Yes, You Are Having a Quarter Life Crisis (and it's ok)

Hello everyone,

A big HELLO to those who can relate to this thread.

*Don't have to read.*

SHORT intro: I'm in my early 20's, went to a non-target school. Found my way to a storied and renowned IB and secured a job in the IBD division. Performed very well despite knowing virtually nothing upon my start date. Poached from 'lesser team' by most 'elite team' that is the most desired and best performing team in company due to my performance. Performed well and secured spot on said team and told I have a 'promising future'. Was ordered by SMD to help establish another team while still fulfilling all my duties on the elite team. Did so. Allegedly I have arrived. Sound spot on solid team and a stellar reputation with management.

Now what?

*Start reading*

When I was 17 I decided I wanted to be an investment banker. They got the money, the power, the girls, and were masters of their own universe. At least that's what I was told. Models in the day (Excel), bottles at night (committing to minimums at trendy nightclubs, which came with a different type of model). Investment bankers worked hard, learned the trade, moved up in the ranks, and provided a fairy-tale life for their beloved wife and family after making it big in their early 30's. Investment bankers lived the American Dream.

Here is a typical timeline of a Quarter Life Crisis ("QLC"), at least it's mine:

Week 1: 90 hours M-F, wondering if you'll be asked to leave because of your uselessness, on Friday the person in front of you gets fired.

Month 1: How did you survive? Must have been your charm/ability to kiss ass. You think you know what half of these words mean, you think you can do 20% of the basic tasks assigned to you. Is your VP on adderall? He has to be...

Month 2: Ok, you're in it. You can do this. You are smarter than these people, they've just been doing it longer. Bring it on. You're climbing this learning curve like a sherpa on their 1,000th trip.

Month 3: You have your basic duties down. Practice makes perfect but you get the idea.

Month 4: Alright, you got this, bring on a little more heat.

Month 5: Ok, more responsibilities. Not a problem. Check!

Month 6: Ok, pretty much just processing now. Oh wow, a company you used to looooovvvvee as a kid, would have been cool 3 months ago, just another set of numbers now.

Month 7: Your VP and Associate are 100% cracked out on adderall, but my god do those alignments look perfect. How old is your VP, 30? Even you're VP doesn't leave until 10pm. What does that mean for you?

Month 8: If you stay 4 more years you can be just like your Associate. They are in their late 20's have a non-existent dating life, and drive a car older and shittier than most sorority girls at your old college.

Month 9: The harder you work, the more work assigned to you. This isn't how it should work right?

Month 10: 10% of company gets laid off, must cut the weakest links. You can still be friends outside the office right?

Month 11: You swear to God, if you're get assigned a project that requires Google Maps, you're going to spend 45 minutes 'exploring' South America. You need a life outside of this office and under something other than these fluorescent lights.

Month 12: What are you doing? You hate this, what difference does $20,000 in the bank make? $20,000 is absolute chump change. What are you going to do, buy a used 3-series?

Month 13: You can be just like your Associate and VP one day! Out of shape, single, balding, greying, miserable, subordinate, defeated, depressed, anxious, and generally jealous of anyone doing better than them. Oh.... and they haven't taken a vacation in over 2 years.

Month 14: You have to go. You don't know where. You don't care. Africa, South America, Asia, next door. It doesn't matter, you need to be off the grid for at least a week. Paying $1,400 to work as a ranch hand in Montana as part of an interactive vacation? Sounds fun! Get me out of here!

Month 15: Your friend in tech that was 5th hire at a startup just announced their company got acquired. He had shares.

Month 16: Business is slow. You are wondering if the countless overtime you put in is worth it or if the company will shut/cut your division.

Month 17: You've totally disregarded IT's ability to see what you've searched on Google.

Month 18: burn out... Honestly, you just want to own a small business.

Month 19: You're over it, you don't care. Your resume is updated, so is your LinkedIn. You are getting out of here alive. Deuces.

Month 20: Biding time... A significant portion of your day is spent using company resources figuring out your next move. You're out, and you want that dedicated loser fuck on the rival team to know. What a loser. He'll be an analyst the rest of his life.

Month 21: Parents/friends/mentors, everyone says no. They don't know what it's like. You're confused.

Month 22: They love you, but there's no way they understand. You're situation in IB is unique. All they see is money and telling their friends what you do.

Month 23: You don't care what they say. You're gone. You only have 1 life to live. LIVE it. Go, be free, it doesn't matter anyway. You will never become rich or happy in banking, you've realized it's all a lie anyways.

Month 24: ???????

You finish the story.

Investment Banking Interview Course

  • 7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • Technical, behavioral, networking, case videos, templates. All included.
  • Most comprehensive IB interview course in the world.

Comments (163)

Mar 5, 2016

Month 25: open a bar

    • 4
Mar 5, 2016

Month 26: To negate the soul crushing stress and banality of IB life, start butchering prostitutes and coworkers while listening to Sussudio.

    • 7
Mar 5, 2016

Month 27: Open a penny stock broker-dealership out in Nassau County. Get investigated by the SEC. Befriend Vin Diesel.

    • 2
Mar 5, 2016

Month 28: Wear suspenders. Slick back your hair. Bang Catherine Zeta Jones, and every other woman in the Western Hemisphere. Get throat cancer from years of dedicated cunnilingus. Be pretty content with life.

    • 5
Mar 5, 2016

Month 29: Invent a process by which you can grow a fetus from sequenced DNA. Travel to Denmark and extract a piece of hair from Tycho Brahe's grave, using this to sequence his DNA. Bring Tycho Brahe back to life. Become best friends with Tycho Brahe. Tycho Brahe is a quick study and becomes your new MD. God damnit.

    • 4
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Mar 5, 2016

We'll call it "Puzzles"

    • 6
Mar 7, 2016

Nice reference to HIMYM!

Mar 5, 2016

Can't relate because I am still in college but the more I read about this stuff the more I am unsure if banking is right for me. Guess I'll have to experience it first.

Mar 5, 2016

Month 25: start job at private equity firm. Repeat months 1 - 24. Apply to business school.

    • 4
Mar 5, 2016

This sucks monkey ass!!

The worst part is by month 24 you still aint shit, but you went through half a century worth of stress and probably aging like the president lol

    • 1
Mar 5, 2016

Month 30: grad school starts.

Month 38: start summer internship at management consulting firm, PE firm, hedge fund, F500, etc.

Month 50: You are now working 60 hours a week and have a healthier relationship with work.

    • 2
Mar 5, 2016

Month 25: Move to the buyside. Similar shit with better hours and more varied work

    • 1
Mar 5, 2016
Mar 5, 2016

[/embed]

    • 2
Mar 6, 2016

I have a FT IB offer and this makes me so depressed...

    • 4
Mar 5, 2016
knightbanker:

I have a FT IB offer and this makes me so depressed...

Then, if you believe you can get a job elsewhere, and your heart is not in investment banking, you should consider turning it down.

I love finance, but I never worked in IB. And I have had a truly wonderful career so far-- and I would have gotten my butt kicked by most people who can land in IBD in both an IBD interview and where I first landed- as a programmer in credit analytics. And all the while, I got to spend my weekends going hang gliding, SCUBA diving, and driving my rusty honda.

Look, either your heart is in IBD, or it's in something else. Life is too short- and there is too much stuff to do in your 20s- than spending 90 hours a week doing something your heart isn't in.

    • 7
Mar 6, 2016

Life is too short- and there is too much stuff to do in your 20s- than spending 90 hours a week doing something your heart isn't in. - I will tell this to my children:) Completely agree

    • 1
Mar 10, 2016

How do you know before it's too late where your heart is in? What career path to take?

Mar 5, 2016
economistman:

How do you know before it's too late where your heart is in? What career path to take?

I am probably missing something as a guy from quant analytics, but when is it too late?

Mar 10, 2016

How do I get noticed? Or even how do I get my foot through the door? I have commercial banking experience but no finance experience on the IB or Hedge fund level.

Mar 5, 2016
economistman:

How do I get noticed? Or even how do I get my foot through the door? I have commercial banking experience but no finance experience on the IB or Hedge fund level.

Do your research. Talk to bankers understand what banking means. Understand what value you bring in that role that they can't get from someone else.

It's a process. You'll get there.

Mar 6, 2016
Mar 7, 2016

Month 24: Comes into work with a mission statement. Gets fired by Jay Mohr at lunch.

