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NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:37 pm
by Anonymous User
I don't know if this is permitted (but assume it is). With OCI coming up, I figured I'd do this, as I relied heavily on this board in picking a law school and gleaning the occasional insight into law firm life.

I'm a second-year corporate associate in New York and graduated from a top New York law school (you know which two). I've done M&A and Capital Markets work thus far at the firm. I'm generally happy with what I'm learning but big law isn't for me long term and I hope to be out by year four. If I leave, it'll be for the west coast (where I'm from). Obviously, people who've been at a firm longer may be more qualified than me to speak to certain things.

Feel free to ask anything about recruiting, firm life or whatever else. I won't answer questions about my own personal information to some extent, but that shouldn't be what this thread is about anyway.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:55 pm
by Anonymous User
Thanks for doing this. As someone going through recruiting, I’m finding it really hard to understand if there’s a difference in quality amongst firms that are close in the rankings but are generally considered to be in different “tiers” (for lack of a better word). For example, I’m currently very interested in doing corporate work, likely M&A and will be looking at many of what would be considered the top firms. Would you say that there is a difference in quality of work, and exit options, between Skadden/DPW/STB and Latham/Kirkland/Weil? If there’s even a difference, is it significant enough to pick a firm from the first group over the second group if you liked the people at a firm in the second group more?

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:58 pm
by Wild Card
What is the gpa cutoff for your firm and its peers?

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:07 pm
by Anonymous User
Was it Cornell or Columbia?

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:16 pm
by BrainsyK
Anonymous User wrote:Was it Cornell or Columbia?


There's no need for unnecessary digs at New York Law School...

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:37 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this. As someone going through recruiting, I’m finding it really hard to understand if there’s a difference in quality amongst firms that are close in the rankings but are generally considered to be in different “tiers” (for lack of a better word). For example, I’m currently very interested in doing corporate work, likely M&A and will be looking at many of what would be considered the top firms. Would you say that there is a difference in quality of work, and exit options, between Skadden/DPW/STB and Latham/Kirkland/Weil? If there’s even a difference, is it significant enough to pick a firm from the first group over the second group if you liked the people at a firm in the second group more?


There's a big difference between firms, though it's really hard to discern going into OCI. The quality of work and the exit options do change. It's really hard to voice that succinctly, though, so please bear with me (and feel free to ask follow-ups).

Clients/type of work:

Latham, Kirkland and Weil have private equity-focused practices. It's these PE firms that drive not just M&A but the finance groups (borrower-side finance work for PE firms and their portfolio companies), funds groups, even capital markets (generally more issuer-side work for these companies) - it really trickles down. Simpson does its fair share, too, but it's generally a bit broader: the finance groups will represent JPM et al. as the agent in financing transactions, there's a chunk of public company work (including a public company corporate governance group), and so on.

What private equity means is that you're just not learning the public company side of things (which is fine, but something to be aware of). You can still pitch yourself for a variety of great jobs, though, and you'll do your fair share of deals in any of these places. It's also nice to work from the companies' perspective sometimes rather than a big bank's, unless you're looking to move in-house at a place like that (I'm not). You might do more buy-side work generally on the M&A front, though plenty of your deals will die. Private M&A is its own skillset and it'll make you a good lawyer.

Big-ticket sell-side work is often concentrated toward WLRK, DPW, CS&M, Skadden, S&C, etc. That's not for prestige reasons but because they've largely kept themselves out of the private equity space, such that they can pitch themselves to these non-serial acquirors looking to sell themselves at the end of their life cycle. If you look at Wachtell or Cravath, though, there's a reason they get picked to represent the seller in these mega-mergers. Personal note - it's not fun to work on a mega deal. They can last well over a year and it's mostly getting bogged down by little things.

I do think some firms give you more chances than others to prove yourself early. Some might disagree but I think the best training is taking on a lot of responsibility. Sometimes that's not up to you, though generally seniors are happy to pawn off work to the extent they think they can trust you with it (I'm sure that goes for any firm). If you exit the firm, people will want to know you're able to run deals (or as close to it as is reasonable for your year).

Culture: I don't really want to get into this much because it's so hard to put words to (and I haven't worked anywhere other than my current firm), but different places have different cultures. That said, it's almost impossible to know what that culture is before you start, and don't stereotype firms too much. Meeting one nice partner doesn't mean everyone's nice. Maybe the Capital Markets group is super chill and mentorly but M&A is a hostile shitshow. That said, if you meet a bunch of people in a group during your summer later on, that's as good a reason as any to want to continue to do work in that group.

