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Posted: 10/3/2008 6:11:42 AM EDT
I'm a senior now majoring in finance and wouldn't like to find a first job in M&A as an analyst. With the economy being how it is I'm starting to worry if I'll even be able to find a good job. Eventually I wouldn't mind going into VC or PE, but that is not in my immediate future. What are the pros and cons of going for my MBA or Law School?
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 8:31:16 AM EDT
A few lessons I have learned:

1.  The GOOD MBA programs want you to have experience in the real world before returning for your MBA.  Oftentimes, this is 5 years.
2.  Law school will take you right out of your undergrad.
3.  Neither has much in the way of money available for students, so unless you have a lot of money around, plan to graduate with a significant debt load.  Obviously there are exceptions to this (instate tuition, living at home...)
4.  Unless you graduate top in your class from a top law school, the big salary law jobs may not be open to you.  This needs to play in heavily in a decision to go deep into debt for law school.  Law firms know this, and treat people accordingly.  The best bet is to minimize loan debt to give yourself more job flexibility.
5.  MBA programs like to tell people "we will help you triple your salary," and they are not far off the mark.  MBAs lead to more money early, in general.  MBA's may also be more high-risk in terms of job stability.
6.  MBA salary claims leverage the fact that people were making money before, and establishing their professional network.  Law schools assume you START building your network in school with summer internships and such.
7.  If you REALLY want to expand your horizons, look for a JD/MBA program.  However, be prepared to work your tail off for 4 years.

just some thoughts...

shooter
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 11:30:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rich219:
I'm a senior now majoring in finance and wouldn't like to find a first job in M&A as an analyst. With the economy being how it is I'm starting to worry if I'll even be able to find a good job. Eventually I wouldn't mind going into VC or PE, but that is not in my immediate future. What are the pros and cons of going for my MBA or Law School?


the odds of you getting into a top mba program with no experience are pretty much slim-to-none. as a result, you'd be looking at a second-tier mba program at best, which would completely hamper your ability to get into a wall street or even middle-market bank.

provided you're a good student and a hard worker, your best bet by far is the jd. provided you can graduate top 25% in a top 25-50 school, there's an excellent chance that you'll be able to work for a top firm with a strong transactions practice. from there, it's not really all that difficult to lateral into an associate position at a bank (after all, you'll already be working with a lot bankers if you choose the right area of law to practice in).

additionally, i've seen jds start off as associates as well (with no time spent in law), but this was 4 years ago, when the market was better.
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 11:41:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rich219:
I'm a senior now majoring in finance and wouldn't like to find a first job in M&A as an analyst. With the economy being how it is I'm starting to worry if I'll even be able to find a good job. Eventually I wouldn't mind going into VC or PE, but that is not in my immediate future. What are the pros and cons of going for my MBA or Law School?


by the way, i forgot to add this:

don't be so short-sighted about your future career that you only have your eye on the ball of investment banking.

don't forget that there are A LOT of great fortune 500 rotational leadership programs out there (i.e. GE, Disney, Boeing, Home Depot etc.) that take NON-MBAs/undergrads that could put you through the tracks of fields such as Strategic Planning, Mergers & Acquisitions, Treasury, Finance, and Operations through the course of 2-3 years.

often times, these programs will develop people who are just as good as wall street analysts. these programs are great feeders into managerial roles in strategic planning / corporate development or to mbas in general.
Link Posted: 10/3/2008 6:29:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shooter220:
A few lessons I have learned:

1.  The GOOD MBA programs want you to have experience in the real world before returning for your MBA.  Oftentimes, this is 5 years.
2.  Law school will take you right out of your undergrad.
3.  Neither has much in the way of money available for students, so unless you have a lot of money around, plan to graduate with a significant debt load.  Obviously there are exceptions to this (instate tuition, living at home...)
4.  Unless you graduate top in your class from a top law school, the big salary law jobs may not be open to you.  This needs to play in heavily in a decision to go deep into debt for law school.  Law firms know this, and treat people accordingly.  The best bet is to minimize loan debt to give yourself more job flexibility.
5.  MBA programs like to tell people "we will help you triple your salary," and they are not far off the mark.  MBAs lead to more money early, in general.  MBA's may also be more high-risk in terms of job stability.
6.  MBA salary claims leverage the fact that people were making money before, and establishing their professional network.  Law schools assume you START building your network in school with summer internships and such.
7.  If you REALLY want to expand your horizons, look for a JD/MBA program.  However, be prepared to work your tail off for 4 years.

