Path to VC as a lawyer


I need your help. I'll have to decide which of the following five options is the best to help me on my way to becoming a VC analyst/associate.

I studied law in a European country and should have dropped out and changed to Economics or CS but unfortunately I didn't. While I'm pretty good at law and there are a lot of good jobs for lawyers in my country (seems to be much worse in the US) I don't enjoy the actual day-to-day work of a lawyer. I have been working for different law firms as a kind of paralegal and I don't want to live the life of the senior associates/counsels/partners. Personally, I think that practicing law is the same as doing homework for a living, a weird mix of boring and stressful.

At one job I had, we worked in the same office as a VC fund so I got to know what they were doing and it seemed like a lot of fun and the people were really intelligent and nice. I dug deeper into it and I think it would fit my personality well and also my interest in technology (i used to code a lot in high school) and startups (used to shortly work for two after law school).

The legal education in my home country gives me the chance to pick an employer for three months that doesn't have to be a lawyer to test out something new. I know that joining a VC fund as an analyst is a long shot and I won't be able to do so right after this job but at least I want to try to position myself as best as possible. I've been working for a law firm in VC and two startups in a legal role already.

I would really appreciate your input which option is the best for a future job in VC.

1st option: VC Team in a law firm in another European country

There is the possibility that I join another law firm for three months in another European country. I speak the language of that country and would be able to improve my language skills even further which might help join a VC fund from that country or a VC fund from my home country which wants to do invest in that country. The partner is well known in VC and advises most of the big VC funds in that country. But it's still mostly law.

2nd option: VC team in a US law firm in NYC or SF

Might get the chance to go abroad. Similar as the first option but would be able to improve my English and might be more impressive on my CV.

3rd option: Work for the General Counsel of a VC fund

I have the possibility to work for a GC of a VC fund. A friend who is also a lawyer did the same thing and got the opportunity to also work on the business side a bit, but it's not sure that I'll also be able to do so. Probably the closest to an actual VC role as an analyst but also not really hands on operational experience in a startup that most VC funds want to see.

4th option: Work for another legal department of a startup

I've already worked for two startups in a legal capacity and although I enjoyed it, it's oftentimes hard to work on the business side.

5th option: Work for MBB

I could apply for an MBB internship but I think the chances are not that great because it's really competitive here and they don't take a lot of lawyers. I think the experience would be great as it's the most business focused option.

Thanks for your help!

Comments (7)

Sep 26, 2018 - 2:03pm

Hi cybertron69, any of these topics helpful:

  • Off The Beaten Path: Commercial Banking to Private Equity (The Non-Traditional Route) firm as an analyst, but I think now is a better time than any to tell you how I made the jump to ... interview course, it offers great insight for someone looking to break into the field from outside ... the only way to get your 'out-of-the-box' resume in the shortlist is for someone at the firm ...
  • Private Equity vs Venture Capital- Differences and Similarities to private equity firms. Private equity firms, unlike venture capital firms, invest in established ... determine your carry. Typically, pay in private equity is more than in venture capital. To illustrate ... capital can expect to make anywhere from $130-250k. As you climb the ladder towards higher roles, the pay ...
  • New Life Goal: Joining a Corporate VC Arm (Like Salesforce Ventures or Intel Capital) from Deloitte Consulting management experience. What would the best path be towards landing a gig at a corporate VC arm? I'm ... year). Been on a mix of S&O projects for financial institutions as well as 'tech strategy' ... projects for various cloud CRM and analytics platforms for a handful of Fortune 500 companies. I went to ...
  • Breaking into Venture Capital out of Undergrad?? best routes to take to break into venture capital? venture capital finance after college college ... Is it possible to break into the venture capital industry right out of undergrad? And what are the ...
  • Venture Capital Salary versus BB and Private Equity to lure people to work for less than they should. You can learn more about venture capital with the ... about taking. It is a VC role at a top-tier firm. I'm being directly hired as an associate (so ... salary. However, I strongly want to be in VC long-term. This VC role would clearly set me up to be ...
  • Management Consulting to VC? specifically management consulting) to VC? Is that even a good route to take instead of doing banking-> ... idea to me but as far as I can tell breaking into PE is even harder than IB out of undergrad, ... VC but not sure if trying to get in right out of undergrad is the best thing to do. Insights would be
  • Any way to go from a Masters in Finance to VC? to get into a venture capital firm? without going through the IB stint or PE stint? Would appreciate ... any advice Thanks venture capital to Tuesday, May 31, 2016- 10:30pm ... Hey guys, I'm an incoming MSF student with 2 previous IB internships. Is there any way for me ...
  • Venture Capital and Growth Equity: Pipeline and Industry in general I find VC really interesting but from everything I've read, it seems as though to work as an analyst ... Does anyone have some insight into the relation of growth equity to VC and PE? Also, any insight into ... the pipeline process would be very appreciated. VC Venture Capital Growth Equity GE pipeline p
  • More suggestions...

