If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

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lawwhat
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If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

Postby lawwhat » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:45 pm

to attend a T14? T30? Assuming one would like to land a job at a decent mid sized firm that specializes in civil actions, what kind of school would one have to attend?

I read somewhere online that starting in personal injury law isn't a bad way to get into this line of work, but that was just a random web site. I don't know where to begin my research, honestly.

I found this list of firms that focus on class action suits. Would they be "Big Law" firms?

http://www.riskmetrics.com/issgovernance/scas/scas50_2007.html

starsong
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Re: If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

Postby starsong » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:57 pm

Most people on this site don't think in terms of exact practice areas--since a fresh graduate is hardly a competent attorney--but rather earnings potential upon graduation. So biglaw refers to large law firms that pay a six-figure salary to new grads. For the first few years, you perform all kinds of legal work as part of a team, not necessarily in one specific field of law (i.e. class actions).

If you're interested in class actions exclusively, you should find a firm that specializes in it, and look at their hiring requirements. If it's a small or midsized firm, you'll probably discover that they hire relatively few law students, instead preferring lawyers with some experience. Hence the focus on biglaw on this web site: large firms provide graduates with this crucial initial experience.

So you may want to consider working at a big firm for a few years, then transitioning into a smaller firm that focuses exclusively on class actions. Getting an offer at a large firm is a function of your school's rank and your first-year grades. To answer your second question: the firms on the SCAS 50 list appear to be small or mid-sized.

lawwhat
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:35 pm

Re: If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

Postby lawwhat » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:05 am

starsong wrote:Most people on this site don't think in terms of exact practice areas--since a fresh graduate is hardly a competent attorney--but rather earnings potential upon graduation. So biglaw refers to large law firms that pay a six-figure salary to new grads. For the first few years, you perform all kinds of legal work as part of a team, not necessarily in one specific field of law (i.e. class actions).

If you're interested in class actions exclusively, you should find a firm that specializes in it, and look at their hiring requirements. If it's a small or midsized firm, you'll probably discover that they hire relatively few law students, instead preferring lawyers with some experience. Hence the focus on biglaw on this web site: large firms provide graduates with this crucial initial experience.

So you may want to consider working at a big firm for a few years, then transitioning into a smaller firm that focuses exclusively on class actions. Getting an offer at a large firm is a function of your school's rank and your first-year grades. To answer your second question: the firms on the SCAS 50 list appear to be small or mid-sized.


Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

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A'nold
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Re: If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

Postby A'nold » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:50 am

I've actually always wondered how to get into this line of work myself.

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AR75
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Re: If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

Postby AR75 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:27 am

Have good grades. Be a good writer. Get hired by a firm and be lucky enough to work on some cases. Gradually work your way into becoming lead counsel on some. Many courts (maybe all?) will not allow an attorney to be the counsel of record on a class action without having demonstrated proficiency or experience in handling a class action.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: If One Desires To Work In Class Actions, How Important Is It

Postby UCLAtransfer » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:53 am

lawwhat wrote:to attend a T14? T30? Assuming one would like to land a job at a decent mid sized firm that specializes in civil actions, what kind of school would one have to attend?

I read somewhere online that starting in personal injury law isn't a bad way to get into this line of work, but that was just a random web site. I don't know where to begin my research, honestly.

I found this list of firms that focus on class action suits. Would they be "Big Law" firms?

http://www.riskmetrics.com/issgovernance/scas/scas50_2007.html


As another poster mentioned, it doesn't look like any of the firms on that list are Biglaw. (With the possible exception of Boies, which is kind of a unique firm.)

Are you talking about doing plaintiffs' work or class action defense? Your post didn't say specifically, but the link you posted is a list of plaintiffs' firms. Big firms are usually the ones doing class action defense.

From what I have seen, plaintiffs' firms really have quite a hierarchy. They are all generally on the smaller side (# of attorneys), but just get different qualities of cases. E.g., Robinson Calcagnie (think Ford Pinto, Vioxx, etc.) is probably on the higher end, whereas the local place down on the block probably gets some pretty crappy cases.




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