Going to Law School for Private Equity?

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jingosaur
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Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby jingosaur » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:31 am

I want to go into Private Equity or Venture Capital at some point in the future and from doing some research I feel that going to law school is a good idea for getting there. A lot of people at these firms have law degrees and because they require lawyers to operate and are generally small, I think that having a law degree and getting financial sector experience (which I'm doing now) will help get me in. I didn't go to a very "prestigious" undergrad (small top 30 national university in the south) for this type of work, so right now, I have almost a zero chance of getting in with my academic background unless someone gives me money to start a firm.

In your opinion, is going to law school (and probably getting an MBA with it) a good idea for getting a Private Equity gig? If I crapped out on interviews, I would want to do some kind of financial law (M&A, securities, bankruptcy, etc.). I love finance and I have a lot of experience working in tough/high turnover/not doing fulfilling work industries so I think handling a Biglaw job would be much easier for me than it would be for a typical K-JD (although I accept that it would probably suck). In addition, how good of a law school would I have to attend to get into this kind of work? I'm going into this next cycle with a T-14 or bust attitude and from all of the stats I've seen, I don't think that attitude will change. Also, is it worth doing a JD/MBA program at sticker even if it's a really strong one? $350k in debt seems like a lot to have to pay back. I went into undergrad at sticker with no idea how I was going to pay and now I'm down to $10k in debt a year and a half out after getting scholarships and grant money after enrolling and having a good income after graduating. Since my loans in Grad school won't be subsidized, I assume that this would be harder to pull off.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:37 pm

you are better off getting a MBA from a M7 business school. 2 years worth of work instead of 3 or even 4 for a JD/MBA

If you don't want to be a lawyer, don't get a JD.

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jingosaur
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby jingosaur » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:49 pm

Just to clarify, many, but not all of the positions that I would seek out require a JD. I'm well aware that going to law school to "learn a new way of thinking" or to "pick up another degree" is really stupid. I'm just wondering if going to law school to get a job at a private equity firm is as crazy as going for "international law" or "space law". Or wether it's plausible, but on the same level of selectivity as clerking so going to YHS is imperative.

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englawyer
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby englawyer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:55 pm

goldbh7 wrote:Just to clarify, many, but not all of the positions that I would seek out require a JD. I'm well aware that going to law school to "learn a new way of thinking" or to "pick up another degree" is really stupid. I'm just wondering if going to law school to get a job at a private equity firm is as crazy as going for "international law" or "space law". Or wether it's plausible, but on the same level of selectivity as clerking so going to YHS is imperative.


its more selective than clerking. plausible (esp w/ jd-mba) but very unlikely even at HYS.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:30 pm

goldbh7 wrote:Just to clarify, many, but not all of the positions that I would seek out require a JD. I'm well aware that going to law school to "learn a new way of thinking" or to "pick up another degree" is really stupid. I'm just wondering if going to law school to get a job at a private equity firm is as crazy as going for "international law" or "space law". Or wether it's plausible, but on the same level of selectivity as clerking so going to YHS is imperative.



No they don't. You said you want private equity or venture capital. Look at the profiles of top business schools...they send a good proportion to private equity. Venture capital you need to get lucky or have connections.

Head on over wall street oasis, they will tell you the same thing.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums

Now if you are interested in law and want to get a dual degree, that's different. Be aware that you will be paying 3 years of law school tuition AND a year of bschool for a dual degree you don't need to get you where you want to go. But it is not necessary nor is getting a JD the credited response to go into private equity if you have a business background.

Stanford Bschool= 17% private equity
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/cmc/reports

Dartmouth (Tuck) = 4%
http://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/careers/e ... employment

Penn (Wharton) = 8% (2011 stats)
http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/your-c ... oyment.cfm

Chicago (Booth) = 7%
http://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentr ... Report.pdf

Some of this is self selection since after the crash ppl are looking for different kinds of jobs post investment meltdown. But you still need to get into a top school to get into PE period.

