Litigation Experience?

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Anonymous User
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Litigation Experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:56 pm

Unashamedly uninformed 1L here to ask:

What does getting "litigation experience" as a young attorney really consist of?

I har lots of people talk about the value of going to firms where you can get litigation experience and I think to myself "Well that sounds great! Who wouldn't want litigation experience?" But really I have no idea what that would be like on a day to day basis. Can anyone elaborate? Say you end up at a firm known for its litigation practice (Paul Weiss, for example)... what will new associates be doing?

(Yes I know I am a 1L and I have other things to worry about, but I am considering applying for firm jobs this summer and I want to start to prep)

CLS2011
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby CLS2011 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:45 pm

Litigation Experience = actually taking or defending depositions, having some role in a trial team, actually drafting portions of papers, etc. Basically doing something other than document review and research / memo writing projects.

Anonymous User
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:13 am

Litigation Experience = actually taking or defending depositions, having some role in a trial team, actually drafting portions of papers, etc. Basically doing something other than document review and research / memo writing projects.


Exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Just wasn't sure what they would let new attorneys do.

Is it normally necessary that you have some experience with Mock Trial or Moot Court before they assign you to a litigation department? Or can you pretty much just request it as a SA and take it from there?

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Litigation Experience = actually taking or defending depositions, having some role in a trial team, actually drafting portions of papers, etc. Basically doing something other than document review and research / memo writing projects.


Exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Just wasn't sure what they would let new attorneys do.

Is it normally necessary that you have some experience with Mock Trial or Moot Court before they assign you to a litigation department? Or can you pretty much just request it as a SA and take it from there?


Depends on the firm. Most firms will allow the SA to get a broad range of work from different departments. If you are interested in pursuing litigation, I would just talk with the recruiting coordinator, express this interest and ask him/her how best to seek out these types of assignments. Most firms are usually pretty willing to help a student seek out assignments they want to work on unless there is just no need for that departmental area, but litigation is such a huge area there is almost always need.

As far as moot court or mock trial, it isn't necessary. That said if you are interested in litigation and have the chance to participate in one of these it certainly won't hurt in your SA interviews to mention how you are interested in litigation and your interest was only furthered by your participation in X ...

Last piece of advice, don't close all your doors off. Most law students without a business background have no idea what a transactional attorney does, and I spoke to countless interviewers who went to a firm convinced they were going to litigate and found out they loved transaction work. But certainly, if you are interested in litigation just take it upon yourself to seek it out.

TheFriendlyBarber
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Unashamedly uninformed 1L here to ask:

What does getting "litigation experience" as a young attorney really consist of?

I har lots of people talk about the value of going to firms where you can get litigation experience and I think to myself "Well that sounds great! Who wouldn't want litigation experience?" But really I have no idea what that would be like on a day to day basis. Can anyone elaborate? Say you end up at a firm known for its litigation practice (Paul Weiss, for example)... what will new associates be doing?

(Yes I know I am a 1L and I have other things to worry about, but I am considering applying for firm jobs this summer and I want to start to prep)


As someone who landed a 1L summer job at a V50 firm know for its litigation practice, I doubt you will have the opportunity to receive training in anything remotely similar to that defined above as "litigation experience." That said, it probably is helpful for you to know what "litigation experience" typically means before heading into an interview.

As for moot court and mock trial, they could make a difference as they show at least some curiosity in/interest for litigation. But such experience isn't, by any means, required.

As a final note, I would be careful about presenting myself as inflexibly focused on litigation. Firms are hesitant to hire people that come across as such. It's good to state an interest in a certain practice area, sure, but being so focused on litigation one semester into law school can come across as pretty foolish.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:15 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Unashamedly uninformed 1L here to ask:

What does getting "litigation experience" as a young attorney really consist of?

I har lots of people talk about the value of going to firms where you can get litigation experience and I think to myself "Well that sounds great! Who wouldn't want litigation experience?" But really I have no idea what that would be like on a day to day basis. Can anyone elaborate? Say you end up at a firm known for its litigation practice (Paul Weiss, for example)... what will new associates be doing?

(Yes I know I am a 1L and I have other things to worry about, but I am considering applying for firm jobs this summer and I want to start to prep)


As someone who landed a 1L summer job at a V50 firm know for its litigation practice, I doubt you will have the opportunity to receive training in anything remotely similar to that defined above as "litigation experience." That said, it probably is helpful for you to know what "litigation experience" typically means before heading into an interview.

As for moot court and mock trial, they could make a difference as they show at least some curiosity in/interest for litigation. But such experience isn't, by any means, required.

As a final note, I would be careful about presenting myself as inflexibly focused on litigation. Firms are hesitant to hire people that come across as such. It's good to state an interest in a certain practice area, sure, but being so focused on litigation one semester into law school can come across as pretty foolish.


This is a good point, I think if you do have an interest in litigation you should approach it by saying you have an interest, but not having been able to experience transactional work you would like to keep your interests open to make a more educated decision. Firms absolutely like someone who is driven to accomplish their interests, but also someone who recognizes they don't know anything about real practice and are eager to learn new areas.

A0566
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby A0566 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:47 pm

TheFriendlyBarber wrote:As someone who landed a 1L summer job at a V50 firm know for its litigation practice, I doubt you will have the opportunity to receive training in anything remotely similar to that defined above as "litigation experience." That said, it probably is helpful for you to know what "litigation experience" typically means before heading into an interview.


This sounds about right for most firms, although certain litigation boutiques may prove to be an exception (e.g. Morvillo, Boies, Patterson, Quinn a long time ago?, Munger, Keker, etc.).

Anonymous User
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Re: Litigation Experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:02 pm

OP here. Thanks everyone for the substantive and helpful responses.




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