Transactional Law vs Business School?

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hpntq

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Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby hpntq » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:50 pm

I am a 0L who just graduated college (4 months out), and I am currently studying for the LSAT. Unemployed currently.

I have been lurking on this site for a long time and I have come to the realization that I am not so sure law school is what I think it is, and leads to the employment that I thought it would lead to.

I studied philosophy in college, and I was primarily interested in how law and finance intersect our society. My capstone project was focused on how finance and law can undermine the communal development of society. Basically, I was interested in how the financial sector and the legal infrastructure of the financial sector, cause extreme insularity i.e., capital regeneration through financial innovations/tools like derivatives, securities, M&A, PE, LBO’s, really add nothing significant to the real economy, creating not only serious economic constraints on humans, but the planet as a whole. Despite my negative research results, however, what I got out of the research was that perhaps the transactional aspect of law in conjunction with finance, can be used in a way to spur the sustainable development of the real economy by investing or providing more of the necessary financial liquidity to, for example, sustainable industries so they can grow and develop.

The questions at hand is whether going to law school, in hopes of working in a legal transactional setting on project development & finance is the correct or efficient route towards my goal? I know a lot of people go to law school to work in court, or to become litigators, but I have no interest in any of that.

Should I consider business school instead? Any thoughts or opinions?

Best

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TatNurner

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby TatNurner » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:54 pm

hpntq wrote:I am a 0L who just graduated college (4 months out), and I am currently studying for the LSAT. Unemployed currently.

I have been lurking on this site for a long time and I have come to the realization that I am not so sure law school is what I think it is, and leads to the employment that I thought it would lead to.

I studied philosophy in college, and I was primarily interested in how law and finance intersect our society. My capstone project was focused on how finance and law can undermine the communal development of society. Basically, I was interested in how the financial sector and the legal infrastructure of the financial sector, cause extreme insularity i.e., capital regeneration through financial innovations/tools like derivatives, securities, M&A, PE, LBO’s, really add nothing significant to the real economy, creating not only serious economic constraints on humans, but the planet as a whole. Despite my negative research results, however, what I got out of the research was that perhaps the transactional aspect of law in conjunction with finance, can be used in a way to spur the sustainable development of the real economy by investing or providing more of the necessary financial liquidity to, for example, sustainable industries so they can grow and develop.

The questions at hand is whether going to law school, in hopes of working in a legal transactional setting on project development & finance is the correct or efficient route towards my goal? I know a lot of people go to law school to work in court, or to become litigators, but I have no interest in any of that.

Should I consider business school instead? Any thoughts or opinions?

Best


I get the instinct you have, I used to think the same way. Bottom line is, you are not going to feel like you are saving the world when you do transactional. The work can be very interesting (if finance stimulates you) and you can make a ton of money if appropriately situated - more than any philosophy major has business making, speaking as one :wink: . Oh and if you go down this path (I assume biglaw), you will work more than you have ever worked in your life. But you likely wont get the satisfaction you crave of having a broad impact. That said, it can be a good launch pad into more of the stuff you are into, but you really have to plan ahead and hustle hard, you can't go in just hoping things will work out.

My recommendation would be for you to get a decent job. I assume if you are thinking MBA you are in a position to get the type of jobs that will get you on that track. So get one of those jobs, work for 1-2 years, get a feel of what working life is like, then decide if you will apply for law school, or continue for another couple of years, continuing to build your work experience and then apply for b school. Note that if you get an MBA and end up in IB/consulting/F500 (most likely), you may not get that sense of impact either. I work across from many of these people and their experiences are not that far removed from the biglaw pressure cooker I live in. Of course all these roles have different plusses and minuses vs. a JD, so you have to choose your best + accessible fit.

hpntq

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby hpntq » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:54 pm

I get the instinct you have, I used to think the same way. Bottom line is, you are not going to feel like you are saving the world when you do transactional. The work can be very interesting (if finance stimulates you) and you can make a ton of money if appropriately situated - more than any philosophy major has business making, speaking as one :wink: . Oh and if you go down this path (I assume biglaw), you will work more than you have ever worked in your life. But you likely wont get the satisfaction you crave of having a broad impact. That said, it can be a good launch pad into more of the stuff you are into, but you really have to plan ahead and hustle hard, you can't go in just hoping things will work out.