Do some research OP on bschool and law school job prospects and hiring. You will be much better off at bschool since you DO NOT WANT TO BE A LAWYER.

*edit added a lot of stats
Last edited by J-e-L-L-o on Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

delusional
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby delusional » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:36 pm

goldbh7 wrote:I want to go into Private Equity or Venture Capital at some point in the future and from doing some research I feel that going to law school is a good idea for getting there. A lot of people at these firms have law degrees and because they require lawyers to operate and are generally small, I think that having a law degree and getting financial sector experience (which I'm doing now) will help get me in. I didn't go to a very "prestigious" undergrad (small top 30 national university in the south) for this type of work, so right now, I have almost a zero chance of getting in with my academic background unless someone gives me money to start a firm.

In your opinion, is going to law school (and probably getting an MBA with it) a good idea for getting a Private Equity gig? If I crapped out on interviews, I would want to do some kind of financial law (M&A, securities, bankruptcy, etc.). I love finance and I have a lot of experience working in tough/high turnover/not doing fulfilling work industries so I think handling a Biglaw job would be much easier for me than it would be for a typical K-JD (although I accept that it would probably suck). In addition, how good of a law school would I have to attend to get into this kind of work? I'm going into this next cycle with a T-14 or bust attitude and from all of the stats I've seen, I don't think that attitude will change. Also, is it worth doing a JD/MBA program at sticker even if it's a really strong one? $350k in debt seems like a lot to have to pay back. I went into undergrad at sticker with no idea how I was going to pay and now I'm down to $10k in debt a year and a half out after getting scholarships and grant money after enrolling and having a good income after graduating. Since my loans in Grad school won't be subsidized, I assume that this would be harder to pull off.
I've been finding out about this stuff kind of peripherally lately because I had a couple contacts in private equity and I took an M&A course with a bunch of PE guest speakers whom I chatted with afterward.

In short, people on this board have a bias toward "tracks" and interpret questions like yours to be whether there is a "track" to a particular career. The answer is there's is no "track" to PE, unless you mean going to a top school (+JD/MBA), working for a top firm in PE for five years, and then using your contacts to lateral in-house at a PE firm. In that sense, you are not on a track, you are doing the same thing as all the people who are not looking to do PE but want to practice law.

On the other hand, if you want to know whether going to law school will allow you the opportunity to learn things that are relevant to PE, work in a field that involves PE, and eventually make the shift in house, then sure, it's possible if you go to a school with a meaningful chance at big law. See above.

GMGP
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby GMGP » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:27 pm

IB is doable with experience in biglaw, Consulting is common out of top law schools, PE and VC less so. But dont let it stop you plenty of schools have startup clinics and classes or offer specific law and entrepreneurship tracks. But you gotta bust your ass.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby AllTheLawz » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:33 pm

PE/VC/Hedge Funds not incredibly uncommon at H simply because of location in Boston where many of these firms have offices. Selectivity has nothing to do with grades though. Need some combo of connections, experience, demonstrated interest and/or demonstrated leadership qualities. Most of the people are former analysts (banking or consulting), have connections from their elite undergrads or have background in corporate strategy.

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jingosaur
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby jingosaur » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:37 am

Thanks for the info and advice everyone. I still think that a JD/MBA is probably the best path, but if I get accepted into an M7 business program and not get into the corresponding law school or get into a middling T14 at sticker, it would be best to just get my MBA and pretend that Law admissions never happened. With my current numbers, it's likely that I'll encounter this scenario since my business numbers are great and my Law School numbers need improvement. However, with a good second LSAT and some strong B-School applications, I think I have a good shot at some M7/T14 JD/MBA programs with $$.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:34 am

sounds like you got a plan. Good luck!

timbs4339
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Re: Going to Law School for Private Equity?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:31 am

It's possible, but law school is a convoluted way to do it and there are a lot of places where you could screw it up. Better just to go to business school.




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