Mar 7, 2016
itsanumbersgame:

When I was 17 I decided I wanted to be an investment banker. They got the money, the power, the girls, and were masters of their own universe. At least that's what I was told. Models in the day (Excel), bottles at night (committing to minimums at trendy nightclubs, which came with a different type of model). Investment bankers worked hard, learned the trade, moved up in the ranks, and provided a fairy-tale life for their beloved wife and family after making it big in their early 30's. Investment bankers lived the American Dream.

Maybe your "crisis" can be resolved by checking out a job you're interested in instead of chasing a fantasy. Just a thought

    • 1
    • 1
Mar 9, 2016

holy crap I didn't know things were that bad I drank the IB kool-aid

Mar 9, 2016

Love the Month 25, start private equity job, repeat months 1-24 comment!!!

Mar 10, 2016

This is pretty accurate. I made it to month 8 and then my month 9 looked like your last month so I found something bigger and better to do. no regrets

    • 1
Mar 11, 2016

This concept inspired me a bit. Here's a sequential listing of my college recruiting/post-college career, which has been roughly 165 months so I won't do a month by month as I drink too much and could never recall all of that detail.

  • Finance career fair that drove all recruiting at my semi-target was on Sept. 11th, yes, that one. No NYC bankers make it in, thus no networking. On the plus side, my cousin came in a day early to party and missed it in NYC, and he got to crash for a couple of weeks before he could go back to NYC. Crazy times. He did recruiting for Salomon Bros IB, and they didn't come back for campus interviews after the trauma that was to follow...no bueno.
  • Interview with Arthur Anderson for consulting a few weeks later. They blow up the next week, still haven't heard back.
  • First round with CSFB. Recruiters are friends and stay at my apt/party night before interviews. Am promised a final round if they can bring even a single person back. Both interviewers are laid off the following week.
  • Get final round at a Chicago MM IB. They bring 50 candidates in for 1 spot, which goes to the little brother of an associate.
  • Economy goes completely dead due to tech bust.
  • Backpack for 2 months after graduating.
  • Decide to go live on a friend's couch in NYC with hopes of catching on somewhere. No financial support from family so I'll do it on credit cards.
  • Get a verbal offer from SG Cowen by their lead healthcare analyst in ER after one week in NYC! They rescind it due to some BS French policy (long story).
  • Nothing significant happens for 3 months as people are getting fired left and right. Hottest summer in NYC history, and I'm living on the couch in a tiny 1 bedroom (would have made more sense a studio) and sending resumes around the clock with no AC.
  • Am running out of money and about to join the Army. We're invading Afghanistan, and they were offering big bonuses to OCS candidates...would be able to pay off debt, plus I'm a farm kid who is good with guns.
  • Get an interview for a temp position at GS. Interviewer asks about timeline, and I said, well, big decisions coming up...about a week away from the Army.
  • She calls an hour later with an offer, if I accept on the spot she'll cancel the other 20 interviews lined up. Obvi, say "yes."
  • I start in the most back office of back office jobs filing paper trade tickets, still GS.
  • They start a CDS group, and I get asked to be part of the initial team in the middle office, sounds cool.
  • Quickly convert to fulltime.
  • Get to help build a new trading platform (was an engineer) while doing typical MO stuff
  • Start doing the first online CDS trading over 2 multi-counterparty platforms
  • Don't really want to be a career trader and economy is now better
  • Jump to another BB in sponsors IB, have to start over as a 1st year
  • Put in 3 years...rough hours but like the team...5th year as an analyst, burnt out, thought most PE jobs sounded lame. Got assoc promote offer but didn't want it.
  • Got offers at a boutique tech IB and 2 Bay Area VCs...had questions about culture at each of the VCs
  • Move to Denver post-3rd year to work at a small tech boutique for quality of life
  • Good place, enjoy it, make VP after a few years and ride out the '08-'10 financial crisis
  • Start getting the itch to do my own thing, meet a possible co-founder
  • 4 years ago I quit to do my own start-up
  • Up and down ride 4 years in but going well...have raised some money, have customers and 7 figure revenue, 16 employees, still not out of the water but things are looking up
  • Next step: Profit?

P.S. I love underwear gnomes. Also, this is a 100% true story, despite my love of South Park gnomes.

Mar 11, 2016

Phase 1= collect underpants, Phase 2 = ?, Phase 3 = Profit

Yup. Checks out.

    • 2
Mar 12, 2016

Damn dude, that's some crazy shit. I appreciate the story - sb

    • 1
Mar 29, 2016

Fascinating story but you left out the Vegas strip parties lol. How did you meet your co-founder?

~Stay Golden

Apr 7, 2016

I would love to hear how you went about moving to Denver - considering something similar. What was recruiting like and did you go through a headhunter?

Mar 11, 2016
LonghornLarry:

I would love to hear how you went about moving to Denver - considering something similar. What was recruiting like and did you go through a headhunter?

Most of my interviews came through intros from my MDs. Had a couple of senior guys who were really helpful, and I didn't want to move into a traditional PE role so recruiters weren't particularly helpful. I primarily focused on earlier stage VC. Got an offer from one in Denver and 2 in the Bay Area. Decided I liked Denver better, but the Denver shop ended up pulling my offer because the guy I was meant to replace changed his mind and decided to stay, leaving me out in the cold. They were nice enough to intro me to a small tech bank that they did a lot of work with. One of the founding partners happened to be in NYC the next day, and I met him for beers. We hit it off, and I flew out to Denver for more interviews and got an offer. I wasn't planning to stay in IB, but I also didn't mind it and ultimately chose location over my desired role. My goal had always been to eventually start a company, which I now have.

Apr 7, 2016

If you wouldn't mind, may I PM you for more details about your experience in Denver?

Mar 11, 2016

I'm in month 20 now, and I can relate to 100% of this. On top of that, got two PE offers where I would take a hit to my current total cash comp. where to go from here?

Mar 11, 2016

Between Month 18 and 19 right now... Fantasizing about owning a bar in the tropics (dumb investment) and updating my resume while eating because god forbid i stop looking at the damn screens for a second... FML

Mar 11, 2016

Month 199: Keep coming in to your back office Operations job and going home at an hour so reasonable that there might still be light in the sky as you get on the train.

Look back on the postgrad degree you got studying in the evenings while brushing off the gasps of amazement that you could balance a course load with your 40-hour "full time" job. See a book you wrote -- which has nothing to do with finance -- on the shelves at a retail store. See it gone the next week, because someone paid to buy your writing.

Remember to, at least once a day, be thankful for the fact that you can sleep 8 hours a day every single night, that you have very few gray hairs despite approaching 40, and have no major work-related stress problems. You lost more hair from age 23-26 than in all the succeeding years combined.

Occasionally look back wistfully at the six-figure earners on a track you didn't get to ride, but that your wife (who truly loves you) and your kid (only one, but you get to spend time with him every evening) are glad you never attempted to ride.

Gentlemen, don't work yourself to death while still in your 20s. Not everyone who puts in those miserable early years even gets to the Promised Land and I've seen people who really burned out. The back office takes a lot of guff here and among anyone in the FO, but in the "real world" it's relatively prestigious, as is the "ordinary" $50-60k you will be paid. There's no shame in getting on the slow train and taking the scenic route through life. Do I wish I were a super-rich FO veteran? Sometimes. But I'm not complaining.

    • 3
Mar 13, 2016

Welcome to Backoffice land

Mar 11, 2016

haha laughed at month 8. i'm having a quarter life crisis at the moment. at least i've told my bosses that i'm quitting this summer tho!
and preparing for buy side interviews is so stressful and time consuming, and i'm beginning to think that it'd be much easier to just find a bf who owns a startup tech company...
honestly i don't know how i ended up in banking. all of my friends think it's a joke when i tell them that i'm in banking. i guess becoming a banker was just simpler and quicker than becoming a lawyer, which i think i would be more cut out to be, and also i didn't wanna have a normal, mediocre 5-9 job... but seriously, the six-figure salary is so lame. startup is a way to go...

Mar 12, 2016
Puss:

haha laughed at month 8. i'm having a quarter life crisis at the moment. at least i've told my bosses that i'm quitting this summer tho!and preparing for buy side interviews is so stressful and time consuming, and i'm beginning to think that it'd be much easier to just find a bf who owns a startup tech company...honestly i don't know how i ended up in banking. all of my friends think it's a joke when i tell them that i'm in banking. i guess becoming a banker was just simpler and quicker than becoming a lawyer, which i think i would be more cut out to be, and also i didn't wanna have a normal, mediocre 5-9 job... but seriously, the six-figure salary is so lame. startup is a way to go...

