Jobs in Finance Law: How to Secure a Top Attorney in Los Angeles

Navigating the complex world of finance law in Los Angeles can be a daunting task for businesses and individuals alike. With a bustling economy and thriving legal market, securing a top attorney with specialized expertise in financial services is crucial. With academic institutions like Cal State LA providing robust finance and legal education programs, the city offers a rich pool of talented professionals adept in corporate law, asset management, and advising law firms. Understanding the value and importance of these roles is paramount in the landscape of finance law jobs, where precision, efficiency, and strategic thinking are key assets.

When it comes to hiring—an essential function for organizations seeking growth and compliance in the financial sector—Los Angeles stands as a fertile ground for recruiters and businesses to find their legal aces. This article delves into the intricacies of securing a finance attorney in the competitive Los Angeles market, from understanding the detailed hiring and interview processes to the nuances of what defines the role of a finance lawyer. Prospective employers and recruiters, including industry professionals like Dane Flanigan, will gain insights into salary expectations and how to leverage the search for legal experts to optimize their operations within the realms of finance and corporate law.

The Hiring Process Explained

Securing a finance law job in Los Angeles is a multifaceted process that hinges on a candidate’s legal education, bar admission, and relevant experience. Prospects often begin their journey by gaining practical knowledge through internships or entry-level positions infinance law firms or related organizations. This foundational experience is crucial in understanding the intricacies of finance law and positions candidates competitively in the job market.

A strong professional network is instrumental in the hiring landscape, and building connections within the finance law field can significantly amplify one’s chances of landing a coveted role. Job seekers typically embark on their search through various channels, including job search websites, law firm websites, or engaging with legal recruitment agencies, which are common avenues for discoveringjob opportunities.

The hiring process for finance attorneys in Los Angeles typically unfolds as follows:

  1. Job Posting: Firms may advertise open positions on their own websites, job boards, or legal-specific platforms, detailing the position’s responsibilities and qualifications.
  2. Application Submission: Applicants submit resumes and cover letters, which are then meticulously reviewed by recruiters or hiring managers to identify candidates that align with the firm’s needs.
  3. Initial Screening: Following resume screening, candidates may be invited for interviews, which could take place in-person, via video conference, or over the phone.During interviews, firms assess candidates’ technical knowledge, practical experience, and their potential cultural fit within the organization. Questions are often designed to evaluate not just the legal acumen but also the applicant’s ability to contribute to the firm’s ethos and values, including diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

    Organizations such asWilshire Law Firm, The Capital Law Firm, and Latham & Watkins are among those actively recruiting for finance law-related positions in Los Angeles, reflecting the city’s dynamic legal market. Firms like Reed Smith LLP, which values diversity, recruit from a broad spectrum of candidates through on-campus interviews, job fairs, and write-in applications. They also provide support for travel and hotel accommodations, with a clear system for expense reimbursement, ensuring a candidate-focused approach during the hiring process.

    By adhering to these structured steps, recruiters and candidates alike can navigate the hiring process with clarity and precision, fostering successful placements that benefit both the legal professionals and the firms they join.

Interview Process for Finance Lawyers

In the pursuit of securing top finance law talent in Los Angeles, the interview process is a critical gateway to assess the suitability of candidates. Those eyeing positions within this competitive field must exhibit a blend of technical skills and soft skills, as firms seek individuals who not only possess strong analytical abilities and professionalism but also conscientiousness and the capacity to foster strong relationships. A deep understanding of case law, financial data, and legal documents, combined with proficiency in legal and business-related software, sets the groundwork for a successful career in finance law. Experience in financial services, credit analysis, and financial modeling further enhances a candidate’s appeal to potential employers.

