Baruch students interested in pursuing a career in law were able to gain insight into the profession during a panel event hosted by the Baruch College Pre-Law Society on Dec. 1.
The panel, which was the club’s last event of the Fall 2016 semester, featured a vibrant discussion with Zicklin School of Business’ law professors Marc Edelman, David Rosenberg and Alan Rosenbloom.
Students mingled at the event before it commenced with a short introduction from Pre-Law Society President Nadiya Singh. Afterward, the professors introduced themselves and stated their work experience and field of expertise.
Prior to his teaching career, Rosenbloom began as a litigator before eventually going on to become general counsel of a large insurance brokerage and performing mergers and acquisitions. He also did consulting work for several Fortune 500 companies, such as Dannon Yogurt and ExxonMobil.
Rosenberg has been a professor for 16 years. He began his career at a large firm on Wall Street working on a variety of cases, some of which involved international banks. Because Rosenberg did not enjoy the “all-consuming” lifestyle of the firm, however, he eventually applied to several clerkships with judges before taking one on with a judge in Philadelphia.
Before beginning his law career, Edelman knew that he wanted to be involved in the sports industry. Early on in his career, he began interviewing with firms that had sports clients. He eventually ended up at Skadden Arps, an international law firm that has represented the NBA, NFL and NHL. After having worked at another large firm, Edelman moved onto academia to be able to freely articulate his views.
Throughout the event, the professors discussed a wide array of topics, including choosing a good law school, deciding if law school is the right choice for students and making the transition between lawyering and academia.
“The opportunity set depending on where you go to law school is going to be incredibly different,” said Edelman, who attended the University of Michigan Law School.
Later on in the discussion, he added that “you can’t believe the hype of every law school that you hear about and you have to do your research on where people are getting employed … you have to look at the statistics and find out where the median of the class is and the percent that pass the bar [exam].”
The professors urged students to not limit themselves geographically when searching for law schools, as a school’s prestige matters in regard to employment opportunities. The professors also advised that students not set their expectations too high when considering job opportunities after finishing law school.
“There is a lot of business compression going on in the legal profession. That’s not to say that you can’t be very successful and have a good life if you’re interested in the content. If you’re interested in working as a lawyer I would recommend you do that, but don’t do it with the expectation that you’re going to necessarily end up at a big firm, because you might not,” said Rosenbloom.
According to the professors, working at a large firm can be extremely lucrative, but it also has its drawbacks, including the inability to have a rich social life and being forced to come into the office at unexpected hours. As for why having a law department might be appealing to students at a business school such as Baruch, Rosenbloom cited the close relationship that the two fields share.
“Law and business is totally intertwined. If you do business you’re doing law, it’s totally intertwined. All the rules about business, about contract formation, employment situations, financial situations and marketing.
Everything that you do in a business context is impacted by how the law is reviewed and dealt with by the court system,” said Rosenbloom.