This is a ridiculous statement. Anyone who is devoting themselves towards running an innovative startup will be working longer and far more stressful hours than any banker.

Also, working in a tech startup is nothing like being a banker. They are completely different professions, which require completely different sets of skills, personalities and intellects.

Banking does take an extraordinary toll on you, but this is taking 'grass is greener' to a whole new extreme and ignorance.

    • 2
    • 1
Mar 13, 2016

As someone who is middle-aged, this was a funny read.

Mar 14, 2016

I worked in both buyside and sellside for years. Now , I start my own business, nothing related to finance. I know how and why you feel like that, just like me. But, if you leave that field and work with the people outside, I am sure you will know the usefulness of your experience. It is not about financial modeling, not about your fancy pitchbook, but the problem solving skills, numerical mind and the ability to move fast, think quick. This is something valuable to your career and daily life.

    • 3
Mar 14, 2016

If an affordable option, take some time off, do some soul-searching, rethink your strategy, travel a bit, re-connect with old friends, check out some B Schools, figure out your next move,

Mar 14, 2016

Thanks for writing this.

I'm only less than 1 year in IBD and I already feel extremely disillusioned. The work I do is BS. I started a career in finance because I thought it was fairly interesting (but I guess what they say is true: Don't make what you love your job, you'll ruin it) and honestly because everyone was doing it - either finance, consulting or politics.

Part of it is just me reminiscing about my college days and how awesome it was, but I just cannot envisage myself in finance till I become like my senior associate or VP.

"You will never become rich or happy in banking, you've realized it's all a lie anyways." << am starting to think that this is actually true.

Best Response
Mar 15, 2016

I appreciate the humor here but a few quick serious points:

1) 99% of 23 year olds hate their job. It's never as interesting as they thought it would be. It's never as much fun. They never have enough responsibility. And they are never paid enough for how much they work. Go into MC? All you do is the same deck over and over. Banking? The same numbers in the same spreadsheet over and over. Tech start up? The same script for the same cold call over and over (assuming you are in a business role, it will be sales at first). F500? The same BS that seems "too East" over and over. This is just reality that no one has a big picture enough view to understand.

2) "20k ain't shit"... Literally no one ever says outside of bankers/PE/HF. That's the one rule of bankers, they never quite understand how much they make in the grand scheme of life. 20k is a lot of money to 99% of PEOPLE, let alone young people. That start up isn't paying you shit because that equity is more likely to become worthless than not. And the 55k you made is all you will have to show for it. MC? 2/3rds of banker money at junior levels with schedules that aren't that much better. F500? Have fun taking 10 years to make 150k.

3) The reason people do banking is so they have that optionality later in life that you are dreaming of at 24. Most people won't. Don't lose site on the fact that your career is a marathon, not a sprint.

Banking at junior levels takes an unusual tole on people. But the grass is always greener mentality is usually just people not understanding that there are trade offs in life and they will likely be unhappy one way or another unless they can come to grips with that fact.

    • 13
Mar 15, 2016

Mostly agreed, but you have to view the 20k in context. The internal dilemma is whether or not the after tax figure was worth working essentially 2 full time jobs and the opportunity costs of your own studying, time with family, your health and appearance, your youth, fun with friends etc... and the answer is less often a definite yes and more often a confused maybe not. I also know some first years that are in their late 20s early 30s with real lives and families; then the answer (in my opinion) is a fairly clear no.

Aug 26, 2016

Good answer man! I like that you are objective and open minded!

Stay hungry, stay foolish!

Mar 16, 2016

I work in back office operations right now. And... It. SUCKS! There's a thing we do here and it's called: just get it done so I can be done for the day and go home. Maybe you will write a book, as someone points out. If you're the romantic poet type, that could be very fulfilling. Perhaps one day you might go on to travel the world in search of unfamiliar encounters that will allow you to indulge in your wildest imaginations.

But if you once sought the prestigious ibanking lifestyle, I doubt that scenario is the sort of thing that will satisfy you. There are the Michael Lewises of banking, but he admitted he should've never been there in the first place. You should admit that is your true identity and move on if it's true.

On the other hand, there are other jobs in this world that you haven't tried or heard of beyond operations or writing. These are jobs that you probably don't have training for given that you started out as an analyst. Many of them, on the other side, are still similar in that skills developed as an ibanking analyst will go in your favor while looking to jump to a different place. Many of them are also just as prestigious.

This is just my perspective: consider what is the underlying factor of your misery and pursue the answer to that.

    • 1
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Mar 18, 2016

"Month 12: What are you doing? You hate this, what difference does $20,000 in the bank make? $20,000 is absolute chump change. What are you going to do, buy a used 3-series?"

Haha Good read! Looking back, the $20k part did it for me! 1. I did this exact thing on month 11.

I swear I told my girlfriend $20k wasnt shit. Woke up on a random saturday, spent it on a nice BMW 3 series, one week later, my quarter life crisis was back.

Mar 21, 2016

Month 25: Learn coding
Month 26: Create new Facebook, Instagram, watever
Month 27: Move to silicon valley
Month 28: Make IPO of your company, become billionaire
Month 29: Die of a heart attack, due to overdose, while having fun with prostitutes :D

Mar 22, 2016

I've been out of b-school for nearly 2 years, and as I progress I realize more and more that there's a lot to be said for not working your life away. There are more things in life than shareholder return. That being said, some people may live for IB, AM, or another area of finance where they live and breathe it, and to them I say congratulations on finding your passion in life. But, if you don't want to work 60, 70, 80, 100 hour weeks, that's okay. There's a lot to do out there in the world, and you are going to die one day so it's a good idea to enjoy it.

Now don't take what I'm saying as, "all folks in IB are crazy and stupid for working these insane hours." If it's what you love, go all in and hold back nothing. It takes all kinds of people to keep our world functioning. Don't be afraid to live a little.

Mar 29, 2016

Love the story and feel it. I'm truly inspired to be 4 again. Naps, snacks and recess was the way to go. Are we really greying and unhappy? A sabbatical in-between jobs seems like preventative requirement now. Feeling somewhat insane. Nobody mentioned tutoring/consulting?
Month 24: travel to Paris, meet the love of your life & become a full-time parent,
Month 36: retire on 12k/year in Thailand with your pet elephant Bubbles, create a startup in spare time.

~Stay Golden

    • 1
Mar 29, 2016

I don't quite understand the endless complaining you hear from some bankers. Not enough money for you for the sacrifices? Leave. A sizeable segment of this industry seem prone to endless self-absorbed rumination rather than taking action, possibly as they ultimately know they're getting paid.

The people I know who work the hardest and have the highest degree of stress run their own businesses, and they carry all the risk and reward associated with that. Banking is actually a decent balance, all-in.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

IMO working 2 years in investment banking opens a lot of opportunities later.
And in my opinion, the view on silicon valley startup life style is a little bit naive. You will also work 80+ hours, you will grind like a mafucka and in the end you are not guaranteed that you will make it. There is a possibility that your broke ass will wish that you took the job in investment banking. But again who knows.

When i was learning in 11th grade i talked with a dude from university and he said that fuck following dreams, you first should secure yourself and then you can do it. He was studying airplane engineering. That was his point of view and i don't agree with it but i also don't have anything against it. Different folks different strokes.
I believe that as long as you grind all the time, go to new places, do new things dots will connect. As Steve Jobs said you can only connect the dots looking backwards.

Only you know what is best for you so trust your heart. But i think that by entering investment banking for 2 or 3 years increases the odds that you have more options later to choose what you want to do. If you have Goldman Sachs on your resume then people know that you are at least this good.

Stay hungry, stay foolish!

Aug 26, 2016

If you think getting an IB job was tough try getting a law associate job even from Harvard. Also the pay is worse, the hours are worse, and the work is even more mind-numbing. Do you want to pay 200k in tuition and not earn any money for 3 years (besides summers) so that if everything goes well you'll be making $160k to get bossed around by 23 year old investment banking analysts 3 years from now?

Not to mention if you're not in the top 10-20% of your class you'll be cold calling non-profits begging for an unpaid internship at the end of your first year given the current legal job market, even at Harvard.

    • 3
Aug 26, 2016
    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

I've read that article, and I've read even more alarmist articles like that about banking. Even MORE about medicine. Most professional careers such in terms of time. And I know how bad the market is for law, but I've got some serious connections at Big Law firms in my home city (not NYC). I'd have a job very easily, so I'm not worried there (and I mean at all).

And like I said, I'd really love to go into politics. It's my dream job. I really do think going into law would be a much better entrance strategy than the Romney approach.