The interview journey for finance lawyers typically unfolds in two stages:

  1. First Round of Interviews:
    • Conducted by one or two practice group leaders.
    • Focus on assessing the candidate’s foundational legal knowledge and experience in finance law.
    • Candidates should be prepared to discuss their CV in detail, emphasizing specific experiences and transactions that align with the firm’s practice areas.
  2. Second Round of Interviews:
    • Involves a panel of four or five additional attorneys, including both partners and associates.
    • Each session ranges from 30-45 minutes, allowing for a deep dive into the candidate’s qualifications and potential cultural fit within the firm.
    • Candidates are expected to articulate their interest in the firm and practice group, often referencing specific transactions or matters that resonate with the firm’s portfolio.Preparation is paramount for candidates aiming to impress during these interviews. Researching the law firm and its practice group is crucial, as it enables candidates to tailor their responses to reflect the firm’s background, client base, recent news, and strategic developments. Additionally, candidates should be ready to discuss why they are drawn to the specific firm, perhaps highlighting particular transactions or matters that exemplify their interest and expertise.

      To effectively convey their experiences, candidates are advised to practice describing 4-5 recent matters they’ve worked on, ensuring their explanations are concise and relevant to the firm’s practice areas. Behavioral questions are a common component of the interview process, and candidates can benefit from using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or SOAR (Situation, Obstacle, Action, Result) formats to organize and articulate their responses. Practicing these responses aloud, whether in front of a mirror or through a mock interview, can bolster a candidate’s confidence and delivery.

      When addressing weaknesses, a strategic approach is to focus on areas of improvement rather than deficiencies that could hinder performance as an associate. It’s essential for candidates to prepare meaningful questions that demonstrate a specific interest in the firm and practice, steering clear of queries about training, billable hours, or compensation until the offer stage. This demonstrates a candidate’s genuine interest in the firm’s operations and culture, rather than just the benefits or logistics of employment.

      For those aspiring to join the ranks of finance attorneys in Los Angeles, the interview process is a testament to their readiness to navigate the complexities of finance law. With the right preparation and understanding of what firms are looking for, candidates can position themselves as valuable assets to their prospective employers.

Understanding the Role of a Finance Lawyer

Finance lawyers in Los Angeles operate at the intersection of law and finance, providing expert advice and legal services that are essential to the functioning of the financial markets. Their roles and responsibilities are diverse, reflecting the complexity of the financial sector they serve. The following points outline the key aspects of their roles:

  • Representation in Financial Transactions: Finance attorneys represent either lenders or borrowers, ensuring their clients’ interests are protected during the negotiation and drafting of loan agreements and other financial documents. This representation is critical in establishing fair and legally sound agreements between parties involved in financial transactions.
  • Specialization in Finance Law: These legal professionals may specialize in various subfields of finance law, such as:
    • Banking Law: Dealing with the regulation of banks, bank officials, and financial services.
    • Project Finance: Involving the financing of infrastructure and industrial projects.
    • Structured Finance: Relating to complex financial products that require in-depth legal structuring.
    • Transportation Finance: Focusing on agreements and transactions related to the transportation sector.
    • Asset Securitizations and Derivatives: Covering the creation and handling of asset-backed securities and derivative contracts.
  • Key Responsibilities: The day-to-day responsibilities of a finance lawyer in Los Angeles include:
    • Advising issuers and investors in financing transactions.
    • Ensuring clients comply with securities laws.
    • Negotiating and drafting loan agreements.
    • Working on multiple projects simultaneously, which requires exceptional organizational skills and the ability to multitask effectively.
  • Skills and Qualifications: To excel in this field, finance lawyers need a particular set of skills and qualifications:
    • Attention to Detail: Precision is vital when dealing with complex financial documents.
    • Numerical Proficiency: A strong grasp of numbers and business concepts is essential.
    • Documentation Skills: The ability to create clear, concise, and legally binding documents.
    • Relationship-Building: Good interpersonal skills help in building and maintaining professional relationships.
    • Educational Background: A Juris Doctor (JD) degree and passing the California bar exam are fundamental requirements.
  • Market Demand and Specializations: The demand for finance lawyers in Los Angeles correlates with the health of the economy. During strong economic periods, there is a high demand for attorneys with a keen interest in business and meticulous attention to detail. Specializing in areas like securities law, bankruptcy, or mergers and acquisitions can make candidates particularly attractive to employers.
  • Local Practice Nuances: Practicing finance law in Los Angeles comes with its unique aspects:
    • Local firms and organizations often have specialized finance law departments.
    • The job market for finance law professionals in the city is dynamic, with various opportunities in corporate finance, securities regulation, and financial restructuring.
    • Average salaries for finance law professionals in Los Angeles reflect the city’s status as a major legal market.In summary, finance lawyers in Los Angeles are integral to the fabric of the city’s financial and legal landscape. They play a pivotal role in advising clients, structuring deals, and ensuring regulatory compliance, all of which are essential in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the financial markets. With a strong educational foundation, specialized knowledge, and the right skill set, finance attorneys in Los Angeles are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the financial world, contributing to the city’s reputation as a hub for finance and law.

