From finance to law

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mljs54
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:41 pm

From finance to law

Postby mljs54 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:56 pm

Dear all,

Greetings and thank you in advance. First time poster here.

As a brief background, I currently work in a mergers and acquisitions banking group at a major wall st. firm and am thinking of pursuing a JD. My prior aspiration was to get a MBA but after speaking with many graduates, coupled with the fact that I already did a business undergrad program, the degree seems to offer very little for me at this point both from intellectual and career advancement perspectives. In my past two years of work, I've had the fortune to sit in on many deal negotiations and work closely with our various legal counsels. At this point, I have really taken a serious interest to pursue a career in corporate law. Ideally, I would like to make the switch to a NY-based corporate law firm sometime in the future.

Before I make my decision of seriously pursuing law school by studying for the LSAT, I have a few questions :

1. I am currently entering my 3rd year of work. I know this is more of a case by case question but if I begin to study right now, will it realistically be enough time to take the October 2010 exam. Or should I hold off and take the December 2010 exam instead, and if so, how does this fair with applications for the Fall 2011 term? My goal is to limit my time out of undergrad to 3 years.

2. What prep classes/programs are considered the best in the NYC area?

3. How do corporate law firms weigh experience of being on the advisory/business side especially when considering placement into groups such as M&A?

4. EDIT - forgot to say I also have a 3.94 undergrad GPA with a CPA Accounting and Finance dual-major from Syracuse University and as previously mentioned, would have about 3 years of work experience in finance by the time I apply. I'm assuming I need 170+ for the top 10 schools and anything less won't cut it because of Syracuse as my undergrad?

Thanks much for your time.

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Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: From finance to law

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:27 pm

mljs54 wrote:Dear all,

Greetings and thank you in advance. First time poster here.

As a brief background, I currently work in a mergers and acquisitions banking group at a major wall st. firm and am thinking of pursuing a JD. My prior aspiration was to get a MBA but after speaking with many graduates, coupled with the fact that I already did a business undergrad program, the degree seems to offer very little for me at this point both from intellectual and career advancement perspectives. In my past two years of work, I've had the fortune to sit in on many deal negotiations and work closely with our various legal counsels. At this point, I have really taken a serious interest to pursue a career in corporate law. Ideally, I would like to make the switch to a NY-based corporate law firm sometime in the future.

Before I make my decision of seriously pursuing law school by studying for the LSAT, I have a few questions :

1. I am currently entering my 3rd year of work. I know this is more of a case by case question but if I begin to study right now, will it realistically be enough time to take the October 2010 exam. Or should I hold off and take the December 2010 exam instead, and if so, how does this fair with applications for the Fall 2011 term? My goal is to limit my time out of undergrad to 3 years. Sorry, no way you can prep enough for a 170+ in that short a time while working at a bank. However, given that GPA, a 166+ might put you in a decent position for Berk

2. What prep classes/programs are considered the best in the NYC area?
Testmaster and Powerscore are the best regarded of the major companies in any market.

3. How do corporate law firms weigh experience of being on the advisory/business side especially when considering placement into groups such as M&A? I have been told by Biglaw lawyers and people involved in hiring that good W/E matters when they are deciding between people with similar accademic credentials.

4. EDIT - forgot to say I also have a 3.94 undergrad GPA with a CPA Accounting and Finance dual-major from Syracuse University and as previously mentioned, would have about 3 years of work experience in finance by the time I apply. I'm assuming I need 170+ for the top 10 schools and anything less won't cut it because of Syracuse as my undergrad?

LSAT does matters whether you went to a school as utterly crappy as 'Cuse or as awsome as Georgetown.

Thanks much for your time.


Sorry, failed to bold my other responses.

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irie
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:50 pm

Re: From finance to law

Postby irie » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:39 pm

mljs54 wrote:Dear all,

Greetings and thank you in advance. First time poster here.

As a brief background, I currently work in a mergers and acquisitions banking group at a major wall st. firm and am thinking of pursuing a JD. My prior aspiration was to get a MBA but after speaking with many graduates, coupled with the fact that I already did a business undergrad program, the degree seems to offer very little for me at this point both from intellectual and career advancement perspectives. In my past two years of work, I've had the fortune to sit in on many deal negotiations and work closely with our various legal counsels. At this point, I have really taken a serious interest to pursue a career in corporate law. Ideally, I would like to make the switch to a NY-based corporate law firm sometime in the future.

Before I make my decision of seriously pursuing law school by studying for the LSAT, I have a few questions :

1. I am currently entering my 3rd year of work. I know this is more of a case by case question but if I begin to study right now, will it realistically be enough time to take the October 2010 exam. Or should I hold off and take the December 2010 exam instead, and if so, how does this fair with applications for the Fall 2011 term? My goal is to limit my time out of undergrad to 3 years.

[b]If you've never taken an LSAT before, nor spent time prepping, 3 weeks i definitely not going to be enough time. I studied for the LSAT for 2.5 months, while working full-time, but at that point my job was a steady 8-6. I worked in banking before and know the type of hours you guys keep, especially in M&A, and I personally can't imagine prepping for the LSAT adequately while holding that job, much less in 3 weeks time. However, if you wait until December will be at a disadvantage in several ways: 1. if you are borderline at your "reach" schools, you will be a notch below those with similar numbers who applied pre-thanksgiving. 2. you will not have time for a retake in case something goes wrong on test day, i.e. car breaks down, proctor screws up, some kid has a seizure mid-exam, etc. or if you just flat out did poorly. 3. you will not receive an admissions decision from your borderline schools until the second wave, which may disadvantage you in terms of receiving merit scholarship aid.

2. What prep classes/programs are considered the best in the NYC area?
I took testmasters and I believe that it is a very good curriculum with competent instructors. cant say the same for Kaplan, their method just isn't designed to get you into the 170s imo.


3. How do corporate law firms weigh experience of being on the advisory/business side especially when considering placement into groups such as M&A?
you'll have time to worry about this later. I personally think it will give you a leg up if you really want to be in a particular group, but junior associates usually spread their time working for any partners who need help, you'll likely be choosing between litigation and transactional work, but nothing more specific than that until later in your career.

EDIT: misunderstood this question... yes, having bulge bracket IBD experience will be VERY helpful come recruiting season. I think that it is rare for bankers in their 3rd year to jump ship into the legal industry as many go to bschools or PE shops, and others simply take the easy route to corporate america. making an effort to get a JD shows you really are committed to law, and I think it will be an invaluable topic for discussion during your interviews. you are well positioned to land a sweet gig if you can walk away with a t14 JD. why anyone would want to go through both the IB analyst program AND junior associate program is beyond me lol... props to you

4. EDIT - forgot to say I also have a 3.94 undergrad GPA with a CPA Accounting and Finance dual-major from Syracuse University and as previously mentioned, would have about 3 years of work experience in finance by the time I apply. I'm assuming I need 170+ for the top 10 schools and anything less won't cut it because of Syracuse as my undergrad?
Syracuse university is as good as any school except maybe HYP in the eyes of law school admissions. This isn't bschool apps, what undergrad you went to will have very little impact on your overall chances compared to your LSAT and GPA. As for top 10 (or top 14), I'd say you are safely in at a top 6 school with a 171, top 10 with a 170, and t14 with a 169

Thanks much for your time.




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