Mutual Fund Lawyers
Mutual funds lawyers work for large mutual fund complexes (Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price, etc.), mutual fund supermarkets (Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade), securities broker-dealers and financial planners (Capital Group), and smaller fund companies. Others are employed by law firms that provide contracted services to these employers. U.S. News & World Report publishes an annual list of the Best Law Firms for Mutual Fund Law. In 2020, the top firms were:
- Dechert LLP
- K&L Gates LLP
- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
- Proskauer Rose LLP
- Ropes & Gray LLP
- Schiff Hardin LLP
- Sidley Austen LLP
- Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP
- Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Visit https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/mutual-funds-law to read the complete list.
Lawyers also work for the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management and Division of Enforcement to investigate possible violations of federal securities laws by mutual fund companies and other investment firms, and prosecute the commission’s civil suits in federal courts.
Opportunities are best in large U.S. cities, but there are mutual fund legal jobs throughout the world. For example, K&L Gates, which employs more than 1,800 lawyers, has offices in many U.S. cities as well as in London, England; Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan; and over other international cities.
You’ll need a few years of experience before most mutual fund companies will hire you. Many aspiring mutual fund lawyers first work for three to five years at a major law firm (ideally, one that provides services to mutual fund firms), a large bank, or other major financial employer. Working at a government regulator such as the Securities & Exchange Commission can also provide good experience. If you’re attending an American Bar Association (ABA)–accredited school, the ABA automatically enrolls you as a student member. There are many membership benefits, including access to Student Lawyer, which provides information on the job-search and legal practice areas; access to the ABA Job Board; opportunities to connect with lawyers and learn about specialized areas of law through ABA sections, divisions, and forums; and access to its Free Career Advice Series of monthly webinars on career-related topics such as the art of job interviewing and using social media effectively. Other job-search strategies include using social networking sites (such as LinkedIn), volunteering with legal aid associations, joining professional associations and utilizing their career development resources, using the services of recruiters, and attending industry conferences.
After several years of experience, an associate can advance to the position of managing attorney, who supervises the work of other lawyers, legal secretaries, and paralegals. After seven to 10 years on the job, managing attorneys may advance to the position of chief legal officer (also known as general counsel), the top legal professional at the firm.
Tips for Entry
Participate in mock trial competitions in high school and college, which allow you to hone your courtroom skills and connect with other people who are interested in legal careers. One such competition is the National High School Mock Trial Championship (http://www.nationalmocktrial.org).
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Many major employers recruit on campus. Visit the following Web site to learn more about how to ace campus interviews: http://www.chambers-associate.com/where-to-start/on-campus-interviews.
Visit https://imealliance.com/decide/investment_tools/fund_companies.fs for a list of mutual fund companies. Visit their Web sites to learn more about internship and career opportunities.