just some thoughts...

shooter


This would probably be your best bet, in my opinion.  I wish I had done this from the start.  I have a MA in political science (I had every intention to go to law school ) and I have one class left to complete an MBA degree.  I have made numerous contacts through internships and business professionals at my school.  Even in a recession, I don't see you having a problem getting a job with either degree...if you make the right contacts.  I know everybody says it and it sounds cliche, but its not about what you know but rather WHO you know.  This is VERY important especially in law and business.  

Who knows, maybe 10 years from now I will go back to school and get a law degree.

Link Posted: 10/4/2008 12:13:08 PM EDT
I should clarify. I'm not looking to go into a MBA program straight from undergrad. I would go and work for 3 years minimum until I could get into the school of my choice.
Link Posted: 10/5/2008 5:59:08 AM EDT
I am not a MBA or Law grad but have friends and family who are. Based on their hardship I suggest you look into the many military options to obtain those degrees. The big bonus is the government pays your way. No debt. There are many other bonuses too. You get to work real cases right off the bat with very little liability to you. You can't be sued. And if I'm not mistaken there are many Fortune 500 companies that seek out military experience. From what I have been told, that network is the strongest of all.
Link Posted: 10/6/2008 7:23:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By southfloridaguns:
I am not a MBA or Law grad but have friends and family who are. Based on their hardship I suggest you look into the many military options to obtain those degrees. The big bonus is the government pays your way. No debt. There are many other bonuses too. You get to work real cases right off the bat with very little liability to you. You can't be sued. And if I'm not mistaken there are many Fortune 500 companies that seek out military experience. From what I have been told, that network is the strongest of all.


I'd like to avoid military service if possible. I'm not sure how much the military could do for me in the finance industry and from what I've heard the first 5 yrs in the industry will make or break you.
Link Posted: 10/6/2008 7:50:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rich219:
I should clarify. I'm not looking to go into a MBA program straight from undergrad. I would go and work for 3 years minimum until I could get into the school of my choice.


Given this, my advice for what it's worth is to go ahead and take the LSAT while simultaneously applying for finance-related jobs.

If you can get a banking job, you're set. If not, settling for a Fortune 500 rotational program would be acceptable as well (corporate development jobs in particular cut both ways with CD Analyst positions being popular exits for ex-banking analysts and cd analysts being able to lateral into pe). A third option (while not as prestigious, but it gets the job done and you kind of have to take what you can get in this economy) is either a) transaction advisory services or b) valuation services for a Big 4 accountancy or high-level mid-market accountancy like Grant Thornton.

Although transaction / valuation services isn't banking in the purest of senses, these guys basically end up doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of deal due diligence. As a result, these guys are often strong contenders as well for pe, although it might take them longer to get there than bankers and they often don't place well beyond the mid-tier shops.

At any rate, if you can get into one of the 3 tracks listed above, I'd stick with the MBA. Based on personal experience, I'd say that 3 out of 4 of all the top guys in PE/VC are bankers/guys with finance backgrounds and 1 out of 4 are ex-lawyers. However, in the event that you can't get into one of the tracks listed, I think getting a JD will put you closer to your ultimate goal of PE/VC versus some random job like HR or marketing.

Provided you can get into a top 50 law school and graduate in the top quarter, you should be able to land a pretty decent gig in the transactions practice of a top 50 law firm. This will put you in contact with a lot of the people who work for the types of businesses that you'd ultimately want to work for. While you wouldn't necessarily be involved heavily on the "numbers" side of the business, you would pick up a tremendous amount of knowledge in terms of i) deal structuring / negotiation, and ii) taxation. While this might be perceived as a slight knock in prestige to you given your bias toward numbers and my presumption of your major in finance, believe me when I say that true value in m&a is provided by creative structuring and knowledge of taxation (with taxation being the key as almost every deal I've seen was driven by this consideration). At the end of the day, finance is absolute bullshit as anyone can make the numbers justify any scenario they want. However, structuring and tax and things you can't bullshit and you damn well better know what you're talking about and what the implications might be when you put something on the table.

