Law schools for Finance UGs?

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Brasskncks

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Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Brasskncks » Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:30 pm

Hey everyone. Wondering your thoughts on best schools for someone in my shoes with interest working in M&A/capital markets/Corp development. I’m a rising junior at a big 10 undergrad with a major in finance. I will graduate with a 3.75-3.8 and based on my my LSAT prep so far, will have a 167-168 LSAT. As for softs, I am vp of finance club, student trainer for financial modeling training company (teach students DCF, LBO, 3 statement models), and I interned this summer at a medium size law firm (150-200 lawyers) where I gained exposure to corporate transactions. I will likely also be a TA for one of my accounting courses. Also, I am in the process of recruiting for summer 2021 internships in Investment banking/valuation so that will be another work experience on my resume before I apply to law school.

Growing up with a lawyer as a father, I understand, to the fullest extent, what life as a lawyer is and the interpersonal dynamics of a corporate law firm and am sure that this is the path for me.

With that being said, what schools do you think would offer me the best opportunities at these jobs given my stats?

dvlthndr

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by dvlthndr » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:52 am

It sounds like you are basically interested in doing corporate work at a big law firm. Once you are there, you can sort out your specialty (like M&A).

To land big-law, the most important thing is just going to a T14 law school. You can still work in big-law if you graduate from schools lower down in the rankings... but the odds start to move against you pretty quickly. You can check out the ABA and NALP reports to see the recent outcomes for graduates.

With your numbers, HYS is out of the question. CCN isn’t completely impossible, but you would want to bump your LSAT a little higher. If you apply broadly, the best outcome would probably be a modest scholarship from some school in the lower half of the T14 (e.g., Berkeley or Duke).

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:13 am

Agreed that you really want to go to a T14 school in order to pursue those interests. But your current trajectory isn't headed for a T14.

Three key things you should be doing in the next few years, in descending order of importance:

1) Eke out every last cent of that GPA. There's a substantial difference between 3.75 and 3.8 (and 3.85).
2) Keep pushing on the LSAT until you think can get something more like a 170. Every point between 168 and 173 makes a huge difference.
3) Work full-time between college and law school, ideally in a consulting/banking/accounting role where you'll get to actually apply all that finance you've been learning.

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Sackboy » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:34 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:13 am
Agreed that you really want to go to a T14 school in order to pursue those interests. But your current trajectory isn't headed for a T14.

Three key things you should be doing in the next few years, in descending order of importance:

1) Eke out every last cent of that GPA. There's a substantial difference between 3.75 and 3.8 (and 3.85).
2) Keep pushing on the LSAT until you think can get something more like a 170. Every point between 168 and 173 makes a huge difference.
3) Work full-time between college and law school, ideally in a consulting/banking/accounting role where you'll get to actually apply all that finance you've been learning.
+1 to all of this.

Grabbing biglaw employment is 95% about what law school you attended (T14s >>T20>>>>>>>everyone else). Law school admissions is 95% about your GPA/LSAT. At 3.75/167, you very well could miss out on the T14 or be forced to take out 300k in loans (something nobody should do). Push to make sure your GPA is as high as possible when you graduate. Also, each point on the LSAT could mean $10,000 of scholarship money (or more, seriously) or getting into a slightly better school (e.g. Penn instead of Cornell). If right now you're PTing at 167-168, your target should be 170+. Don't rush into law school. It's not going anywhere. You have an employable degree. Work until you can get that 170+. You'll thank yourself when you're avoiding a lot of debt/getting into much better schools with much better employment prospects. Law schools, to some degree, even value work experience, especially Northwestern.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:19 pm

Yeah, definitely. To summarize Sackboy's and my points about postgrad employment, and add one or two more:

1) You'll get to live in a new city if you want to, try new hobbies, etc. All of that will be much tougher to do once you start law school (especially on a corporate track).

2) You'll get a much better law-school-admissions cycle: your admit and scholarship chances will materially improve with the better resume, on the one hand, and you'll have a better idea of what you want out of law school, on the other

3) If you get into an M&A/cap markets/etc. group at a bank or something, you can develop experience which will pay dividends during your legal career. You'll have a better understanding of how deals work and you will have a chance to network with the finance side of the industry. This, in turn, means you'll be a lot more successful in the law-school hiring process and will have a bit of a head start on professional development in your first job. 15 years from now, your chances of making partner, or getting a cushy in-house gig, might hinge on the friends you made at BofA or wherever.

4) You might even discover a different path that you prefer to law.