When I picked my firm, the lockstep vs. free market distinction mattered to me, and I picked lockstep. I get BOTH SIDES of it now, but I don't regret which part of the spectrum I decided on. If the Kirkland/Gibson/free market thing appeals to you, it can certainly work, it just isn't my thing personally.

Other: Work/assignment stuff matters. Some firms will slot you into a group at the end of the summer, and if you're fixated on a certain group I guess there's a risk (though you should be somewhat open if you don't have some background in whatever field). Schulte and Skadden do that off the top of my head. Do second looks after you get offers to try to talk to more people - they'll feed you lunch again and you can request to talk to anybody you'd like (e.g., "Can you connect me with three female associates in Corporate who are raising young children?" or "Can I talk to junior funds associates?").

Wild Card wrote:What is the gpa cutoff for your firm and its peers?


At my law school, it was roughly top 40%. If you passed that barrier, you had a good a shot as anyone else. There's no designated cut-off, though.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:15 pm
by Anonymous User
Thanks for that long response. I’m pretty interested in private equity work but I think I’d like to see a variety of both PE and public company M&A at least early on. It seems like Simpson is the only one out of your comment that falls a little more in the middle even though they’re known for their PE work with big funds. Would you say this take is accurate? Also, since Simpson does a lot of PE work along with Kirkland/Latham, would you say that the sophistication of the work is about the same between all those firms?

On a different note, what did you find were the pros/cons between M&A and Cap markets? I feel that I’ll likely end up in one of those two so any extra insight would be great.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:31 pm
by Anonymous User
OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for that long response. I’m pretty interested in private equity work but I think I’d like to see a variety of both PE and public company M&A at least early on. It seems like Simpson is the only one out of your comment that falls a little more in the middle even though they’re known for their PE work with big funds. Would you say this take is accurate? Also, since Simpson does a lot of PE work along with Kirkland/Latham, would you say that the sophistication of the work is about the same between all those firms?

On a different note, what did you find were the pros/cons between M&A and Cap markets? I feel that I’ll likely end up in one of those two so any extra insight would be great.


There are a couple others. Latham does some neat public company stuff (though I understand they're predominantly PE-focused, e.g., Leonard Green and Carlyle). Fried Frank and Covington do a good amount of life sciences stuff as well, on top of the PE thing. I don't pretend to be super knowledgeable on all these firms, either (just to the best of my current knowledge). Simpson probably is the one doing the most in the middle stuff between sponsor and bulge-bracket bank, though (applicable to finance). I don't want to generalize too much, you can seek out some of whatever anywhere.

Sophistication of the work is the same for all of these.

M&A is crazy. Everything feels like a fire drill. You get an email, you have to get it done ASAP. That said, wonderfully interesting. I love it but any number of things can cause it to suck hard, especially as a junior. Ex. a buyer who will never be satisfied with their diligence reports, an inexperienced seller who freaks out about everything because they can't tell what's important, cross-border deals.

Capital Markets, it's really useful knowledge but you're mostly managing a process. It's a lot less fun to draft disclosure than to draft agreements. You'll learn to be self-sufficient much faster, though, and oftentimes it's a pretty friendly process. I like it.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:20 pm
by Anonymous User
First year here. Know I want out, out, out in a few years but if I could stay in BigLaw and find it tolerable, I would.

Grateful if you could provide your view of the following practice areas:

* Structured finance
My understanding is that exits suck. Only banks and limited roles available. Cookie cutter cut and pasting work.
* Lev fin
Exits are banks and PE, pretty limited exits except for relatively senior roles. Attention to detail crucial, but when working at 2-3am having been working all day and had limited sleep all week, mistakes get made and you get the flack.
* Restructuring
Exits are limited. Can be a little more academic. Tedious.
* Corporate/PE/M&A
Cut and paste project management work. Great exits in-house. Best exits.
* Litigation
Nope.
* Tax
LOL, no thanks.
*IP/tech/fintech

Am I right that finance basically sucks? The hours are ruthless, exits are sucky. Oh great I'm out of Biglaw. I'm in a bank. Whoop de doo. I'm basically working similar hours for the same turd turnips I worked with and before. Half of them are on secondment from Biglaw.

