For those of us who entered law school without any experience of the legal world beyond what we’d seen on television, it’s no real surprise that we mostly ended up as litigators. That’s the practice we were all familiar with and law school didn’t do us any favors, crafting even the most transactional of subjects around court cases. Litigation rules everything around you in law school.
But there’s a lot more to legal practice than litigation. In fact, you might be setting yourself up for a better long-term career if you go out and try your hand at some corporate work. But how does a law student (or prospective law student) get some hands-on experience to let them know if they have the stomach to be drafting documents all day?
As you might suspect if you’ve ever read any article ever, this is the point where just such an opportunity is unveiled.
InsideSherpa is an open-access platform that seeks to connect people with potential careers by offering virtual work assignments that allow candidates to try out real — though anonymized — “day in the life” scenarios to test what it would be like to work in a particular field. The company already hosts experiences for Deloitte, KPMG, and Grant Thornton, and now White & Case has joined the platform.
Antonia Choi, White & Case’s Global Recruiting head, explains how a platform like this supercharges recruiting efforts:
While we can always talk about what law students can expect at White & Case, that’s no substitute for rolling up their sleeves and really experiencing the type of work they’ll be exposed to. InsideSherpa and our team worked closely together to design this program so that it resonates with students, and we think that they’ll enjoy completing the modules and seeing what it takes to succeed at the firm.
This virtual law firm experience, which you can tackle here (assuming you’re a college or law student — though if you aren’,t I’m not sure why you’d be doing it anyway), allows candidates to take on a Project Finance, M&A, or IP matter. The program is self-paced and takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete.
Here’s the background of the M&A assignment:
The Consortium intends to make an equity investment of $200 million in CopperCo by acquiring 15% of its shares. This investment is in addition to the $900 million loan covered in the Project Finance Module. The Consortium will incorporate a new company (called InvestCo) to facilitate this investment. After the transaction, ChileCo will own 85% of CopperCo’s shares, and InvestCo will own the remaining 15%.
InvestCo and ChileCo will enter into a joint venture agreement – this agreement will set out the rules between the companies with regard to their investment in CopperCo. A joint venture agreement will regulate things such as what happens when there is a dispute between the parties, under what circumstances can the shares be transferred, what the voting threshold is to make certain company decisions and so on.
Your supervising Partner, Sanjay, asks you to join the conference call where the attorneys of each consortium member will negotiate key aspects of the joint venture agreement. In particular, the part of the negotiation between the attorneys focusing on the exit matrix to be drafted in the joint venture agreement. The attorneys will agree on the triggers for drag-along and tag-along rights.
The experience then provides a 3-minute phone call to take notes on and a charge to draft a memo to the GC of the lead institution. The notes and the memo are uploaded to the system and the candidate is provided with model work.
It’s a cool way to afford folks a crack at how work really gets done. And from White & Case’s perspective, it puts the firm’s name first and foremost for students who find that they may have a real knack for tackling these practice areas.
And you don’t even have to fly to a warehouse in Topeka to learn how the industry works!
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.