Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

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Robertchang
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Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby Robertchang » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:07 pm

Hello I know that everyone says don't go to law school unless you want to be a lawyer. However, would someone like me be an exception:

1. Actually want some type of business career in the long term, but willing to work as a lawyer for a few years.

2. Don't have the credentials to actually get a high flying business job ( non ivy undergrad, no useful business internships or high powered work experience).

3. However, possibly have the credentials to get into a T6 law school, some left leaning (interesting) volunteer experience, current government job sounds public interestish, definitely qualify in terms of LSAT (175), and possible one drop URM status.

For someone who wants a business career, HYS or even the rest of the T 6 ( Chicago, Columbia, NYU), a T6 law school might help for the following reasons:

A.. Simply having any kind of degree from HYS or even Columbia gives one credibility and prestige in some business circles.

B. The challenge of a top law school could help challenge me on many levels, developing myself personally.

C. The possibility of getting a partial "Ivy League MBA experience" since you can usually take two or three MBA courses at the university and also with the student ID attend many business related events, lectures, and seminars. This can allow me to learn from Top business leaders and professors and network with Ivy League MBA students without getting admitted into the MBA program. Plus visiting executives and tycoons.

D. Some of the legal knowledge could be helpful in some fields of business like Real Estate or Venture Capital.

E. In a general sense, the possibility of networking within the law school with students from wealthy families.

F. Learning by osmosis how people from more professional and wealthier backgrounds act and think.

G. Sometimes in better economies Consulting firms and Investment Banks will directly recruit from Law schools.

H. Networking from other parts of the university ranging from Engineering to undergrad, to meet people with similar interests who may one day be helpful in business.

While for EVERY other law school, going to Law school for a business career, based on the fact that I otherwise have no access to a top business job or networking opportunity, would a T6 Law school (especially, HYS if I can get in)be a possible backdoor route to a high powered business career for me? While some of the folks at JD Underground disparaged this idea( they can be negative at times), could such an idea have any validity?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks,

Robert

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fugitivejammer
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby fugitivejammer » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:47 pm

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Last edited by fugitivejammer on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrAnon
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby MrAnon » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:06 pm

If you want to go into business THEN GO INTO BUSINESS. Get a job at the bottom and work your way up. Don't go off in a different direction (law school) because you will not be able to lateral over and will have wasted 5 years of your life to discover this.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:11 pm

Get a fucking MBA.

If you have the numbers to get into a T6, you should be able to get a job. Start at the bottom and work your way up until you have the WE to apply to b-school. A lot of business is paying your dues, so pay them.

r6_philly
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:50 pm

fugitivejammer wrote:
A. - Maybe but not really. Friend of mine graduated from stanford UG and Master n Engineering before getting his MBA (at Chicago). He has a sweet job, but when interviewed he asked what they thought of his education and they didn't rly care at all. They interviewer said "well...u graduated from stanford so we know ur no dummy." School names only very rarely matter, and if ur at the pt that it matters, then u should b gettin the name for the MBA


If you are in Philly and you went to Wharton, you would not feel this way. I literally had about 10 doors open to me just because I just started at an Ivy. The name carries weight, it opens doors and get people to listen to you. Yes you still have to have what it takes to get things done, but without the name I would not get anyone's audience. I am not exaggerating, I have been astonished in these short few weeks.

H. - Not a strong reason at all. Networking is something u can (and should) be doing all the time, and will b way more helpful if u did so w/ actual professionals


I strongly disagree with the highest degree. Networking is almost everything (see A above for opening doors and getting an audience). The right school will have the right kind of opportunities. I went to 2 networking events in the summer time before school year even started and got 2 work study job offers and a few volunteer opportunities. Now I am involved with one of them and using the other connections actively. If you are willing to socialize, have a good plan, you can get stuff done with your network. The university tells you that one of the most important resources is the alumni base, they mean it. When I get the weekly job postings, 80% of hiring managers are alumni, tell me that's not going to mean something when you graduate. It has to be the right university, and you have to do your best to utilize it though.

To OP, I'd just get an MBA. If you like law, take some law classes while doing your MBA. If you like law more, get a LLM. Only get a JD if you need to pass the bar. You can get the law knowledge you want without paying for 3 years of school, and the MBA will help you more in business anyway. But of course get a TOP MBA if you can.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:53 pm

Go to Northwestern & get a JD/MBA. Or Penn. Or Harvard. Or NYU. Or Columbia. Chicago is your best law only option, but Chicago also has a great business school. Or you may be surprised & enjoy law as a career.