This is a good answer. Just to be clear, I am not interesting in pursuing wealth for its own sake, rather from a philosophical point of view, I just find the infrastructure of finance interesting.

My recommendation would be for you to get a decent job. I assume if you are thinking MBA you are in a position to get the type of jobs that will get you on that track. So get one of those jobs, work for 1-2 years, get a feel of what working life is like, then decide if you will apply for law school, or continue for another couple of years, continuing to build your work experience and then apply for b school. Note that if you get an MBA and end up in IB/consulting/F500 (most likely), you may not get that sense of impact either. I work across from many of these people and their experiences are not that far removed from the biglaw pressure cooker I live in. Of course all these roles have different plusses and minuses vs. a JD, so you have to choose your best + accessible fit.


Well, I have part time work experience, but as for real corp work I have none. Do I think my schools has options open for UG's to get finance jobs? yes, but the problem is that I just graduated and have no idea how I would get a job in finance since I did no interning (I transferred into my 4 year Uni from a 2 year college). Also, one thing that scares me, as you mentioned, is the the lack of sense of impact, and if I may add, the intellectual aspect of the job. I would really be depressed if the big law gig, or IB/consulting/F500 are both equally vapid (although subject to individual interpretation).

MaxMcMann

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby MaxMcMann » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:17 pm

hpntq wrote:
I get the instinct you have, I used to think the same way. Bottom line is, you are not going to feel like you are saving the world when you do transactional. The work can be very interesting (if finance stimulates you) and you can make a ton of money if appropriately situated - more than any philosophy major has business making, speaking as one :wink: . Oh and if you go down this path (I assume biglaw), you will work more than you have ever worked in your life. But you likely wont get the satisfaction you crave of having a broad impact. That said, it can be a good launch pad into more of the stuff you are into, but you really have to plan ahead and hustle hard, you can't go in just hoping things will work out.


This is a good answer. Just to be clear, I am not interesting in pursuing wealth for its own sake, rather from a philosophical point of view, I just find the infrastructure of finance interesting.

My recommendation would be for you to get a decent job. I assume if you are thinking MBA you are in a position to get the type of jobs that will get you on that track. So get one of those jobs, work for 1-2 years, get a feel of what working life is like, then decide if you will apply for law school, or continue for another couple of years, continuing to build your work experience and then apply for b school. Note that if you get an MBA and end up in IB/consulting/F500 (most likely), you may not get that sense of impact either. I work across from many of these people and their experiences are not that far removed from the biglaw pressure cooker I live in. Of course all these roles have different plusses and minuses vs. a JD, so you have to choose your best + accessible fit.


Well, I have part time work experience, but as for real corp work I have none. Do I think my schools has options open for UG's to get finance jobs? yes, but the problem is that I just graduated and have no idea how I would get a job in finance since I did no interning (I transferred into my 4 year Uni from a 2 year college). Also, one thing that scares me, as you mentioned, is the the lack of sense of impact, and if I may add, the intellectual aspect of the job. I would really be depressed if the big law gig, or IB/consulting/F500 are both equally vapid (although subject to individual interpretation).


Caveat: I am not a graduate (I'm on the older side of an entering class) and so these answers are based on experiences of my many friends who have gone down this path and not my own, so caveat emptor.

Honestly sounds like you're looking for public interest/academic/government/nonprofit work.

Your stated goals do not align with either BigLaw, finance or typical F500 work. Maybe consulting would be interesting from a problem solving perspective (in my secondhand opinion it seems like the most interesting of the fields) but the "impact" isn't there.