I'm thinking corporate is basically the place to be. Hours suck, but as a junior I want to minimize my visibility and limit my mistakes. I'm basically a dumb as fuk workhorse who can get things done, but I have a strain of occasional carelessness which screws me over. Maybe in 3-5 years it won't matter so much, but when you're junior, the work is junior and making a mistake under time pressure when you've got so many other things on your plate, gets noticed big time where I am.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:03 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know if this is permitted (but assume it is). With OCI coming up, I figured I'd do this, as I relied heavily on this board in picking a law school and gleaning the occasional insight into law firm life.

I'm a second-year corporate associate in New York and graduated from a top New York law school (you know which two). I've done M&A and Capital Markets work thus far at the firm. I'm generally happy with what I'm learning but big law isn't for me long term and I hope to be out by year four. If I leave, it'll be for the west coast (where I'm from). Obviously, people who've been at a firm longer may be more qualified than me to speak to certain things.

Feel free to ask anything about recruiting, firm life or whatever else. I won't answer questions about my own personal information to some extent, but that shouldn't be what this thread is about anyway.

Thanks for doing this. Recent grad starting this fall in a V50 corporate practice that does primarily middle-market PE with a heavy emphasis on leveraged finance deals. I'm really excited because this is what I've wanted to do since deciding to go to law school, but also wish I knew how to prepare a bit more. I have a somewhat finance/economics background so I'm not coming in blind, but I'm wondering if you can give me an idea of what to expect and what I can do to prepare before starting. I know almost everything is learned on the job, but I'd love any sort of recommendations you can give as to reading materials, subjects to study, or anything else that comes to mind that would have been helpful to you before you started.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:15 am
by Anonymous User
What are you planning to do after biglaw

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:17 am
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know if this is permitted (but assume it is). With OCI coming up, I figured I'd do this, as I relied heavily on this board in picking a law school and gleaning the occasional insight into law firm life.

I'm a second-year corporate associate in New York and graduated from a top New York law school (you know which two). I've done M&A and Capital Markets work thus far at the firm. I'm generally happy with what I'm learning but big law isn't for me long term and I hope to be out by year four. If I leave, it'll be for the west coast (where I'm from). Obviously, people who've been at a firm longer may be more qualified than me to speak to certain things.

Feel free to ask anything about recruiting, firm life or whatever else. I won't answer questions about my own personal information to some extent, but that shouldn't be what this thread is about anyway.

Thanks for doing this. Recent grad starting this fall in a V50 corporate practice that does primarily middle-market PE with a heavy emphasis on leveraged finance deals. I'm really excited because this is what I've wanted to do since deciding to go to law school, but also wish I knew how to prepare a bit more. I have a somewhat finance/economics background so I'm not coming in blind, but I'm wondering if you can give me an idea of what to expect and what I can do to prepare before starting. I know almost everything is learned on the job, but I'd love any sort of recommendations you can give as to reading materials, subjects to study, or anything else that comes to mind that would have been helpful to you before you started.


Not OP but worked in lev fin group of a top NYC firm doing mostly sponsor-side work. Definitely brush up on financial statement knowledge, understanding financial statements, especially income and cash flow statements, puts you way ahead of the curve for junior associates. Honestly, most senior associates don't even understand that stuff. I'd say corporate strategy books, but honestly, PE M&A is more about squeezing juice out of an asset to generate return, strategy is more important for public M&A deals.

Most important thing is to get your head ready that you will be working all the time and your life will likely suck.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:31 am
by Anonymous User
Would you say that Cap Markets has better work life balance than M&A based on sheer predictability of deals? Better yet, could someone possibly rank or distinguish typical differences in work life balance across the different types of corporate practice like M&A, Cap Markets, Funds, and Credit. At least based on what you’ve seen

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:56 pm
by NoBladesNoBows
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know if this is permitted (but assume it is). With OCI coming up, I figured I'd do this, as I relied heavily on this board in picking a law school and gleaning the occasional insight into law firm life.

I'm a second-year corporate associate in New York and graduated from a top New York law school (you know which two). I've done M&A and Capital Markets work thus far at the firm. I'm generally happy with what I'm learning but big law isn't for me long term and I hope to be out by year four. If I leave, it'll be for the west coast (where I'm from). Obviously, people who've been at a firm longer may be more qualified than me to speak to certain things.

Feel free to ask anything about recruiting, firm life or whatever else. I won't answer questions about my own personal information to some extent, but that shouldn't be what this thread is about anyway.