Thus, given what you'd learn in law and the proximity you'd have to dealmakers in a solid transactions practice, law would be a great route if you can't swing a finance-related gig.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 5:34:51 AM EDT
MBA when businesses are collapsing.  Attorneys are going to be scrambling too. Want a job?  Become a special agent with the FBI or IRS.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 2:22:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4v50:
MBA when businesses are collapsing.  Attorneys are going to be scrambling too. Want a job?  Become a special agent with the FBI or IRS.



Businesses are collapsing but it is a temporary thing. It won't stay like this forever. The FBI and the IRS doesn't pay much is what I'm guessing?
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 3:02:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2008 3:05:08 PM EDT by ar-jedi]

Originally Posted By 4v50:
a special agent with the FBI


this is an admirable suggestion.  but...

in early 2001 i was involved in an FBI "white collar" operation as part of a corporate espionage investigation (you read about it in the papers).  i attended pre-arrest, tactical, and post-arrest briefings, met with FBI technical operations folks, advised on technical matters, identified intellectual property evidence, and overall i thought the whole operation was very interesting.  the special-agent-in-charge pulled two of us aside after the arrests were made and suggested that if we had any interest whatsoever in law enforcement that the FBI was continually looking for technical experts in fields such as telecommunications and cryptography.  he continued on about how difficult it was to recruit and keep technical folks, who were more needed than ever.  he explained the process of becoming an agent, and also provided the pay rate for Quantico graduates assigned to technical operations positions.  

afterward, i sincerely hoped that i did not appear shocked when he stated the pay scale.  at the time, i was hiring recent college graduates with electrical engineering degrees at over twice the salary that the FBI was paying to first year agents.  i recall thinking at the time that it was going to be IMPOSSIBLE for the FBI, illustrious career opportunity as it may be, to attract and retain the best and brightest at salaries that were roughly on par with teaching at the high school level.  although i have not checked lately, i really hope that entry and upper level FBI wages have increased disproportionally to other government occupations.  

ar-jedi
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 3:14:09 PM EDT
I'm looking at going back to school soon (I work in finance, securities).  I've been told by a number of senior managers that they saw a JD having more value.  MBAs seem to all over the place, and many don't measure up.  A Director in our investment bank said that the CFA was really the ticket for someone looking to get into that area.

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 3:24:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By USMC2111:
I'm looking at going back to school soon (I work in finance, securities).  I've been told by a number of senior managers that they saw a JD having more value.  MBAs seem to all over the place, and many don't measure up.  A Director in our investment bank said that the CFA was really the ticket for someone looking to get into that area.

Semper Fi


The CFA is what I think I'm going to start studying for by the end of the month and then upon graduation start studying for the GMAT.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 3:27:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By USMC2111:
I'm looking at going back to school soon (I work in finance, securities).  I've been told by a number of senior managers that they saw a JD having more value.  MBAs seem to all over the place, and many don't measure up.  A Director in our investment bank said that the CFA was really the ticket for someone looking to get into that area.

Semper Fi


I would agree with this in general. However, about the CFA comment, it's really only worthwhile if you're interested in research or sell-side/buy-side investment management. Pure investment banking bankers in general won't care if you have it (it's a plus all things equal, but i've never seen anyone who's been discriminated against for not having it), institutional salesmen and traders won't care if you have it, and guys in corporate development or private equity won't care if you have it. In the venture capital world, the cfa is all but useless, as  the cfa doesn't really teach you how to evaluate a company that has no history, no customers, and no cash flows.

However, as I mentioned earlier regarding the JD, the reason so many people value it is because it teaches you how to think critically around issues such as deal structuring, negotiation, and tax. Most ordinary finance professionals only scratch the surface as far as these issues are concerned, and these are the issues that are critical in terms of getting things done.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 4:03:44 PM EDT
I'm in my last year of a JD program and this is what I have learned:  Its all what you make of it, as is any experience in life.  If you know the area you would like to practice in before you enter, you are more prepared than most of the people around you.  Pursue any opportunity you can in related fields.  Pick a school with a clinic in the area, or strong ties to those in practice.  Make as many contacts as you can, and and don't be afraid to talk to people who are in the position you want to be in.  Ask them how they got to where they are. Also, be polite to everyone, you never know when or who may be able to help you later on.
Link Posted: 10/8/2008 5:38:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rich219:
Businesses are collapsing but it is a temporary thing. It won't stay like this forever. The FBI and the IRS doesn't pay much is what I'm guessing?



