Law to Investment Banking

Legal2IB's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hey everyone, I'm new here so please bear with me. Currently I am a second year law student who is pursuing a concentration in tax. I think I'll probably end up joining either Deloitte or PwC's M&A Tax Advisory groups this coming summer and joining them full time after graduation. I also plan to receive an LLM in Tax from NYU after finishing my JD. I've been thinking about making the switch to Investment Banking and want to know if it is plausible to jump from M&A Tax within Big 4 to IB?

I have also been thinking about receiving a part-time MBA from NYU while working within Big 4, curious if that would help ease me into finance, also since it would be sponsored by the firm it seems like a great investment. All in all I have a ton of options and really need some direction, thanks in advance everyone!

Comments (15)

Sep 5, 2019

Going to IB from tax is possible, but as a graduate you will really need to study up on the technicals for investment banking if you want to get a job in there eventually.

Timing Is Everything.

Sep 9, 2019

Awesome, do you know any books or materials I should take a look at? I'm all in on this and really want to make it happen.

Sep 9, 2019

I would read the Vault guides to finance, as well as this article.

https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/law-to-inve...
A good book to read is the one below

https://www.amazon.com.mx/Investment-Banking-Valua...

Timing Is Everything.

Sep 5, 2019

Do you have work experience prior to law school? How good is your law school?

Depending on your risk tolerance may be possible to do boutique IB post law school, which should allow you to lateral to a better bank much quicker and much more seamlessly than from Big 4 tax (my friends here are struggling to move to big law, much less than to IB).

Sep 9, 2019

I am a K-JD so no prior work experience. I go to a school in the top 50 in NY, chose to go here over a higher ranked school because of a full-ride offer. No debt was too hard to turn down.

I am very open to that, what would be the risks of joining a boutique IB? Also, how could I go about finding those types of opportunities?

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Sep 5, 2019

Going from law to IB is extremely possible. Every bank has several MDs that practiced law before switching to IB. However, most that do make the switched - from those that I know of - generally practiced either M&A law or bankruptcy law. Have no idea about tax law or in house at a big 4 would allow you to make a shift later in your career.

The timing is the only real thing that varies. I think many people move with success after practicing for 5+ years.

If you think you are truly interested in doing it sooner rather than later, it may be possible for you to go into an analyst or associate role directly out of law school. If that were the case you would have to learn a lot about corporate finance in the next 12 months or even sooner if you were interested in doing a summer internship at a bank bw 2L and 3L.

But the short story is you can likely make the switch in your career, particularly for M&A or restructuring. A law degree is great prep for banking and every banker should know something about the law.

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Sep 5, 2019
bobbybonilla:

Going from law to IB is extremely possible. Every bank has several MDs that practiced law before switching to IB. However, most that do make the switched - from those that I know of - generally practiced either M&A law or bankruptcy law. Have no idea about tax law or in house at a big 4 would allow you to make a shift later in your career.

The timing is the only real thing that varies. I think many people move with success after practicing for 5+ years.

If you think you are truly interested in doing it sooner rather than later, it may be possible for you to go into an analyst or associate role directly out of law school. If that were the case you would have to learn a lot about corporate finance in the next 12 months or even sooner if you were interested in doing a summer internship at a bank bw 2L and 3L.

But the short story is you can likely make the switch in your career, particularly for M&A or restructuring. A law degree is great prep for banking and every banker should know something about the law.

I agree with the above, but to caveat that going to banking shouldn't be a reason to go to law school.

Big 4 tax I think would be a tough jump, but if you are going to miss biglaw, I would suggest going all in on iBanking recruiting. You are basically on the same schedule as MBA students so I would try to get interviews for their positions.

Sep 9, 2019

In terms of IB recruiting, do you know any banks that value a JD and would be more likely to give me a shot?

Sep 9, 2019

Thanks for getting back to me! I spoke to a Partner within KPMG M&A Tax Advisory who said that 90% of the work he does is PE and the group also does a ton of restructuring, thats why I thought the work may be similar enough to have skills that translate well to finance. Also since they're willing to sponsor an LLM and MBA, while paying way higher comp for JD/LLMs, I'm thinking it might be my best move. Just wanted to give some more insight into my thinking.

I definitely want to make the switch to finance so how can I go about learning corporate finance within the next year like you suggested? I am planning to do a dual concentration at my current law school in Tax Law and Corporate Law but I am willing to go all in on IB and want to make the most strides in that direction. Another idea I've heard would be to join Deloitte's Tax Management Consulting team and slowly transitioning over to their Financial Services Team. Any thoughts on that as well?

Sep 11, 2019

Your all-in comp as a 1Y investment banking analyst is higher than as an all-in 1Y tax associate at KPMG post LLM.

CS and MS have historically taken JDs as summer associates. How is the MBA program attached to your school, do they have MBA banking recruitment?

Take some classes through your MBA, do WSO, and find a boutique banking internship if you can.

Sep 12, 2019

How much is all in comp as a 1Y in IB? I've been told that comp in Big4 tax as a JD or LLM is about 140K. The MBA program here is nothing special, thats part of the reason why I figure a part time MBA from Stern in finance might be worth it, especially since it'd be free. Do you know any boutiques I should consider looking at? I am only really aware of the big names in banking.

Sep 11, 2019

Just apply directly from law school. Apparently something like 15-20% of HLS end up at BB banking after graduation

Sep 11, 2019
kakaman:

Just apply directly from law school. Apparently something like 15-20% of HLS end up at BB banking after graduation

This is flat-out wrong. True numbers as first job after law school are a tenth of that, max for HLS. Look up investment banking associate, LinkedIn Harvard law school.

Sep 11, 2019
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