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What should a deal sheet look like?

published September 29, 2014

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Question:

I'm a corporate attorney with five years of experience. I've been hearing that I should put together a "Deal Sheet" to accompany my resume, but I don't really know what that is or how it should look.

 
What Should A Deal Sheet Look Like?

Answer:

If you have been practicing for two or more years and have gained some substantial, varied experience, then it is time to consider putting together a Deal Sheet or "List of Representative Transactions." A Deal Sheet is a compact, succinct compendium of the deals an attorney has worked on with headings. A deal sheet serves the attorney by organizing his or her practice into defined categories that help elucidate where an attorney's specific area of expertise lies.
 
A Deal Sheet should consist of a list of major, significant transactions that you have worked on with headings, like Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Real Estate Transactions, etc. Then under each heading, it follows a list of bullet points that describes the major transactions that an attorney has worked on. Often these are identified with client names or a general description of the type of client being serviced. If an attorney mentions a Fortune 50 client, then that particular matter might be more interesting to a potential employer and show a certain level of prestige. So this can be important information to communicate in the deal sheet.

Often the headings are broad, like Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities, etc. But a number of practice areas can be broken down further. For instance, within Real Estate, the categories could be Leasing, Finance, Zoning, etc. And more general categories can be broken down further if you have a lot of specific experience in one area or are a true specialist in an area. For example, a Leasing specialist might want to break down a Leasing category into "Big Box" Leasing, Landlord Representation, Tenant Representation, etc. I've also seen deals broken down with headings based on the dollar values of acquisitions (middle market, etc).

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