Thanks for doing this. Recent grad starting this fall in a V50 corporate practice that does primarily middle-market PE with a heavy emphasis on leveraged finance deals. I'm really excited because this is what I've wanted to do since deciding to go to law school, but also wish I knew how to prepare a bit more. I have a somewhat finance/economics background so I'm not coming in blind, but I'm wondering if you can give me an idea of what to expect and what I can do to prepare before starting. I know almost everything is learned on the job, but I'd love any sort of recommendations you can give as to reading materials, subjects to study, or anything else that comes to mind that would have been helpful to you before you started.


Not OP but worked in lev fin group of a top NYC firm doing mostly sponsor-side work. Definitely brush up on financial statement knowledge, understanding financial statements, especially income and cash flow statements, puts you way ahead of the curve for junior associates. Honestly, most senior associates don't even understand that stuff. I'd say corporate strategy books, but honestly, PE M&A is more about squeezing juice out of an asset to generate return, strategy is more important for public M&A deals.

Most important thing is to get your head ready that you will be working all the time and your life will likely suck.

Yea that's pretty much what I expect lol. Is it worse than other corporate practices, and if so why?

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:19 pm
by Anonymous User
NoBladesNoBows wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know if this is permitted (but assume it is). With OCI coming up, I figured I'd do this, as I relied heavily on this board in picking a law school and gleaning the occasional insight into law firm life.

I'm a second-year corporate associate in New York and graduated from a top New York law school (you know which two). I've done M&A and Capital Markets work thus far at the firm. I'm generally happy with what I'm learning but big law isn't for me long term and I hope to be out by year four. If I leave, it'll be for the west coast (where I'm from). Obviously, people who've been at a firm longer may be more qualified than me to speak to certain things.

Feel free to ask anything about recruiting, firm life or whatever else. I won't answer questions about my own personal information to some extent, but that shouldn't be what this thread is about anyway.

Thanks for doing this. Recent grad starting this fall in a V50 corporate practice that does primarily middle-market PE with a heavy emphasis on leveraged finance deals. I'm really excited because this is what I've wanted to do since deciding to go to law school, but also wish I knew how to prepare a bit more. I have a somewhat finance/economics background so I'm not coming in blind, but I'm wondering if you can give me an idea of what to expect and what I can do to prepare before starting. I know almost everything is learned on the job, but I'd love any sort of recommendations you can give as to reading materials, subjects to study, or anything else that comes to mind that would have been helpful to you before you started.


Not OP but worked in lev fin group of a top NYC firm doing mostly sponsor-side work. Definitely brush up on financial statement knowledge, understanding financial statements, especially income and cash flow statements, puts you way ahead of the curve for junior associates. Honestly, most senior associates don't even understand that stuff. I'd say corporate strategy books, but honestly, PE M&A is more about squeezing juice out of an asset to generate return, strategy is more important for public M&A deals.

Most important thing is to get your head ready that you will be working all the time and your life will likely suck.

Yea that's pretty much what I expect lol. Is it worse than other corporate practices, and if so why?


OP here. I assume you're looking to enter into an M&A practice (as opposed to leveraged finance specifically)? If so, don't sweat it too much, you'll pick things up on the go.

M&A honestly isn't as technical as other corporate practice groups, and every deal will have a different sticking point (such that it's hard to prep for in advance). Once you start, though, find some example of a merger agreement and make yourself familiar with the basic structure (what reps and warranties do, covenants, how those tie into indemnification, etc). For what it's worth, a buy-side M&A junior will do a lot of diligence, which will tie into the disclosure schedules. Both of those are sort of your domain at first.

Like what the other guy said, public M&A's more about strategy (the merger agreements themselves are less complex) whereas private M&A can have a few more wrinkles.

In the event you meant you might do leveraged finance itself, basic financial literacy helps, but honestly, leveraged finance has a steep learning curve. Once you figure out the terms and have even just a couple deals under your belt, it will get MUCH easier (credit agreements are complex but the exact same stuff gets negotiated each time). Just be ready to learn. Not sure how it'll work at your firm, but mine offers the finance people this LSTA book that covers the nuts and bolts of syndicated lending and how these credit facilities and credit agreements work, and it's honestly very well-written and accessible. If your firm offers the same, pick that up and read the first 100 pages or so to the extent you have any down time.

Don't really worry about it before starting, though.

