Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

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mike7174
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:32 pm

Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

Postby mike7174 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:32 pm

Hey all, after going to Harvard’s ASW last week, I’m pretty set on going to HLS next year. I just had a couple quick questions:

1.) If a student is interested in Biglaw work, is it a bad idea to take courses that you’re more interested in (human rights law, labor law, etc.) during 2L and 3L? Would you be more marketable (esp. to V10 firms) if you took corporate law-type courses?

2.) Would you be more marketable to V10 firms if you cross-registered and took some courses at Harvard Business School? If so, which type of courses would be best?

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

Postby Great Satchmo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:40 pm

I'm starting to think about this now, but I realize one key point:

The first year of law school, for most schools, are a list of required courses - so you don't have a choice.

To me, this means I won't have to really get a sense of a plan, for the most part, until near the end of the first year when registering for the next semester's classes.

I have a feeling I'll be *slightly* more informed about that decision at that point.

Kochel
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Re: Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

Postby Kochel » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:45 pm

HLS grad, Biglaw-vet-now-in-house, longtime lurker here.

The short answer to your questions is that your Biglaw fate will be decided in the fall of 2L--i.e., when the only grades you have are the nonelective 1L classes. I don't know that the V10 firms are any different from most other Biglaw firms regarding your courseload.

That said, it wouldn't hurt for you to take corporate classes in your 2L year: Securities Regulation, Tax & Corporate Tax, Antitrust, etc. But at most, this will only give you talking points during your interviews, and you'll only be able to take 1-2 of those classes in the fall semester in addition to the basic courses.

Classes you take in the spring of 2L year and in 3L year are irrelevant unless you're doing 3L OCI.

sfdreaming09
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Re: Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

Postby sfdreaming09 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:52 pm

Kochel wrote:HLS grad, Biglaw-vet-now-in-house, longtime lurker here.

The short answer to your questions is that your Biglaw fate will be decided in the fall of 2L--i.e., when the only grades you have are the nonelective 1L classes. I don't know that the V10 firms are any different from most other Biglaw firms regarding your courseload.

That said, it wouldn't hurt for you to take corporate classes in your 2L year: Securities Regulation, Tax & Corporate Tax, Antitrust, etc. But at most, this will only give you talking points during your interviews, and you'll only be able to take 1-2 of those classes in the fall semester in addition to the basic courses.

Classes you take in the spring of 2L year and in 3L year are irrelevant unless you're doing 3L OCI.


Thanks for the advice, much appreciated! So you don’t think that those corporate-type courses would help you once you’re actually at a Biglaw firm? Are you basically saying that one could take any courses (besides the required ones) during 2L and 3L without constraining you’re opportunities once you’re already in Biglaw?

270910
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Re: Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

Postby 270910 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:55 pm

Keep in mind that 3L OCI basically doesn't exist. I think 10 firms in the entire country hired via 3L OCI programs for the class of 2009, if I recall correctly. Your sole entry point to biglaw is after your first year grades, and before you've taken almost any electives.

Logical, neh?

Oh, and poster above: Law school course work is massively divorced from practice. You'll have to learn most of the black letter stuff during your bar review course anyway. There are a million different opinions about what to take while in law school, but I don't think I've ever heard anybody talk about it being especially useful come practice time.

Kochel
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: Courses to take if aiming for V10 Biglaw?

Postby Kochel » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:20 pm

I've been practicing corporate law (securities, investment regulation, corporate governance, etc.) for 10+ years and, honestly, the only HLS classes that have ever been even close to relevant to my work have been Corporations and Securities Regulation. Even for those two classes, the relevance was only basic--i.e., I learned the differences between a corporation and a partnership, or what constitutes gun-jumping for securities law purposes. I suppose I could have tried to take advanced courses like M&A or corporate tax, but even those courses focused on case law and not on nuts-and-bolts transaction work.

When I joined my Biglaw firm, they took it for granted that I knew absolutely nothing about how to practice corporate law. And I don't think that's changed much since I was a first-year associate. :)




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