Originally Posted By Rich219:
I'd like to avoid military service if possible. I'm not sure how much the military could do for me in the finance industry and from what I've heard the first 5 yrs in the industry will make or break you.



Originally Posted By Rich219:
The CFA is what I think I'm going to start studying for by the end of the month and then upon graduation start studying for the GMAT.


The market for people with your degree is very, very soft right now.  I have a friend with degree a degree in Finance and very nearly a degree in Accounting, with years of full time experience and an internship with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Today, she interviewed for a teller position at a local bank.  She has sent out applications every day for the last six months.

The FBI starts its agents out at 60,000 dollars a year, but don't worry, they don't want anyone who doesn't have experience.

The military will pay for 65,000 dollars in student loans and give you a job for the next four years.  When you get out you can have four years of experience and a strong resume for graduate school.  The downside is that you will have to spend your fair share of time in the suck.

So, either stay in school (and you've been given good advice regarding which programs to apply to) or join the military.

Your choice.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 4:40:03 PM EDT
After college, close to 30 years ago, I was chosen as a candidate for a financial analysis training program. That program was key in me achieving the position of vice pres. Today, that program doesn't exist because the bar has been raised. I see young MBA grads with financial and analytical skills beyond their years, ready to work and financially, doing very well for themselves.

As far as a JD degree, my older brother joined the ROTC when he was in college. After graduation he went straight to law school; after law school he went in the military. He entered the military as a first Lieutenant and eventually practiced law in the military at the rank of captain. He now is trial lawyer in his own private practice.

Your young, which ever way you choose to go, get it out the way now.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 8:23:59 AM EDT
Good posts
Link Posted: 11/9/2008 8:16:11 AM EDT


thread resurrection....



there are literally tens of thousands of recently laid-off people with MBAs and solid, real-world VC, IB, M&A, etc experience.



You don't want to try and compete with people with Merrill, Morgan, UBS etc on their resumes.


Link Posted: 11/9/2008 5:44:11 PM EDT
I got a degree in finance in December. Been looking for a degree ever since! But I dont know anybody nor did I go to any prestigious school. I wish you luck! I think yo0u have to have a degree to be an analyst. I think you can be an associate. I could have gotten them backwords?  But an MBA would definitly get you into an analyst position a law degree would get you more into the legal side and not the analyst position.
Link Posted: 11/10/2008 4:51:00 PM EDT
Screw it.  This is Arfcom, get both!


-James
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 1:21:29 PM EDT
You can be a good and effective manager without an MBA, nut you can't be a lawyer without a law degree.

MBA's are what the boss's son obtains to give him somecredibility and justify his elevated salary.

George Bush has an MBA.

Most good MBA programs require that you are at least 28 with several years managerial experience.

I seen a recent salary survey for lawyers that had some horrendous stats in it. A lot of young lawyers worked for $40k, and you had to be lucky to make over $100k. Only those with their own practices, or who were partners in major firms, earned over $200k.

How much you make as a lawyer is mainly determined by what you specialize in. Criminal defense or prosecution pays very little. The best aid lawyers seem to be those who work in Intellectual property (ough work that requires a good memory) or personal injury.

If your aim in life is to make money look for a job that requires skills, licensing, and where you can have your own business. ideally in an industry that cannot be exported overseas. Plumbers and electricians always seem to do well and have secure incomes - plus you spend less time and money on the education. You may prefer somthing less vocational though. Pornbrokers and gunstores are doing well right now :-)

Link Posted: 11/13/2008 1:50:19 PM EDT
My friend with the Finance BS just landed a 50K a year job (with a 5K yearly bonus and a discount on apartments) in NoVA.

So there is hope.
Link Posted: 11/13/2008 8:57:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
My friend with the Finance BS just landed a 50K a year job (with a 5K yearly bonus and a discount on apartments) in NoVA.