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Brasskncks

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Brasskncks » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:42 pm

dvlthndr wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:52 am
It sounds like you are basically interested in doing corporate work at a big law firm. Once you are there, you can sort out your specialty (like M&A).

To land big-law, the most important thing is just going to a T14 law school. You can still work in big-law if you graduate from schools lower down in the rankings... but the odds start to move against you pretty quickly. You can check out the ABA and NALP reports to see the recent outcomes for graduates.

With your numbers, HYS is out of the question. CCN isn’t completely impossible, but you would want to bump your LSAT a little higher. If you apply broadly, the best outcome would probably be a modest scholarship from some school in the lower half of the T14 (e.g., Berkeley or Duke).
I still have ~10 months before I officially take the LSAT so maybe I can boost my LSAT past 170 to have a better shot at some scholarship money. I've only been studying for a few months with 7sage. Thanks for the input!

Brasskncks

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Brasskncks » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:45 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:13 am
Agreed that you really want to go to a T14 school in order to pursue those interests. But your current trajectory isn't headed for a T14.

Three key things you should be doing in the next few years, in descending order of importance:

1) Eke out every last cent of that GPA. There's a substantial difference between 3.75 and 3.8 (and 3.85).
2) Keep pushing on the LSAT until you think can get something more like a 170. Every point between 168 and 173 makes a huge difference.
3) Work full-time between college and law school, ideally in a consulting/banking/accounting role where you'll get to actually apply all that finance you've been learning.
My mentor at the law firm I interned at gives me the same advice regarding full-time work before law school. He was at PwC in consulting before law school and now he's equity partner. Because I have so much time (10 months) before I take the LSAT, I think a 170 is possible. Thank you

Brasskncks

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Brasskncks » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:49 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:34 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:13 am
Agreed that you really want to go to a T14 school in order to pursue those interests. But your current trajectory isn't headed for a T14.

Three key things you should be doing in the next few years, in descending order of importance:

1) Eke out every last cent of that GPA. There's a substantial difference between 3.75 and 3.8 (and 3.85).
2) Keep pushing on the LSAT until you think can get something more like a 170. Every point between 168 and 173 makes a huge difference.
3) Work full-time between college and law school, ideally in a consulting/banking/accounting role where you'll get to actually apply all that finance you've been learning.
+1 to all of this.

Grabbing biglaw employment is 95% about what law school you attended (T14s >>T20>>>>>>>everyone else). Law school admissions is 95% about your GPA/LSAT. At 3.75/167, you very well could miss out on the T14 or be forced to take out 300k in loans (something nobody should do). Push to make sure your GPA is as high as possible when you graduate. Also, each point on the LSAT could mean $10,000 of scholarship money (or more, seriously) or getting into a slightly better school (e.g. Penn instead of Cornell). If right now you're PTing at 167-168, your target should be 170+. Don't rush into law school. It's not going anywhere. You have an employable degree. Work until you can get that 170+. You'll thank yourself when you're avoiding a lot of debt/getting into much better schools with much better employment prospects. Law schools, to some degree, even value work experience, especially Northwestern.
I am starting to realize the different between a 168 and a 170. I think I will have more time to put into the LSAT given online classes for this year. (no commute, less time spent on eating at dining halls, etc..)

Brasskncks

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Brasskncks » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:51 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:19 pm
Yeah, definitely. To summarize Sackboy's and my points about postgrad employment, and add one or two more:

1) You'll get to live in a new city if you want to, try new hobbies, etc. All of that will be much tougher to do once you start law school (especially on a corporate track).

2) You'll get a much better law-school-admissions cycle: your admit and scholarship chances will materially improve with the better resume, on the one hand, and you'll have a better idea of what you want out of law school, on the other

3) If you get into an M&A/cap markets/etc. group at a bank or something, you can develop experience which will pay dividends during your legal career. You'll have a better understanding of how deals work and you will have a chance to network with the finance side of the industry. This, in turn, means you'll be a lot more successful in the law-school hiring process and will have a bit of a head start on professional development in your first job. 15 years from now, your chances of making partner, or getting a cushy in-house gig, might hinge on the friends you made at BofA or wherever.

4) You might even discover a different path that you prefer to law.
I've have been hearing that a lot. I'm strongly considering working before law school unless I can get my LSAT score above 170 in the next year and can get substantial money from a T14.

