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reallawyer

What Exactly do Lawyers do all day in Corporate Finance and Securities?

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Hey guys,

 

The lawyers here seem to be pretty knowledgeable so I thought what better place to ask this question than here.

 

So pretty much as the title says, what exactly are some of the day to day job duties of lawyers who work in the areas of

 

(a) corporate finance

 

and

 

(b) securities regulation?

 

Thanks, your answers are much appreciated!

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From my vantage point in litigation, they mostly fill in boxes on forms, flag signature lines, and make cash flow diagrams.

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Literally what a monkey could do is what I do every day for 10 plus hours. Due diligence is always nice at another office though cause you have to be done by the time their staff leaves and at our firm at least no one really bothers you with more work.

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They stay late sometimes working on deals...?

 

Is anyone here a solicitor?  It never occurred to me before, but does this forum have a barrister bias?

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Solicitors do not just do the menial tasks all you barristors think they do. AS an articing student and maybe a young associate of course due diligence and organizing thousands of documents for a closing is part of your many tasks. However, you also draft agreements and manage client expectations on a daily basis. Starting from the engagement letter on day one of the deal, there are many agreements to be discussed and drafted and many securities regulations and disclosure requirements that also must be kept up with (everything from the press release to the trust indentures and prospectuses are posted on sedar). So, as a solicitor, you do get to draft and essentially act as a middle man for a deal. One of the best things about being a solicitor vs. a barrister is that typically the clients are happy about what is happening. They are content with having to pay their lawyers (to a certain extent) because we are in turn making them money (generally speaking) as opposed to helping them fight a battle.

 

Law school seems to be very heavily geared towards pushing law students into being litigators as there is never any practical experience in law school with respect to business law. As someone who mooted throughout law school and was always told to be a litigator, and who thought I would be, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ARTICLE AT A FULL SERVICE FIRM AND YOU THINK YOU WANT LITIGATION, GIVE CORPORATE A FAIR SHOT. I am happy I made the switch as the personalities of corporate lawyers are more my speed. Try it out. :)

Edited by biglawbound
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I always thought that lawyers practice law for about 10% of the day and then spend the other 90% battling for control of the firm with former managing partners who embezzled funds to fund their affair...

Edited by orion88
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I always thought that lawyers practice law for about 10% of the day and then spend the other 90% battling for control of the firm with former managing partners who embezzled funds to fund their affair...

who doesn't love a good Suits reference in the morning? Edited by golfer89

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 I am happy I made the switch as the personalities of corporate lawyers are more my speed. Try it out. :)

 

I'd be happy too if I had a job my assistant could do for me. But I prefer a job where I use my brain :)

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I'd be happy too if I had a job my assistant could do for me. But I prefer a job where I use my brain :)

 

If you want to show your ignorance on a public forum go for it.

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Time for a new CYOA!

 

You are reading page 14,567.

 

If you want to turn to page 14,568, turn to page 14.

If you want to read the footnote directing you to page 12,808, turn to page 15.

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I'd be happy too if I had a job my assistant could do for me. But I prefer a job where I use my brain :)

That's offensive, as a junior yes what you do does not seem exciting. But there's a reason companies pay for high end solicitors. They are essential to a deal happening. And as mentioned it's way better being a solicitor in terms of dealing with happy clients.

 

Lastly, law school especially at u of a is heavily geared toward being a litigator. It's kind of ridiculous to be honest.

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Solicitors do not just do the menial tasks all you barristors think they do. AS an articing student and maybe a young associate of course due diligence and organizing thousands of documents for a closing is part of your many tasks. However, you also draft agreements and manage client expectations on a daily basis. Starting from the engagement letter on day one of the deal, there are many agreements to be discussed and drafted and many securities regulations and disclosure requirements that also must be kept up with (everything from the press release to the trust indentures and prospectuses are posted on sedar). So, as a solicitor, you do get to draft and essentially act as a middle man for a deal. One of the best things about being a solicitor vs. a barrister is that typically the clients are happy about what is happening. They are content with having to pay their lawyers (to a certain extent) because we are in turn making them money (generally speaking) as opposed to helping them fight a battle.