I may try to defer and apply for the joint MBA/JD next year. I've already got one piece of the pie, and the GMAT is cake.

Aug 26, 2016

It sounds like you don't want anything to do with finance and prefer law/gov't... and you got into Harvard Law... hmmmm.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016
moneymogul:

It sounds like you don't want anything to do with finance and prefer law/gov't... and you got into Harvard Law... hmmmm.

I don't dislike finance at all. There's actually quite a few aspects that make it a great fit for me. The end game is certainly politics for me though. That's a risky bet, however, and it is much harder to become a congressman than to become an investment banker.

Aug 26, 2016

dude you're in a good spot. is it the cash you want (finance) or the dream of politics (Harvard Law). Either way, you'll make good money somewhere, somehow (prob more in finance, but whatever). So follow your instincts. good luck.

Aug 26, 2016

I've worked in government my entire career, so I can definitely see the allure.

What is it that you're looking for in a gov't career? While true that it might be easier to transition from law to being a congressman, I think it would definitely be easier raising money for your campaign by going into IB. For me personally, I think my interest in politics is ultimately about power play, something that I'd definitely get through finance. Working for government, its tough - decisions make no sense, the heavy handed bureaucracy, lack of innovation, unwillingness to accept change, endless red tape - it's gotten to be very frustrating for me.

Thoughts?

Aug 26, 2016

screw the money. Do what will make you happy and what actually interests you. Who cares if you can make a boatload of money in finance? You will be far far far above average in terms of earnings and potential earnings in law as well.

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

excuse me if this is off, but cant you rise the ranks in PE if you have a law degree and have a top BB analyst stint? I've seen many partners at PE firms that come from banking backgrounds and have law degrees. is this an option for yourself OP?

Aug 26, 2016

I don't think it is a good idea to go to law school, just because of the perceived advantage that a law degree may give you if you want to enter politics.

In my opinion, many politicians have law degrees because many lawyer-types are interested in politics in first place, not because a law degree gives someone a noticeable advantage over other candidates from other industries.

Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood star, George Bush was a big businessman and owner of a baseball team, John F Kennedy entered politics right after college, and Sarah Palin was a sports news reporter. Basically, anybody can enter politics, regardless of academic or professional background. I think what really matters in politics is the money and charisma. Many politicians come from money (Bush, Kennedy), or were hugely successful businessmen (Michael Bloomberg)

Mar 7, 2016

Law and finance aren't mutually exclusive. There are a lot of lawyers that do quite well in finance. If you really got into Harvard Law, I would go for it.

Aug 26, 2016

You can make a lot of money as a Harvard-educated lawyer too IF you're serious about being a lawyer. I'm not sure that you are. Decide whether Finance or Law is your passion, and go in that direction.

Aug 26, 2016

do what you think will make you happiest, dont chase the $$$, and congrats on the quarter life crisis, better to have it now then later :)

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Aug 26, 2016

First of all, congrats on Harvard Law! Huge accomplishment; getting into an elite school is truly one of the greatest human experiences you'll ever go through.

Now, onto your first-world "problem." I have a lot of buddies from college who went to law school at Harvard and Yale. From what I've gathered, due to the crushing reality of student loans, the vast majority end up in the mind numbing corporate law world, even though they had more "noble" intentions when they started school. Sure, the very top kids would get prestigious federal court clerkships and some may get jobs at white house, DOJ, etc., but they're in the minority. Your most likely outcome if you go to HLS is that you end up at a BIGLAW firm in NYC or D.C., working 90 hours/week for a stable paycheck. The work is boring and repetitive, and most lawyers end up hating their lives.

However, you're at a prestigious bank right now. And assuming you're at a good group (i'm assuming here that you're in banking) you will be able to get into a top buyside firm, make a lot of money, and then go to HBS/Stanford/Wharton for your MBA. You will not only have more money but with an MBA from a top school you will have MUCH more interesting career options than what a Harvard Law degree will provide.

In my humble opinion, this one is a no-brainer. Stick with finance. Or, you can ask Harvard Law for a 2 year deferral, apply to HBS in a few years, and if you get in, do a joint JD/MBA at Harvard, which is the most prestigious degree in the world. With that, you can work at Paulson or some other top event-driven or distressed debt fund, private equity, government, startup, etc. The world will be your oyster, young man.

Best of luck.

Aug 26, 2016

mbavsmfin, you said "Or, you can ask Harvard Law for a 2 year deferral, apply to HBS in a few years, and if you get in, do a joint JD/MBA at Harvard, which is the most prestigious degree in the world. With that, you can work at Paulson or some other top event-driven or distressed debt fund, private equity, government, startup, etc. The world will be your oyster, young man."

I don't think a JD/MBA from Harvard is that special or will get you much farther than a Harvard MBA will. I know there was at least one Harvard JD/MBA guy who worked at Paulson, but that's just one firm and there are plenty of other better funds that you could get into with just a Harvard MBA. I'm not sure that there are that many opportunities that you can get as a result of doing the combined degree in comparison to just the MBA alone, especially none that would make the time opportunity cost worth it (an extra two years of school), unless you're rich already and just want to have the credential to feel accomplished and to flaunt to people. Maybe I'm wrong?

Aug 26, 2016

You raise some good points. Generally speaking, I agree that a Harvard jd/mba doesn't go that much further than just a Harvard mba if you want to do something broad such as MBB consulting, banking, etc. I do think there are several cases though where having both degrees can be quite helpful.

1. Event-driven and distressed funds: having knowledge of business and law is a huge boost since you're looking at a lot of cases such as bankruptcies, mergers, takeovers, etc., where you need to be aware of the legal implications.

2. Politics: having access to both the HLS and the HBS networks are invaluable and gives you "street" cred in both the legal and business communities.

3. Your own business: running your own business requires deep knowledge of multiple areas. A jd/mba could go a long way here.

Aug 26, 2016

^

I agree with this. Being a biglaw attorney sounds really awful though, for someone who worked in banking/ consulting. You make less money than IB associates, do much dumber work (doc review, etc), hours as bad, pay increases much lower, and MUCH worse exit opportunities compared to IB/ consulting.

My cousin is a biglaw attorney, and from what he's told me, it seems like the best case scenario for many biglaw attorneys is to go in-house law at a corporation x,y,z making 100-150k a year, after 4-5 years at a biglaw firm.

Aug 26, 2016
IvyGrad:

^

I agree with this. Being a biglaw attorney sounds really awful though, for someone who worked in banking/ consulting. You make less money than IB associates, do much dumber work (doc review, etc), hours as bad, pay increases much lower, and MUCH worse exit opportunities compared to IB/ consulting.

My cousin is a biglaw attorney, and from what he's told me, it seems like the best case scenario for many biglaw attorneys is to go in-house law at a corporation x,y,z making 100-150k a year, after 4-5 years at a biglaw firm.

I wasnt aware its that bad, all kids in law seem to talk about is that 160k starting salary. So your telling me that most people that go to top schools, are at the top of their class and get biglaw jobs, do well there for 5 years...leave for jobs making 150k?? At the age of 30-31?

What about people that start their own firm? Or other biglaw exit ops, what are those like? Are small/mid-firms any different?

I went to a non-target with a good law school(think ASU/FSU/Bama) and I cant even describe to you the amount of people that wanted to go to law school. It still blow my mind that somebody can have an art major at a no-name school with a 4.0, do well on an abritrary test, and go to YLS over somebody that went to a great school and is extremely well rounded and motivated. I feel as though thats where the real appeal of LS is to most people i know, they can just hit the reset button on an otherwise aimless and useless undergrad experience.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

Law school is good for those who majored in non-STEM at a non-target school and had great GPA and can crush the LSAT. That person would not be able to get a good job in finance/consulting/tech, so law school is his best ticket to a six-figure professional life.

At my top target undergrad, going to law school was looked down upon because it signaled to everyone that you couldn't get a good job or weren't smart enough to do a STEM phd or even MD. The only possible exception to this was the Rhodes scholar superstars who went to Yale Law, basically your future bill Clinton/Obama types.

Aug 26, 2016

1000X this

Aug 26, 2016

All I have to say is that I know a Yale/Harvard/Stanford law grad who hates his Big Law job and whose dream is to move over into private equity. And he's been unsuccessful at doing so and his current Big Law job is at one of the top firms. Law school is not a great path anymore, imo

Aug 26, 2016
jss09:



IvyGrad:

^


I agree with this. Being a biglaw attorney sounds really awful though, for someone who worked in banking/ consulting. You make less money than IB associates, do much dumber work (doc review, etc), hours as bad, pay increases much lower, and MUCH worse exit opportunities compared to IB/ consulting.


