T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

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mastermonkey45

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T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by mastermonkey45 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:30 pm

I have an interest in corporate law, securities law, and in particular corporate governance, so I am pretty keen on going to a T6 and working in NY/SF/SFBA. With that being said, I also really love finance. How does recruitment into BB banks and IB actually happen from T14 law schools? Do grades matter as much? How does lateraling from a V25 into a BB/VC firm actually happen?

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:29 am

Recruiting on campus: It's not really a thing (except for the JD-MBA process at law schools with sister M7 b-schools). Some people go into banking after law school, but it's usually people who did an analyst gig out of undergrad or who "could have" if they interviewed based on their degree and resume.

Lateraling from biglaw to BB/VC: Also not really a thing that happens, although there are again some people who were perfectly qualified/connected before becoming lawyers who are able to make the jump. Hotshot junior partners/senior associates in finance-heavy practice areas can sometimes exit into PE or whatever but they invariably do it as a lawyer, not in a finance role, and it's a unicorn outcome.

tl;dr: only go to law school if you're cool with being a lawyer forever. If you must hedge, do a JD/MBA, but it's better to just decide between the a JD and an MBA before paying all that tuition.

mastermonkey45

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by mastermonkey45 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:27 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:29 am
Recruiting on campus: It's not really a thing (except for the JD-MBA process at law schools with sister M7 b-schools). Some people go into banking after law school, but it's usually people who did an analyst gig out of undergrad or who "could have" if they interviewed based on their degree and resume.

Lateraling from biglaw to BB/VC: Also not really a thing that happens, although there are again some people who were perfectly qualified/connected before becoming lawyers who are able to make the jump. Hotshot junior partners/senior associates in finance-heavy practice areas can sometimes exit into PE or whatever but they invariably do it as a lawyer, not in a finance role, and it's a unicorn outcome.

tl;dr: only go to law school if you're cool with being a lawyer forever. If you must hedge, do a JD/MBA, but it's better to just decide between the a JD and an MBA before paying all that tuition.
Fair enough. I just thought it was more common, considering people like Scaramucci, Blankfein and other random treasury dept./fed people. This might sound obtuse but tuition isn't that much of a big deal, as I know I will be working in the private sector regardless and have quite a bit of money set aside and from family. Any other suggestions? What's your opinion on T6 JD/MBA programs in general?

Lurk2020

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by Lurk2020 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:26 am

mastermonkey45 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:27 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:29 am
Recruiting on campus: It's not really a thing (except for the JD-MBA process at law schools with sister M7 b-schools). Some people go into banking after law school, but it's usually people who did an analyst gig out of undergrad or who "could have" if they interviewed based on their degree and resume.

Lateraling from biglaw to BB/VC: Also not really a thing that happens, although there are again some people who were perfectly qualified/connected before becoming lawyers who are able to make the jump. Hotshot junior partners/senior associates in finance-heavy practice areas can sometimes exit into PE or whatever but they invariably do it as a lawyer, not in a finance role, and it's a unicorn outcome.

tl;dr: only go to law school if you're cool with being a lawyer forever. If you must hedge, do a JD/MBA, but it's better to just decide between the a JD and an MBA before paying all that tuition.
Fair enough. I just thought it was more common, considering people like Scaramucci, Blankfein and other random treasury dept./fed people. This might sound obtuse but tuition isn't that much of a big deal, as I know I will be working in the private sector regardless and have quite a bit of money set aside and from family. Any other suggestions? What's your opinion on T6 JD/MBA programs in general?
Consider whether you want to play on the MBA side or the JD side more. If you focus on T6 because of the law-side, you cut out two of the top three MBA programs in the country in Penn and Northwestern-- both of which let you get the JD/MBA in 3 years instead of 4.

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Sackboy

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by Sackboy » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:31 pm

On one hand, a JD-MBA seems like an egregious waste of an extra $100k. On the other hand, the JD-MBA folks I know out of Northwestern seemed to have had phenomenal outcomes.

