Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

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IzziesGal
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Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IzziesGal » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:48 pm

I know that a lot of litigators go from big firms into USAO gigs, but what about corporate attorneys who don't want to end up as in-house counsel? Can corporate attorneys land USAO or DA gigs, and if so, how does a corporate lawyer tailor his or her resume to end up there? Thanks all. :D

Renzo
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Renzo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:45 pm

Transactional att'y to D.A. or AUSA seems far fetched, since those are litigation jobs. But there are plenty of regulatory jobs in gov't that would be open to a non-litigator.

Pablo Ramirez
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:48 pm

Renzo wrote:Transactional att'y to D.A. or AUSA seems far fetched, since those are litigation jobs. But there are plenty of regulatory jobs in gov't that would be open to a non-litigator.


Would this include Enforcement at the SEC?

Tsispilos
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Tsispilos » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:57 pm

Depending on what kind of corporate work you do, DOL, EEOC, SEC, IRS, FTC, CFTC, and FCC, Treasury Dept., and Fed Reserve would all be good places to look.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:59 pm

Tsispilos wrote:Depending on what kind of corporate work you do, DOL, EEOC, SEC, IRS, FTC, CFTC, and FCC, Treasury Dept., and Fed Reserve would all be good places to look.

This. Corporate lawyers know how corporations work so they'd be good resources for government regulatory agencies. Also possibly good for service as an FBI Special Agent, I imagine, since they conduct so many white-collar investigations now.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IzziesGal » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:05 pm

Ugh. So there's no way to really do corp for a few years to get that experience and then switch over to a USAO or DA gig? What if you did all lit pro bono to at least get some trial experience on your resume? My problem is having to commit to something so far in advance, when I have no idea where I intend to end up in 5 years.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:11 pm

IzziesGal wrote:Ugh. So there's no way to really do corp for a few years to get that experience and then switch over to a USAO or DA gig? What if you did all lit pro bono to at least get some trial experience on your resume? My problem is having to commit to something so far in advance, when I have no idea where I intend to end up in 5 years.

USAO and DA's office is all lit all the time. They're prosecutors, and prosecutors are litigators. They're going to want people with litigation experience for the most part. I think some USAO offices in areas with a lot of corporate prosecution might have dedicated corporate staff to analyze corporate documents and structures, but really, you have to realize that those are offices that are focused very heavily on litigation and will want litigation experience as a result.

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180orbust
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby 180orbust » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:28 pm

There are people who have been dreaming of being the DA since they were 6 years old. They ate the law for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They stayed home from their high school prom because they were doing logic games. They have never smoked a joint because all they have ever wanted was to be Matlock. These are people who would give their left nut for this. And YOU want to be corporate lawyer for a few years and sample everything in the room, then "fall back" into some sort of sinecure golden parachute DA/government job in case you don't like the work it takes to pay off your debt?? This isn't burger king. You're not the only 8th grade girl with boobs. This is America, and you can't just go through life sampling this and that until you're finally ready to settle down and do what you think sounds nice. You've got to grow a pair, grab your ESQ by the horns, and ride that fucker down to hell. This is big leagues, small fry. Freedom isn't free, and there ain't no corporate lawyers in the USA's prosecutor's seat.

Spykuh
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Spykuh » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:34 pm

180orbust wrote:There are people who have been dreaming of being the DA since they were 6 years old. They ate the law for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They stayed home from their high school prom because they were doing logic games. They have never smoked a joint because all they have ever wanted was to be Matlock. These are people who would give their left nut for this. And YOU want to be corporate lawyer for a few years and sample everything in the room, then "fall back" into some sort of sinecure golden parachute DA/government job in case you don't like the work it takes to pay off your debt?? This isn't burger king. You're not the only 8th grade girl with boobs. This is America, and you can't just go through life sampling this and that until you're finally ready to settle down and do what you think sounds nice. You've got to grow a pair, grab your ESQ by the horns, and ride that fucker down to hell. This is big leagues, small fry. Freedom isn't free, and there ain't no corporate lawyers in the USA's prosecutor's seat.



