmitar/ICBCorpor ... /Index.htm) Other than that, M&A, Tax law, Agency, Antitrust, Banking Law, Broker-Dealer, Corporate Financing, etc. are all very helpful classes.

About number two, people like the comfort of having a legal mind on their board. Whether you are actually working as a lawyer or not, people give you credit and consequently more power in making decisions. That's what I meant by professional-social capital. MBAs have similar cred, but JDs tend to have more at higher levels. I've had this feeling confirmed by professors, business professionals, and other types of board members.

Good luck

Big Dog
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Re: Law School=good idea if I want to practice Corp. Strategy?

Postby Big Dog » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:07 am

I think that a law degree would help out a lot in pursuing your goal


Strongly disagree.

Corporations (or Business Organizations) was a very useful class...


For one class, you would spend three years and a quarter of a million to be a corporate strategist? (B-school would have plenty of such classes.)

fiduciary duties and potential liabilities, positives/negatives of different corporate forms, taxes...


No CEO would look to a strategist for fiduciary responsibilities or taxes.....that's what s/he has a law firm for.

MBAs have similar cred, but JDs tend to have more at higher levels. I've had this feeling confirmed by professors, business professionals, and other types of board members.


It's just the opposite for every high tech startup that I have been associated with....




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