So there is hope.


I'm not worried about finding a $50k/yr job, it's the $100k/yr starting jobs I'm looking for right now.
Link Posted: 11/14/2008 2:45:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rich219:
I'm not worried about finding a $50k/yr job, it's the $100k/yr starting jobs I'm looking for right now.


Aren't we all!

Link Posted: 11/14/2008 4:00:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2008 4:04:20 AM EDT by shooter220]
Originally Posted By Meta4:
Originally Posted By Rich219:
I'm not worried about finding a $50k/yr job, it's the $100k/yr starting jobs I'm looking for right now.


Aren't we all!



I LOVE seeing this much ambition, but in reality, you (the OP) may be dreaming, given the current economy.  Six figure salaries are generally reserved for people who have a lot of experience, and six figure starting salaries are VERY rare in any industry, no matter the grades.

The way it is going now, Deloitte is laying off a ton of people largely so that they can keep promises to campus recruits.  Turns out, if you break those promises, college recruiting takes years to recover.  With a JD, the odds of starting at 6 figures are less than 1/20.  Seriously, the average for folks right out of school is closer to 50k.  The MBA only pays you a lot of money if you have experience.  If you have an MBA and no experience, you would probably be looking at around 85k (at a Deloitte or something like it).  If you have some finance experience, AND an MBA, you will make pretty good money.

Folks looking for 6 figures right out of school need finance backgrounds and Wall Street connections.

shooter
Link Posted: 11/14/2008 5:36:31 AM EDT
the only people getting 6 figures straight out of school in finance these days are hard quant guys.



think mathematical modeling



Wall St competes with NASA for these guys
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 12:19:21 PM EDT
I can aggree, getting out of college and getting a 100k job for anybody is close to none. Only if you have a close friend who runs a hedge fund or you are the best child prodigy are you going to get 100k straight out of college. And guess what? With the economy being hit by the FINANCE department, you know the loans department, stock market and anything thats not basic accounting. The finance field is largely downsizing. And us new recruits are being forced to look in other fields. And I have to aggree, everybody is looking for a 100k job!
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 8:14:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By offuuu:
I can aggree, getting out of college and getting a 100k job for anybody is close to none. Only if you have a close friend who runs a hedge fund or you are the best child prodigy are you going to get 100k straight out of college. And guess what? With the economy being hit by the FINANCE department, you know the loans department, stock market and anything thats not basic accounting. The finance field is largely downsizing. And us new recruits are being forced to look in other fields. And I have to aggree, everybody is looking for a 100k job!


I've talked to a lot of people that are getting (maybe were getting now) over $100k/yr after bonuses. 60-80 base w/ another 40-60k in bonuses as an analyst. Hopefully we'll start to see a turnaround by march/april and unemployement numbers will improve.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 3:40:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
thread resurrection....

there are literally tens of thousands of recently laid-off people with MBAs and solid, real-world VC, IB, M&A, etc experience.

You don't want to try and compete with people with Merrill, Morgan, UBS etc on their resumes.





I was waiting for this post, I started to think I was in the twilight zone, or lived in another world.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 5:50:33 PM EDT
Good luck. To get the job you want in this market you will need it.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 7:50:54 PM EDT
Learn to weld, farm, reload, mechanic, etc. etc.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 8:52:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rich219:
Originally Posted By offuuu:
I can aggree, getting out of college and getting a 100k job for anybody is close to none. Only if you have a close friend who runs a hedge fund or you are the best child prodigy are you going to get 100k straight out of college. And guess what? With the economy being hit by the FINANCE department, you know the loans department, stock market and anything thats not basic accounting. The finance field is largely downsizing. And us new recruits are being forced to look in other fields. And I have to aggree, everybody is looking for a 100k job!


I've talked to a lot of people that are getting (maybe were getting now) over $100k/yr after bonuses. 60-80 base w/ another 40-60k in bonuses as an analyst. Hopefully we'll start to see a turnaround by march/april and unemployement numbers will improve.


I was an analyst back in the '02-'03 years when the economy was in the crapper and bonuses sucked. Back then, 1st year banking analysts made 55k base and 15k in bonus (02) and 55k base and 30k in bonus (03). You're seriously smoking some crack if you think that numbers will even be close to that going forward in any entry-level finance field.

