Corporate Lawyer

Notes I took from a corporate lawyer

Question: do you think law school prepared you for the real world?

Differ a little bit depending on what area of law you go into. For Work: for me, work in transactional practice. mostly work on transactions, for her practice mainly security law—company financing and acquisition. Law school didn't prepare her for the best compare to something.... fundamentals of legal systems, how it works, etc. bases on your knowledge. terms of day to day on what she does, not much of a carryover. prepares for people in legislation, a lot of what you learn in law school is how to research, analytical skills, etc. ofc a transferable skill for all practices. how to prepare an argument, more applicable for legislation. example reference in the best way when preparing an argument. for her she doesn’t write, she negotiates with a lawyer on the other side. emails or phone. rarely she does submissions. she thinks law school prepares you for law definitely but vary on degrees on what you want to get into. things she needs for becoming a lawyer, rest you learn from your job. in general in life, you gain life and work experiences. teaches you how to communicate with a wide arrange of people. university, you talk with people that close age and different backgrounds, but different ages. The law school you have a bigger variety of people. diverse people, those who had previous careers, have people have kids, have a family, more different people in different stages of life, developing relationships from them. you learn more about them and how the world works and people work. interesting experiences until you reach that point.

About her job and her background:

the firm is a full-service business firm. She has a lot of lawyers, go to court, go to trial. different trial cases are business dispute related, no personal injury, no family law, it’s a corporate firm. corporate transaction firm. particular group, she’s in the capital market. corporate law. specialize in public company work listed on the stock exchange. looking to list on the stock exchange. typically, mergers and acquisitions of public companies. one of the party be a public company or a public company wants to raise money either in the market or privately. privately company not listed on the stock market, but wants to be part of the, that’s the transaction she does. The dispute between shareholders, potential mergers and shareholder is against it. they'll either do a shareholder meeting or some sort of action. she does one or two adhering in front of the regulator for the market in Ontario. day to day, a little different than what she often does, communicating with clients either calls or emails, drafting documents. lawyers on the other side of the transaction ahs sent. sort of a complicated transaction, research, either legal research, is what the client trying to do allowed, or what’s the best way to structure a transaction. market-based. look at transactions from the last few years and what practices. often mergers and acquisitions will involve coordination with lawyers from other groups in the firms, like tax, employment lawyers, banking lawyers. touch base on different parts of the transaction. Buyers acquiring a target company, review employment, tax documents, making sure everything looks good. kind of what she does

In terms of background: gone to school in Toronto, went to university in Vancouver, business degree specializing in finance. kind of in her 3rd year of uni, thinking about what to do, interested in business, at the same time, wasn’t all that interested in either consulting or investment banking. always loved reading, good at English, she liked it. wasn’t really practical in English careers like fiction, editing, or journalism. personality better for lawyer applied to law school. she got in and wanted to stay in BC for a few years, then came to Toronto. when deciding on a job, she didn’t want to go to court and have to present her case. wanted to work on transactions. business background sort of like the capital market and corporate law. familiar with the terminology, understood how businesses work, what the point of transaction is when doing this stuff. corporate law. markets are bigger in Toronto, so she found a job here. came back home and started working in 2017

If you’re not doing well in English, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a good lawyer. right now you’re in grade 12, English classes in high school are different from the technical writing that you do. English in high school, you read fiction, enjoyable but not what we do at all. it’s very different when you're writing an essay for English, you think about language, the flow. you make sure it’s more flowery than what it needs to be. writing as a lawyer is more practical and to the point. not like stylize, if you're getting an A+ for English, doesn’t mean you can’t be a good lawyer. a lot of what it takes to do good law drafting, not about vocabulary but intention to details, and analytical thinking. understand what it says and think through it. if it makes sense and what your client is trying to do.

Traits of a lawyer

not one mole for a good lawyer. law school and people she works with now. different practice groups tend to attract different personalities. one mole of a good lawyer, there are certain traits that good lawyers share. which means you have to have good communication skills, oral or writing. Some lawyers are extroverted and like business development talking with clients. both legal and business advisor for clients. and some lawyers aren't, they like to do the work, they find it interesting, but not so interested in the client law talking. they don't like the client interaction, you have to be able to communicate effectively, when it comes time to communicate with clients, communication skills are very important. you don't have to be very bubbly or outgoing.

2. good analytical thinking, be able to think through things and analyze situations, understand it, future possibilities. other than those two, attention to detail is another asset. you learn on the job. a sense of intellectual curiosity and dedication is good, honestly not every day of the job will be fun, it gets stressful. deadline and clients are pushing you, etc. you have to be sort of able to handle it.

Law school process

As far as she knows, no prerequisite of what program you graduate from. she knows people from all different programs for law school. you go to uni, in your third year or so, that you would write the LSAT. compromise of three parts. one was analytical thinking, logic games. another was the reading comprehension, writing section. doesn’t count towards your scores. have to complete it. three parts. write the LSAT, write it up to three times in a period of a year. you submit.. you do your law school application during your third or 4th year of uni. you do applications, personal statement, score from LSAT. for Canada, no interview process or anything. you apply and then you get in and you decide however you wanna go.

