Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

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PrelawSteve
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:50 am

Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby PrelawSteve » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:03 am

Hello,

suppose your goal is to work as the in-house lawyer for a wealthy family office or for their foundation,

A. How good would Columbia Law school be for that goal?

B. Would anyone have any advice on how to achieve such a goal?

C. What are salaries working conditions like?

Thanks

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby Tim0thy222 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:07 am

Is this a whole field? Do you know someone specific you want to work for? Or did you hear about this somewhere and decided it appealed to you?

I don't have any helpful information. I've just never heard of this and am curious.

timbs4339
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:43 am

Tim0thy222 wrote:Is this a whole field? Do you know someone specific you want to work for? Or did you hear about this somewhere and decided it appealed to you?

I don't have any helpful information. I've just never heard of this and am curious.


Wow this is a random "dream"

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TripTrip
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby TripTrip » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:23 pm

timbs4339 wrote:this is a random "dream"

MapsMapsMaps
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:33 pm

Sounds pretty cush, actually.

I have no idea about the field, but some thoughts:

A. CLS will be as good as any other school.

B1. This is why CLS will be as good as any other school: I feel like working for a foundation is going to take a lot of networking. I doubt you can just throw in an application.

B2. Trusts and estates is the first thing that comes to mind. This is a practice area at many major law firms. So maybe get experience there while developing your network and your interests and then transition to your chosen foundation after you demonstrate interest through pro bono, networking, donating, interacting, etc.

C. No idea

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TheBiggerMediocre
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby TheBiggerMediocre » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:59 pm

i think this question is beyond the purview of this site, all we can say is network. The truth is someone with those kinds of goals should already have networked 'communicated' enough to know how to get the job.

Cognition
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby Cognition » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:23 pm

This is such an unusual niche career you have in mind that there wouldn't be a law school that specializes in this sort of thing. Columbia is a good school no matter what you intend to do, but going there won't confer any special advantage in getting into this line of work by itself. The biggest leg-up you'd get from Columbia is that you'd be in New York City, in close proximity to the types of people with whom you'd want to network to get into this line of work.

I can't say what the working conditions would be like, since I don't know anyone who does that kind of work, but I can very easily imagine that the best way to get a job like that is to work for a large law firm that does a lot of trusts and estates work (or whatever other work the hypothethical family did to get rich - these families probably do something) and has these sorts of organizations as clients. In-house legal departments like to hire from firms they use a lot. It's entirely possible that most of these organizations are not large enough to justify an in-house legal staff and they may prefer to hire only outside counsel, so a large law firm job may be the only way to get this kind of work.

I can't put my finger on it, but something about the way you've worded this question makes me concerned that:

a) You want a job that will pay well but won't be too stressful or have long hours. If this is your mindset, don't go to law school. There are law jobs that offer easy living, but they are rare and getting rarer and you shouldn't go into law school on the assumption you'll get one of them. The types of people who get jobs like these have probably worked for many years in a large law firm (with all the stress, the hours, and the grinding that entails) doing trusts and estates work. There is no path to this job that won't require a) a lot of luck, or b) a lot of hard work, and probably a lot of both, so relatedly,

b) Don't go to law school if this is the only possible type of work you would want to do. While you may get this kind of job if you want it badly enough and are willing to work hard enough at it, you may not get this kind of job right away (I've never heard of an organization like this hiring law students straight out of school). You'll probably have to spend years doing something other than this before you reach this point. If that's not acceptable to you, don't go the law school route. Look up these organizations, get to know people who work for them, and see if they're hiring people in non-attorney capacities.

kiniru
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby kiniru » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:09 pm

STB has an Exempt Organizations practice that counsels foundations and charities, but it's a small group and I believe they don't take associates every year.

doing well at Columbia and networking could get you in the group... maybe

bracton
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Re: Question about Columbia Law school and also career goals

Postby bracton » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:29 pm

I've worked with some of these folks.

The best route, in my opinion, is to become and associate in a law firm, get senior, and then use networking skills to get inhouse. Trusts and estates is a good route. Tax, and in particular international tax, would also be a good route, given that most of what family offices do is try to protect their assets from the tax authorities.

Fluency in French and German would be useful for dealing with some of the creative stuff that happens with subsidiaries in small European states and principalities.

I think that Columbia a good school to try to get this limited kind of work, but that YHS would be just as good or better.




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