I Want to Be a Banker in This Economy

I’m a (miserable) third-year associate at a big New York firm.  I know the economy is crappy right now, but is now a good time for a lawyer to try to get into investment banking?  Are firms hiring?  Are lawyers more valuable on Wall Street right now because of all the turmoil?

Thank you for this.  It’s a gift.  And quite possibly the dumbest question ever asked.  Right now is perhaps the worst time in the history of the world for a lawyer to try to get a job at an investment firm.  Thousands of sophisticated and experienced bankers are being laid off every week.  Investment banks are going bankrupt.  Hedge funds are imploding.  Private equity firms can’t get debt financing.  But other than that, things are great.

Bottom line:  It’s a terrible idea.  So suck it up and try to enjoy your misery.  Or try to find a different, non-legal profession that’s not under water.  Like nursing.  (Related: “Five Reasons Being a Lawyer is Great Now”)

Got a question for Ex-Bitter?  Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.


  1. Al Dickman

    November 12, 2008 at 4:52 am

    What hole did this douche bag just crawl out of?  Was he that busy at work as a 3rd year associate that he hasn’t heard what’s been going on in the world for the last 15 months?  What kind of asswipe asks questions like this when the stock market has dropped almost 50% since the Summer?  The only job this dillweed could get an an I-Bank is one scrubbing the urinals, and even there, I’d rather have the illegals, who do a better job.  Wake up, dimbulb!!!

  2. Anonymous

    November 12, 2008 at 7:17 am

    perhaps this person should go another website…such as bitterbanker.com?
    hello…worst financial crash in history since the great depression. Be glad you have a job and ride it out.

  3. Anonymous

    November 12, 2008 at 9:49 am

    On the other hand, a move early in the economic recovery may be prudent.  A corporate lawyer with steady employment (and experience) could be much more attractive than the MBA competitors who have been out of work for a while.

  4. Linda Bee

    November 13, 2008 at 5:20 am

    consider yourself lucky you have a job.  what a douche bag!

  5. Del Vermo

    November 13, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Now is a great time to be an IB!  Just go ahead and quit your job, take a couple of weeks off, you’ll have no problem finding a job on Wall Street.  And you’ll save one more bitter in your firm from getting laid off before the end of the year. Brilliant idea.

  6. Momentum Traitor

    November 20, 2008 at 3:48 am

    I work at wall and broad. If you are oblivious to the state of the market you shouldn’t be working in finance. The street runs red with the blood of young associates and analysts. Equities values just lost a decade, or more.  The credit markets are locked.  Public Investment Banks NO LONGER EXIST. Investment bankers are now called by their old name: underwriters. No magic left in the IB moniker.
    To quote a billboard from a time that echos our own: “Jobless Men: Keep Walking. We Can’t Take Care of Our Own.”

  7. 2L

    November 20, 2008 at 7:15 am

    I suggest going back to school and hiding til the worst of the worst is over

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