a no would have sufficed.

bigben
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby bigben » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:48 pm

180orbust wrote:There are people who have been dreaming of being the DA since they were 6 years old. They ate the law for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They stayed home from their high school prom because they were doing logic games. They have never smoked a joint because all they have ever wanted was to be Matlock. These are people who would give their left nut for this. And YOU want to be corporate lawyer for a few years and sample everything in the room, then "fall back" into some sort of sinecure golden parachute DA/government job in case you don't like the work it takes to pay off your debt?? This isn't burger king. You're not the only 8th grade girl with boobs. This is America, and you can't just go through life sampling this and that until you're finally ready to settle down and do what you think sounds nice. You've got to grow a pair, grab your ESQ by the horns, and ride that fucker down to hell. This is big leagues, small fry. Freedom isn't free, and there ain't no corporate lawyers in the USA's prosecutor's seat.

Sorry in advance about the biglaw lit dropout getting hired over you.
Last edited by bigben on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pablo Ramirez
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:50 pm

180orbust wrote:There are people who have been dreaming of being the DA since they were 6 years old. They ate the law for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They stayed home from their high school prom because they were doing logic games. They have never smoked a joint because all they have ever wanted was to be Matlock. These are people who would give their left nut for this. And YOU want to be corporate lawyer for a few years and sample everything in the room, then "fall back" into some sort of sinecure golden parachute DA/government job in case you don't like the work it takes to pay off your debt?? This isn't burger king. You're not the only 8th grade girl with boobs. This is America, and you can't just go through life sampling this and that until you're finally ready to settle down and do what you think sounds nice. You've got to grow a pair, grab your ESQ by the horns, and ride that fucker down to hell. This is big leagues, small fry. Freedom isn't free, and there ain't no corporate lawyers in the USA's prosecutor's seat.


The undisputed, indefatigable KING OF CLICHE!

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180orbust
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby 180orbust » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:50 pm

Life is too short for "sufficient" answers. If I wanted to "suffice" in the service industry, I'd still be busing tables with dirty dishtowels and scratch dirt off of partially washed dishes with my fingernails. This is the big leagues, and the stakes are too high just to "suffice."

A simple no does not even come close to the deep shit I'm trying to drop on here.

Pablo Ramirez
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:54 pm

180orbust wrote:Life is too short for "sufficient" answers. If I wanted to "suffice" in the service industry, I'd still be busing tables with dirty dishtowels and scratch dirt off of partially washed dishes with my fingernails. This is the big leagues, and the stakes are too high just to "suffice."

A simple no does not even come close to the deep shit I'm trying to drop on here.


Dropping the "deep shit" on our unworthy asses!

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vamedic03
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:56 pm

180orbust wrote:Life is too short for "sufficient" answers. If I wanted to "suffice" in the service industry, I'd still be busing tables with dirty dishtowels and scratch dirt off of partially washed dishes with my fingernails. This is the big leagues, and the stakes are too high just to "suffice."

A simple no does not even come close to the deep shit I'm trying to drop on here.


Grow up.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IzziesGal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:03 am

Um...I went to law school because I was interested in criminal law. I interned with criminal law agencies and majored in it in college. Now, thanks to going to a top law school and keeping an open mind, I've had the chance to experience new areas of the law that fascinate me. So yes, I would like to explore all different areas and see what I'm good at and what I enjoy. I don't know where I want to be in 5 yrs, and I am sorry if that offends you. I am sorry if I have the freedom and the credentials "to try it all" out. And I'm sorry if being "Matlock" never worked out for you. Christ.

Anyways - I'll be working at the USAO next semester, and I am hoping this will tell me whether corporate or litigation is right for me. My 1L summer was a mix, and unfortunately, I enjoyed both equally.

