Switching from Funds to M&A Forum

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Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 12, 2024 10:59 pm

I am a junior at a v10 firm and am contemplating switching from Funds to M&A. If possible, I would like to do this within my firm. I am aiming for longevity in BigLaw and I don't feel stimulated by the substance of what I've gotten to work on in Funds - M&A seems be more interesting when it comes to substance and might be less cookie cutter than funds. Please provide any advice re funds versus M&A, including long-term career outlook. Thank you.

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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2024 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2024 10:59 pm
I am a junior at a v10 firm and am contemplating switching from Funds to M&A. If possible, I would like to do this within my firm. I am aiming for longevity in BigLaw and I don't feel stimulated by the substance of what I've gotten to work on in Funds - M&A seems be more interesting when it comes to substance and might be less cookie cutter than funds. Please provide any advice re funds versus M&A, including long-term career outlook. Thank you.
A few thoughts:
  • Junior M&A work is not necessarily stimulating. Due diligence might be the most "cookie cutter" assignment of all. I think in basically any corporate practice your first few years won't be full of "take pen on the primary document." But mid-to-senior work in corporate practice has issues worth thinking about. (And FWIW good juniors who understand the basics of the practice + can read ancillary documents using common sense are, IMO, quite valuable. The best way to get big substantive work is to do a great job on the small stuff and then keep asking for opportunities on bigger docs. I'm not going to just drop the SPA on a junior's desk.)
  • How junior are you? If you're a stub or a first year, the switch may be relatively easy because you're not expected to know anything substantively and you can add value with process tasks. But if you're a second or third year, you'll be a bit behind on understanding what's going on - so people would rather give the more complicated tasks to someone who's been around longer.
  • Why are you invested in staying at your firm? If you're really junior, on the one hand, nobody will really be offended at your move 6-9 months later. But if Funds is slammed, the M&A partners may not want to piss off the funds people by taking a body away.
  • Long term career outlook has more to do with how long you last in BL and how well-regarded you are when you want to leave. If you're around a 5 or a 6 and have impressed a partner or a client, the odds are that you'll have a few good opportunities. If you're a 2 or 3 without anyone who will go to bat for you, probably there's not much you'll want.

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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2024 12:46 pm

OP here, I'm a second year. The firm has a strong reputation in both Funds and M&A. Of course part of why I want to aim for longevity in BigLaw is for the money (I have responsibilities wrt helping take care of family members) but also because I spent a decent amount of time working in house at two different companies while in law school and I think I would be bored just working for "one client" and having seen what in-house counsel does. I have a background in business pre-law school and I think that is why I feel a bit more drawn to M&A than funds, I also took M&A courses in law school and excelled in them.

By sheer luck I got to work on a unique two-part deal one part of the deal involved an M&A transaction and the other part was more funds focused (I assisted with both parts) - the experience only further peaked my interest in getting more M&A work. I also know the market right now is not great for lateraling as a junior hence why I would rather stay where I am and realistically is the culture really going to be that much better going somewhere else plus having to rebuild connections, feels like it puts you further behind.

We have a lot of associates in funds (esp at my level) and are growing but I am not sure how receptive the firm would be to allowing me to switch in the future. I know other major transactional groups are in need of ppl at my year but given the markets are slow I understand there's not a ton of M&A activity right now.

ligma

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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by ligma » Mon Feb 05, 2024 5:39 pm

As someone who just switched to M&A from another transactional group I had assumed was the worst… don’t!!!!

*shakes face like in Billy Madison*

DD is truly mind numbing, tedious, and exhausting at the same time. Same for disclosure schedules.

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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 05, 2024 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2024 12:46 pm
OP here, I'm a second year. The firm has a strong reputation in both Funds and M&A. Of course part of why I want to aim for longevity in BigLaw is for the money (I have responsibilities wrt helping take care of family members) but also because I spent a decent amount of time working in house at two different companies while in law school and I think I would be bored just working for "one client" and having seen what in-house counsel does. I have a background in business pre-law school and I think that is why I feel a bit more drawn to M&A than funds, I also took M&A courses in law school and excelled in them.

By sheer luck I got to work on a unique two-part deal one part of the deal involved an M&A transaction and the other part was more funds focused (I assisted with both parts) - the experience only further peaked my interest in getting more M&A work. I also know the market right now is not great for lateraling as a junior hence why I would rather stay where I am and realistically is the culture really going to be that much better going somewhere else plus having to rebuild connections, feels like it puts you further behind.

We have a lot of associates in funds (esp at my level) and are growing but I am not sure how receptive the firm would be to allowing me to switch in the future. I know other major transactional groups are in need of ppl at my year but given the markets are slow I understand there's not a ton of M&A activity right now.
Hmm, I thought you were interested in M&A and not that your interest in it had peaked? ;)

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Anonymous User
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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2024 10:59 pm
I am a junior at a v10 firm and am contemplating switching from Funds to M&A. If possible, I would like to do this within my firm. I am aiming for longevity in BigLaw and I don't feel stimulated by the substance of what I've gotten to work on in Funds - M&A seems be more interesting when it comes to substance and might be less cookie cutter than funds. Please provide any advice re funds versus M&A, including long-term career outlook. Thank you.
You are at STB and you are insane if you want to switch to MA. Just survey how many rotators are coming back to Funds lol, where people are very decent. It ain't greener.

Anonymous User
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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 06, 2024 11:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:40 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2024 10:59 pm
I am a junior at a v10 firm and am contemplating switching from Funds to M&A. If possible, I would like to do this within my firm. I am aiming for longevity in BigLaw and I don't feel stimulated by the substance of what I've gotten to work on in Funds - M&A seems be more interesting when it comes to substance and might be less cookie cutter than funds. Please provide any advice re funds versus M&A, including long-term career outlook. Thank you.
You are at STB and you are insane if you want to switch to MA. Just survey how many rotators are coming back to Funds lol, where people are very decent. It ain't greener.
Agreed. Burnout / attrition rate in STB M&A dwarfs that of funds. There’s a lot of work in funds, for sure, but it’s not unexpected and you can figure your life out and manage it much more than in M&A. If it’s longevity in BigLaw you’re after, STB funds - both at the firm and from other firms that’ll be begging to snap you up after 4-6 years there - is a no-brainer. (I say this as an ex-STB M&A associate.)

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Re: Switching from Funds to M&A

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:24 pm

This could definitely be Paul Weiss, especially given the fund are growing comment.

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