I'm curious about careers in financial-sector regulation. What kind of advanced education would help me get work with the U.S. Department of Justice, the FDIC, the SEC, or a state regulator? Is it better to focus on states (which ones?) or the federal government for this kind of stuff? Do some universities graduate more people into this kind of work than others? What kind of dues paying is required before the work gets interesting? What should I consider as I weigh either pursuing legal or finance training?
After more than a decade as a business journalist, I still (mostly) love my job, but I'd like to start positioning myself for something different. The constant layoffs, shrinking budgets, and declining relevance as our audience evaporates are getting to me.
There are a lot of second career options that interest me, and I'm still not sure what I'll do next, but right now regulation holds my fascination for several reasons:
* I love covering banking and finance, and have an above-average understanding of balance sheets and the nuances of reading between the lines to understand the soundness of small and midsize regional banks. Need to learn a lot more to do it well professionally, but I think I'd enjoy that.
* I like holding individuals and organizations accountable through my work, and I believe I have a good balance of compassion at human failings and moral outrage when those failings have serious consequences.
* I want to feel as though I'm contributing to the common good and the well being of my community and my country.
* I perceive a need for better enforcement, and would love to be a part of the solution.
As background, I'm taking the LSAT in December. I've taken two practice tests, scoring 161 (before studying logic puzzles) and 171 (with a little study, but not much), and hope to get toward the high end of that range or higher. If I don't, I probably have to rule out law school, as my undergrad GPA was around 2.5. (I was a 40-hour-a-week college newspaper editor who occasionally went to class; my priorities are different and I'm sure I'd do much better now.) Law is just one way to get at this regulatory stuff, though, and I'm not sure it's the best approach.
I've read the "careers" pages for the FDIC, SEC and DOJ, plus this place.
Except for the entry-level "honors attorneys" at Justice, however, these websites tend to include a paragraph-long job description, with minimal information about the training and experience required to get these jobs.
I'd love any insight that mefifolks can provide. Thanks.