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Capital markets practice involves representing companies raising money through issuing securities, such as stock, debt, and other variations, as well as the investment banks or other entities underwriting these offerings – these include initial public offerings (IPO) and offerings of bonds or other debt.

A central aspect of capital markets practice is preparing disclosures for potential investors and providing advice on information that is required to be disclosed under applicable securities laws.  Capital markets attorneys are also well-versed in securities laws and regulations in the U.S. and other countries, as well as the rules of the individual stock exchanges. 

As part of the process for a securities offering, attorneys perform due diligence (reviewing the company’s documents, filings, contracts and other items) to determine what is required to be disclosed, and prepare the agreements for purchase or underwriting of securities and other documents, such as closing certificates, and required filings. 

Capital markets practice can be a good fit for attorneys who would enjoy doing a deep-dive into different businesses, analyzing and understanding black-letter law, and solving “puzzles” creatively to structure transactions in a way that comply with applicable laws and meet the client’s needs.

Featuring Fried Frank, Willkie, and Proskauer

Watch this interesting and fun panel discussion about the different types of Corporate Finance and Capital Markets work at top firms, including how to prepare for a career in Finance or Capital Markets.


-Ariel Zell, Fried Frank
-Jason Pearl, Willkie
-Jin Joo, Proskauer


Check out these short and helpful videos from Hotshot, a video-based learning platform used by top law firms and law schools.

These videos are a great way to get an overview of Capital Markets practice, to determine if this practice area is right for you, and to prepare for networking calls and interviews.

These links will direct you to Hotshot’s website, where you can sign up for a free trial and access to 3 free courses. To watch more, use promo code “SAHub” to get 30% off Hotshot’s student rate (which brings the cost down to just $6 per month). Use your .edu email address to sign up, and if your school already subscribes to Hotshot you’ll automatically be added to its account!

The IPO Process

An overview of the initial public offering process, including a discussion on due diligence, preparing and filing the registration statement, the SEC review and comment process, pricing and closing.

The Deal Team in a Registered Offering

A brief overview of the key players involved in a securities offering and their responsibilities. Describes the roles of issuers, underwriters, accountants and lawyers.

US Securities Law for Securities Offerings

An introduction to the US securities laws that relate to securities offerings, including a summary of the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act and other rules and regulations.

Registered and Unregistered Offerings

An introduction to public offerings and private placements. Includes explanations of the most common types of private and public deals, such as IPOs, follow-on offerings, secondary offerings, Reg D offerings, Rule 144 and 144A offerings.

Introduction to Financial Statements

An introduction to the four main financial statements, with examples of how the statements are affected by different business transactions.


Check out these episodes from the How I Lawyer Podcast, a series by Georgetown Law professor Jonah Perlin.  

Jonah talks to attorneys throughout the professions about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it well.

This podcast series is a great way to learn directly from attorneys about what the day-to-day work is like in different practice areas. 

David Lucking, Allen & Overy

In this episode, Jonah Perlin speaks with David Lucking, Partner in the New York office of Allen & Overy and Head of the firm's Global International Capital Markets Group.

"It's a team sport, even with the other side. Transactional work is often just about getting a deal done or building something... Not being adversarial for the sake of being adversarial is a very important quality for a transactional lawyer."