Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Event Recap -- Wilson Sonsini

On March 28th, Mike Labriola came to talk about the transactional practice at the firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Here is a summary of the event, including background on the speaker and the main points discussed.

Background: Before Mr. Labriola came to law school he was a public accountant for several years. He came to UVA law and graduated in 2005. He participated in Wilson's summer associate program while he was a student and joined the firm's DC office.

Summary:  Mr. Labriola says that the work at Wilson is very diverse due to the large number of clients they have. He estimates that the firm represents 350 public clients, and over 3500 private clients. The bulk of these companies are in the tech/biotech industry.  The majority of the firm’s focus is transactional in nature and Mr. Labriola’s specialty is corporate securities.

He said what drew him to Wilson is the fact that the firm is well regarded (has represented more IPOs than anyone in the world) and the firm is very willing to let young associates get involved.  Tech companies by nature are generally leanly staffed and rely on outside counsel for a lot of their legal needs. This enables associates at a firm like Wilson to work on more than just a discrete piece of legal work that the company’s general counsel doesn’t want to do. A core principle of Wilson is that they are full service and want to remain with a company over the long haul. This means that associates develop a long term working relationship with companies and have the opportunity to take a business advisor role in addition to offering legal advice.

Wilson has many other practices in addition to transactions, including antitrust, white collar, and general litigation. The main thrust of the firm is transactions so all the other practices are intimately tied to that practice.

He gave general advice to those who are interested in transactions as well. He said that all the litigation-like topics that are covered in law school are important because transactions is about avoiding litigation if at all possible.  It is important to know the litigation implications of all the aspects of a deal.

Mr. Labriola closed the discussion by talking about the interplay between IPOs and mergers and acquisitions and how market factors and regulation have cut back on the number of IPOs which increases the amount of time he devotes to M&A. He said that the main duty of transactional lawyers is to protect the client from making mistakes today that are going to have serious negative effects down the line. As a transactional attorney you help the client avoid the landmines that exist in the negotiation and implementation of deals by working closely with them and understanding their legal and business needs.

End Note: Thanks to everyone who made it to the talk, we had a great turnout for a great event. We are planning on continuing the employer spotlight series by bringing in speakers who are in fields that the VLBS membership is interested in. If you have suggestions for the series or know somebody who would like to participate in the series let us know.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meeting Minutes

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our first meeting. There were great ideas put forth.  The future is bright for VLBS. Here are the big points from the meeting.

1. We are taking applications for a new position on the executive board. The position is VP of Membership and this person will serve as a liaison for the general membership in the executive board. Interested individuals should email Steven Ryan

2. Our purpose. The purpose of this organization is to be an umbrella organization at which channels student interest in law and business in a variety of ways. We will do this through publicizing events pertaining to our interests in business and law, coordinate student introduction to the law and business program at UVa law, foster alumni relations, networking, and more.

3. We have a variety of programming ideas in the works. There currently is the employer spotlight event with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati on March 28th, and a law and business kickoff planned for September 7th.  The law and business kickoff is intended to be an introduction to the law and business groups and resources that we have at UVa law. We are also working on events that have to do with alternative careers in law and business, practice area spotlights, alumni networking, and professional skills sessions through the Career Services office.

4. We are collecting dues for next year. For the rest of the semester dues are $10 and this covers your membership for next year as well. If you wait until next year to pay your dues it will be $15-$20.  So pay your dues now and save some money. Give your dues to Jason Mann (you can put them in his mailbox, and make checks out to Virginia Law & Business Society).  These dues will cover the high quality events we have planned and enable our organization to expand and grow. Dues paying members will be able to hold leadership positions and take full advantage of the organization. Also, you will get a shirt.

5. The next steps for the organization. By the time to register for fall classes comes around we will have a "how to" guide on taking classes at Darden (without being a JD/MBA). We are also in the process of drafting a constitution for the organization and are attempting to secure office space from the SBA.

6. Committees. If you are interested in joining a committee please email me and I will get information out to you about that process. We are planning on having an information session in which interested individuals can discuss how we want the committees to function in the future. There will be a need for committee involvement in events/planning as well as in communications.

7. Listserv and feedback. If you want to be on the law and business society listserv please email me and I will add you to the list. Also, if you have any feedback or suggestions feel free to contact me or anyone else on the board. 

Power Point Slides: Here

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Events Update

Two event updates:

First: The Corporate Law Alumni panel which was scheduled for March 21st is going to be re-scheduled. This is because Career Services is having a private equity video conference at the same time and after discussing it with them we decided to support their event and re-schedule the alumni panel. We will notify the listserv and post the info here and on the facebook page when we re-schedule it.

Second: On March 28th at noon in WB128 Mike Labriola from the firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati will be coming to talk about the firm and it's transactional practice. Mr. Labriola is an associate in the firm's Washington DC office and mainly focuses on securities and corporate law. His bio can be found here.  This will be the first of a new series in which different employers come in and discuss their practice areas.  There will be food and we need you to RSVP. If you are interested in attending please RSVP to Stephen (sjs6jk@virginia.edu). There will be Chipotle burritos at this event.

Also, do not forget about the meeting that is happening this Wednesday, March 23rd at 4pm in WB126

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the Virginia Law and Business Society Blog.  I will be keeping this blog updated with news relating to the VLBS so be sure to check back.  Three orders of business for this inaugural post.

First: The new VLBS executive board has been selected. The board consists of...
Steve Ryan: President
Jason Mann: VP Finance
Stephen Sovinsky: VP Programming
Chris Hunt:  VP Communications
Julia Abelev: VP Events
Todd Baker: VP Alumni Relations

Second: The VLBS will be having a meeting on March 23rd in WB 126 at 4pm. Some things on the agenda are...

1) Discussion of dues for the year ($15-20)
2) Mission of the organization
3) Introduction of the Executive Board
4) Sign ups for committees
5) Take feedback/suggestions

Third: Be sure to "like" the Facebook Page