My cousin is a biglaw attorney, and from what he's told me, it seems like the best case scenario for many biglaw attorneys is to go in-house law at a corporation x,y,z making 100-150k a year, after 4-5 years at a biglaw firm.


I wasnt aware its that bad, all kids in law seem to talk about is that 160k starting salary. So your telling me that most people that go to top schools, are at the top of their class and get biglaw jobs, do well there for 5 years...leave for jobs making 150k?? At the age of 30-31?


What about people that start their own firm? Or other biglaw exit ops, what are those like? Are small/mid-firms any different?


I went to a non-target with a good law school(think ASU/FSU/Bama) and I cant even describe to you the amount of people that wanted to go to law school. It still blow my mind that somebody can have an art major at a no-name school with a 4.0, do well on an abritrary test, and go to YLS over somebody that went to a great school and is extremely well rounded and motivated. I feel as though thats where the real appeal of LS is to most people i know, they can just hit the reset button on an otherwise aimless and useless undergrad experience.

Yeah, there is a reason why most lawyers (even at top biglaw firms making six figures) are miserable. The work is mind-numbing, you work as hard as I-bankers for less pay, not to mention you had to go to law school for 3 years and incur 250k in debt.

In Biglaw, there is 'up or out' policy.. meaning after 8 or so years into your job, if you don't make partner (most lawyers don't), you are asked to leave. So, most Biglaw attorneys usually slave away at their firms for 4-5 years max and try to get a less well paying, but less grueling, job at a smaller law firm or in-house law at corporation x,y,z.

The above applies only if you went to a top law school and landed a Biglaw job. Most lawyers from law schools outside of top 10 don't even get a legitimate corporate law firm job anyway. So, even the best case scenario coming out of law school isn't that great, compared to those who entered banking or consulting straight out of college.

All that said, the reason why many kids want to go to law school is because they have no other good options. Obvsiously, if someone can land a job at BB IBD or MBB consulting, that person would be foolish to go to law school.

Aug 26, 2016

What you really need is some damn life perspective. You have a great job, got into a top school, and likely have the sort of pedigree that allows you to do whatever you want with your career.

Going to Harvard for law will not make you happy. Spending money to make less money later, albeit giving you enhanced branding for politics, just seems downright silly.

Aug 26, 2016

DONT DO IT, STICK WITH FINANCE!!!!

alpha currency trader wanna-be

Aug 26, 2016
mbavsmfin:

Law school is good for those who majored in non-STEM at a non-target school and had great GPA and can crush the LSAT. That person would not be able to get a good job in finance/consulting/tech, so law school is his best ticket to a six-figure professional life.

At my top target undergrad, going to law school was looked down upon because it signaled to everyone that you couldn't get a good job or weren't smart enough to do a STEM phd or even MD. The only possible exception to this was the Rhodes scholar superstars who went to Yale Law, basically your future bill Clinton/Obama types.

It really suprises me that kids at a top target would consider going to LS. I would just be so angry if my 3.6 GPA at MIT in engineering was looked upon less favorably than a 3.9 child development major at ECU

I guess some people just REALLY want to be a lawyer, or at least think they do.

Aug 26, 2016

The kids from my ug who ended up going to law schools were mostly non-STEM majors who were either super passionate about government/politics or could not get top finance/consulting jobs and just said "fuck it, i'll take the lsat and do law."

Aug 26, 2016

I wouldn't recommend law school to anyone. My cousin's been trying to switch to banking from law for a year now, with no success.

What really is scary with a career in law is that you learn no marketable skillset outside of doing document review, drafting memos, or pushing papers around. (the things you learn at a law firm) As a result, you can't expect nice, flexible exit options that I-banking or consulting gigs would afford you.

My cousin works at a top nyc law firm (think Skadden, Simpson, Cravath, Paul Weiss, type of firm) and he estimated that 80% of people who started at his firm were either fired or quit within 4 years into their job. He mentioned that some of his ex-coworkers are still unemployed after getting fired. Law as an industry right now is really screwed because of huge over supply of lawyers. I would rather take a 60-70k a year entry level job in BB MO over going to Harvard Law at sticker price.

Aug 26, 2016
jss09:
IvyGrad:

^

I agree with this. Being a biglaw attorney sounds really awful though, for someone who worked in banking/ consulting. You make less money than IB associates, do much dumber work (doc review, etc), hours as bad, pay increases much lower, and MUCH worse exit opportunities compared to IB/ consulting.

My cousin is a biglaw attorney, and from what he's told me, it seems like the best case scenario for many biglaw attorneys is to go in-house law at a corporation x,y,z making 100-150k a year, after 4-5 years at a biglaw firm.

I wasnt aware its that bad, all kids in law seem to talk about is that 160k starting salary. So your telling me that most people that go to top schools, are at the top of their class and get biglaw jobs, do well there for 5 years...leave for jobs making 150k?? At the age of 30-31?

What about people that start their own firm? Or other biglaw exit ops, what are those like? Are small/mid-firms any different?

I went to a non-target with a good law school(think ASU/FSU/Bama) and I cant even describe to you the amount of people that wanted to go to law school. It still blow my mind that somebody can have an art major at a no-name school with a 4.0, do well on an abritrary test, and go to YLS over somebody that went to a great school and is extremely well rounded and motivated. I feel as though thats where the real appeal of LS is to most people i know, they can just hit the reset button on an otherwise aimless and useless undergrad experience.

People go in-house for less pay because it's like half the hours and much less stressful/mind numbing. Same reason plenty of bankers take a huge pay cut to go work for a F500.

Aug 26, 2016

^

Well, the problem is many lawyers from corporate law firms fail to secure a nice in-house lawyer job, even if they are willing to take a huge pay cut from their law firm jobs. I heard that in-house attorney jobs are very competitive, since 95% of Biglaw attorneys know that they will get fired sooner or later, so they want to exit Biglaw and try to snag an in-house attorney job while they can.

In contrast. for any I-banking or consulting associate, there are plentiful of nice exit options. That's the beauty of a career in finance and consulting: it opens many doors. Law is a dead-end career because 1) there is a huge over-supply of lawyers, 2) the skill set you learn at a law firm isn't very marketable or transferrable to other job functions, outside of law.

Aug 26, 2016

i really hope you go talk to people that actually know instead of a bunch of gekko wanna-be's before you throw away a great opportunity. i'm not saying you should take it, i'm just saying you should speak to someone knowledgeable. with your experience, coming out of law school at harvard, i really believe you could do whatever the fuck you want.

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

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

You overestimate the value of a Harvard law degree. Yes, it opens doors in law/government but in terms of broad professional options across industries, any M7 MBA has Harvard law beat.

Aug 26, 2016

I think people are getting caught up in the finance vs. law career pros and cons, which is tangential to the point of the post. OP goal/dream is to pursue politics. I'm under the impression that money or work/life balance isn't the biggest factor. In either career, the money will be more than enough to live comfortably. And the OP probably works in banking at an elite institution and clearly isn't afraid of more hard work. The more relevant question is whether going to Harvard Law or sticking with GS/MS/JPM is a better avenue into politics.

OP is obviously talented. This is a win-win situation. No point in min/maxing the merits of finance vs. law. Either way he chooses, he'll do well for himself. But will a career in finance or law be the better vehicle to politics?

Aug 26, 2016

wow slaving away at biglaw for 5 years to make 100-150k doing some of the most boring shit on earth? no thanks...

Aug 26, 2016

I do agree that there is a huge supply of lawyers right now that exceed the demand.

However, you're asking a bunch of bankers and wanna-be bankers on a forum geared towards finance, if they would rather go into a career in law/politics than finance?

Obviously the opinions are going to be biased. There is some good advice to be found in this thread, but I would also advise you to get other objective suggestions before making a decision.

~GrandJury

Aug 26, 2016

Dude, most of my friends who went to top law schools wish they could have done something else in business.

Aug 26, 2016
GrandJury:

I do agree that there is a huge supply of lawyers right now that exceed the demand.

However, you're asking a bunch of bankers and wanna-be bankers on a forum geared towards finance, if they would rather go into a career in law/politics than finance?

Obviously the opinions are going to be biased. There is some good advice to be found in this thread, but I would also advise you to get other objective suggestions before making a decision.

~GrandJury

Its not that it sucks compared to finance, from the sound of things it just sucks in general. If you get a job at 22 doing something random for 35k and have 8 years of salary advancement make 100k apparantly you will be making the same amount as your YLS, biglaw graduates that have to work horrible hours with boring work and ridiculous debt.

