Because arbitration, aside from giving the term "corrupt legal system" a whole new meaning, is about as similar to a court trial as playing with Hot Wheels is to getting behind the wheel of a McLaren P1 at the Nürburgring. In fact, I think law school mock trials have more substantive benefit than arbitrations.
As to your other question re: partnership, the answer generally is "nothing." Unlike biglaw, many (if not most) plaintiffs' shops are not up-and-out. Partnership tracks -- if there is such a thing at many of these firms -- can be long and undefined. And even when you do make partner, you're income and when the term "partner cum associate" was coined, it was coined for these folks. In other words, many many plaintiffs shops have just a select few of true equity partners. Even big shops like BLBG, RGRD, Labaton, etc., there are just a handful of partners that (1) have true skin in the game and (2) call all the shots. So there's really no rush on the firm's part to make you partner, and from the associates' perspective there's less systemic pressure to do so.
Thanks anon168. I have a lateral offer from one of these firms doing mainly securities class action, as well as from some excellent biglaw firms. I'm leaning strongly (90%) towards the plaintiffs firm, for the reasons people have been discussing in this thread, and especially for the change in mindset. I'm just a plaintiffs' lawyer at heart I guess. And I don't ever want to spend 20 minutes debating punctuation in responses to requests for admissions ever again.
But I'm worried I am being overly influenced by the current state of suck I find myself in (responding to a huge amount of discovery today in fact), and am therefore putting the plaintiffs firm on a pedestal/short shrifting the excellent biglaw firms I have lateral offers from. I mean, I have had some awesome biglaw experiences as well (first-chair depos, trial prep, working with experts, etc.) But my current thinking is, if I take one of the biglaw offers, I will find myself in similar states of suck not infrequently in the future, while if I take the plaintiffs firm offer, I will almost never find myself in a similar state of suck. Am I even right about this? Plus, the biglaw route preserves more options down the road, hence my question about partnership/exit opps at plaintiffs firms. Do you have any thoughts?
Also, can I PM you questions about the specific firm?
Thanks again. Would buy you a beer if I could.