On Tuesday, July 22nd, AABANY’s Corporate Law Committee and Student Outreach Committee hosted an insightful Pre-OCI Information session, “What do corporate lawyer do?”, at Paul, Weiss. With more than 30 law school students and undergraduate students in attendance, Executive Director Yang Chen welcomed everyone and introduced the moderator, Terry Shen.
The panel started with Terry introducing each distinguished panel speaker. The panelists comprised both in-house attorneys from top firms in the industry and corporate law lawyers at prestigious law firms, each with a different specialty practice area within the landscape of corporate law:
• Jasmine Ball, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
• Parkin Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, The Rockefeller Group
• Marianne Chow-Newman, Counsel, The Hearst Corporation
• Lawrence G. Wee, Partner, Paul Weiss Rifikind Wharton & Garrison LLP
• Terry Shen (Moderator), Partner, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Addressing the question “what do corporate lawyer do?”, the panelists talked about why they chose corporate law, their daily role as a corporate lawyer, the interaction and relationship with corporate clients, the kind of tasks a junior associate will encounter, and interview techniques for the upcoming OCI (on-campus interview) season on campus.
First, the panelists explained five different subdivisions of corporate law: Capital Markets, Credit & Leverage Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Restructuring, and Investment Management. Different from litigation and what has been portrayed in the media, corporate lawyers rarely go to court or draft motions. Instead, corporate lawyers offer legal advice to corporations who attempt to operate and grow their business. Coming from an engineering background in his early career, Parkin Lee characterized his role as a corporate lawyer as “engineering with words.” The nature of corporate operation requires lawyers to write a tight contract, understand the needs of their clients and negotiate on their behalf, build trust between two parties who want to do business, and explain complicated deal structures to the client. Young lawyers need to have the capability to negotiate, conduct due diligence, and strengthen relationships with clients.
The event concluded with a discussion of the deal team culture and “bro culture” in law firms. Although one does not need to thrive in the bro culture to succeed, Terry drew a connection between bro culture with the work ethic of a young lawyer, illustrating the reliability, can-do mindset and intellectual curiosity embodied in both deal team culture and bro culture.
We would like to sincerely thank Larry Wee and Paul, Weiss for hosting the event by providing food, beverages, and an excellent space. We also thank the Corporate Law Committee and Student Outreach Committee for putting together this valuable and meaningful program for current or prospective law students.
To learn more about the Corporate Law Committee, please click here.
To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, please click here.