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gekko

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by gekko » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:15 am

As my name suggests, I'm in an area of finance. I'm considering law later in life. Couple quick observations:

-Blankfein was rejected when applying to Goldman out of HLS. He got hired at the commodity broker J. Aaron which was later acquired by GS. He has referred to this himself as a "backdoor" entry. You should read Jim Cramer's "Confessions of a Street Addict" book to read his anecdotes about how hard it was to get ANY banking internship coming from the law school (also HLS) as opposed to the business school.

-Scaramucci's success is largely entrepreneurial. I haven't heard his statements about the advantages of a law degree or HLS specifically on his outcome, but I know people who have started and sold an RIA firm (his initial path) with a bachelors only.

A law degree is not seen as an "advantage" in finance. It's more than unrelated, a "negative" in some instances. Not that people are sitting around thinking about this, but if they do, it will be given little consideration leading to the following statements:

-Do they really want to do this?
-Are they likely litigious?
-Are they likely to hold things up unnecessarily due to a different attitude toward risk?
-Are they able to meet a deadline rather than intentionally wasting time billing hours?
-Do they want too much money or be compensated for experience that isn't experience?

These are just a few of the things I've heard people say about applicants who were attorneys. Even if not "bad" it is not a plus by any stretch of the imagination. You can say the above assumptions are incorrect or overly simplistic but they are widely held by people who will make the decision to hire you or not. If you want to be in finance, go the traditional route. If you want to be a layer, go to law school.

mastermonkey45

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by mastermonkey45 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:30 am

gekko wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:15 am
As my name suggests, I'm in an area of finance. I'm considering law later in life. Couple quick observations:

-Blankfein was rejected when applying to Goldman out of HLS. He got hired at the commodity broker J. Aaron which was later acquired by GS. He has referred to this himself as a "backdoor" entry. You should read Jim Cramer's "Confessions of a Street Addict" book to read his anecdotes about how hard it was to get ANY banking internship coming from the law school (also HLS) as opposed to the business school.

-Scaramucci's success is largely entrepreneurial. I haven't heard his statements about the advantages of a law degree or HLS specifically on his outcome, but I know people who have started and sold an RIA firm (his initial path) with a bachelors only.

A law degree is not seen as an "advantage" in finance. It's more than unrelated, a "negative" in some instances. Not that people are sitting around thinking about this, but if they do, it will be given little consideration leading to the following statements:

-Do they really want to do this?
-Are they likely litigious?
-Are they likely to hold things up unnecessarily due to a different attitude toward risk?
-Are they able to meet a deadline rather than intentionally wasting time billing hours?
-Do they want too much money or be compensated for experience that isn't experience?

These are just a few of the things I've heard people say about applicants who were attorneys. Even if not "bad" it is not a plus by any stretch of the imagination. You can say the above assumptions are incorrect or overly simplistic but they are widely held by people who will make the decision to hire you or not. If you want to be in finance, go the traditional route. If you want to be a layer, go to law school.
I appreciate your insight, and I mostly agree. I just assumed that all these old folks working in upper management in hedge funds or IB/BB/VC had an advantage from having a JD, but after more reading it appears that it's just 50 something year olds lateraling from big law firms and adopting both a counsel and management position.

What are your thoughts on a JD/MBA program, then? Does it really offer a solid avenue into both fields?

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:19 pm

mastermonkey45 wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:30 am
What are your thoughts on a JD/MBA program, then? Does it really offer a solid avenue into both fields?
1) It's generally decent for anything you could have done with either the JD or the MBA at the cost of being way more expensive and leaving less time to network/generally enjoy life than if you did one or the other. Basically, if you just want to end up in a normal JD or MBA pipeline job anyway, you wasted tens of thousands of dollars (plus 12 months of lost income, for 4-year programs) because of your inability to take a drink of cold water and actually choose.