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fugitivejammer
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby fugitivejammer » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:06 pm

r6_philly:

I believe u about the Wharton example. If u have an MBA from any top school u will for sure have doors opening all around u n business. But my whole pt was basically gettin a name on the resume from a law school for his purposes wouldnt serve him as well as it would w/ a brand name MBA. He's trying to go to a top LS cuz he can get in, and try to use that to hold weight in the business world. He should be going to Wharton!

I also agree about your statement on the importance of networking, which i mentioned a few times. OP is talking about networking with engineering UG students and such at the university he attends, and while its prolly a good idea, I can't see that as justification to go to a top Law school for him

solidsnake
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby solidsnake » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:09 pm

If you can't get an m7 mba program then go t6-->v10 firm on the transactional side and try and make the jump to the client after a few years. If you do this, recognize that quite a few things need to be able to happen so first and foremost be prepared to bust ass 1L yr so that you have a few v10 offers; your 1L grades need to compensate for your lack of meaningful WE.

I don't think there is anything wrong with using a top law school (hysccn) as a stepping stone to a non-law career. Since you lack connections and pedigree, t6 (which cares only about numbers, save ys) > non-m7 mba program, the inverse of which you probably won't be able to get into as you have weak WE.

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2014
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby 2014 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:54 pm

It sounds like you are trying to talk yourself and TLS into the idea. Honestly, everyone here is 1000000% against going to Law School unless you are damn sure you want to be a lawyer, so if you are looking for someone who will agree with the idea, here is not the best place.

I think it certainly could work out for you. I wouldn't recommend the path and think you will be stuck in law paying off your loans unable to move into the business sector unless you are willing to take a pay cut or start your own business. While you might be okay with that, sounds like a recipe for a life which lacks happiness.

r6_philly
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby r6_philly » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:56 pm

fugitivejammer wrote:r6_philly:

I believe u about the Wharton example. If u have an MBA from any top school u will for sure have doors opening all around u n business. But my whole pt was basically gettin a name on the resume from a law school for his purposes wouldnt serve him as well as it would w/ a brand name MBA. He's trying to go to a top LS cuz he can get in, and try to use that to hold weight in the business world. He should be going to Wharton!

I also agree about your statement on the importance of networking, which i mentioned a few times. OP is talking about networking with engineering UG students and such at the university he attends, and while its prolly a good idea, I can't see that as justification to go to a top Law school for him


I agree he doesn't really sound like he needs a JD. Although it may be easier to get into Penn Law than Wharton, but he can just go for a masters at Penn and take Wharton classes.

As for the networking, I am actually not at Wharton, and the connections I have made so far are mostly not in my school, so it is nice to be able to go meet everyone from the other schools at Penn (I have met people from engineering, education, and Wharton), it's been great so far, there is a lot of value there, at least at Penn.

Robertchang
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby Robertchang » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:04 am

To the first reply,


I finished school before Obama had his first Democratic primary. I was doing the traveling bit, the left wing political volunteering bit, and have been at my current job for almost two years. I work for the a city agency reviewing documents and investigating cases on behalf of
lawyers (definitely a good way to spin that into Law school admission:) ) I find the work somewhat interesting and have made many friends among the lawyers I work for (though 3/4 say to stay away from law school). Don't know how to spin the above into MBA, but maybe a T6 law school would not mind. Also, what entry level business job could I get with the above background.


I am abit skeptical about working my way up with the type of entry level job I could get in business. Maybe in the old Horatio Alger days that was possible. However, in the USA, especially on the East coast, there is a caste system where people begin their careers on tracks based on connections and school pedigree. For example, a Harvard undergrad will start as an investment banking analyst, while a state school grad will start as an operations trainee ( processing data related to the deals). While, the investment banking analyst has the ability to move up towards managing director ( or if he is best, the CEO of Goldman Sachs) and the operations trainee has the ability to one day become the manager of the operations crew ( or if he is best, the head of operations), the operations worker will with some 1 in 2,000 exceptions never be able to switch tracks.

Not only will the entry level business jobs I can get not be able to lead me to where I want to go( If I can get them), but I don't have the right personality for the particular type of business jobs that someone with my particular level of pedigree, connection has.