You have to realize, as a junior anything you have a few ways to make impact: 1) have a Zuckerberg fortune and literally steer the world where you want it to go 2) have a big impact on the lives of individuals (I know people who could be getting their 180k in a skyscraper doing immigration law for this reason - although it's not as idealistic as they imagined) 3) slowly work your way up over the decades to a position of power.

To tell you the truth, I'm not American so I wasn't raised in this "you can do anything you set your mind to" mentality, but I suggest that realistically you should realize that very few people make the sort of difference in the world that would make you say "wow, I really did something that mattered" objectively, and there really is no set path for that.

If you go to law school and focus on finance, chances are your future holds either a corporate law position or a government regulatory agency (with the big caveat that your school quality/GPA/networking/interview skills pass the threshold for that outcome) - or maybe you can go the Elizabeth Warren route and become a professor (with the way bigger caveat that these positions are INSANELY competitive and more or less require a tippy top education with all the right steps taken along the way).

In my experience, all the people I know who wanted to do impact stuff either work 1) in politics (generally pretty happy if they're true believers) 2) for state/federal departments (those who are content in doing their part to further justice rather than being a superstar do well here) 3) do something that sounds idealistic - like immigration (in my very limited experience, these people seem to often get crushed by the unglamorous reality of what they do and true believers in the inherent goodness of people don't know what to do with themselves once they realize people act in morally depraved ways quite often and as a lawyer you will be dealing with said people a lot).

If you can to Harvard/Yale, a law degree may work quite well for you. Anything below T10 is probably not advisable unless you're content doing low level, low paid work that, more likely than not, will not impact society much but could very realistically impact a number of individuals.

hpntq

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby hpntq » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:38 am

MaxMcMann wrote:Caveat: I am not a graduate (I'm on the older side of an entering class) and so these answers are based on experiences of my many friends who have gone down this path and not my own, so caveat emptor.


Not sure what the older side is for you, but in the US I would be a bit older as well (mid-late 20s), but its different for me because I would be coming in as a first gen student with no work experience or connections... :(.

MaxMcMann wrote:Your stated goals do not align with either BigLaw, finance or typical F500 work. Maybe consulting would be interesting from a problem solving perspective (in my secondhand opinion it seems like the most interesting of the fields) but the "impact" isn't there.


I have not looked into consulting a whole lot, but I will start to do some research here.

MaxMcMann wrote:You have to realize, as a junior anything you have a few ways to make impact: 1) have a Zuckerberg fortune and literally steer the world where you want it to go 2) have a big impact on the lives of individuals (I know people who could be getting their 180k in a skyscraper doing immigration law for this reason - although it's not as idealistic as they imagined) 3) slowly work your way up over the decades to a position of power.


With regards to #3, I find that to be calming, I would not mind working in one place that allows for growth and sustainability. Big law/exit options just seemed to match that.

MaxMcMann wrote:To tell you the truth, I'm not American so I wasn't raised in this "you can do anything you set your mind to" mentality, but I suggest that realistically you should realize that very few people make the sort of difference in the world that would make you say "wow, I really did something that mattered" objectively, and there really is no set path for that.


I agree, I am unfortunately very pessimistic about the world we live in. Do I think I will break grounds in my career in a way that will effect the world? maybe, maybe not, I do not know. I am not looking for accolades, just looking for something that is novel and I value doing, and that will have some (hopefully) indirect value to others in a 'good' way.

MaxMcMann wrote:If you go to law school and focus on finance, chances are your future holds either a corporate law position or a government regulatory agency (with the big caveat that your school quality/GPA/networking/interview skills pass the threshold for that outcome) - or maybe you can go the Elizabeth Warren route and become a professor (with the way bigger caveat that these positions are INSANELY competitive and more or less require a tippy top education with all the right steps taken along the way).


Right now I am studying, but my goal is to get a higher LSAT score, my GPA is average (3.5), so I know I will not be able to go to the highest law schools for hopes of entering academia (which is unfortunate in some regards).

