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  1. #1
    Registered User imbeingcereal's Avatar
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    Anyone Here Work in or Familiar with Corporate Law?

    Wondering if any lawyer brahs or brahettes/people familiar with corporate law can chime in. I've considered going back to law school for a long time and, with the economy being in the ****ter for probably 1.5 more years, am debating if it makes sense to go back to law school. I'd only be aiming for elite programs since I want to get into BigLaw and ideally work on corporate restructurings/bankruptcy. I've been on a restructuring project before as well as M&A and think I would enjoy the work, but it's hard to say if I truly would until I do it/hear from people balls deep into the career.

    Pros:
    + If I get into an elite law school, I'm looking at ~200K salary starting + with a steep growth curve if I perform well
    + Potentially more interesting work, but is also 100% more prestigious work than continuing on as a CPA
    + Can still get back to the business side with my background and would also have an elite school on my resume, which I currently lack
    + I've heard law school is tough, but intellectually stimulating. That environment + being around smart people to network with would be really appealing to me
    + Might be able to better market a solo practice with a combo of business and law knowledge, especially for estate planning, etc.

    Cons:
    - Opportunity cost is huge right now since I'm already in 6 figures. Would be trading potential greater earnings versus comfortably capping out at least at $150-$200K in my 30s, and probably finally plateauing around $225-$250K in my 40s.
    - Worse job security than being a CPA
    - Possibility of huge buyer's remorse if the work ends up being just as boring as CPA stuff

    Biggest concern right now is figuring out if the job sucks or not. If it really does suck, I'm probably better off making a lateral move from my consulting firm to an industry finance job, learning some coding on the side, and then lateraling to either a more quantitative BI/data science role or just riding out the economic downturn with contract work and CS schooling till I can get something more in line with my experience.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    vinhumanvinhumanvinhuman vinhuman's Avatar
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    vinhuman is offline
    Originally Posted by imbeingcereal View Post
    Wondering if any lawyer brahs or brahettes/people familiar with corporate law can chime in. I've considered going back to law school for a long time and, with the economy being in the ****ter for probably 1.5 more years, am debating if it makes sense to go back to law school. I'd only be aiming for elite programs since I want to get into BigLaw and ideally work on corporate restructurings/bankruptcy. I've been on a restructuring project before as well as M&A and think I would enjoy the work, but it's hard to say if I truly would until I do it/hear from people balls deep into the career.

    Pros:
    + If I get into an elite law school, I'm looking at ~200K salary starting + with a steep growth curve if I perform well
    + Potentially more interesting work, but is also 100% more prestigious work than continuing on as a CPA
    + Can still get back to the business side with my background and would also have an elite school on my resume, which I currently lack
    + I've heard law school is tough, but intellectually stimulating. That environment + being around smart people to network with would be really appealing to me
    + Might be able to better market a solo practice with a combo of business and law knowledge, especially for estate planning, etc.

    Cons:
    - Opportunity cost is huge right now since I'm already in 6 figures. Would be trading potential greater earnings versus comfortably capping out at least at $150-$200K in my 30s, and probably finally plateauing around $225-$250K in my 40s.
    - Worse job security than being a CPA
    - Possibility of huge buyer's remorse if the work ends up being just as boring as CPA stuff

    Biggest concern right now is figuring out if the job sucks or not. If it really does suck, I'm probably better off making a lateral move from my consulting firm to an industry finance job, learning some coding on the side, and then lateraling to either a more quantitative BI/data science role or just riding out the economic downturn with contract work and CS schooling till I can get something more in line with my experience.

    Thanks!
    I’m a corporate biglaw lawyer. I went to an “elite” t14 school with close to a full ride. I’ve done a wide array of corporate work including fairly high profile stuff (M&A, headline IPOs, tech unicorns, etc.).

    Long story short, I think 90%+ of biglaw lawyers would say you’d be crazy to go to law school in your shoes, and no one would think you were crazy not to go. The opportunity cost is just too high and your future earnings potential is already in line with what ex-biglaw people make in house.

    Corporate biglaw is by and large not very interesting, and the job has poor work life balance. As an anecdote, I billed 70 hours last week. I don’t regret going to law school, as I have probably tripled my long term earnings and had no debt. Once I’m out of biglaw I do expect things will improve. I just think your path is too solid.

    Happy to move it to pms.
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  3. #3
    Registered User imbeingcereal's Avatar
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    imbeingcereal is offline
    Originally Posted by vinhuman View Post
    I’m a corporate biglaw lawyer. I went to an “elite” t14 school with close to a full ride. I’ve done a wide array of corporate work including fairly high profile stuff (M&A, headline IPOs, tech unicorns, etc.).

    Long story short, I think 90%+ of biglaw lawyers would say you’d be crazy to go to law school in your shoes, and no one would think you were crazy not to go. The opportunity cost is just too high and your future earnings potential is already in line with what ex-biglaw people make in house.

    Corporate biglaw is by and large not very interesting, and the job has poor work life balance. As an anecdote, I billed 70 hours last week. I don’t regret going to law school, as I have probably tripled my long term earnings and had no debt. Once I’m out of biglaw I do expect things will improve. I just think your path is too solid.

    Happy to move it to pms.
    Interesting perspective. Glad you told me about that. What about the work is boring/who are the types of people that enjoy it? Like what do the legal guys do on an M&A transaction that the CPAs/Bankers don't touch? Also, I realize you billed 70 last week, but is that common? Maybe it's different in law, but 70 hours billed as a CPA means I'm working closer to 77-84 hours since there's 10-20% inefficiencies you can't bill for. To me, that honestly sounds pretty miserable and I may as well try for investment banking if I"m going to work that much anyway (no offense).

    Only other question is how much does in-house counsel typically make and how many years BigLaw does it require to get those positions? I don't mind working hard, but consistently over 60 isn't really me. I think the decision for me will come down to what in-house makes and just how much better (if at all?) corporate law work is from accounting/finance. I know I'll make more in BigLaw, but the difference isn't worth it if I'm expected to work 60+ hours and invest in 3 years of schooling to get there. I imagine in-house counsel will make more than a corporate controller and would allow me to start making CFO-level comp sooner. Once I get an idea of when I could realistically get there, then I can do the math and see if the calculus makes sense.
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