Have no idea if this is true, just echoing what is being said ITT

Aug 26, 2016
jss09:
GrandJury:

I do agree that there is a huge supply of lawyers right now that exceed the demand.

However, you're asking a bunch of bankers and wanna-be bankers on a forum geared towards finance, if they would rather go into a career in law/politics than finance?

Obviously the opinions are going to be biased. There is some good advice to be found in this thread, but I would also advise you to get other objective suggestions before making a decision.

~GrandJury

Its not that it sucks compared to finance, from the sound of things it just sucks in general. If you get a job at 22 doing something random for 35k and after 8 years of salary advancement make 100k apparantly you will be making the same amount as your YLS, biglaw graduates that have to work horrible hours with boring work and ridiculous debt.

Have no idea if this is true, just echoing what is being said ITT

Aug 26, 2016
jss09:



GrandJury:

I do agree that there is a huge supply of lawyers right now that exceed the demand.


However, you're asking a bunch of bankers and wanna-be bankers on a forum geared towards finance, if they would rather go into a career in law/politics than finance?


Obviously the opinions are going to be biased. There is some good advice to be found in this thread, but I would also advise you to get other objective suggestions before making a decision.


~GrandJury


Its not that it sucks compared to finance, from the sound of things it just sucks in general. If you get a job at 22 doing something random for 35k and have 8 years of salary advancement make 100k apparantly you will be making the same amount as your YLS, biglaw graduates that have to work horrible hours with boring work and ridiculous debt.


Have no idea if this is true, just echoing what is being said ITT

This is the very reason why many lawyers (even Biglaw attorneys) would advise anyone that if you can get a 55k+ a year job out of college, don't even think about going to law school.

You have to go to a top 10 law school to even get a good shot at being employed, so you take out 250-300k in debt to attend a top school, bust your ass for 3 years in school, and get Biglaw with some luck, but from there you bust your ass working 80 hours a week and you are looking at 2.5-3k a month loan payments for like 10 years after law school doing mind numbingly boring work.

FWIW, my cousin told me that he would rather take a BB back office job and go for an MBA with some work experience, over going to a top 10 law school straight out of college, if he could travel back in his time.

Aug 26, 2016

So is making partner at biglaw the ultimate goal? From what youve said in-house seems like an option for those worried about job security that dont have many other options. What are most people trying to use biglaw to leverage into? Because from how you described in-house i wouldnt imagine most top law school kids would view it as worth the trouble.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

Align your long-term career with your interests/passions, in the long run, you'll be rich and happy if you are good at what you do...and it is a lot easier to kick ass when you are passionate about your job.

Aug 26, 2016

Thanks everyone. Things digressed a bit in the law vs. finance debate. I'd definitely agree that money-wise finance wins. Like one of the posters said, however, that isn't what I was asking.

I've consulted with quite of few people, and what I'll probably end up doing is asking for a deferral and expressing my interest in their joint jd/mba.

Aug 26, 2016

Yeah, that's smart. Ask for a deferral and apply to HBS as well, which was what I suggested in my first post.

A quick question. Is your ultimate goal to return to your home state and run for office there? Are you gunning for POTUS? If so, you probably want to leave finance quickly and pivot to say running your own business in your home state. Wall Street has always had a negative connotation with the Average Joe, so a Romney approach probably won't work. The network you would get from both HLS and HBS would be priceless and immensely valuable if you seek political office.

Aug 26, 2016

Making partner is almost impossible at biglaw. Firms like Skadden hire 100 new associates each year, and after 8 years (when law firms evaluate who gets promoted to partner level from that hiring class), maybe 2-3 of that 100 associate pool will make partner, if economy is good. When economy was bad (like in 09), many law firms didn't promote any associates to partner level and many lawyers got canned.

In-house attorney jobs are likely to be the BEST case scenario for most ex-Biglaw attorneys, and its highly covetted amongst biglaw attorneys, even if these positions don't pay that well. (most likely to be between 100-150k a year) Yeah, if 100-150k jobs, after 3 years of top law school education and slaving away at a biglaw firm for 4-5 years after law school is very likely to be your best option, that tells how crappy being a lawyer really is. My cousin works at a top Biglaw firm, and he's been desparately trying to switch out to banking from law, with no success. Actually, he told me that most Biglaw associates would kill to be an I-banking associate if they had a chance, given that I-bankers make far more money, doing more interesting work, working same hours, and ultimately for much better exit opportunities.

Most people who go to law school go becasue for many of them, it's either law school, or doing retail sales or working at Old Navy folding colthes after getting a worthless liberal arts degree from a non-target college. If you are able to land a decent paying, career-oriented corporate job after college, law school is a terrible option.

Aug 26, 2016

Thanks for all the info. Why do you know so much about law if your a consultant? Mostly from your cousin?

Mar 11, 2016
jackrubin:

And like I said, I'd really love to go into politics. It's my dream job. I really do think going into law would be a much better entrance strategy than the Romney approach.

Then go run a small business for 5-10 years. Get to know what (should) drive(s) this country. Unfortunately, we've come to a point where lawyers are driving it. We need to get back to a place where small business is driving it.

Aug 26, 2016
jss09:

Thanks for all the info. Why do you know so much about law if your a consultant?

My dad was an ex-biglaw attorney. My older brother is a lawyer. (not biglaw, but he works at a small law firm doing family divorce, traffic violations, type of law)

My cousin (who happens to live a block away from my home in nyc) is a Biglaw attorney. I constanly hear about how shitty it is to be a lawyer from my family members, bascially telling me that they will kill me if I ever attend a law school.

Just talk to any lawyer who's ever worked at a big law firm. Chances are overwhelming that s/he will tell you to steer clear from law school. Even Harvard Law.

I am very glad to be working in consulting out of college. Even if I was not a consultant, I woud rather look for any 'corporate' entry level job rather than go through law school.

Aug 26, 2016

Preach on, brother! Law truly sucks. It's for risk-averse people who can't hack it in business.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016
Raptor.45:

Read this more than once:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tucker-max/law-schoo...

.

Aug 26, 2016
Raptor.45:

Read this more than once:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tucker-max/law-schoo...

Lol at referencing Tucker Max. That guy is a such a tool haha. I don't disagree but I wouldn't take anything serious from this Tucker Max clown.

Also, what growth is there in the law industry? If anything this country can benefit from less of these leaches. OP might as well join the SEC and chase the next Madoff (unsuccessfully of course).

Btw, I have a family friend who went to one of the top law schools in the country and he's making $150k... you could do a lot better in finance.

Aug 26, 2016

Isn't Weil laying off lawyers as we speak?

Aug 26, 2016
mb666:

Lol at referencing Tucker Max. That guy is a such a tool haha. I don't disagree but I wouldn't take anything serious from this Tucker Max clown.

Also, what growth is there in the law industry? If anything this country can benefit from less of these leaches. OP might as well join the SEC and chase the next Madoff (unsuccessfully of course).

Btw, I have a family friend who went to one of the top law schools in the country and he's making $150k... you could do a lot better in finance.

I hate Tucker and think hes a douche but that article is actually well written and seems accurate. I seriously hate all the wannabe-assholes that guy has spawned though.

I feel like every roided-out,affliction-wearing,30k millionare holds TM as their idol

Aug 26, 2016
IvyGrad:
jss09:


GrandJury:

I do agree that there is a huge supply of lawyers right now that exceed the demand.

However, you're asking a bunch of bankers and wanna-be bankers on a forum geared towards finance, if they would rather go into a career in law/politics than finance?

Obviously the opinions are going to be biased. There is some good advice to be found in this thread, but I would also advise you to get other objective suggestions before making a decision.

~GrandJury

Its not that it sucks compared to finance, from the sound of things it just sucks in general. If you get a job at 22 doing something random for 35k and have 8 years of salary advancement make 100k apparantly you will be making the same amount as your YLS, biglaw graduates that have to work horrible hours with boring work and ridiculous debt.

Have no idea if this is true, just echoing what is being said ITT

This is the very reason why many lawyers (even Biglaw attorneys) would advise anyone that if you can get a 55k+ a year job out of college, don't even think about going to law school.

You have to go to a top 10 law school to even get a good shot at being employed, so you take out 250-300k in debt to attend a top school, bust your ass for 3 years in school, and get Biglaw with some luck, but from there you bust your ass working 80 hours a week and you are looking at 2.5-3k a month loan payments for like 10 years after law school doing mind numbingly boring work.

