Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: It’s Not Just Your CV That Gets You In The Door

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Creating the Representative Matters / Transactional Deal Sheets

The Representative Matters / Transactional Deal Sheets a is perhaps an attorney’s best sales tool to winning new business or making that lateral move to a new firm.

Litigators use the term Representative Matters to list cases, and transactional attorneys refer to this document as the Transactional Deal Sheet. For the purposes of this article we will call it, the Deal Sheet.

Transactional Deal Sheets are an important tool to help quantify your value to your firm and position yourself in the marketplace. Take stock of your experience and assess where you are, and where you are going.

The bottom line is that you must have an up-to-date list of cases you have worked on and deals you have closed. The Deal Sheet clearly defines your professional accomplishments in a way that a resume alone cannot.

The Deal Sheet highlights your successes stories and showcases your specialized skill-set in areas of law you excel at. The Deal Sheet is truly a must to help negotiate a better rate or favorable terms.

The Deal Sheet helps to assess where your experience is, and it’s a must to for client development.

It makes no difference if you plan on making the lateral move or simply staying where you are. Start keeping a running list of cases you have worked on.

There is no set length or format for organizing The Deal Sheet. Deal Sheets have no page limits. The Deal Sheet provides clients and prospective employers with a deeper understanding of your career experience with concrete examples in a clear, cogent and crisp manner. Be as concise as possible.

The key is to come up with a structure that meets the objective. Make the list easy to digest at a glance by highlighting your major accomplishments.

  1. List high profile or high value cases and deals first.
  2. Group information by kinds of cases or deals and firms chronologically.
  3. Always be cognizant that you accurately portray your role in the matters and deals you describe.
  4. Be mindful of confidentiality issues. Be tactful and strategic, often times subtly stating the details works well.
  5. Include citations to be safe or use more generic language without naming specific people or entities.
  6. Include the dates (month and year) of each deal to show how recent your experience in various sub-practice areas has been.
  7. For instances where you have worked on a number of nearly identical deals for the same client, condense these transactions into one entry.
  8. You can include deals that did not close, if the details add something substantive to your skill set.

The important thing is to create a Deal Sheet that succinctly details your cases that can be scanned instantly and with ease.

Create several versions:

  1. Create a chronological Deal Sheet and also create one that lists deals in a logical format.
  2. When prospecting, create a Deal Sheet that is specific to a that industry or a sheet that lists only high-profile cases.
  3. You may want to create unique Deal Sheets for Commercial Litigations, Bankruptcy Litigations, M&A Cases, IPOs, Capital Offerings, SEC Cases and arbitrations separately.
  4. It might make sense to group deals where you represented the issuer under one heading and deals where you represented the underwriters under a different heading or sub-heading.

Carefully review your Deal Sheet and consider being challenged on everything listed. Be fully prepared to talk intelligently about anything and everything you include in your Deal Sheet.

  1. Make sure you can recite extemporaneously any detail listed.
  2. Be prepared to address questions about any key issues that arose during a case and how they were resolved.
  3. Also discuss any challenges you in particular faced, during this deal and how you solved them.
  4. If you really were not involved in the substance of a deal or if elaborating on the issues presents potential concerns about your skill set, err on the side of caution. Delete it.
  5. Put pen to paper and detail your accomplishments. Your resume should be concise, that’s why the Deal Sheet is so valuable.

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