No promises, but sometimes if we mention a user, they will share their wisdom: Sukhmansidhu43 Atomyk Alex2215

Hope that helps.

Sep 26, 2018 - 2:04pm

Breaking into VC as a patent lawyer (Originally Posted: 10/31/2013)

Hey guys. I have a computer science/engineering background and did it for a few years. Also, have a JD and have experience with patent law in a pretty prestigious Canadian law firm.

However, I really want to break into VC or Private Equity to identify and help promising new companies. What do I need to do that and do you think there is a market for someone with my background? Experienced computer engineer + patent lawyer with an interest in Finance. I know in this market place, IP is a big deal.

I will be 35 when I am ready to make this switch. Also, is there anything I can further do to show my interest/commitment? e.g. writing CFA L1 and if that goes well, maybe have CFA L2. Alternatively, would something like a PRM certification be good (as opposed to FRM which requires experience)?


Sep 26, 2018 - 2:05pm

Do research to find VC or PE firms. Your background in solid, and you are still working on it. Spend time finding target firms and learn the hardest thing of all - networking (social not computer =P). I think WSO has a list of firms and you can search for those in your area. One good connection will trump one great certification, for someone like you.

Sep 26, 2018 - 2:06pm

Breaking into VC with a JD/PhD (Originally Posted: 08/19/2013)

I've got a JD and a PhD in molecular biology, both from top schools. I've spent the last 6 years at at NYC law firm doing high-stakes pharma/biotech/medical device patent litigation. I'm considering moving out of law into finance, and several people have suggested I look into VC. Any thoughts on opportunities for someone with my background that would NOT involve getting an MBA?

Sep 26, 2018 - 2:07pm

I met a girl form Polaris Ventures ( with a similar background and no previous finance experience that is now an associate there.

Some VC's will hire you if you have vast industry expertise and feel you can learn finance while on the job. So yes, I don't think you necessarily have to get a MBA with your level of industry knowledge/education, it's just a matter of finding the right VC to talk to.

I feel the law degree will also help greatly, specifically if the type of law you practiced focused on financial transactions or M&A opps. I know you said litigation but maybe you covered more over the 6 yr period.

Best of luck.

"If you want to succeed in this life, you need to understand that duty comes before rights and that responsibility precedes opportunity."
Sep 26, 2018 - 2:08pm

sounds like you're in the position to start your own with current colleagues/connections

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!
Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Girlfriend vs PE
+89PEby Investment Analyst in Private Equity - Growth Equity">Investment Analyst in PE - Growth
I’ll never take WSO for granted again
+51OFFby Principal in Venture Capital">Principal in VC
What's so good about Evercore?
+41IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
I'm tired man
+30IBby Intern in Corporate Finance">Intern in CorpFin
First year analyst, still feel incompetent and like I haven’t learned anything
+24IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Friends in IB are chilling hard, how can I get this?
+20IBby 3rd+ Year Associate in Private Equity - LBOs">Associate 3 in PE - LBOs

Total Avg Compensation

January 2021 Private Equity

  • Principal (6) $693
  • Director/MD (15) $627
  • Vice President (57) $366
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (60) $272
  • 2nd Year Associate (115) $245
  • 1st Year Associate (249) $224
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (23) $162
  • 2nd Year Analyst (56) $139
  • 1st Year Analyst (163) $119
  • Intern/Summer Associate (18) $71
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (178) $59

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
Addinator's picture
Edifice's picture