Pablo Ramirez
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:14 am

IzziesGal wrote:Um...I went to law school because I was interested in criminal law. I interned with criminal law agencies and majored in it in college. Now, thanks to going to a top law school and keeping an open mind, I've had the chance to experience new areas of the law that fascinate me. So yes, I would like to explore all different areas and see what I'm good at and what I enjoy. I don't know where I want to be in 5 yrs, and I am sorry if that offends you. I am sorry if I have the freedom and the credentials "to try it all" out. And I'm sorry if being "Matlock" never worked out for you. Christ.

Anyways - I'll be working at the USAO next semester, and I am hoping this will tell me whether corporate or litigation is right for me. My 1L summer was a mix, and unfortunately, I enjoyed both equally.


Not trying to be your daddy, but: jack of all trades, master of . . . .

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IzziesGal
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IzziesGal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:17 am

Pablo Ramirez wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:Um...I went to law school because I was interested in criminal law. I interned with criminal law agencies and majored in it in college. Now, thanks to going to a top law school and keeping an open mind, I've had the chance to experience new areas of the law that fascinate me. So yes, I would like to explore all different areas and see what I'm good at and what I enjoy. I don't know where I want to be in 5 yrs, and I am sorry if that offends you. I am sorry if I have the freedom and the credentials "to try it all" out. And I'm sorry if being "Matlock" never worked out for you. Christ.

Anyways - I'll be working at the USAO next semester, and I am hoping this will tell me whether corporate or litigation is right for me. My 1L summer was a mix, and unfortunately, I enjoyed both equally.


Not trying to be your daddy, but: jack of all trades, master of . . . .


It's not a matter of being jack of all trades, master of none. I am feeling genuinely torn between corporate and litigation. I'm happy for you if you have it all figured out already, but there are a lot of us who don't know which group would be a better fit. I'm frankly sick of everyone bashing me for having a problem that a good percentage of law students starting at firms have. I'm sorry if I have both corporate and lit experience on my resume and don't know which I want more. Holy hell, all I came here for was some feedback.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:22 am

IzziesGal wrote:Anyways - I'll be working at the USAO next semester, and I am hoping this will tell me whether corporate or litigation is right for me. My 1L summer was a mix, and unfortunately, I enjoyed both equally.

Why don't you see what you can find out at the USAO while you're there next semester? Try to find people who did corporate work at a law firm before they started there, see if it happens. I'm not saying go ask people, I'm just saying keep an open ear and pay attention, and you'll be able to figure it out by listening long enough if you're listening for the right things.

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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Danteshek » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:22 am

Pablo Ramirez wrote:
Renzo wrote:Transactional att'y to D.A. or AUSA seems far fetched, since those are litigation jobs. But there are plenty of regulatory jobs in gov't that would be open to a non-litigator.


Would this include Enforcement at the SEC?



Trial team is a very small part of SEC Enforcement Division. SEC only does 10-15 trials a year. That said, SEC Enforcement still still wants litigation oriented people with securities litigation experience and/or substantive financial industry experience. The SEC Enforcement people not on the trial team often do pre-trial litigation stuff like depositions, investigation etc.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IzziesGal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:28 am

vanwinkle wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:Anyways - I'll be working at the USAO next semester, and I am hoping this will tell me whether corporate or litigation is right for me. My 1L summer was a mix, and unfortunately, I enjoyed both equally.

Why don't you see what you can find out at the USAO while you're there next semester? Try to find people who did corporate work at a law firm before they started there, see if it happens. I'm not saying go ask people, I'm just saying keep an open ear and pay attention, and you'll be able to figure it out by listening long enough if you're listening for the right things.


Thanks for the constructive feedback. I was planning on doing this as well, but was hoping some people on here had some good intel as well. I guess I'll just try to gauge what most of the AUSAs and USAs did prior to joining. My problem is that I love learning all aspects of the law. My 1L summer job was great because I learned several different areas of substantive law, worked on lit, and worked on transactions and contracts. I enjoyed it all and was constantly kept on my toes. Sigh.