Salary and Compensation Expectations

In the competitive landscape of finance law in Los Angeles, compensation packages for attorneys are reflective of the high-caliber expertise demanded by the market. Salary expectations for finance lawyers in the city and across California vary widely, influenced by factors such as experience, specialization, and the economic climate. Here’s an overview of the financial remuneration that finance lawyers can anticipate:

  • Average Salary Insights:
    • The average annual salary for a Finance Lawyer in California stands at$148,272, with a spectrum that stretches from the lower percentile at $59,708 to the upper echelons where salaries can reach as high as $297,552.
    • Specifically in Los Angeles, finance lawyers can expect an average salary of around$162,000, positioning the city as a lucrative market for legal professionals in the financial sector.
  • Salary Ranges and Market Activity:
    • The salary range for most finance lawyers in California typically falls between $87,300 and $176,700, indicating room for growth and progression within the field.
    • However, the job market for Finance Lawyers in the state is not highly active, suggesting that those seeking positions may face less competition but also fewer opportunities.
    • Despite this, California still ranks 3rd out of 50 states for Finance Lawyer salaries, underscoring the state’s position as a leading hub for legal talent in finance.
  • Top Earners and Related Roles:
    • For those at the pinnacle of their career, the top 90th percentile of Finance Lawyers in California see annual earnings of $238,337, demonstrating the potential for substantial financial reward in this profession.
    • There are also related roles within the legal finance sector that command higher salaries, such as Banking Attorney, Non-Profit Attorney, and Commercial Finance Attorney, suggesting alternative career pathways for those with a legal background in finance.When considering the full compensation package for finance attorneys in Los Angeles, it’s important to note that salaries can range from $120,000 to $350,000 or more. This variation is based on several factors, including the size of the firm, the candidate’s level of experience, and prevailing market conditions. Additional benefits that enhance the overall compensation package may include:
  • Comprehensive Benefits:
    • Health insurance, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage, ensuring peace of mind for attorneys and their families.
    • Retirement plans and flexible spending accounts, providing long-term financial security and tax-efficient savings options.
    • Professional development opportunities, bonuses, and other incentives that foster career growth and recognize performance.For instance, a Finance-Banking Attorney position in Los Angeles may offer an expected annual pay range of $250,000 to $345,000, complete with afull range of elective benefits to support the attorney’s personal and professional needs. This highlights the city’s commitment to attracting and retaining top legal talent through competitive remuneration and a culture-driven approach to benefits and work-life balance.

      In summary, finance lawyers in Los Angeles and across California can anticipate salaries that reflect their vital role in the financial services industry, coupled with a benefits package designed to support their holistic well-being and professional advancement.


The journey to securing a top finance attorney in Los Angeles, with its unique blend of sophisticated market knowledge and legal prowess, culminates in the recognition that these professionals are pivotal to navigating the complexities of the financial legal landscape. Their specialized skills ensure that both businesses and individuals are well-represented and compliant within the regulatory framework, reinforcing the city’s reputation as a nexus of finance and law. As we have explored, the path to becoming a distinguished finance lawyer in Los Angeles is multifaceted, demanding excellence in education, networking, and practical experience.

For those looking to make an impactful addition to their legal team, or individuals seeking to advance their careers within this vibrant sector, the support of seasoned recruitment professionals can make all the difference. To facilitate this process and connect with a network of top-tier finance attorneys ready to elevate your operations, do not hesitate tocall ultraHealth Agency. Together, we can forge relationships that not only meet the high standards of Los Angeles’s financial legal field but also drive forward the continual advancement of industry practices and professional successes.