Edit: To answer the last question, M&A sucks to the extent everything is always a fire drill. PE M&A has the plus of you dealing with sophisticated serial acquirors and the downside of the same (they can be demanding, less time to engage with you, any number of things... though case-by-case basis). But to put it simply, buying or selling a company is high stakes. Someone's getting rid of their baby and that means that people will always be personally invested in these things, and that panic is contagious.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:31 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Would you say that Cap Markets has better work life balance than M&A based on sheer predictability of deals? Better yet, could someone possibly rank or distinguish typical differences in work life balance across the different types of corporate practice like M&A, Cap Markets, Funds, and Credit. At least based on what you’ve seen


OP here.

Yeah, Capital Markets is more predictable. It's rough at times but generally you know what's coming up.

To break it down (easier to understand if you've taken Sec Reg or something): a company issues bonds/stock. An underwriter buys up that debt or equity and then turns to the market to sell it. The whole time, the SEC wants to protect investors by making sure that anyone ultimately buying these bonds or stock knows what they're buying (the sales pitch is accurate, the numbers aren't made up, etc.). It's like buying a car, you want to know that someone's not lying to you about the miles on the car, the condition, etc., and the SEC's your protector.

The rough spots in a Capital Markets deal are when you "launch" the offering (i.e., when you get ready to start marketing the securities) and price it, and then when you close (i.e., when the underwriter and the issuer exchange money for the stock). You shouldn't schedule a nice dinner the night before launch. You generally know when those times are coming up.

That said, sometimes M&A affects the others when you do acquisition finance. When your securities offering is tied into an M&A timeline, things can get a bit less predictable.

I'd warn you against getting too fixated on work-life balance, but in short, your unpredictability depends on your clients. If someone's selling their company, someone will always be freaking out about something. Credit (finance) is often tied into acquisition finance, and you'll be doing commitment papers over weekends to line up potential acquisition financings. Funds is theoretically less crazy because there's not as much reason to panic every day about lining up fundraising and getting LP docs in order, though I don't really know much about it. Trusts and Estates will be the most predictable because your ultra-rich family isn't going to want to call you about anything after 5 p.m.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:32 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:What are you planning to do after biglaw


OP here.

I want to go to a company, but not a public one if I can help it. I don't want to go to a bank or the government. I want to leave NY.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:47 pm
by Anonymous User
First year here. Grateful for your view on:

* Lev Fin
* Structured finance/fund formation/ acquisition finance
* Corporate M&A/PE
* HYBs
* Fintech/IP
* Restructuring

Especially with a view to exit options, tediousness and need for attention to detail. Currently working very long days with very little sleep means a little minor typo mistake or two at 2am (or earlier) is a regular thing and in my area, it's visible and not acceptable. This drives me nuts.

I can tell you at my firm, the hours suck for all and it doesn't really matter where you are; you have to accept they own you. Fine. I can put up with that for x years but need something lucrative and more chilled as an exit.

Thanks.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:50 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:What private equity means is that you're just not learning the public company side of things (which is fine, but something to be aware of). You can still pitch yourself for a variety of great jobs, though, and you'll do your fair share of deals in any of these places.


Hi OP,

I received a good offer in a secondary market with a firm that is basically all PE work. I'd like to what what exactly (to the degree that you can explain to a law student) that I wouldn't be learning strategics and what traditional jobs openings that I'd be missing out on as a result. Also, what is the variety of great jobs specifically that I can pitch myself for if I stick around for 3-5 years doing almost exclusively PE M&A for mega funds? Lastly, will be exit options force me to move back to NYC since that's where most mega funds are based out of? Thank you for your time and expertise in this area.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:04 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:First year here. Grateful for your view on:

* Lev Fin
* Structured finance/fund formation/ acquisition finance
* Corporate M&A/PE
* HYBs
* Fintech/IP
* Restructuring

Especially with a view to exit options, tediousness and need for attention to detail. Currently working very long days with very little sleep means a little minor typo mistake or two at 2am (or earlier) is a regular thing and in my area, it's visible and not acceptable. This drives me nuts.

I can tell you at my firm, the hours suck for all and it doesn't really matter where you are; you have to accept they own you. Fine. I can put up with that for x years but need something lucrative and more chilled as an exit.

Thanks.