2) Once you start an actual job (corporate law/finance/consulting/etc. associate) you'll be somewhat pigeonholed into that industry for a number of reasons - so it's not like the optionality of the JD/MBA lasts very long. It's hard enough to maintain one's skillset and network in either law or finance.

3) Doing a JD/MBA in one go ironically forecloses the future use of a JD or MBA program to effect a career "pivot". A vanilla JD can go to business school 10 years from now if they want to take a crack at finance, and a vanilla MBA can likewise attend law school 10 years from now to become a lawyer, but a JD/MBA no longer has that arrow in her quiver.

As I've argued before on this board, a JD/MBA is generally a huge waste of time and money unless you can get someone else to pay for it or have a concrete, realistic career plan that will genuinely leverage both, e.g. "I'm an analyst at McKinsey and want to make partner"

LBJ's Hair

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by LBJ's Hair » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:59 pm

gekko wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:15 am
As my name suggests, I'm in an area of finance. I'm considering law later in life. Couple quick observations:

-Blankfein was rejected when applying to Goldman out of HLS. He got hired at the commodity broker J. Aaron which was later acquired by GS. He has referred to this himself as a "backdoor" entry. You should read Jim Cramer's "Confessions of a Street Addict" book to read his anecdotes about how hard it was to get ANY banking internship coming from the law school (also HLS) as opposed to the business school.

-Scaramucci's success is largely entrepreneurial. I haven't heard his statements about the advantages of a law degree or HLS specifically on his outcome, but I know people who have started and sold an RIA firm (his initial path) with a bachelors only.

A law degree is not seen as an "advantage" in finance. It's more than unrelated, a "negative" in some instances. Not that people are sitting around thinking about this, but if they do, it will be given little consideration leading to the following statements:

-Do they really want to do this?
-Are they likely litigious?
-Are they likely to hold things up unnecessarily due to a different attitude toward risk?
-Are they able to meet a deadline rather than intentionally wasting time billing hours?
-Do they want too much money or be compensated for experience that isn't experience?

These are just a few of the things I've heard people say about applicants who were attorneys. Even if not "bad" it is not a plus by any stretch of the imagination. You can say the above assumptions are incorrect or overly simplistic but they are widely held by people who will make the decision to hire you or not. If you want to be in finance, go the traditional route. If you want to be a layer, go to law school.
I worked at a bulge bracket before law school. We hired a couple of JD-MBAs, and one JD, as a summer associates. The dual degrees were considered a small, but notable, plus.

The concerns you voiced are probably fair for lateral candidates out of law firms. But just to clarify for others and OP --they're not applicable to hires out of school -- these kids have never billed, never litigated. They're not lawyers. They're students. Very different situation. (Or at least we viewed it that way.)
Sackboy wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:31 pm
On one hand, a JD-MBA seems like an egregious waste of an extra $100k. On the other hand, the JD-MBA folks I know out of Northwestern seemed to have had phenomenal outcomes.
Agree, it's substantial time and money. Not sure if worth it if you want finance and can just get the MBA. But it definitely doesn't hurt. When I was applying I thought the MBA was a waste, but now that I look back, would have been fun. (Grass is always greener I guess.)

But anyway, to OP -- if you want to work in finance and have no background, don't *just* get the JD. Like, you might break in, either via OCI or as a lateral from a law firm. But it's not nearly as reliable as MBA recruiting from M7/M10 MBA programs.

gekko

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Re: T14 Recruitment into Finance/BB/VC

Post by gekko » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:31 am

mastermonkey45, regarding your question about the JD/MBA program, I don't know that many people that have ever done it, successful or not, but what I can say is that one of the biggest impediments to success in anything is the desire to "keep options open" rather than relentlessly pursue a given area with focus. You could also rephrase this and say "a relentless pursuit of a given area with focus is a horrible way to keep options open." I don't imply that either is good or bad, just that there is a trade off to keep multiple opportunities on the table. At a certain point you have to decide what you want to do, or be OK with a non-strategic and arbitrary opportunistic approach that will eliminate your choice in favor of maximum success finding interest where you land.

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