Litigation or Transactions

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Unbiasedfanboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:57 pm

Litigation or Transactions

Postby Unbiasedfanboy » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:52 am

I'm starting to look at firms for OCR. I know rising 2Ls do not need to know what kind of law they want to practice, but I think it would be useful to have a general idea for bidding purposes and interviewing.

Can someone explain to me how the day-to-day of a litigator and a transaction lawyer differ? Which area involves more human interaction?

For background:

I do not know what I am interested in. The idea of arguing in court seems awesome, but I'm aware litigators rarely get to do that. I really have no idea what a transaction lawyer does.

Unbiasedfanboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Litigation or Transactions

Postby Unbiasedfanboy » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:38 am

bump

Mr. Pablo
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:21 pm

Re: Litigation or Transactions

Postby Mr. Pablo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:45 am

I can't answer the question, but if no-one gives a satisfactory reply, you should make a polite form letter (insert name here kind of stuff) and send it out to random attorneys and see if you get any bites. A few of the big firms have their websites divided into practice areas, so you should be able to figure out what lawyers are doing what.

edit: or just ask someone in your career services office, or a professor.

Posner
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Litigation or Transactions

Postby Posner » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:20 am

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Last edited by Posner on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

theghostofDrewTate
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:43 am

Re: Litigation or Transactions

Postby theghostofDrewTate » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:20 pm

Unbiasedfanboy wrote:I'm starting to look at firms for OCR. I know rising 2Ls do not need to know what kind of law they want to practice, but I think it would be useful to have a general idea for bidding purposes and interviewing.

Can someone explain to me how the day-to-day of a litigator and a transaction lawyer differ? Which area involves more human interaction?

For background:

I do not know what I am interested in. The idea of arguing in court seems awesome, but I'm aware litigators rarely get to do that. I really have no idea what a transaction lawyer does.


I do transactional work in a big firm. No two days are the same. Early on, transactional work (M&A) involves reviewing contracts for due diligence and then preparing/confirming disclosures in purchase/merger agreements. You'll also be tasked with reviewing/proofing the underlying deal docs and maybe drafting some of the ancillary agreements. If you're good and it's busy, you'll quickly get staffed on your own deals where you will get to draft the underlying documents and go negotiate them with the other side. I just jumped in on a deal that was getting ready to sign where the other midlevel on the deal was getting murdered with the operative docs, so I had to oversee a first year in preparing the schedules and running through the reps with the client. I didn't do any of the diligence, so I made the first year basically run the calls with the client and I bailed him out when he got in over his head. He also negotiated the disclosures the other side made. For reference, here is what a random deal doc I just pulled off onecle looks like:

http://contracts.onecle.com/app-pharmac ... 4-26.shtml

See Articles II and IV - the actual schedules are not publicly available, but this should give you and idea.

If you do PE/Fund formation type work, your early years will entail creating hundreds of closing folders and making sure they are all populated properly. They have a bunch of pension funds and other investors that negotiate side letters and have to deal with dozens of subscription agreements and stuff.

If you do securities work, you will have to form check securities filings against the SEC forms, review the forms and do miscellaneous research for a few years.

Litigation is a different beast altogether. A few years ago, everyone did a significant amount of doc review, but that has been scaled back as it is being sent to temps and offshore providers. So I think there is more substantive work (research, briefs, motions, defending depos, etc.) than there was a few years ago, but the flipside is there are fewer jobs now because the doc review has been pushed down.

In M&A, I have significant client contact and contact with the other parties to transactions. I'm not a litigator, so I don't know how much there is on that side, but I think if you asked the hundreds of associates in any one firm, you would get different answers from everyone.




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