Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Baker McKenzie Tax Associate Ditches Big Law For The Professional Pitch

PatelAmerican Lawyer, Baker McKenzie Associate Ditches Big Law for the Professional Pitch:

Baker McKenzie associate Ena Patel is now the highest-ranking female executive in a technical role in Major League Soccer.

On Jan. 23, the league’s Colorado Rapids announced that Patel would become its new director of player personnel, a role that will see her oversee player contracts, salary budgets, regulatory compliance and soccer operations protocols for the Denver-based club.

Patel, who specializes in international tax planning on cross-border transactions, will report in her new role to Colorado Rapids executive vice president and general manager Pádraig Smith.

“Bringing in a sharp, legal mind who can oversee our contractual processes and complex league mechanisms is a really important part of ensuring that we’re fielding the best possible team,” said Smith in a statement. “We can’t wait for her to get started.” ...

[Patel] received her LL.M. in taxation from the Northwestern University School of Law in 2012 and joined Kirkland & Ellis as an associate in Chicago. Patel spent two years at the firm before lateraling in 2014 to DLA Piper in the Bay Area. She left the following year to join rival global legal giant Baker McKenzie, where she spent nearly three years, leaving the firm around Thanksgiving.

Legal Education, Tax | Permalink


I am delighted to add that Ena is a JD graduate of Loyola Law School Los Angeles.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Jan 31, 2018 2:19:20 PM

This didn't happen. The anti-law school mafia has told me that a JD is only useful for being a lawyer and any other career path post-JD is an admission of failure of the legal education system. This must be fake news.

Posted by: JustMe | Feb 3, 2018 12:16:10 PM

Nothing like reductive strawmanning. I don't recall anyone saying that alumni of major international law firms don't have good exit options. But of one of the great assumed can openers by the law school defense brigade is that the graduates of Harvard and Infilaw have equal opportunity to become an associate at a Vault 3 firm or a COA clerk.

And note how the Biglaw --> elite nonlaw job career progression is altogether different than someone who comes out of law school legal job and ends up doing data entry for $15/hour. Once again, law school reputation is a solid predictor of who winds up on which track here.

Finally, I would note that while obviously a laudable outcome, it's not like this ex-lawyer became CEO of Apple or something. One rather expects AmLaw 3 alumni to take over the world; this almost seems a letdown in the same vein that one would feel seeing a McKinsey alum becoming a mere academic instead of a centimillionaire hedge fund partner or Fortune 500 CEO (having worked at McKinsey being the most common denominator among Fortune 500 CEOs, in fact).

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Feb 4, 2018 2:53:53 PM