I used to have an old friend from Silicon Valley ( had a falling out with him) who was an independent management consultant. He once subcontracted a research project to me for a company he tried to start ( in exchange for stock options). He wrote business plans, looked at potential markets, analyzed deal structures, came up with business models to capitalize on technology ideas, helped raise money for some companies from venture capitalists, and figured out how to create business strategies to turn products into great companies. He once as a consultant created a clever marketing strategy to save a company from Bankruptcy( it came back like a phoneix). I found his work very fascinating. It would be truly exciting to one day be part of a startup that has the potential to go from a small two story building.

Also, I am very fascinated by finance, reading about 5 investing and trading books a week and doing some trading.investing in my spare time. I find the study of trading and investing extremely fascinating( all the strategies and ups and downs).

I have the interest, analytical ability and possible disposition to be a great hedge fund analyst, management consultant, or even venture capitalist. However, I lack the ability and personality to be an entry level manager or telemarketer.

As an analogy, while Biglaw is more advanced than Sh#tlaw, it is also different in degree. While the average Sh#tlaw lawyer could not make it in Biglaw, I could not see the average Biglaw lawyer making it in Sh#tlaw. There are differences of kind as well as degree. Making a venture capital deal in Silicon Valley or analyzing a chart based trading strategy based on European investments is much different from being a Telemarketer or McDonald's management trainee which I would do awful at. Could you see Bill Gates cold calling households to sell yogurt machines and could you see gentle and philosophical Warren Buffet yelling at minority workers at Mcdonalds if they stop working for a half second?

Since working my way up from a business job I could get is not an option, I have three options left:

1. The T6 Biglaw backdoor path (I would not mind biglaw actually, some intellectual stimulation, better salary than 40,000 a year, interesting smart people, some big deal issues, and classy enviornment if I had to stay there) to high level business.

2. Start a business in my bedroom in my spare time Ala Gates, Dell, etc or invest in my spare time ala Warren Buffet. Make it on my own from the start as an independent entrepreneur/investor.

3. Go to some emerging market country that has more new opportunities in finance and consulting, that unlike China is not all Harvard MBAed out. Perhaps Ghana, Nigeria, or South Africa, all English speaking and genuinely showing some emerging growth. Plus great surfing especially in South Africa.

Thanks

hlsjd12
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby hlsjd12 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:07 am

Coming out of Harvard it has been very difficult to get any type of business job I know many people who failed to get Investment Banking, Consulting, and middle management gigs. A law degree even from a T6 doesn't mean anything when the people you are competing against have top notch MBA's. Don't go to law school with a business focus, if Harvard people can't get it I doubt anyone else can. Not to sound elitist or anything...

r6_philly
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby r6_philly » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:47 am

hlsjd12 wrote:Coming out of Harvard it has been very difficult to get any type of business job I know many people who failed to get Investment Banking, Consulting, and middle management gigs. A law degree even from a T6 doesn't mean anything when the people you are competing against have top notch MBA's. Don't go to law school with a business focus, if Harvard people can't get it I doubt anyone else can. Not to sound elitist or anything...


If you can't get a job out of Harvard, it isn't Harvard's fault. You really don't sound elitist because elitists usually have great jobs :wink:

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fugitivejammer
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby fugitivejammer » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:53 am

Robertchang wrote:Since working my way up from a business job I could get is not an option, I have three options left:

1. The T6 Biglaw backdoor path (I would not mind biglaw actually, some intellectual stimulation, better salary than 40,000 a year, interesting smart people, some big deal issues, and classy enviornment if I had to stay there) to high level business.

2. Start a business in my bedroom in my spare time Ala Gates, Dell, etc or invest in my spare time ala Warren Buffet. Make it on my own from the start as an independent entrepreneur/investor.

3. Go to some emerging market country that has more new opportunities in finance and consulting, that unlike China is not all Harvard MBAed out. Perhaps Ghana, Nigeria, or South Africa, all English speaking and genuinely showing some emerging growth. Plus great surfing especially in South Africa.

