Areas of Finance Where a Law Degree is Most Valued | Wa

Law degree investment Banking

Banking Investment / December 23, 2016

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

-William Shakespeare,

Lawyers don’t get much respect – whether it’s from investment bankers or Shakespeare.

But if you’re a lawyer and you want to break into finance – investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, and so on – there is good news: you have it easier than some professions.

And in some ways you have it harder – so let’s get started with what you’re up against, what your strengths are, and how to network like a ninja and dominate your interviews until you land an offer.

What You’re Up Against

Each profession faces its own set of challenges when breaking into finance:

  • : They’re great with numbers, but can they talk to real people and work far more than they would at tech companies?
  • They might be accounting wizards, but can they work without sleep for days at a time?
  • They understand how to work with clients and how the corporate world works, but can they work banker hours and avoid using the mouse in Excel?
  • : They can communicate, but can they crunch numbers and burn the midnight oil?

Here’s your challenge as a lawyer:

“I know you can burn the midnight oil and deal with crazy people all day, but can you count? Do you know how to use Excel? And are you ready to throw away your investment in law school and your career up until now?”

In Your Favor

On the other hand, you do have a few things working in your favor:

  • You “get it” – you understand how the corporate world works, what you’ll have to put up with, and how to deal with psychopaths all day long.
  • You’re hopefully at a prestigious law firm that everyone knows – that’s huge.
  • You can get better networking opportunities by going through clients, former clients, and even Partners and ex-Partners at your firm (yes, discretion is required).

All things considered, you don’t have it so bad next to the engineers and liberal arts majors out there that want to move into business.