MaxMcMann wrote:In my experience, all the people I know who wanted to do impact stuff either work 1) in politics (generally pretty happy if they're true believers) 2) for state/federal departments (those who are content in doing their part to further justice rather than being a superstar do well here)


This quote is the most important quote, because it evokes numerous issues for me. I am absolutely not a true believer in political discourse or practice of, and that goes along side with the state/federal legal departments which do a dismal job of providing 'justice' for all, and rather providing 'justice' and legal regulation for the few in power already.

MaxMcMann wrote:True believers in the inherent goodness of people don't know what to do with themselves once they realize people act in morally depraved ways quite often and as a lawyer you will be dealing with said people a lot).


This is my life everday.

MaxMcMann wrote:If you can to Harvard/Yale, a law degree may work quite well for you. Anything below T10 is probably not advisable unless you're content doing low level, low paid work that, more likely than not, will not impact society much but could very realistically impact a number of individuals.


My goal is T5-T13. GPA disqualifies me from HY. And yes, I would hate to be a grinding crap law.

mrlawguy

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby mrlawguy » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:45 am

Short answer is, neither a traditional MBA school or law school route will give you what your currently want.

You're wanting to steer clients towards sustainable project development and responsible financing/investing. However, this wouldn't be your job as a lawyer. A corporate lawyer does what his client tells him to do. The client already knows what project they are going to finance and how they want it done, they've spent tons of time and money with a bunch of quants and determined that whatever their investment/project/product will be is going to deliver optimal gains. Your job as their lawyer is to figure out how to make it work legally.

If you got an MBA and then became a consultant, perhaps you could try to lean clients towards the type of sustainable/responsible products you think are ideally the best for society, but this only works if it is the most profitable thing the client can do and has minimal downside risk (i.e., this likely won't happen).

If you want to pursue your stated goals, you probably need to go build the future you want yourself. (e.g., become some Elon Musk type entrepreneur that makes sustainable and responsible business practices profitable and sexy for investors). In that sense, perhaps an MBA is better, but most of the real world will always be working against you.

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby buttholesurfer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:27 am

hpntq wrote: capital regeneration through financial innovations/tools like derivatives, securities, M&A, PE, LBO’s, really add nothing significant to the real economy, creating not only serious economic constraints on humans, but the planet as a whole.



That's a strong and far-reaching claim. You're, what, 22? Go cut your knees as a trans lawyer or business guy for a decade or two. Read 1000 more books, write constantly about the topics you're interested in, make connections with finance think-tank/academia people. Once you're thirty five and have had time to really consider that claim, then leverage those years of experience and thinking to get a sort of job that you think will give you the opportunity to argue that claim to the world.

hpntq

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Re: Transactional Law vs Business School?

Postby hpntq » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:40 am

buttholesurfer wrote:buttholesurfer


+1 for name, great band

buttholesurfer wrote:
hpntq wrote: capital regeneration through financial innovations/tools like derivatives, securities, M&A, PE, LBO’s, really add nothing significant to the real economy, creating not only serious economic constraints on humans, but the planet as a whole.



That's a strong and far-reaching claim. You're, what, 22? Go cut your knees as a trans lawyer or business guy for a decade or two. Read 1000 more books, write constantly about the topics you're interested in, make connections with finance think-tank/academia people. Once you're thirty five and have had time to really consider that claim, then leverage those years of experience and thinking to get a sort of job that you think will give you the opportunity to argue that claim to the world.


Again, this was a research paper I wrote in UG and I found a lot of supporting evidence for my thesis from different individuals in both finance and academia , and it was a successful paper. It may not be a sound argument, but its valid argument. But its obviously not to say I am some experienced scholar on those topics.

Continuing on the topic of sustainable project develop and finance, I just wanted to link two individual profiles. I did some searching around yesterday and the work that these two individuals do at their firms seem extremely interesting:

https://cleancapital.com/about/thomas-byrne/
http://geenergyfinancialservices.com/about/management-team/david-nason

So, is the general path big law for 3-5 years, and the move on? or is there something more to their profiles I am missing?

Anyone with thoughts/opinions?



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