She did some studying, law school exam. questions are logic games. She believed that if you gave the LSAT to anyone for an unlimited amount of time, everyone would do very well. time to figure out the logic games and puzzles. all multiple choice. The difficulty is that you have a time limit. 90 seconds for each question. when you break it down. a bit of the time crunch.

She spent a little bit like 5 or 6 weeks before writing LSAT, practicing how to do the logic puzzles and how to do it fast. The practice is how you get used to doing it. Once you see the question bank, there are maybe 10 or 12 types of questions. once you’ve done enough of it, oh this is type 4. is just a different type of question over and over again, slightly change facts. essentially you practice doing them until you are able to do them fast enough under the time limit.

There are lots of resources, practice tests, dyed books. She didn’t take a prep class but they are available. when she started studying was a book on how to do logic games. "Logic games for dummies" book LOL. gives you the example/types of questions. then teaches you how to solve the teaching type. you practice over and again. where she started with. she practiced the ones they taught there. they break it down into simple steps. a lot of them you'll find easily. they set it up so you can follow the logic, then she did practice exams until she was able to do the whole section under the time limit

How has COVID impacted your job?

Luckily not a huge impact, been working since March. A profession that’s easy for her to bring anything from the office and do it at home. doesn’t really need to be in the office for anything. A couple of times where she went to the office to pick up original documents that couldn’t be signed electronically.

Skeleton crew, mostly in the business service centre, mail sections, accept packages, when she needs an original document accepted, they take of that godsend. really helpful. what she does, has not changed. same work in the office.

Pros: love having the flexibility of being home, midday, laundry, vacuum,, doesn’t have to wait till she’s done for work. eating more home cooked food. Cons: connected as she all are virtual, lose elements of human interaction. miss running into people in the elevator, kitchen, chatting with people. felt more connected with the team in the office. sort of any day of transactions, she works with 2-3 other people closely. don't have to work with everyone in the group. 15 people. depending on the different things you work on, she might work with 5 of them. now doesn’t get to talk with people she doesn’t work directly with unless she sets something up where they call and catch up. The team was better connected back then. lost a few human interactions. in terms of how it has affected the type of work. right of the beginning of covid, it was a bit slower. no one really knew what was going on. people kind of holding off to see if it was gonna get better. hard to believe it was a year ago. it was slower back in March and April last year. you kind of just have to get back to it. busier now. really busy from June to November last year. working on the big transactions. December was quiet. quiet in December at the beginning of Jan because of the holiday. Everyone took the time to spend with family. picking up again now that we're into the third week of January

covid hasn’t really impacted her work, some practice groups have been impacted a little bit more. bankruptcy lawyers are really busy, especially during covid since most businesses are going bankrupt. For a little while, legislation wasn’t busy because courts were busy. now virtual hearing so back to normal. real estate is quite busy she thinks. private corporate lawyers, small acquisitions and mergers are less busy because of covid, some companies have less money/little more careful of what they acquire.

Insider background

for her job yeah a little bit of an understanding, but not all lawyers have the same. because she works with public companies, she has a basic understanding and market forces, etc. in terms of insiders. because she works with a lot of public companies, a list of restrictions she can't invest in because of the term. the firm may have some information that the public may not know of.

Study Tips

Hadn’t procrastinated: something she struggles with back in high school, uni, and sometimes even now today. through working, some deadlines are hard deadlines. over the years, better at time management. something she wishes she had put into practice. given her, a better foundation on how to study/organize her time for university and law school. sort of thing now more of practice.

University life at UBC

Beautiful campus, when she was in grade 12, she went to hs in downtown Toronto. she loved it but she has been here since 6, so she wanted to get away and it happened that in her grade 12 years, her parents weren’t in Canada. moved with a little brother to shanghai, expected to be there for a few years.

Book recommendations and books she's looking forward to reading

weapons of math destruction - algorithm ends up creating social inequality. heard it’s interesting

halfway through: prisoners of geography - traces world history and tells you, why certain countries develop the certain way. Depending on where they are geographically, and the borders etc.

Barack Obama’s recent book - pretty interesting. His writing style is not her favourite. a bit hard to get through. interesting life. quite cool to read about it. especially now with US politics.

Conversation about degrees

Business opens a lot of doors: pretty big variety of first jobs with a business degree business degree, wouldn’t major in human resources or marketing -> less easy to find jobs. things like accounting or finance are more practical or even a business and comp sci degree combined.

A technical degree like comp sci, computer engineering, the landscape we're in now where everything is tech-focused. STEM fields are like the hottest fields. most development would go. generally, if you're a smart person and is interested in business. engineering or comp sci will very easily be able to pick up business concepts where you pick up in business in school.

don't do business school thinking you'll be an HR manager. If you do comp sci, not only can you learn about the business concepts, but go back to do an MBA, vice versa. people doing business esp in accounting or like logistics, they can also learn like programming. there’s enough room for overlap and both are okay.