JD -> IB associate

I'm currently a 2L at a CCN law school ("T6") and did quite well my first year. I have a summer gig lined up for one of the top NYC corporate firms (Cravath/S&C), but having talked to some friends in IB/PE, I'm wondering if I made a mistake. I've read all the horror stories, and while i think i can succeed in BigLaw, I want to do diligence on my options.

1.) do people in my position ever go directly into IB? 

2.) if so, do they come in as associates?

3.) is recruiting done for this summer? 

4.) what firms would even consider someone like me?

Thanks in advance

(disregard prior post about undergrad recruiting. I was using WSO to get information for someone i mentor and used the first person as to avoid bogging down the post with useless detail. This, however, is actually my inquiry. lol)

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Comments (9)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 23, 2021 - 1:17pm

1.) do people in my position ever go directly into IB?

Easiest route would be business school but guessing you don't want to hear that. Is it possible to do JD/MBA at this point? To answer your question, I think it happens but far and few between. You should speak to someone within the b school, finance club maybe.

2.) if so, do they come in as associates?

They won't come in as analysts or VPs so I would guess the answer is yes.

3.) is recruiting done for this summer? 

It's pretty late, interviews have been happening and offers are out at quite a few of the banks. Early Jan is when most of the banks will have filled their class and spring is the absolute tail end.

4.) what firms would even consider someone like me?

Restructuring groups would be most interested in my opinion. Maybe check out Rothschild, Moelis, HL? I think the easiest way would be JD/MBA though and you'd easily be in the running at the above.

Hope this is helpful. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Nov 23, 2021 - 6:52pm

At my time with Rothschild, we had a ton of JD associates in RX. Reach out to a few people there for sure. Many came from working in law instead of directly from law school, but probably still interested. Send some of their associates a note.

Nov 23, 2021 - 4:44pm

Target EB with restructuring practices--they typically hire associates from JD though mostly for restructuring. But saw a few people with JD go into industry/coverage practices. It's definitely possible as long as you are finance savvy. 

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Most Helpful
Nov 23, 2021 - 7:06pm

This doesn't directly answer your question but my two cents nonetheless. I've had terrible work days at work throughout my career spanning over a decade now. Some days I questioned my career decisions. On those days, what got me through to the next was that there was always a few lawyers (particularly at the associate level, sometimes even partners) that had worse work life balance than I did. And for a fraction of the pay. I once toyed with the idea of becoming a lawyer. So glad that I didn't. Not because it's not a respectable career path or even the comp, but the sheer brutality from the volume of mundane tasks that need to be done. I have deep respect for lawyers who have pulled through over the years. I count on the best relationships to get me through the deals. But God, it's such a tough gig. Of course, some may say the exact reverse. I hope you get to try both given your background and pick what's right for you. 

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 23, 2021 - 8:17pm

you would struggle to recruit tbh. The above point about RX groups makes some sense, but you would really struggle elsewhere. You haven't ever worked full time in a "real" job". Most people in the interview/screening process will look at that and be skeptical. You would be near the age of analyst-to-associates but with far less job experience and no directly relevant experience. Finance clubs at the MBA level also prepare you to basically be a samey clone of everyone else in terms of presentation / technical question answers etc. so that the differentiating factor is background personality. If you don't check the box on the first bet when interviewing you might not make it past that. 

The above basically goes out the window if you worked prior to law school. 

Nov 23, 2021 - 9:47pm

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