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Finance Lawyer (7 yrs workex)

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Finance Lawyer (7 yrs workex) [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2014, 21:42
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Hi,
I am an Indian male corporate lawyer working as a senior associate at one of the most prestigious law firms in India. I have work experience of around 7 years. I work mostly on:
1. Financing Transactions: Advising international/Indian banks/financial institutions on domestic/international project financing and acquisition financing transactions; and
2. M&A and Private Equity Transactions: Advising international and domestic funds/corporates on their investments/acquisitions in India.
I graduated from a top 3 lawschool in India with average/below average marks. My rank would be around 50 in a class of 80. I am cognizant of my low marks and would attribute it to lack of motivation and interest in law subjects. My interest has always been finance and business and this is evidenced by my relative success as a finance and M&A lawyer.
I have given the GMAT once (last year) and got a score of 680. My average GMAT prep test scores were in the range of 730 and I had a bad test day - thus I plan to appear for the GMAT again with a target of a 700+ score.
I am targeting the following B-Schools:
1. NYU - Stern/Columbia (Stretch)
2. Cornell - Johnson
3. CMU - Tepper
4. UVA - Darden
5. Georgetown
My careers goal would be to work in an International/US bank in their fixed income/syndicated loans group. My work experience (albeit as a lawyer) would, I assume provide me with a basic grounding for such a role.
I believe I should be able to secure good recommendations from my direct supervisors (Partner at my law firm) and clients. I am already quite stretched managing typical law firm long hours and working weekends with preparation for the GMAT/writing my applications and thus it would not be possible for me to do any part time courses.
I would be grateful for any suggestions on my target schools. I am only looking at US schools on the East Coast.
My weak point are my grades and any advice on the strategy for tackling or explaining my average/below average undergraduate grades would also be very useful. Would it make sense to take the lead and explain it for my stretch schools and keep silent about it for the other schools?
Any other advice in relation to my apps would also be very helpful.
Thanks,
Ashwin

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Re: Finance Lawyer (7 yrs workex) [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2014, 12:28
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Hello,

First, especially for the more competitive programs, do your utmost in a retake of the GMAT. A score in the 730 range will help a lot.

I think you should acknowledge the low grades in a brief, straightforward optional essay. No one would question your professional success – but the adcom is also looking for evidence that you will succeed in the classroom. So if you had some good grades in courses of interest, in the optional essay explain that although you were young/immature and didn’t apply your efforts broadly, when you did, you excelled.

Your list is excellent, and appropriate. I believe that that overall your profile would be of interest – these programs get many Indian applicants, many finance applicanst, and some law applicants, but not too many who combine all three – you would clearly bring a valuable perspective. Another East Coast school to consider is Fuqua (Duke), possibly also MIT – you'd need to check Duke’s recruiting in your area, but I know MIT does decently in that regard. (I’d consider MIT a reasonable reach and Duke closer to on par.)
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Finance Lawyer (7 yrs workex)

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