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viperv

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by viperv » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:52 pm

I'll try to break down my answer. For some background, I graduated from (a T14) law school in 2016. I had a 3.28 GPA (B.S. in a hard science) in undergrad, a 179 LSAT, and am definitely not a URM. I also got an 80% tuition scholarship. After law school I worked in M&A/Finance at a V10 firm.
your thoughts on best schools for someone in my shoes with interest working in M&A/capital markets/Corp development


The best school you can get into. Nuance here is any scholarships you may get. That said, the chances of getting a biglaw job drop quickly as you go down the rankings, so keep that in mind.
I will graduate with a 3.75-3.8 and based on my my LSAT prep so far, will have a 167-168 LSAT.


Your GPA is WAY higher than mine was, but folks here are right--it's a little low given your expected LSAT score. I only had a shot at the T14 because I killed my LSATS. I knew going into the LSAT that unless I did extremely well law school was out of the cards for me. I wasn't willing to mortgage my future by piling on law school debt to go to a middling school where the chances at a decent outcome were relatively miniscule. I'd suggest you take the same thought process. Don't get 'law school blinders'.
As for softs, I am vp of finance club, student trainer for financial modeling training company (teach students DCF, LBO, 3 statement models)


Maybe harsh, but none of this matters. I don't think law schools care at all about these extracurriculars, and having been an OCI interviewer for my firm/part of the post-interview debrief for candidates, don't think firms care either. Law schools care about GPA, LSAT, and whether you're a URM that can help diversify the student body's perspectives. Firms care about what law school you went to, your class rank, and maybe whether you were on law review.
I interned this summer at a medium size law firm (150-200 lawyers)

This is great. Not directly going to help you get into law school or a firm, but having the experience/perspective is super valuable. Also gives you insight on how to talk to lawyers when it comes to OCI.

Brasskncks

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Brasskncks » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:52 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:19 pm
Yeah, definitely. To summarize Sackboy's and my points about postgrad employment, and add one or two more:

1) You'll get to live in a new city if you want to, try new hobbies, etc. All of that will be much tougher to do once you start law school (especially on a corporate track).

2) You'll get a much better law-school-admissions cycle: your admit and scholarship chances will materially improve with the better resume, on the one hand, and you'll have a better idea of what you want out of law school, on the other

3) If you get into an M&A/cap markets/etc. group at a bank or something, you can develop experience which will pay dividends during your legal career. You'll have a better understanding of how deals work and you will have a chance to network with the finance side of the industry. This, in turn, means you'll be a lot more successful in the law-school hiring process and will have a bit of a head start on professional development in your first job. 15 years from now, your chances of making partner, or getting a cushy in-house gig, might hinge on the friends you made at BofA or wherever.

4) You might even discover a different path that you prefer to law.
I've have been hearing that a lot. I'm strongly considering working before law school unless I can get my LSAT score above 170 in the next year and can get substantial money from a T14.

Anon-non-anon

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Anon-non-anon » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:08 pm

I'll echo everyone else here and say a finance job is one of the few that can really help in hiring. Most ppl (especially K-JD) who say they want to do corporate work don't have great, articulate reasons why. With a finance background, you can say why with some actual knowledge. Also from what I understand, OCI candidates lean a little heavy litigation, so that compounds the value of you having a real story about why you want to work in X group. And as others have said, your connections / knowledge may pay off in a substantive way.

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by Sackboy » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:53 pm

Anon-non-anon wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:08 pm
I'll echo everyone else here and say a finance job is one of the few that can really help in hiring. Most ppl (especially K-JD) who say they want to do corporate work don't have great, articulate reasons why.
+1.

I found it difficult to articulate a convincing reason for why I wanted to do the type of corporate work I do. I was a K-JD and just found it very stressful. Meanwhile, I had friends role in who had done real estate, banking, etc. for 2-3 years before law school and made very easy pitches why they wanted to do Real Estate at Fried Frank or Capital Markets at Davis Polk.

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Re: Law schools for Finance UGs?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:18 pm

Sackboy wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:53 pm
Anon-non-anon wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:08 pm
I'll echo everyone else here and say a finance job is one of the few that can really help in hiring. Most ppl (especially K-JD) who say they want to do corporate work don't have great, articulate reasons why.
+1.

I found it difficult to articulate a convincing reason for why I wanted to do the type of corporate work I do. I was a K-JD and just found it very stressful. Meanwhile, I had friends role in who had done real estate, banking, etc. for 2-3 years before law school and made very easy pitches why they wanted to do Real Estate at Fried Frank or Capital Markets at Davis Polk.
Yep. Honestly, IBD was a great soft for me at OCI, even though I was pretty noncommittal in interviews about doing corporate work. Think they figured I'd have all the useful BigLaw soft skills -- workhorse mentality, attention to detail, basic corporate finance knowledge, etc

Imagine management consulting or w/e would be viewed similarly

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