ad astra per alia porci

law-trained professional investors
July 6, 2007, 8:30 am
Filed under: diary


I was doing some reading up on Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway when I stumbled upon this article by the Harvard Law Bulletin. Given my intention to move into the financial sector when I have graduated with my law and economics degrees, the article’s review of how 5 law-trained financiers prospered despite not being trained academically in finance and business brings me comfort and instills some confidence in my career decision. I might not be a Harvard Law student but at least I take some heart in the fact that it is definitely possible to succeed in the financial world without a “relevant” degree.

Todd Buchholz seems to have the same intentions as me with regards to why he chose to pursue a law degree:

“I felt that society was supported, and in some ways controlled, by an underground structure,” he said. “I thought that in order to be a successful participant in either the private sector or the public sector, it made sense to go down into the basement and figure out what that structure was–that being the legal structure. I wanted to learn to think like a lawyer and to make decisions weighing precedents against the black letter of the law and common sense. Plus, I had always enjoyed public speaking and felt legal training would be helpful with that.”

I believe that the skills I learn would be invaluable, even though I might not end up using the concrete knowledge that I will probably emblazon in my memory while studying for exams. On a side note, Buchholz’s New Ideas From Dead Economists is an absolute must-read for both economics students and the layman. It is wonderfully written and informative, with the occassional interesting story or two about the lives of the famous economists featured in the book. So much for shameless plugging. Another comment, this time by Jim Donovan:

“First, [a law degree] is a great credential,” he said. “Second, you learn a lot about tax and trusts and estates, and third is the approach. The logical approach that you learn in law school for solving problems is very helpful.”

Well, I just hope that my leap of faith pays off for me. Fingers crossed.


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