I can confirm first hand (as I still have good friends who stayed on the banking track and got directly promoted from analyst to associate) that many good associates got ZERO bonus over the last cycle as banks just simply couldn't afford to pay. They were told by management that their bonuses consisted of simply being able to keep their jobs. Additionally, these weren't boutique banks I'm talking about; rather, they're banks that were formerly in the bulge bracket grouping.

For some insight into the industry, check out some insider wall street rags such as dealbreaker.com or wallstreetfolly.com and take a hard look through the archives at all the layoffs that are going on. Even if you do get a Wall Street job, you'll be lucky to get any bonus at all in today's environment.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 2:39:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2008 2:40:12 PM EDT by Cacinok]
there are jobs in the legal field that are starting off over $100k, actually the starting new hires at the larger firms are making $125k.  here's the catch.  you have to get into a top 5 (maybe 10) ranked law school.  then you have to rank w/i the top 10-15% of your class.  once you've done all that, then you get to make 6 figures and sell your soul to the firm.  most large firms want you to bill at btwn 2000 and 2200 hours a year, give or take. some dip down to 1900.  on average an attorney bills 50% of the time he's at the office.  so if you do the math, even taking the low number of 1900, you'd need to be in the office roughly 2850 hours.  assuming you take two weeks vacation, you are left working 57 hour weeks.  my friends who went this route generally report working 60/wk minimum.  

the law school i went to offered both a mba and jd.  you could complete them both in 3.0 years if you went year round.

so in true arfcom fashion, i say get both.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 2:45:42 PM EDT
Why do you only bill 50% of your time?
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 3:01:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2008 3:01:46 PM EDT by anr6t]
Originally Posted By Cacinok:
there are jobs in the legal field that are starting off over $100k, actually the starting new hires at the larger firms are making $125k.  here's the catch.  you have to get into a top 5 (maybe 10) ranked law school.  then you have to rank w/i the top 10-15% of your class.  once you've done all that, then you get to make 6 figures and sell your soul to the firm.  most large firms want you to bill at btwn 2000 and 2200 hours a year, give or take. some dip down to 1900.  on average an attorney bills 50% of the time he's at the office.  so if you do the math, even taking the low number of 1900, you'd need to be in the office roughly 2850 hours.  assuming you take two weeks vacation, you are left working 57 hour weeks.  my friends who went this route generally report working 60/wk minimum.  

the law school i went to offered both a mba and jd.  you could complete them both in 3.0 years if you went year round.

so in true arfcom fashion, i say get both.


Is that supposed to be an enormous number of billable hours?  Not a lawyer or an MBA, but I do work in a finance related field and am expected to bill a minimum of 2200 hours per year.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 4:03:07 AM EDT
This is a neat thread, so I'll add my 2cents for the hell of it.

I have a double degree in accounting and finance and am currently on my way to law school.  As it stands right now, I plan on getting an LLM and probably MBA or masters later, after LS.  When I was in the middle of undergrad, I wanted to have enough of a background in something so I would never be tied down to any one area, and I want to be recession proof.  

So, once I finish LS, I'll have the ability to either just practice law, get a CPA, get a CFA, or go back for more school.  Having all of those options open feels wonderful.  I don't have all the required hours to be licensed as a CPA, but you get credit hours for taking a review course, so that would bump me up high enough.

Personally, I have no interest in working in investment banking.  I might pursue a CFA one day after I finish a few more years of graduate school. I am more interested in the research side of things and the accounting knowledge I've gained has been a life saver already.

I've met a lot of people who say, "You're crazy for doing all of that.  You should just stick to one thing."  To which I reply, I had a professor once who has a JD, MBA, CPA, and PHD.  He has his own practice, was licensed in 3 states, practiced public accounting, and he taught part-time at the university as a professor.

This world is what you make of it, and while I desire to live comfortably financially, my academic goals are driven by personal satisfaction / interest above all else.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 8:34:35 AM EDT


Originally Posted By llm_atw:


This is a neat thread, so I'll add my 2cents for the hell of it.



I have a double degree in accounting and finance and am currently on my way to law school.  As it stands right now, I plan on getting an LLM and probably MBA or masters later, after LS.  When I was in the middle of undergrad, I wanted to have enough of a background in something so I would never be tied down to any one area, and I want to be recession proof.  