Not OP, but thought I'd clime in as a mid-level that has done a few of these different areas. This isn't really a correct grouping, it should be more like this (ranked by exit options):

* Corporate M&A / PE M&A (only difference really is that that private M&A can be very time sensitive, whereas, in public company M&A, in my experience has a slower timeline, since you are dealing with disclosure issues with the SEC, as well as other regulatory issues depending on the industry. Also, attention to detail is much greater in public deals since a lot of time you are disclosing the deal if its big and investors will be scrutinizing.
* Capital Markets (HYB may be a component here or in the finance group - but HY work sort of sucks and doesn't have great exits)
* Fund Formation
* Lev Fin / Acquisition Finance (pretty much the same thing)
* Structured Finance (i.e. securitization work)
* Restructuring (bankruptcy work)

IP is not really a corporate group, and Fintech is just a type of industry, not really sure what you mean by this, I would think based on friends of mine that do Fintech work, that firms out in SF and some of the NYC offices of the EGC firms do this kind of work.

In terms of exit options, from what I've seen, public/private M&A and capital markets have by far the best exit options in terms of how broad your options are. Things like fund formation have great options as well, but you'll be doing the same work at a bank or a hedge fund, so the scope is much narrower. Structured finance sucks, other than the fact that QOL seems better, not sure why anyone would want to do that work. Lev Fin/Acquisition Finance can be pitched for exits, but you need to be pretty smooth and play up how you do M&A type work or cap markets type work (and other firms will pay top dollar for lev fin mid levels, but the exit options aren't great for in house, which is why I got out, unless you want to do loan work at a bank for the rest of your life). Restructuring is just horrible everywhere I've seen, they work you to death, fire drills all the time, and exits are pretty shitty.

I think attention to detail in all of these is pretty big obviously, but I know now that I do M&A, my bosses are amazed with my attention to detail, which comes from being a credit lawyer for 3 years. Think the details matter much less in an M&A deal, outside of schedules, which detail is everything. Anything that is being scrutinized by regulators/courts has higher detail thresholds, but it also just depends on your boss. In lev fin, I made plenty of stupid mistakes and errors and my boss was a nice guy and would just point it out and move on.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:13 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What private equity means is that you're just not learning the public company side of things (which is fine, but something to be aware of). You can still pitch yourself for a variety of great jobs, though, and you'll do your fair share of deals in any of these places.


Hi OP,

I received a good offer in a secondary market with a firm that is basically all PE work. I'd like to what what exactly (to the degree that you can explain to a law student) that I wouldn't be learning strategics and what traditional jobs openings that I'd be missing out on as a result. Also, what is the variety of great jobs specifically that I can pitch myself for if I stick around for 3-5 years doing almost exclusively PE M&A for mega funds? Lastly, will be exit options force me to move back to NYC since that's where most mega funds are based out of? Thank you for your time and expertise in this area.


OP here.

You'd be fine, you're learning good skills. The only issue (and that only IF you want to go to a public company) is that you're not really doing the little corporate governance stuff, the baggage that comes with being a public company. It's easy and you can learn it later, you'll just have to convince someone to hire you (and people do all the time).

PE M&A will not force you to go to NYC. Very few people at PE-dominant firms leave to go in-house at a PE firm specifically, and most really don't want to. My guess (and it's just a guess, as I don't have a huge sample size) is that the pay at a PE firm vs. a big law firm wouldn't be that far off, but the hours wouldn't be that far off, either. Most GCs of these PE firms were partners at firms or AUSAs or something like that previously, so you're not becoming a GC straightaway at a megafund. The typical exits are to companies, the same as they'd be for someone doing any other kind of M&A.

Reiterating that most of my class hasn't left yet, so it's not like I can speak super authoritatively on exit options, but you can absolutely move to any kind of company. The only catch is that if you go to a big public to do big public stuff, the pitch will be slightly harder. And for what it's worth, strategic public companies do private M&A all the time... most of a big tech company's acquisition targets will be smaller public companies. And places like Amazon don't buy Whole Foods all the time, it's more often smaller tech stuff. Your experience is valuable even if it's not for a PE firm anymore.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:24 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First year here. Grateful for your view on:

* Lev Fin
* Structured finance/fund formation/ acquisition finance
* Corporate M&A/PE
* HYBs
* Fintech/IP
* Restructuring

Especially with a view to exit options, tediousness and need for attention to detail. Currently working very long days with very little sleep means a little minor typo mistake or two at 2am (or earlier) is a regular thing and in my area, it's visible and not acceptable. This drives me nuts.

I can tell you at my firm, the hours suck for all and it doesn't really matter where you are; you have to accept they own you. Fine. I can put up with that for x years but need something lucrative and more chilled as an exit.

Thanks.