Pablo Ramirez
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby Pablo Ramirez » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:30 am

IzziesGal wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
IzziesGal wrote:Anyways - I'll be working at the USAO next semester, and I am hoping this will tell me whether corporate or litigation is right for me. My 1L summer was a mix, and unfortunately, I enjoyed both equally.

Why don't you see what you can find out at the USAO while you're there next semester? Try to find people who did corporate work at a law firm before they started there, see if it happens. I'm not saying go ask people, I'm just saying keep an open ear and pay attention, and you'll be able to figure it out by listening long enough if you're listening for the right things.


Thanks for the constructive feedback. I was planning on doing this as well, but was hoping some people on here had some good intel as well. I guess I'll just try to gauge what most of the AUSAs and USAs did prior to joining. My problem is I love all aspects of the law - I just love learning it. My 1L summer job was so much fun because I learned several different areas of substantive law, worked on lit, and worked on transactions and contracts. I enjoyed it all. Sigh.


Izzy, this isn't an interview. You can cut the canned crap. :P

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IzziesGal
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IzziesGal » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:33 am

Pablo Ramirez wrote:

Izzy, this isn't an interview. You can cut the canned crap. :P


Haha. I knew that was coming. I can't win in this damned thread - and I created it. :)

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vamedic03
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:37 am

FWIW - I was at a talk by the US Attorney for W.D.VA (and a former AUSA for DC and W.D.VA and former big law partner). He said that he could care less what practice area an attorney was in when they worked for big law. He said that he would have to train them regardless of what they had done before. So, what he said that he focused on was hiring the people who were in the top of their associate class who were known for doing high quality work. He was less concerned with a specific skill set and more concerned with abilities.

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IAFG
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:40 am

vamedic03 wrote:FWIW - I was at a talk by the US Attorney for W.D.VA (and a former AUSA for DC and W.D.VA and former big law partner). He said that he could care less what practice area an attorney was in when they worked for big law. He said that he would have to train them regardless of what they had done before. So, what he said that he focused on was hiring the people who were in the top of their associate class who were known for doing high quality work. He was less concerned with a specific skill set and more concerned with abilities.

"top of their associate class"? associates are ranked?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Can corporate lawyers go into gov't service??

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:40 am

IzziesGal wrote:My problem is that I love learning all aspects of the law. My 1L summer job was great because I learned several different areas of substantive law, worked on lit, and worked on transactions and contracts. I enjoyed it all and was constantly kept on my toes. Sigh.

If this is the way you think I highly recommend you become a litigator. I've had many discussions about this before and through OCI with folks on both sides, litigation and corporate practice, and this is what I gathered:

Corporate practice rewards a high degree of specialization. If you learn the law in one particular area then you can just keep drafting agreements over and over and over again with the same knowledge, so specializing is very efficient. You focus on doing one or a few types of corporate work and keep doing them over and over and get better as you go on, and then you sell those skills to people who need that type of thing done.

Litigation, on the other hand, rewards generalization at least to some extent. The thing that keeps repeating is the procedure in the courtroom, but so many new and different issues arise in litigation constantly that the advantage is in being able to have a broad spectrum of experiences and know how to adapt to new settings. A lot of firms don't have their litigators specialize too distinctly even as partners because of this, and once you've learned how to litigate a case fully you have the skills necessary to litigate almost any kind of case.

If you want to keep learning new and different areas of the law you'll get to do that much more as a litigator. Further, your litigation skills will allow you to move around and go different places, from criminal prosecution at the AUSA to civil defense in a number of different matters at a law firm to a variety of pro bono appearances. You'll still have the chance to learn how contracts and corporations work since as a corporate or white-collar litigator you might end up litigating contracts and have to deal with the language in them very closely.

So I think you'd be happier in the long run doing lit. You'd always be presented with new things to learn and play with, something that's going to be true much less often as a corporate attorney.




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