FWIW, my cousin told me that he would rather take a BB back office job and go for an MBA with some work experience, over going to a top 10 law school straight out of college, if he could travel back in his time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm trying to break into the I-Banking industry myself, and although I have a huge passion for criminal law, I believe finance is the way to go.

I do think that the OP should hear both sides though, especially from 1st person perspective from someone in the law industry.

I know several biglaw/ex-biglaw guys and although the majority would rather be doing something else, not everyone has expressed a total "doom and gloom" type emotion.

I would say it's fair to the OP to weigh the decisions equally.

However, if it were up to me...I would definitely stay in a firm like Goldman or Morgan Stanley.

Mar 7, 2016
mbavsmfin:

Yeah, that's smart. Ask for a deferral and apply to HBS as well, which was what I suggested in my first post.

Spot on Brady, spot on. Though to be fair, that's what you've suggested in every post.

Aug 26, 2016

Is mbavsmfin seriously Brady4MVP???

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

Well I thought so at first but not anymore. Brady was actually legit (sort of). On the other hand, I can't help but think that half (if not more) of what is coming out of mbavsmfin's mouth is made up.

Mar 7, 2016
droking7:

Is mbavsmfin seriously Brady4MVP???

Affirmative. Except with a wharton logo as an avatar instead of a chow chow dog.

Aug 26, 2016

You should pick what makes you happier in life. You can make a lot of money as a corporate lawyer!

Aug 26, 2016

People are getting far too caught up in this high finance vs. big law debate. For money/work/balance/opportunities, finance is probably the winner, but that doesn't help the OP. Good luck trying to get into politics as a hot shot banker these days given the vitriol out there. For a political career, he'd probably be better off going to Harvard Law and then working as a community organizer...

I do think a couple of the suggestions ITT were reasonable--JD/MBA or successfully run a small business.

Aug 26, 2016

Have you ever worked in Government/politics? Could you second for a year to treasury or commerce etc? Or take a leave of absence to go work for a congressman/senator? Trust me, the actual reality is probably quite different from what your expecting (although it can still be very enjoyable!)

Speaking from experience, I also don't see law as your best option to get in to politics. There is a high premium placed on understanding business and the economy in politics at the moment and for some reason ibers are *perceived* to have this experience. Have you thought about trying to make a direct move?

Aug 26, 2016

If you want to be a politician, just run for some local political office now instead of dicking around in finance or law school.

Aug 26, 2016
jackrubin:
moneymogul:

It sounds like you don't want anything to do with finance and prefer law/gov't... and you got into Harvard Law... hmmmm.

I don't dislike finance at all. There's actually quite a few aspects that make it a great fit for me. The end game is certainly politics for me though. That's a risky bet, however, and it is much harder to become a congressman than to become an investment banker.

if you want to be a congressman, then stop thinking in terms of money because money is not the goal. power is the currency of politics and if you want to pursue it then you need to get into that business. Go to Law School and get yourself down to DC when you graduate. But be prepared that you are going to be making less money for a long time until you are in a position of power (at which point it becomes a gravy-train of corruption)...it will take your entire youth/early middle-age years to get there and the odds are long against you.

Aug 26, 2016
Ipso facto:

People are getting far too caught up in this high finance vs. big law debate. For money/work/balance/opportunities, finance is probably the winner, but that doesn't help the OP. Good luck trying to get into politics as a hot shot banker these days given the vitriol out there. For a political career, he'd probably be better off going to Harvard Law and then working as a community organizer...

I do think a couple of the suggestions ITT were reasonable--JD/MBA or successfully run a small business.

if i 22 and wanted to get into politics i would go to DC, build a track record of working in grass-roots policy advocacy, and also try at every possibility to make connections with rich people who fund elections and who share your passion for whatever causes you pretend to care about. The other option is to get rich elsewhere and then blow a large part of your own fortune trying to fund your political ascent...if it works you will be paid back manifiold, if not you will have wasted alot of money.

Aug 26, 2016
Ipso facto:

People are getting far too caught up in this high finance vs. big law debate. For money/work/balance/opportunities, finance is probably the winner, but that doesn't help the OP. Good luck trying to get into politics as a hot shot banker these days given the vitriol out there. For a political career, he'd probably be better off going to Harvard Law and then working as a community organizer...

I do think a couple of the suggestions ITT were reasonable--JD/MBA or successfully run a small business.

Good luck paying your 2-3k/month in student loans as a community organizer.

Mar 7, 2016
bengigi:

I can't help but think that half (if not more) of what is coming out of mbavsmfin's mouth is made up.

More than half, but yeah. I'm not even convinced he's going to Wharton, to be honest.

Aug 26, 2016
Raptor.45:
Ipso facto:

People are getting far too caught up in this high finance vs. big law debate. For money/work/balance/opportunities, finance is probably the winner, but that doesn't help the OP. Good luck trying to get into politics as a hot shot banker these days given the vitriol out there. For a political career, he'd probably be better off going to Harvard Law and then working as a community organizer...

I do think a couple of the suggestions ITT were reasonable--JD/MBA or successfully run a small business.

Good luck paying your 2-3k/month in student loans as a community organizer.

Sorry, I wasn't being serious. Making a bad Obama joke.

Aug 26, 2016
Bondarb:

if i 22 and wanted to get into politics i would go to DC, build a track record of working in grass-roots policy advocacy, and also try at every possibility to make connections with rich people who fund elections and who share your passion for whatever causes you pretend to care about. The other option is to get rich elsewhere and then blow a large part of your own fortune trying to fund your political ascent...if it works you will be paid back manifiold, if not you will have wasted alot of money.

Yeah, I agree with you and SirTradesalot. The most realistic options are to get involved with politics (local or DC) as soon as possible, or just get filthy rich/famous and run.

Aug 26, 2016
mbavsmfin:

First of all, congrats on Harvard Law! Huge accomplishment; getting into an elite school is truly one of the greatest human experiences you'll ever go through.

not to hijack thread but is this Brady? Must be

Mar 7, 2016
leveredarb:
mbavsmfin:

First of all, congrats on Harvard Law! Huge accomplishment; getting into an elite school is truly one of the greatest human experiences you'll ever go through.

not to hijack thread but is this Brady? Must be

Yeah it is we figured it out earlier, good catch.

Aug 26, 2016

If your goal is to be a politician then yeah, getting a law degree seems like the logical choice (just based on the raw data). You probably wont make as much money in politics as you would in banking, but your hours would be much more favorable and you would certainly do a lot less work. You also get the benefit of being called 'congressman' or 'senator' wherever you go. Hell, with a Harvard law degree, they may even call you 'Mr. President,' and at that point, it's easy to become a multimillionaire without doing any actual work at all.

Aug 26, 2016

If I were to ever run for elected office, I think telling people "I'm a businessman" would be more appealing than telling them "I'm a lawyer".

Both private equity and corporate law will give you a Wall Street image, but at least with PE you have more money to fund campaigns and likely a broader network of rich people.

Aug 26, 2016

These days, I think it would be more difficult to begin a political career by saying that you're a banker instead of a lawyer. Businessman would probably be fine.

Aug 26, 2016

these threads are awesome cuz every1 feels the same about their banking job deep down inside - we jus need sum1 like this rubin kid to say he hates his job at a top Bb and wants to move to something non-finance and everyone loses their minds lol

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

Aug 26, 2016

People are not saying that banking is perfect and spiritually satisfying. Rather, our argument is that banking at least pays well and leads to great exit opps, in contrast to corporate law. If rubin wants to run for political office, it's much better to do so from a position of financial strength.

Aug 26, 2016

If you want to go into politics, go for broke. As you've said, it's much harder becoming a congressman than it is becoming an IB analyst, but you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and your post sounds like you're saying "I want to work in politics eventually but don't know if it's worth the risk of quitting a high paying finance job and going to law school for 3 years for an uncertainty", which to me shows you don't want it (politics) bad enough.

FWIW, after going through due diligence however many times, I can't think of anything worse than going into law. Just having to sit on 1-2 hours calls, once a week to review purchase agreements makes me want to jump out of a window.