 

Law school seems to be very heavily geared towards pushing law students into being litigators as there is never any practical experience in law school with respect to business law. As someone who mooted throughout law school and was always told to be a litigator, and who thought I would be, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ARTICLE AT A FULL SERVICE FIRM AND YOU THINK YOU WANT LITIGATION, GIVE CORPORATE A FAIR SHOT. I am happy I made the switch as the personalities of corporate lawyers are more my speed. Try it out. :)

 

Another great part about being a solicitor is that you tend to be viewed as a trusted business advisor.  You get close to your clients and involved in their business.  You can develop decades-long relationships that open doors for a thousand different career opportunities.  As a litigator, I rarely get to develop relationships with any but the largest and/or most litigious clients.  I'm largely seen as a necessary evil and an expense flushed down the toilet to head off an even greater potential expense.  Plus, unlike a solicitor, I can outright lose and leave the client with the impression that their fees were wasted on me.

 

There's also the great Tetris effect of high-level solicitor work.  Especially when tax considerations are inserted, a good dealmaker is a sort of legal engineer.  This cash flows into this vehicle, which makes the wheel of the trust spin, which sends up the regulator's flag, which is brought down by the declaration, which is sent out to shareholders at time X...  

 

I always thought that would be the most fun part of solicitor work: coming up with ingenious legal contraptions.  At some point, a lawyer in New York invented the "poison pill" clause.  How rewarding must that have been, to totally change the face of mergers and acquisitions worldwide?  Imagine how in demand that guy must have been as a creative dealmaker.

 

In terms of law schools favouring litigation, it's absolutely true.  We're a common law jurisdiction, so in order to learn the law --- even the law you need in order to be an effective solicitor --- you have to read cases and you have to understand the debate that resulted in the present law.  That's just how the law works in this judicial system.  The result is that all students have a rough sense of litigation: the process of making and applying the law.  They have virtually zero exposure to the incredibly rigorous and challenging process of effectively obeying the manifold laws, statutes, instruments and regulations that most lawyers actually spend most of their time on.

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Solicitors do not just do the menial tasks all you barristors think they do. AS an articing student and maybe a young associate of course due diligence and organizing thousands of documents for a closing is part of your many tasks. However, you also draft agreements and manage client expectations on a daily basis. Starting from the engagement letter on day one of the deal, there are many agreements to be discussed and drafted and many securities regulations and disclosure requirements that also must be kept up with (everything from the press release to the trust indentures and prospectuses are posted on sedar). So, as a solicitor, you do get to draft and essentially act as a middle man for a deal. One of the best things about being a solicitor vs. a barrister is that typically the clients are happy about what is happening. They are content with having to pay their lawyers (to a certain extent) because we are in turn making them money (generally speaking) as opposed to helping them fight a battle.

 

Law school seems to be very heavily geared towards pushing law students into being litigators as there is never any practical experience in law school with respect to business law. As someone who mooted throughout law school and was always told to be a litigator, and who thought I would be, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ARTICLE AT A FULL SERVICE FIRM AND YOU THINK YOU WANT LITIGATION, GIVE CORPORATE A FAIR SHOT. I am happy I made the switch as the personalities of corporate lawyers are more my speed. Try it out. :)

 

I'll cop to the fact that I only did solicitor's work as a very junior lawyer.  But absolutely as a junior the work was exceedingly, mind-numbingly boring.

 

As for the "clients are happy"... as a junior again I didn't have a lot of direct client contact.  But I was around the lawyers who did.  They generally didn't seem all that happy.  They didn't see the lawyers as being some kind of partner or legal engineer.  Instead, the lawyers were seen as an obnstacle - they knew what they wanted to do, and the lawyers just kept putting expenses and obstacles in their way.

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That's offensive, as a junior yes what you do does not seem exciting. But there's a reason companies pay for high end solicitors. They are essential to a deal happening. And as mentioned it's way better being a solicitor in terms of dealing with happy clients.

 

Lastly, law school especially at u of a is heavily geared toward being a litigator. It's kind of ridiculous to be honest.

And Jaggers catches him looking...Strike Two!

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That's offensive, as a junior yes what you do does not seem exciting. But there's a reason companies pay for high end solicitors. They are essential to a deal happening. And as mentioned it's way better being a solicitor in terms of dealing with happy clients.

 

Lastly, law school especially at u of a is heavily geared toward being a litigator. It's kind of ridiculous to be honest.

 

I'm getting pushback from the guy who just said "Literally what a monkey could do is what I do every day for 10 plus hours."?!

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