Thanks


Firstly, i still dont think workin your way up is a bad idea or limits u to a certain pre-determined end state. I understand your concern about an east coast caste system, but i doubt that's the case around the country, and judging from your Course of Action # 3 above, it doesn't seem u r against moving to find work. If u start as some kind of analyst or "operations" or w/e, u can still pursue higher end jobs w/o MBA or JD. A lot of my friends pursued a CFA (certified financial analyst) cert to demonstrate a deep proficiency in finance. The test is broken up into three diff tests over the course of three years. The cool thing is that even if u only pass one test and r waiting to take the next, u r incredibly more valuable to a lot of finance-related positions and ppl may hire u just cuz of that. If u study and are able to obtain the certification, that is a HUGE accomplishment and will put u n excellent position to compete for awesome jobs (mostly in finance obv). Not saying u should do it, but just throwing it out there to consider.

But honestly, looking at your three options u have, they all look kinda cool to me. U prolly heard enough from me but at the end of the day i dont think u can make a wrong choice from that list as long as u make an informed decision. gl

MrAnon
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby MrAnon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:28 am

I am abit skeptical about working my way up with the type of entry level job I could get in business. Maybe in the old Horatio Alger days that was possible. However, in the USA, especially on the East coast, there is a caste system where people begin their careers on tracks based on connections and school pedigree.


Well there then you basically said it, no? Is law school the ticket out of that? Nope. Look, instead of being focused on a career, you traveled when you finished college. Then you volunteered for a political campaign. Then you wandered into a paralegal job. None of this screams managing director at Goldman. Now you want to go to law school...so you can work in business? You need to get a job in business, sales, anything really but paralegal for a city agency, if you want to be in business.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:01 am

I had a cousin go to law school for business, because he could get into a more prestigious university as a Law student. I think the best advice, if you are set on this route, is to double check the lists and see which schools have the best of both. I think, though I may be wrong, you'll probably be looking at Chicago. Leverage a HYS acceptance into money at Chicago, make a lot of connections your first year, and then joint degree. Cousin did this (at Chicago) and wound up making nearly 500K first year out (salary was 220K, but rumor has it that, for whatever reason, his bonus that year was more than his base). This was 2006, so things have changed, but I can't imagine its changed so drastically that it wouldn't work at all.

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fugitivejammer
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby fugitivejammer » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:44 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:I had a cousin go to law school for business, because he could get into a more prestigious university as a Law student. I think the best advice, if you are set on this route, is to double check the lists and see which schools have the best of both. I think, though I may be wrong, you'll probably be looking at Chicago. Leverage a HYS acceptance into money at Chicago, make a lot of connections your first year, and then joint degree. Cousin did this (at Chicago) and wound up making nearly 500K first year out (salary was 220K, but rumor has it that, for whatever reason, his bonus that year was more than his base). This was 2006, so things have changed, but I can't imagine its changed so drastically that it wouldn't work at all.



Fark-0...ur stealin my thunder lol. damn 500k....hm...i think i might go to law school for business now....



jp ofc

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AreJay711
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:56 am

Is this guy serious?

This is the way I look at it: people out of the top law schools aren't successful because they went to a great law school, they are successful because they are successful people. Yea, everyone who goes to Yale can get big law if they want it (they are all very smart) but this doesn't mean they are gonna be great lawyers. Once you have your foot in the door you still have to make it happen. The guy from Fordham can become a great, and highly paid, lawyer if he serves his clients well, while the guy from Yale can suck (though he'll probably have a job somewhere even if to just hang his diploma up in front of clients). The reason most Yale grads are successful is because Yale attracts smart and successful people.

So for you, how do you expect to make it big if you can't make it small? If you started as an operations intern and people saw you excel and knew you could make them money if they promoted you... they would promote you - to make themselves look good. Then apply to business school after a few years. Then jump up to management and continue to prove that if people want to make money they have to promote you. If you can't excel at the bottom then you probably won't excel at the top.

As for imagining Bill Gates cold calling, he would probably be a damn good cold caller. He would probably identify attributes to target and sales strategies and be successful. And Warren Buffet probably wouldn't yell at minority workers at a McDonald's because I am willing to guarantee that he would manage efficiently and well, and his workers would respect him for it. Soon they would both be higher up in those industries. If you can be a global wheeler and dealer, then you would probably be a pretty good management trainee too.

Now look, you got me in a late night tizzy lol.

