This week’s podcast takes a look at the legal practice of mergers and acquisitions. We’ll hear from experts Felix Kushnir, attorney at Dickstein Sharpiro LLP in Washington (DC), and Bill Staley, an attorney in California.
Felix Kushnir explains that the practice of mergers and acquisitions focuses on business transactions and mergers. He emphasizes that, at the most basic level, students need to understand corporate transactions in order to be successful at M&A, and mentions that even something as simple as reading the Wall Street Journal can help increase your understanding of the practice. Kushnir also says that students should have an interest in solving puzzles, a trait that will be very useful in the practice. He finishes his comments by saying that those interested in pursuing an M&A practice should be ready for extended periods of demanding and consuming work. The time commitment the practice demands, he says, can be extensive and unpredictable—the job, however, can be also very rewarding.
Bill Staley begins by explaining that his practice mostly deals with tax planning for business transactions. He suggests that students interested in eventually practicing M&A law should consider taking business classes as part of their undergraduate curriculum, and corporate law classes in law school. Staley also emphasized the profession’s need for detail-oriented attorneys, and talks about how the skills needed in M&A are very similar to those that allow investment bankers to succeed—students often gravitate between the two professions. He encourages students to really think about what will be required of them as an M&A attorney before committing to the career, in order to ensure that they will both enjoy it and be successful at it.
Felix Kushnir – Attorney at Dickstein Shapiro LLP
Bill Staley – Principal at the Law Office of William C. Staley