Not OP, but thought I'd clime in as a mid-level that has done a few of these different areas. This isn't really a correct grouping, it should be more like this (ranked by exit options):

* Corporate M&A / PE M&A (only difference really is that that private M&A can be very time sensitive, whereas, in public company M&A, in my experience has a slower timeline, since you are dealing with disclosure issues with the SEC, as well as other regulatory issues depending on the industry. Also, attention to detail is much greater in public deals since a lot of time you are disclosing the deal if its big and investors will be scrutinizing.
* Capital Markets (HYB may be a component here or in the finance group - but HY work sort of sucks and doesn't have great exits)
* Fund Formation
* Lev Fin / Acquisition Finance (pretty much the same thing)
* Structured Finance (i.e. securitization work)
* Restructuring (bankruptcy work)

IP is not really a corporate group, and Fintech is just a type of industry, not really sure what you mean by this, I would think based on friends of mine that do Fintech work, that firms out in SF and some of the NYC offices of the EGC firms do this kind of work.

In terms of exit options, from what I've seen, public/private M&A and capital markets have by far the best exit options in terms of how broad your options are. Things like fund formation have great options as well, but you'll be doing the same work at a bank or a hedge fund, so the scope is much narrower. Structured finance sucks, other than the fact that QOL seems better, not sure why anyone would want to do that work. Lev Fin/Acquisition Finance can be pitched for exits, but you need to be pretty smooth and play up how you do M&A type work or cap markets type work (and other firms will pay top dollar for lev fin mid levels, but the exit options aren't great for in house, which is why I got out, unless you want to do loan work at a bank for the rest of your life). Restructuring is just horrible everywhere I've seen, they work you to death, fire drills all the time, and exits are pretty shitty.

I think attention to detail in all of these is pretty big obviously, but I know now that I do M&A, my bosses are amazed with my attention to detail, which comes from being a credit lawyer for 3 years. Think the details matter much less in an M&A deal, outside of schedules, which detail is everything. Anything that is being scrutinized by regulators/courts has higher detail thresholds, but it also just depends on your boss. In lev fin, I made plenty of stupid mistakes and errors and my boss was a nice guy and would just point it out and move on.


OP here.

I agree with basically all of what this guy said.

Leveraged finance is a hard pitch for exits sometimes but I'm consistently impressed with people who really have their shit together with that sort of work. It really forces you to learn drafting in a way that Cap Markets certainly doesn't, and certainly moreso than M&A. That said, I work at a firm that does mostly agent/arranger-side leveraged finance... if you're all sponsor/borrower-side, the value of the experience doesn't change, but the exit pitch might be slightly harder.

Structured finance is very different from leveraged finance and fund formation. I don't know much about structured finance but it seems like a giant pain in the ass with a fuckton of closing docs. My statements are coming out of my ass because I don't have personal experience here, but I would think regular Cap Markets would set you up better for exits and quality of life in almost every way. Who dreams of doing credit card receivables and CLOs until retirement?

Restructuring is crazy. Especially if you're at a big debtor-focused firm. I think it's super interesting stuff but you have to really like it or I can see it getting very unpleasant. Some firms really focus on creditors, I don't know how that changes things (though the nature of looming bankruptcy deadlines remains).

Fintech is a weird buzzword, in my opinion. It could just mean tech M&A focused on finance-oriented companies, but I guess that's just tech M&A. I see a lot of headhunters pitching blockchain stuff hard right now, and asking for people with backgrounds in payment systems and broker-dealer stuff, things like that. I met a guy who did a lot of blockchain work and he mentioned it got really frustrating because everyone's a first-time "issuer" who doesn't really know anything, and you can't really charge clients billable hours for that sort of stuff when they're so tiny.

IP is a really valuable background but your experience changes drastically firm by firm. At my firm, they basically just act as specialists to help on M&A transactions. At other firms, they might generate more of their own work, and do things like licensing and other agreements. They're severely overworked at my firm but that's only because we're understaffed right now (I don't think it's necessarily a grueling practice group, my firm's just low on people). I can't really speak to your firm... this is a super variable group in terms of what corporate IP work entails.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:29 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First year here. Grateful for your view on:

* Lev Fin
* Structured finance/fund formation/ acquisition finance
* Corporate M&A/PE
* HYBs
* Fintech/IP
* Restructuring

Especially with a view to exit options, tediousness and need for attention to detail. Currently working very long days with very little sleep means a little minor typo mistake or two at 2am (or earlier) is a regular thing and in my area, it's visible and not acceptable. This drives me nuts.

