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The following is an excerpt from Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas.

Megha Vyas, Associate—Transactional (2022)

Megha Vyas is a second-year corporate associate at Kirkland & Ellis in New York. She graduated from Fordham University School of Law in May 2020. During law school, Megha was a 1L summer associate at Goodwin Procter in New York, and a 2L summer associate at Kirkland & Ellis in New York. Megha received her B.A. in History, Comparative Literature & Women’s and Gender Studies, cum laude, from Rutgers University. She also received her M.A. in South Asian Studies from Columbia University.

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

Currently, I’m a corporate general associate, which means I have the opportunity to take assignments in all of the corporate-related practice areas, including both private and public mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, debt finance, and investment fund formation.

What types of clients do you represent? 

I work with mostly private equity firms who are looking to buy companies or sell companies that they previously acquired. I have worked with Apax Partners, A&M Capital Partners, Ares, Carlyle, and Oaktree Capital Management, just to name a few.

What types of cases/deals do you work on? 

I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of deals. Some of these include the buy-side and the sell-side M&A, special purpose acquisition companies—both on the M&A and capital markets side—and fund formation, from the initial investor coming into the fund all the way to the closing of the fund. Additionally, I have worked on debt finance matters, which involves ensuring that the debt documentation is in place for when the M&A transaction closes, as well as capital markets transactions, including a follow-on offering and bond offerings.

How did you choose this practice area?

I chose corporate general because as a junior associate, I wanted to try different practice groups before deciding which one I wanted to focus on. Kirkland gave me that opportunity. I also think that getting experience in different practice groups will make me a better attorney in whatever practice area I end up choosing.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

A typical day can be anything from diligence and contract review to drafting actual transaction documents. Whatever the task, I am always getting the chance to learn, grow and develop as an attorney. Particularly at Kirkland, the teams really let junior associates take charge and own the tasks and work streams that they are assigned.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

I think the best skills in corporate general are to be proactive and pay attention to details. Be hungry and ready to learn and dive in. In law school, I found it really helpful to take practical courses like Contract Drafting, and also more theoretical courses that focus on corporate law, such as Mergers & Acquisitions and Securities Regulation. These classes provide a good foundation for when you actually go into the workplace and start practicing as a lawyer.

What is unique about your practice area at your firm? 

Kirkland lets you choose the deals that you want to work on, and the teams that you want to work with. It’s truly unique. Moreover, because Kirkland has so many deals and so much volume, you are really required to step up and take charge of the workstreams and tasks that you are working on, even as a junior associate. This gave me the opportunity to gain great experience early on.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area? 

When your client identifies a company or “target” that they are interested in buying, junior associates go in and “diligence” the target. Typical tasks include performing corporate diligence on the target, running the diligence process and writing a diligence memo. Junior associates are also involved in drafting transactional documents. I have had the opportunity to draft ancillary transaction documents, including restrictive covenant agreements, rollover agreements and escrow agreements.

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain at this practice area at your firm? 

Summer associates can really get involved in corporate general and mergers and acquisitions from the start. Summers can help with performing diligence on a target company, drafting certain sections of a diligence memo, and keeping track of the various work streams in the deal timeline—staying organized is one of the most important aspects of corporate work.

What has been the most surprising aspect of dealmaking to you? 

I have found it most surprising how fun and exhilarating it has been. There’s a lot of learning and a lot of hard work, but there’s also great reward. There is nothing quite like working on a large transaction and then seeing that same transaction talked about in the Wall Street Journal the next day.