Robertchang
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby Robertchang » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:34 pm

Have some more thoughts about this matter, but for now if you yourself wanted to have a high level career ( with business first choice, but would not be unhappy with big law), which of these three options would you pick if you had no other choice but these three:

A. T6 Law school including HYS

B. Mcdonalds Management Trainee Program

C. Telemarketer pushing Credit Cards on people

D. TTT MBA

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AreJay711
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:00 pm

Robertchang wrote:Have some more thoughts about this matter, but for now if you yourself wanted to have a high level career ( with business first choice, but would not be unhappy with big law), which of these three options would you pick if you had no other choice but these three:

A. T6 Law school including HYS

B. Mcdonalds Management Trainee Program

C. Telemarketer pushing Credit Cards on people

D. TTT MBA


I was more talking about your attitude to the whole thing. If you would like a career in law it isn't a terrible idea to go to law school and keep yourself open to a career in business. However, if you want to go into business and thats what you really want to do, some low level management position very well may give you a better shot in the long run. Being a lawyer and an manager/executive are two completely different things.

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Lwoods
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby Lwoods » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:42 pm

Robertchang wrote:

I am abit skeptical about working my way up with the type of entry level job I could get in business. Maybe in the old Horatio Alger days that was possible. However, in the USA, especially on the East coast, there is a caste system where people begin their careers on tracks based on connections and school pedigree. For example, a Harvard undergrad will start as an investment banking analyst, while a state school grad will start as an operations trainee ( processing data related to the deals). While, the investment banking analyst has the ability to move up towards managing director ( or if he is best, the CEO of Goldman Sachs) and the operations trainee has the ability to one day become the manager of the operations crew ( or if he is best, the head of operations), the operations worker will with some 1 in 2,000 exceptions never be able to switch tracks.

This is false. I went to undergrad in NYC and spent 4 years there after college working in support staff roles in BigLaw and Investment Banking. My degree was in theatre producing (and I did produce a play as well). I started as a secretary in BigLaw, followed an attorney to [Large Investment Bank] where they were grooming me for an analyst position. I loved my boss but wasn't a fan of the work environment and returned to the law firm for a research position there.
I earned my degree in Fashion Merchandising at night during my second stint at the law firm. I left NYC b/c of my husband's job and am now at a Fortune 500 in the midwest in an analyst role. Most people here went to one of two state schools, both highly respected regionally but virtually unknown in the Northeast. There are countless opportunities for growth here; I see people promoted internally all the time. Before you dismiss it as being outside of the "Northeast caste system", we do have offices in NYC as well, and it is not uncommon for individuals to receive transfers there if that's where you want to be (most here prefer the midwest). Also, I have sorority sisters with liberal arts degrees climbing the ranks at companies based out of NYC.

You are completely misinformed and frankly just seem bitter.

Oh, one last anecdote... an associate I was friends with at the bank had an undergraduate degree in computer programming. He decided he wanted a change, went to Wharton and is now an investment banker.
Quit blaming everyone else (or "the man" or "the system") for your inability to get into b-school.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:26 pm

Purely anecdotal: I am already in law school and so far don't think I will end up practicing law. We have had 5-6 speaker events in the past month with speakers from IBs, hedge funds and private equity firms and they all recruit students here. IMO when the chairman of the Global Investment Banking of Credit Suisse takes time off his schedule to come and talk to us, it means they must have an interest in recruiting law students. Of course MBA would probably be a better path to those positions but some people like me (not much work experience) can get into a better law school than a business school, with the added benefit of having the option to also practice law or do a variety of other things if plans change.

fear&loathingintexas
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby fear&loathingintexas » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:28 am

You, Mr. Chang, should read Rousseau's Confessions. Like you, he was a man who went from place to place in pursuit of prestige and position and self-promotion. And like Rousseau, you will probably never come to terms with how much of a tool you seem to be.

Can't get a "high-flying" job in the corporate world? Newsflash: NOBODY is doing anything that could be called high-flying right out of school or even 3-5 years out unless they went to an Ivy or Stanford and you went to neither.

You would be "willing" to be a lawyer for a few years? And yet you're not "willing" to pay your dues at a major company and eventually get the management position you seem to be gunning so hard for? I would be "willing" to do a lot of things, but that sure as hell doesn't justify spending years of my life and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do them.

Meeting people from wealthy families? This isn't 1925. If you want to hobnob with rich kids you'd probably have more success going to a private second-tier school than to a T6.

</rant>

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crazycanuck
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Re: Law school for Non-Legal careers (business)

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:59 am

Have you considered accounting? Once you get your CPA it can be a very good route into business.

Lots of people from the big 4 go straight into management positions.

You can PM me if you have questions about it, it's late and I don't want to type too much.




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