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Anyone Familiar With Corporate Law That Can Help Me?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

So basically, I'm about to become a senior in college this year with a major in finance and am interested in both corporate law (particularly M&A/restructuring, copyrights/trademarks, or shareholders rights type of stuff) and traditional finance (either financial planning and analysis or, you guessed it, M&A/restructuring). This summer I've been working in M&A at a very small company (not an investment bank mind you) and while I find M&As interesting, I've began to realize that I'm not so sure I would enjoy being a number-crunching excel monkey for the rest of my life. What I'm more interested in is the qualitative aspects of the deal-making process, such as why this deal helps both parties, ensuring that various regulations are there, and basically acting as a mediator between both parties to help reach a common ground.

These interests coupled with the fact that finance seems to be filled with SUPER type-A people has made me consider corporate law as a career. While I enjoy working hard, I'm definitely not much of a risk taker (i.e. prefer salary vs performance-based pay) and while I enjoy being a key part of any team, I'm more comfortable being the VP or 2nd/3rd in command rather than the head honcho running stuff.

So based on this, could corporate law be something worth looking into for myself? My main concern with law is that I still enjoy studying "businesses" holistically (i.e. how they work, what they need to do to grow) and I'm afraid that being a lawyer, I won't get exposed to learning about business and instead will just be wrapped up in laws. Is that a legitimate concern or am I off base on that?

Thanks a lot!
post #2 of 13
You always have the option of a dual-degree in bus/law All I really know is that at one point I too thought about this option in corporate law, some where down my path though I stopped ... can't remember why atm Found my business law&ethics course very interesting.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_Dunphy View Post
This summer I've been working in M&A at a very small company (not an investment bank mind you) and while I find M&As interesting, I've began to realize that I'm not so sure I would enjoy being a number-crunching excel monkey for the rest of my life.

Two points:

1) I don't understand what a "very small company" (that is not an investment bank) would be doing in M&A.

2) The number crunching part of the job only last for a couple of years, then you get to do the fun stuff. I'd assume that it's the same on the legal side - it probably takes a few years of drafting mind-numbing diligence summaries before you're able to give your opinion on anything.
post #4 of 13
If you don't like type-A people, then corporate law is definitely the career for you!
post #5 of 13
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_Dunphy View Post
Hi guys,

So basically, I'm about to become a senior in college this year with a major in finance and am interested in both corporate law (particularly M&A/restructuring, copyrights/trademarks, or shareholders rights type of stuff) and traditional finance (either financial planning and analysis or, you guessed it, M&A/restructuring). This summer I've been working in M&A at a very small company (not an investment bank mind you) and while I find M&As interesting, I've began to realize that I'm not so sure I would enjoy being a number-crunching excel monkey for the rest of my life. What I'm more interested in is the qualitative aspects of the deal-making process, such as why this deal helps both parties, ensuring that various regulations are there, and basically acting as a mediator between both parties to help reach a common ground.

These interests coupled with the fact that finance seems to be filled with SUPER type-A people has made me consider corporate law as a career. While I enjoy working hard, I'm definitely not much of a risk taker (i.e. prefer salary vs performance-based pay) and while I enjoy being a key part of any team, I'm more comfortable being the VP or 2nd/3rd in command rather than the head honcho running stuff.

So based on this, could corporate law be something worth looking into for myself? My main concern with law is that I still enjoy studying "businesses" holistically (i.e. how they work, what they need to do to grow) and I'm afraid that being a lawyer, I won't get exposed to learning about business and instead will just be wrapped up in laws. Is that a legitimate concern or am I off base on that?

Thanks a lot!

As a lawyer that works on lots of corporate stuff, stick with banking.

law - 5 series bmw @ 32
banking - ferrari @ 28.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestIndianArchie View Post
As a lawyer that works on lots of corporate stuff, stick with banking.

law - 5 series bmw @ 32
banking - ferrari @ 28.

Wait, shit, I'm supposed to be driving a 5 series? Then wtf is this Toyota doing in my driveway?
post #8 of 13
But yeah, look up the Law Jobs thread in this forum. Don't go to law school right now.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestIndianArchie View Post
As a lawyer that works on lots of corporate stuff, stick with banking.

law - 5 series bmw @ 32
banking - ferrari @ 28.

Assuming you're pretty good at banking.
post #10 of 13
This is already brewing to be another "Law Sucks" thread, but we don't need to go that far to answer your question. In short, corporate law would not be a good fit for you.

You have offered 2 reasons about your preference for corporate law:
1) You don't think you want the lifestyle demands and think corporate law would be a better fit.
2) You don't like the quantitative aspect ("number crunching") and think corporate law gives you a better opportunity to be involved in deals.

First, corporate law will be equally demanding in terms of stress, hours, and personal commitments. You are going to hear it from both sides that one or the other is better in this respect; but both sectors are genuinely brutal on your personal life. There is no way around this.

Second, corporate law is not "deal making" as you think. A lawyer is there to advise the client who is making the deal and to facilitate that deal. This means a lot of things like: due diligence, regulatory expertise, drafting, etc. What it does not mean is that you will spend the bulk of your time sitting around in a boardroom with captains of industry negotiating power plays.

It sounds like you are excited about the macro-concepts of M&A but hate the tedious details that form its foundation. Honestly, most people do and that is why M&A is not for most people. But that's also like saying you want to be a trial attorney but hate all that discovery stuff. My recommendation is you keep in finance and get more experience so you learn what you really enjoy. Yout might find the right sector or eventually decide what you really do want to do in law. Give it some time though.

Good luck.
post #11 of 13
Banking seems better for you.
post #12 of 13
MA&A lawyers don't do the number crunching. There are a bunch of accountant types that crunch the numbers on a deal, they come to some preliminary valuations, then the final valuation deal gets worked out over lunch between the principals. The lawyers typically negotiate the contracts and are responsible for the pre and post negotiation due diligence. I've done a lot of M&A legal stuff, and I've never had to crunch numbers. It can be fun. You get to learn a lot about various industries that you otherwise wouldn't know anything at all about. The general observations by previous posters about the role (and respective compensation) of lawyers and bankers is pretty much correct. The bankers typically broker the transaction by introducing the parties, often provide financing, and take a cut based on the value of the transaction. The lawyers typically get paid by the hour. Having worked on many such transactions, my impression was that the lawyers were working harder and getting paid less. So, it may be better to be a banker.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchausen View Post
Wait, shit, I'm supposed to be driving a 5 series? Then wtf is this Toyota doing in my driveway?

I sold my e39 when I came to NY. (but they seem to hand them out in Dallas) I'm 35 now.
Maybe your loans are next to nothing?
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