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Switching from Finance to Corporate Transactions/Securities (want to go in-house at a FAANG). Lost class year worth it?

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:45 pm
by Anonymous User
Midlevel thinking hard about switching from ABL finance to more general corporate transactional/securities work with an eye towards going in house at a FAANG in a year or two.

Should I expect to lose a class year trying to make this transition?

Do I even really need to make this jump to be marketable for that kind of in-house job, or is the EXTENSIVE drafting experience I've gotten over that last 4+ years in Finance enough to do the trick?

Thoughts?

Re: Switching from Finance to Corporate Transactions/Securities (want to go in-house at a FAANG). Lost class year worth

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:24 pm
by oblig.lawl.ref
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:45 pm
Midlevel thinking hard about switching from ABL finance to more general corporate transactional/securities work with an eye towards going in house at a FAANG in a year or two.

Should I expect to lose a class year trying to make this transition?

Do I even really need to make this jump to be marketable for that kind of in-house job, or is the EXTENSIVE drafting experience I've gotten over that last 4+ years in Finance enough to do the trick?

Thoughts?
I think making a switch makes sense. I don't think there are great finance options outside of banks. That being said, you'd be better off trying to do some kind of commercial contracts / IP transactions work than securities work for FAANG, I would think. FAANG probably has like 3-4 lawyers doing corporate and securities work each and they don't leave very often. Armies of commercial lawyers, though.

Re: Switching from Finance to Corporate Transactions/Securities (want to go in-house at a FAANG). Lost class year worth

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:28 pm
by Neff
This. I am a mid-level corporate/M&A associate at a top firm in a tech-heavy city. I get auto-rejects from FAANG in-house gigs, most of which require cybersecurity/commercial/payments/privacy/IP trans experience. The skillset of a FAANG lawyer is not well-developed in biglaw.

Re: Switching from Finance to Corporate Transactions/Securities (want to go in-house at a FAANG). Lost class year worth

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:07 am
by Anonymous User
How tech focused is the group you’d be joining? I was in an emerging companies/VC group, where associates generally did a mix of VC, M&A, and capital markets work for tech companies of various sizes, and I know a couple people from the group who got in-house gigs at FAANG companies. So I do think it’s possible to wind up at one of those in-house departments from a more general corporate practice if the client base is largely in tech already, especially at Amazon which tends to recruit a lot (or at least they did when I was still at my firm) and doesn’t have the best reputation as an in-house exit option (some say it’s almost as rough as firm life, though I don’t know how accurate that is).

The exit options are probably better anyways if you don’t wind up specifically at a FAANG, others from my group (including me) went in-house at tech companies ranging from fairly well established (like an AirBNB or Zillow type company) to smaller start-ups you probably haven’t heard of. I’m not sure if you’d get the full advantage of those exits by transferring after spending years doing finance work, though, or if the group you’re looking at isn’t as focused on tech as an emerging company group, but I have to imagine you’d have at least marginally better and more diverse options than staying in finance.

Re: Switching from Finance to Corporate Transactions/Securities (want to go in-house at a FAANG). Lost class year worth

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:06 am
by LAsonic
Have you applied for any tech in-house jobs yet with any success? I went in-house to publicly-traded tech company (not FAANG) from a finance practice (and I have finance colleagues that did jump to FAANG).

You may have a bit of an advantage if you have general corporate experience, but the sentiments here with respect to big law not developing tech in-house very well is accurate. In my experience, the most important skills going in-house are to be able to draft/negotiate well and to understand basic commercial concepts (indemnities, limitations on liabilities) - all things that you should have as a mid-level finance lawyer.

I'd consider applying to some open jobs to see if you get any bites. If not, then you could consider switching practice groups, although I still think you'd be a strong candidate, it may just take a little longer to get hired.