Attorneys: why did you get into transactional law and how much rather would you do investment banking with an econ degree and good career prospects.

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I have a finance degree and thought I wanted to be an investment banker, but hated my IB summer internship so I went to law school. Got a JD/MBA, knew I didn't want to litigate, and so here I am doing M&A.

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Bet you’re killing it as an M&A attorney with that background. Nice job

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After finishing my JD/MBA, I worked in finale for almost two years. I really enjoyed it and came to be very comfortable in Excel modeling. Everything was going really well, but then I had an opportunity to team up with my buddy to open a real estate law firm. I wish I could say that a lot carried over from finance to law, but they’re different skill sets. I ultimately ended up at several big firms doing M&A and real estate. In general, law seems like a little bit more of a sure thing, whereas finance has crazy volatility. You could get a $5 million bonus one year and get laid off the next year. I enjoy living vicariously through my clients who take huge risks, but with a family and kids, I think that could be difficult. I still dream about being on the business side, but there’s plenty to learn on our side of the table that I believe is transferable.

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Super interesting journey. Good for you man. I think the skillset can be more or less transferrable depending on practice group and/or choice of undergrad. If you’ve worked in a PE or VC group with a business UG I’m sore some modelling courses and networking could get you into a decent finance role.

I would rather do investment banking

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They don’t make double and often make less at the junior levels unless it’s like elite PE or hedge fund. Banking eclipses at the higher up positions but even then it’s very irregular and bonus dependent. Also becoming an MD is far more difficult than becoming a partner. And lastly my friends in banking aren’t happier than me but I don’t work in NYC so that could be why.

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My first job out of college was in investment banking. I hated it. IB is all about sales. Either you’re selling, or you’re supporting someone who does.

I didn’t get into law until years later, and started in litigation. After six years and five trials, I realized that there wasn’t the future I wanted in it and that I HATED discovery, but my unique pre-firm experience had made me the go to on all the weird stuff including the transactions. I realized I kind of liked transactions and it wasn’t all arguing over the placement of commas.

Now I’m a GC (I need to change my title) and I love my job. There are maybe three things I would rather do, but it’s had to get a job negotiating with pirates.

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This is one of the best comments I’ve ever read on here. Oddly calming for some reason. Thanks!

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I started my career in investment banking and then ran a small business before decided to go into corporate law. Must say the skills sets are vastly different but basic knowledge of valuation and accounting plus having a business mindset has paid off in dividends doing M&A work at my current firm. I honestly wouldn’t mind jumping back into the buyside for larger upside in terms of compensation.

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Find someone who has done IBD for 2 or more years and look them in the eye. It’s a huge grind and no joke. It’s why everyone leaves banking. Law is tough too but generally better (and similar pay until VP levels, where banking starts winning out).

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Agreed in general, but for someone like me, who’s currently in biglaw in a European market, junior banker salaries more than double those of biglaw attorneys and the discrepancy only increases with seniority. The hours though are roughly the same. Then again, I just find legal work to be oh so boring so I’m not sure parity in pay and hours would balance the scales for me.

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I worked as a banking analyst right out of college and much prefer ECVC biglaw.

I like words more than spreadsheets.

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You rely haven't lived until you are on v64 (not a typo) of a pitch deck.

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Look - you sound really set on getting into IBD, so why don’t you just go and see it a try? Then you’ll be able to experience the advice people have given here for yourself

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I think the traditional way to break into IBD mid career is still the MBA, (or the Masters in Finance) although that’s very expensive. I have friends who did eg Sales, Management Consulting or from middle market functions who broke into IBD that way

If you’re an EU citizen, might you also be able to look at cheaper programmes from the more well regarded business schools in Europe (maybe HEC or Insead), or also consider the English ones like LBS, LSE or Warwick? That will give you time to intern as an off cycle analyst also.

All of these are very well regarded in London - which still remains the second largest investment banking hub outside of New York?

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