Aug 26, 2016
mbavsmfin:

People are not saying that banking is perfect and spiritually satisfying. Rather, our argument is that banking at least pays well and leads to great exit opps, in contrast to corporate law. If rubin wants to run for political office, it's much better to do so from a position of financial strength.

lol im moar talkin bout how ppl who h8 their jobs can vent on this forum cuz every1 relates not bout rubin @ all

i hear u go to wharton mba damn

"so i herd u liek mudkipz" - sum kid
"I'd watergun the **** outta that." - Kassad

Aug 26, 2016

I thought that I'd chime in. I was just recently able to switch from law into banking, after a few years at a top law firm. The legal industry is severely contracting and many firms are shedding excess associates in order to maintain PPP. That being said, if you don't want to go into BigLaw and you're passionate about politics and are willing to spend the 200K and 3 years lost opp cost, then it may be a worthwhile endeavor. It's all about what makes you happy in life.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016
ld2106:

I thought that I'd chime in. I was just recently able to switch from law into banking, after a few years at a top law firm. The legal industry is severely contracting and many firms are shedding excess associates in order to maintain PPP. That being said, if you don't want to go into BigLaw and you're passionate about politics and are willing to spend the 200K and 3 years lost opp cost, then it may be a worthwhile endeavor. It's all about what makes you happy in life.

Wow. You got lucky making that transition possible. My cousin would love to follow your steps. Any tips on how a corporate lawyer gets into I-banking? I am sure my cousin would appreciate your advice.

Btw, anyone that is considering a career in law over finance should read the following article:
http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2013/02...

Aug 26, 2016

I've been down a tough road. Just know that no amount of money can bring back your years wasted in unhappiness, or even worse, wasted in the unexamined life. No amount of money can give you peace, love, or happiness.

"The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter"

Aug 26, 2016

"House of Cards: Chapter 2 (#1.2)" (2013)
Francis Underwood: Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power - in this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries.

Having left GS/MS/JPM for work with more influence and meaning to me, I find the quote particularly apt.

Aug 26, 2016

If your not happy in finance now you probably won't be in the future. Take the leap and get into law/poli

Aug 26, 2016

jackrubin, i'm at hls and would be happy to talk to you more about the decision you're facing.

Aug 26, 2016

Congrats on HLS! I suggest doing what will make you happy long-term.

Aug 26, 2016

You've come to the right place. I'm from WSO and I'm here to help.

So how long have you known you were gay?

    • 8
    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

You've lost your mind. They wouldn't have hired you if they didn't want you and they would have fired you if your weren't providing value. You're in a better spot than 99.99% of the world and US population in terms of accomplishments and income. Stay the course. In dark times, just think of that second sentence I typed and that most people would give their left nut to be in your spot.

Aug 26, 2016

Yes, people do. I did, I quit my consulting job at MBB and joined the UN for 6 mos doing development work in Africa and the middle east. One of the best experiences of my life. Then went to b-school. My advice, do things like this in your career now, close to applying to grad school since that is when you'll have the greatest flexibility to explain such major career decisions. Once you're post grad school, it will become very difficult to explan any hiatus unless you are a KOL in your particular field and have no plans to change industries once established.

Good luck.

Aug 26, 2016

Holy shit, I was just looking at the UN volunteer FAQ page while you posted that. First, hats off to you for actually following through with it. Second, a few questions:

  • What was your initial motivation for quitting MBB?
  • What are you doing post-MBA? (Or if you are still in b-school, what is your intended path?)
  • Why did you decide to do an MBA after the volunteering gig? How did it change what you wanted to do with your life?
  • When most people think "volunteer in a third-world country", they think of teaching or building houses/wells in rural areas. While I have tremendous amount of respect for these types of volunteering gigs, I feel that it wouldn't be a best way to utilize my skills. What kind of 'development work' did you do?

Thanks!

Aug 26, 2016

Ahh, but what is the most prestigious third world country?

In all seriousness: did the volunteering help with b-school admission? With finding jobs?

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Aug 26, 2016
  1. I'm doing restructuring/special situations inv banking out of b-school
  2. No, it did not help with recruiters, they honestly don't care, unless maybe if you go the consulting route, but def not finance
  3. it definitely did help with MBA, I was singled out for my work during orientation by Beth Flye during CIM week (look up the Kellogg acronyms)
  4. My focus was on fundraising. I was placed with a NGO that consults for the UN in these regions. NGOs primarily function under 2 lines: Development & Program. Development is focused on fundraising/capital raising and Program is focused on actually executing the mission of the NGO or the dept of the UN. I explored new sources of fund raising and also helped out some in Program, primarily on the health care side (my background is health care)
  5. I was sick of consulting and constantly working for the job.
  6. I actually intended on doing my MBA before quitting and doing this gig, so there was some plan in place (aka GMAT taken, recs from coworkers at MBB)
  7. Most people have no idea what Development work in a 3rd world country entails since they've never done it. It definitely adds fodder to conversations. My rec, join either a NGO or a dept of the UN that is near and dear to you, becuase your stipend sux, mine was $16/day + transport, I was based in NYC. It was hard taking 6 mo off, but I learned a lot about the UN and working with a top rated NGO, and traveling to Turkey was awesome. I also fundamentally felt good that I was actually helping people less fortunate and in dire situations.
Aug 26, 2016

Good luck.

Aug 26, 2016

Luckily I'm going through my quarter-life crisis while I'm in school, and I'm really glad I did, here's a breakdown:

Pre-"crisis":
-Cared about making lots of money
-Cared about how many girls I fucked
-Interested in AM, HF, ER, consulting
-Hadn't gotten anywhere towards these goals (other than going back to school)

Post-"crisis":
-Care about earning a good living (read: I don't need to make even half a million per year to be happy)
-Interested in staying with and helping to develop a company, large or small, from within
-Want to have a family eventually (still want to slay for now)
-Interested in CorpFin/Strat, consulting (I am still interested in the ones I mentioned before, but I don't think they're going to give me the balance that I want in life)

Obviously I'm starting to set my goals towards the future. I think this is the quarter life crisis for most people. I'm tired of partying. I'm tired of fucking around with my life. I want to be somewhere that I'm appreciated and I enjoy being at.

Aug 26, 2016

Interested in more stories.

Socola, that's awesome!

Aug 26, 2016

Go volunteer or something

I banana back

Aug 26, 2016

You should probably get a finance related job/internship to decide whether you actually like the field before jumping into it(especially something like CFA). The material is dense and will take alot of effort and commitment. And many finance jobs, you DO NOT need a CFA to land. It would shape out your resume but considering that you will spend your own money buying books and paying for the exam itself, you should really consider your options after the CFA and your options after graduating with Bsc

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

I'm in a similar position in many ways... actually possibly worse

I studied architecture, did well, and loved it (undergrad). Then I took a time out and decided to travel, somewhere along the line I got very involved in marketing/sales and got interested in business. Now I'm going to study for gmat and go to bschool. (there is a lot more to the story; but thats the bottom line)

Actually the reason I studied architecture was because I had no idea what I wanted to do fresh out of highschool; and turned to a friend for advice; he said 'study something that you want to know more about. one day you'll look back and see where all your interests lead you to'. so study that if you really want to... if you dont want but feel you 'should' for whatever reason you'll probably be just as confused in 5yrs time..

I dont think its a crisis as long as you feel you are doing the best you can with the options you have. let go of the things that arent in your control; change the ones that are in your control (which need change).. and remember to enjoy your life. just my 2cents worth.

"Dont compromise yourself; you're all you've got" - Janis Joplin

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016
MissNG:

I'm in a similar position in many ways... actually possibly worse

I studied architecture, did well, and loved it (undergrad). Then I took a time out and decided to travel, somewhere along the line I got very involved in marketing/sales and got interested in business. Now I'm going to study for gmat and go to bschool. (there is a lot more to the story; but thats the bottom line)

Actually the reason I studied architecture was because I had no idea what I wanted to do fresh out of highschool; and turned to a friend for advice; he said 'study something that you want to know more about. one day you'll look back and see where all your interests lead you to'. so study that if you really want to... if you dont want but feel you 'should' for whatever reason you'll probably be just as confused in 5yrs time..

I dont think its a crisis as long as you feel you are doing the best you can with the options you have. let go of the things that arent in your control; change the ones that are in your control (which need change).. and remember to enjoy your life. just my 2cents worth.

MissNG seems a nice genuine girl. Architecture sounds more appealing to me.

"I already know I'm going to Hell. So, at this point it's go big or go home"

    • 1
Aug 26, 2016

Thanks guys for the replies. Intern is almost impossible to find in the competitive job market in my small country.. But I'll still try finding one next summer if it's possible. Meanwhile reading up here on WSO lets me know more about different job scope in the financial sector too. Should have known of this much earlier..

Aug 26, 2016
Aug 26, 2016
Aug 26, 2016
Mar 5, 2016
Aug 26, 2016
Mar 5, 2016
Aug 26, 2016
Mar 5, 2016
    • 1