Corporate Lawyers Guide to Deal Sheets


End of the fiscal year means not only a last push towards the billable requirement finish line but also the obligatory self-assessment for annual reviews. In my junior associate years, I found myself looking back through time sheets and emails in an attempt to reconstruct a year’s worth of work. This process took a considerable amount of time and in the world of billable hours, time is scarce and precious. I quickly learned that the key to a smooth self-assessment process was advanced preparation by maintaining a deal sheet.

What is a Deal Sheet?

A deal sheet lists the transactions which a lawyer has worked on. It is typically used in a job search to accompany one’s resume and provide greater details on experience, but it can also be used to take stock of one’s experience for annual reviews and general self-evaluation.

Deal Sheets: What to Include

I find it easiest to create a deal sheet in Excel, with one tab for each year. Here are the categories I typically include in my deal sheet:

  • Date the transaction closed
  • Type of transaction (ex: venture financing, M&A, securities offering)
  • Description of transaction (ex: acquisition of private company by public company, Series C follow on financing)
  • Value/Consideration of transaction (ex: $200M of which 50% was paid in cash and 50% paid in buyer’s common stock)
  • My role and examples of work done (ex: lead associate, drafted initial merger agreement and all major ancillary agreements, participated in all negotiations alongside partner in charge)

Maintaining a deal sheet can be challenging, especially when the work flow is heavy but I have found that setting aside a few minutes to update my deal sheet after completing each transaction is a far more efficient use of my time rather than engaging in a time intensive reconstruction process at the end. This method also ensures that I can reference details in my self-assessment to showcase my contributions to the firm.

One Reply to “Corporate Lawyers Guide to Deal Sheets”

  1. Hi, I know this post is a bit old, but I find the advice is quite good. I actually made a site to help relieve some of the burden or writing and managing a deal sheet. You still have to enter the data yourself, but the site makes it easy to make stub entries that you can come back to later and takes care of formatting. There’s also a feature to share your dealsheet when the times comes. The site is I hope some of you find it useful.

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