So, once I finish LS, I'll have the ability to either just practice law, get a CPA, get a CFA, or go back for more school.  Having all of those options open feels wonderful.  I don't have all the required hours to be licensed as a CPA, but you get credit hours for taking a review course, so that would bump me up high enough.



Personally, I have no interest in working in investment banking.  I might pursue a CFA one day after I finish a few more years of graduate school. I am more interested in the research side of things and the accounting knowledge I've gained has been a life saver already.



I've met a lot of people who say, "You're crazy for doing all of that.  You should just stick to one thing."  To which I reply, I had a professor once who has a JD, MBA, CPA, and PHD.  He has his own practice, was licensed in 3 states, practiced public accounting, and he taught part-time at the university as a professor.



This world is what you make of it, and while I desire to live comfortably financially, my academic goals are driven by personal satisfaction / interest above all else.
Just out of curiosity, how much do you think you'll have tied up in your education after the MBA?





 
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 8:39:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter220:
A few lessons I have learned:

1.  The GOOD MBA programs want you to have experience in the real world before returning for your MBA.  Oftentimes, this is 5 years.
2.  Law school will take you right out of your undergrad.
3.  Neither has much in the way of money available for students, so unless you have a lot of money around, plan to graduate with a significant debt load.  Obviously there are exceptions to this (instate tuition, living at home...)
4.  Unless you graduate top in your class from a top law school, the big salary law jobs may not be open to you.  This needs to play in heavily in a decision to go deep into debt for law school.  Law firms know this, and treat people accordingly.  The best bet is to minimize loan debt to give yourself more job flexibility.
5.  MBA programs like to tell people "we will help you triple your salary," and they are not far off the mark.  MBAs lead to more money early, in general.  MBA's may also be more high-risk in terms of job stability.
6.  MBA salary claims leverage the fact that people were making money before, and establishing their professional network.  Law schools assume you START building your network in school with summer internships and such.
7.  If you REALLY want to expand your horizons, look for a JD/MBA program.  However, be prepared to work your tail off for 4 years.

just some thoughts...

shooter



Damn.  What he said.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 12:06:41 PM EDT
I have a JD/MBA and it was a great move.   If you can handle the workload, you will graduate with zen like knowlege to handle a variety of business and law issues.  I'm working on the business end, but I do my own legal work (I'm in real estate) and I can run and gun with the best attorneys I negotiate deals with.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:11:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shootemup:
Just out of curiosity, how much do you think you'll have tied up in your education after the MBA?
Well, undergrad, law school, and masters... somewhere around 200k+

I know a few friends of the family who have both, MDs and JDs.  They practice medicine mostly full-time and practice law on the side, lol!  Now THAT is some time and money spent in school.  4-5 years undergrad, 4 years medical school, at least 4 years residency, and 3 years of law school.

I also have a few doctor friends/acquaintances.  A few are cardiologists; residency was something like 5 years plus another 2 or 3 to specialize.  One told me in person that he didn't start saving for retirement until his 40s!  

I know an ophthalmologist who received her MD in China.  After her residency there, she came over here to get a PHD for 5 years.  She then wanted to practice medicine here in the US and had to go through another residency program.  
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:35:22 PM EDT
Get both.


Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:05:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JH81:
Originally Posted By Rich219:
Originally Posted By offuuu:
I can aggree, getting out of college and getting a 100k job for anybody is close to none. Only if you have a close friend who runs a hedge fund or you are the best child prodigy are you going to get 100k straight out of college. And guess what? With the economy being hit by the FINANCE department, you know the loans department, stock market and anything thats not basic accounting. The finance field is largely downsizing. And us new recruits are being forced to look in other fields. And I have to aggree, everybody is looking for a 100k job!


I've talked to a lot of people that are getting (maybe were getting now) over $100k/yr after bonuses. 60-80 base w/ another 40-60k in bonuses as an analyst. Hopefully we'll start to see a turnaround by march/april and unemployement numbers will improve.