I can tell you at my firm, the hours suck for all and it doesn't really matter where you are; you have to accept they own you. Fine. I can put up with that for x years but need something lucrative and more chilled as an exit.

Thanks.


Not OP, but thought I'd clime in as a mid-level that has done a few of these different areas. This isn't really a correct grouping, it should be more like this (ranked by exit options):

* Corporate M&A / PE M&A (only difference really is that that private M&A can be very time sensitive, whereas, in public company M&A, in my experience has a slower timeline, since you are dealing with disclosure issues with the SEC, as well as other regulatory issues depending on the industry. Also, attention to detail is much greater in public deals since a lot of time you are disclosing the deal if its big and investors will be scrutinizing.
* Capital Markets (HYB may be a component here or in the finance group - but HY work sort of sucks and doesn't have great exits)
* Fund Formation
* Lev Fin / Acquisition Finance (pretty much the same thing)
* Structured Finance (i.e. securitization work)
* Restructuring (bankruptcy work)

IP is not really a corporate group, and Fintech is just a type of industry, not really sure what you mean by this, I would think based on friends of mine that do Fintech work, that firms out in SF and some of the NYC offices of the EGC firms do this kind of work.

In terms of exit options, from what I've seen, public/private M&A and capital markets have by far the best exit options in terms of how broad your options are. Things like fund formation have great options as well, but you'll be doing the same work at a bank or a hedge fund, so the scope is much narrower. Structured finance sucks, other than the fact that QOL seems better, not sure why anyone would want to do that work. Lev Fin/Acquisition Finance can be pitched for exits, but you need to be pretty smooth and play up how you do M&A type work or cap markets type work (and other firms will pay top dollar for lev fin mid levels, but the exit options aren't great for in house, which is why I got out, unless you want to do loan work at a bank for the rest of your life). Restructuring is just horrible everywhere I've seen, they work you to death, fire drills all the time, and exits are pretty shitty.

I think attention to detail in all of these is pretty big obviously, but I know now that I do M&A, my bosses are amazed with my attention to detail, which comes from being a credit lawyer for 3 years. Think the details matter much less in an M&A deal, outside of schedules, which detail is everything. Anything that is being scrutinized by regulators/courts has higher detail thresholds, but it also just depends on your boss. In lev fin, I made plenty of stupid mistakes and errors and my boss was a nice guy and would just point it out and move on.


Many thanks. The reason for the grouping is just based on artificial overlaps at my particular firm and some teams like work closely with each other like structured finance and funds.
The above matches my experience and anecdotes I have heard to date. I'm just looking for a couple of backups to Corporate M&A. Fund formation seems like the best.
I have some lev fin experience - internally mid-levels say exits are limited to banks and usually more at a mid/senior level, although partnership prospects are better than other areas. I'm not doing these hours for 7 odd years to wait that out though.
Sad to hear structured finance sucks even harder than lev fin (which most people seem to think is tolerable here).

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:25 pm
by Anonymous User
A bit surprised there aren't more questions on the recruiting part of things, this close to early August.

Anonymous User wrote:Many thanks. The reason for the grouping is just based on artificial overlaps at my particular firm and some teams like work closely with each other like structured finance and funds.
The above matches my experience and anecdotes I have heard to date. I'm just looking for a couple of backups to Corporate M&A. Fund formation seems like the best.
I have some lev fin experience - internally mid-levels say exits are limited to banks and usually more at a mid/senior level, although partnership prospects are better than other areas. I'm not doing these hours for 7 odd years to wait that out though.
Sad to hear structured finance sucks even harder than lev fin (which most people seem to think is tolerable here).


OP here.

I don't think structured finance is awful, just very narrow exits and a lot of extra baggage compared to "regular" Capital Markets work. If you get good at structured finance, you'll definitely understand how to do a "regular" securities offering (it's not like it's not portable, it's just a niche that you'll have to convince people you're not limited to). That said, if you like the work and would be happy to work at a bank doing securitizations, then it might be a good fit - and I doubt there's a glut of qualified structured finance lawyers out there, so you might be in high demand. I just want you to be aware that structured finance is definitely a niche, as not a lot of companies do these types of offerings.

Re: NYC V5 Corporate Associate (Second Year) Taking Questions

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:26 pm
by Anonymous User
What happens if you fail the NY bar exam the first time? Any anecdotes? I know that there are older threads on here of people saying you generally get a second shot but curious if that's true for V5 firms? I know you only work at one of them and can't speak for them all (unless you know stories from friends at other places), but any recent info/insights would be helpful.