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Drinks With the Deal: Wachtell’s Kling Talks Career Progression, Parenthood

Published: March 14th, 2024
In the latest episode of Drinks With The Deal, Wachtell’s Jake Kling talks about milestone deals for him, what he learned from his clerkship and how becoming a parent changed his view of being a lawyer.

Earlier this year, Jacob Kling advised PGA Tour Enterprises on an investment from Strategic Sports Group. The deal was a throwback, said Kling, an M&A partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, because it was largely negotiated face-to-face in conference rooms rather than via email, conference calls and Zoom meetings.

“Those types of experiences, while they can be physically exhausting, are the most rewarding parts of being a corporate lawyer,” he said on the most recent episode of the Drinks With The Deal podcast. “It’s a chance to connect with co-workers and clients and build relationships.”

Kling saw the emotional rewards of being a deal lawyer as he grew up, because his father, Lou, and stepmother, Eileen Nugent, were both M&A attorneys, which, he said, “gave me a lens into the interpersonal and social aspects of the job,” since many of their close friends were other attorneys.

Jake Kling said that a clerkship for Judge Dennis Jacobs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan was also a formative experience, since Jacobs asked his clerks to take a position on how each case should be decided and defend it to the judge.

“You had to give a recommendation and stand behind it,” Kling said. “Learning how to crystalize issues, give definitive advice and make a recommendation to a client is exactly what I do as a corporate lawyer every day.”

Kling became a partner at Wachtell in 2019, but he said becoming a parent of twins two years ago was a bigger adjustment. The children have learned the words “No more work, daddy,” Kling said. “When you hear that, you have to stop working.”

Check out the podcast with Jacob Kling below:

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