I was an analyst back in the '02-'03 years when the economy was in the crapper and bonuses sucked. Back then, 1st year banking analysts made 55k base and 15k in bonus (02) and 55k base and 30k in bonus (03). You're seriously smoking some crack if you think that numbers will even be close to that going forward in any entry-level finance field.

I can confirm first hand (as I still have good friends who stayed on the banking track and got directly promoted from analyst to associate) that many good associates got ZERO bonus over the last cycle as banks just simply couldn't afford to pay. They were told by management that their bonuses consisted of simply being able to keep their jobs. Additionally, these weren't boutique banks I'm talking about; rather, they're banks that were formerly in the bulge bracket grouping.

For some insight into the industry, check out some insider wall street rags such as dealbreaker.com or wallstreetfolly.com and take a hard look through the archives at all the layoffs that are going on. Even if you do get a Wall Street job, you'll be lucky to get any bonus at all in today's environment.


granted, this is a third-tier investment bank, but you'll generally see the trends... the bulge bracket (or what's left of it) won't fare much better.

BNP Paribas May Cut Bonuses at Investment Bank Unit (Update2)
By Jacqueline Simmons, Fabio Benedetti-Valentini and Alan Katz
Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) –– BNP Paribas SA, Europe's third- biggest bank, may cut bonuses by more than 70 percent at its corporate and investment bank after profit plunged in the first three quarters of the year.

Most employees will have their bonuses reduced, more people than in the past will receive no bonus at all, and even the ``best performers may be affected,'' Jacques d'Estais, the Paris- based head of corporate and investment banking, wrote in a Nov. 13 internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

``I am therefore asking you to start managing your teams' bonus expectations now,'' d'Estais wrote to senior managers, citing an almost 73 percent drop in pretax profit in the first nine months of 2008. ``Our overall bonus pool is therefore likely to show the same YoY decrease.''

BNP Paribas set aside 577 million euros ($723 million) in the third quarter related to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., once the biggest underwriter of mortgage bonds. The French bank's securities unit had revenue ``below zero'' for the first time in October because of equity derivatives losses, the company said this month.

Pascal Henisse, a spokesman for BNP Paribas, declined to comment on the memo when reached by phone.

Who Gets What?

``2008 will be an exceptionally challenging year for compensation on several fronts,'' said Sonia de Demandolx, a recruiter at the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates in Paris. ``There will be an enormous polarization between who gets what, meaning top rainmakers seeing a slight decrease of their bonus, the second tier down 50 percent and the rest falling 80 to 100 percent.''

Corporate and investment bankers who weren't among top revenue generators probably earned bonuses of at least $1 million last year, more experienced people got $2 million to $5 million, and the top bankers earned even more, two investment banking recruiters said.

Banks in Europe and the U.S. are scaling back variable compensation. London-based Barclays Plc on Nov. 18 said it won't pay annual bonuses to top executives including Chief Executive Officer John Varley and investment banking chief Robert Diamond, as it asks investors for 7 billion pounds ($10.5 billion) to shore up capital.

Gaining Market Share

At New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., CEO Lloyd Blankfein and six deputies will forgo bonuses, while Zurich-based UBS AG scrapped bonuses for CEO Marcel Rohner and 11 other top executives.

BNP Paribas said on Nov. 19 that its current capital ratios were in line with regulatory requirements and it didn't need to raise more funds, after what it termed ``speculative'' rumors that the bank might be planning to raise capital.

BNP Paribas rose 45 cents, or 1.2 percent, to 36.95 euros by 12:08 p.m. in Paris trading. The stock has fallen 21 percent this week and is down 50 percent this year.

The securities unit is nevertheless gaining market share, d'Estais wrote in the memo, and he noted that the division stayed profitable in the third quarter, ``just above breakeven.''

The unit has been profitable every quarter since Banque Nationale de Paris SA took over Paribas SA for 11.5 billion euros in 1999. It has a staff of 15,785 in 53 countries, according to the bank's Web site. Last year the corporate and investment bank accounted for 27 percent of BNP Paribas's revenue and 32 percent of its pretax profit.

Banks and brokerages worldwide have announced $708 billion of writedowns and credit losses since the subprime-mortgage market collapsed last year, and have cut almost 161,000 jobs, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at fabiobv@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net; Alan Katz in Paris at 5007 or akatz5@bloomberg.net


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