1. Which legal specialties are currently experiencing the highest demand?
Legal fields such as intellectual property law, family law, immigration law, real estate law, and corporate law are consistently in high demand. Additionally, the areas of intellectual property law, data privacy and cybersecurity law, litigation, and labor and employment law are rapidly expanding and seeking skilled attorneys.

2. In California, which type of lawyer earns the highest salary?
In California, lawyers who specialize in complex and highly sought-after fields like intellectual property, corporate law, or technology law tend to receive higher salaries than those working in less specialized areas of law.

3. Who are the top-earning attorneys?
The attorneys with the highest earnings are typically those who specialize in areas such as:

  • Patent law, with an average income of $180,000.
  • Intellectual property (IP) law, with an average income of $162,000.
  • Trial law, with an average income of $134,000.
  • Tax law, with an average income of $122,000.
  • Corporate law, with an average income of $115,000.4. What steps should I follow to become a financial lawyer in California?
    To pursue a career as a financial lawyer in California, you should:
  • Obtain an undergraduate degree.
  • Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
  • Apply and get accepted into law school.
  • Earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.
  • Pass the California Bar Examination.
  • Apply for membership in the State Bar of California.

Seniority or Performance Reevaluating Pay Inequity

Photo by Alex Starnes

Some corporate salary programs are rewarded for experience and not based on performance. How we measure success is sometimes shown to those who have been in their positions and not for how well they have performed. It creates and fosters a culture that is not conducive to a positive work environment.  

For Example, Judy has been servicing the same facility for 10 years. She is a run-of-the-mill manager; and based on her last three years of progress reports, she has been adequate. Her pay is $150,000 per year based on seniority.

Mary has been with the same organization managing a different facility for the past three years. Her performance as seen in her reviews has been excellent. Her salary is $120,000 based on seniority.  

Neither employee is compensated for their performance.

Too often we reward people for being average. We keep them with the company because it makes a stable work environment and as long as it is not bad, it is okay. There is also an understanding that employees (people) are providing for their families and well-being; they may be a friend or simply a colleague we enjoy working with. 

So, who cares if Judy is average? Mary does. She is doing the same job – only better while being paid less.

We need to work on changing the system.  Paying someone based on performance is an objective measurable. If we attach the objectives to data and spread them over other sustainable variables, then we create a system that rewards employees on doing a great job. We can still compensate employees for their tenure with the company, but we are also rewarding a culture values excellence.

Hiring in the Healthcare Field Today

Hiring in the Spring of 2021 is like no other season. The US economy is scaling up from the global pandemic. In the healthcare sector there has always been a noticeable shortage of qualified practitioners, and now it seems like the spotlight is on it.

 We have seen a traumatic year, busy clinical and administrative sectors as well as people wanting a different line of work or seeking a new challenge in their lives. There is no mistake; 2020 was a tumultuous year, and many of the same challenges have crept into 2021.

There have been millions of lives lost, an economic turnover, and psychological burnout.  As our hospital beds were filling up and people were suffering, our clinical workers took on some of the emotional charge. And it was not only in hospitals but nursing homes, hospices, and other care facilities as lives were lost, and the stressful conditions added to people feeling maxed out. These conditions affected administrative people as well; budgets were crunched, employees were laid off, and grieving families just wanted someone to talk to.

What we are seeing now is some people looking for a change. The heavy workload and long hours call for a different lifestyle or new position. With the last fourteen-months being “a steroid year of getting your ass kicked and then working a double,” as one RN in California stated it, the shift, for some, is to move out of hospitals to other healthcare environments. Some are leaving all together while others are moving into the administrative side.

On the other hand, there has also been an influx of people who want to move into the healthcare sector. People are heading back to school to study nursing. A few are looking to finish their degrees while others are joining the fight in helping others with the challenges that lie ahead.

Fear drives us while hope pushes us forward; and it is our goals and dreams that guide us into making the best decisions. With the change in the labor force, especially in healthcare, we hope that people can realize their motivations and continue to support others in the clinical space, even in the administrative, and with everyday life. It is not an easy job, but many things that have fulfilling outcomes seldom are.