Abstract_Prism
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Up until just a few days ago, I was pretty certain I wanted to study Law at university and work as a corporate solicitor.

Then I discovered investment banking.

Now I'm in a quandary. Should I strive to go into Law or investment banking?

It seems to me that the skills are very much the same in both professions: the ability to digest copious amounts of information in a small amount of time, the ability to understand a similar branch of jargon, the ability to work late into the night, etc.

There are couple things that are drawing me to investment banking though.

1. From what I've gathered, lawyers seem very much to be the servants of the bankers. They are never the ones that get the real satisfaction of closing a deal. They only impact the deal through points of law. They never make the deal. Investment banking would appeal to me more than Law if this is the case because I'm sure I would always feel like my work as a corporate solicitor would be of little value, or rather unexciting/unsatisfying.

2. I won't lie, the greater pay potential is attractive. Simply put. I know that both corporate lawyers and investment bankers can earn big bucks, but bankers have greater earning potential.

It would be difficult for me to do economics or a maths-based degree at university because I didn't choose maths for A level. So my current plan seems to be to study Law at university, then, if I still want to go into investment banking, try to break into it as a graduate, whilst picking up internships during my time at university, of course. If I change my mind, then I can carry on with Law. From what I've gathered on this forum, you don't need an economics degree to be an investment banker. Though I imagine I could pick up an A level in Maths whilst at university.

What do you guys think of this? Should I aim for a corporate solicitor career or an investment banking career? Which is more competitive for graduates?
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Commercial Paper
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(Original post by Abstract_Prism)
Up until just a few days ago, I was pretty certain I wanted to study Law at university and work as a corporate solicitor.

Then I discovered investment banking.

Now I'm in a quandary. Should I strive to go into Law or investment banking?

It seems to me that the skills are very much the same in both professions: the ability to digest copious amounts of information in a small amount of time, the ability to understand a similar branch of jargon, the ability to work late into the night, etc.

There are couple things that are drawing me to investment banking though.

1. From what I've gathered, lawyers seem very much to be the servants of the bankers. They are never the ones that get the real satisfaction of closing a deal. They only impact the deal through points of law. They never make the deal. Investment banking would appeal to me more than Law if this is the case because I'm sure I would always feel like my work as a corporate solicitor would be of little value, or rather unexciting/unsatisfying.

2. I won't lie, the greater pay potential is attractive. Simply put. I know that both corporate lawyers and investment bankers can earn big bucks, but bankers have greater earning potential.

It would be difficult for me to do economics or a maths-based degree at university because I didn't choose maths for A level. So my current plan seems to be to study Law at university, then, if I still want to go into investment banking, try to break into it as a graduate, whilst picking up internships during my time at university, of course. If I change my mind, then I can carry on with Law. From what I've gathered on this forum, you don't need an economics degree to be an investment banker. Though I imagine I could pick up an A level in Maths whilst at university.

What do you guys think of this? Should I aim for a corporate solicitor career or an investment banking career? Which is more competitive for graduates?
Don't aim for anything yet. Just carry on researching both sectors. Try and pick up some insight programmes and networking events at both law firms and banks. This should give you a clearer idea and more informed decision when it comes to summer internships in your second year.

For the record though, law has always seemed really dry and boring to me so I never considered it an option compared to investment banking. I've always felt like banking gives you broader corporate skills that can be applied elsewhere.

It comes down to - do you want to be restricted to law? Or do you want a career in finance/business? The two are very distinctive. If you're in the second camp, go for IB. It gives you options with private equity, hedge funds, entrepreneurship, other finance roles, corporate development etc. Much broader.

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gr8wizard10
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we have lawyers on our team in banking.. one analyst actually moved over from S&M.

really depends on what you want to do. maths is highly overstated in banking, the highest level maths you'd need is percentage ratios, you just have to be comfortable around numbers. don't bother with a maths a level, as long as your academics are good.

haha lawyers as servents of bankers... i see them getting a lot of flack, because they have to produce the legal documents and given we mandate them they just get abused xD but it's all work so i wouldn't write of law because of that. bankers are essentially the servants of the clients they serve, and analysts are the servants of MDs.. so everyone really works below someone else.

my advice: get good grades in A level ~AAA+, go to a top uni (oxbridge, lse, warwick, ucl, imperial), your subject choice really doesn't matter, apply to spring week programmes in first year of uni to see whether you actually like the industry, and go from there.

in terms of learning more:

http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/articles/ - good website in a witty manner
join your uni's finance soc
documentaries on youtube
read books - monkey business, swinging through the wall street jungle (john rolfe & peter troob) - quite comedic
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999tigger
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Just get good grades for the moment. i would say you are almost overplanning. It will probably change your attitude on how things work. Theres more to lawyers than working for banks. they are all service industries and clients are king, as they should be.
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username738914
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Could apply for easter vac schemes at law firms and penultimate year summer internships (or convert from a spring week) at banks. That's if you're really stuck, but, I'd honestly take the time to stick to one path. There's nothing stopping you from gaining a training contract after a few years in a bank, for instance.

PM the user: SJU1, he's done vac schemes at magic circle and US firms and will be interning at a top bank this summer. Hopefully he'll give you a bit more insight.

Either way, you're thinking way too far in advance. I suggest you chillax a bit for now.

As others have said, aim for getting the grades first, because without them it'll be an uphill battle.

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