Course Selection and Biglaw

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sfdreaming09
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:54 pm

Course Selection and Biglaw

Postby sfdreaming09 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:43 pm

HLS 1L here with a quick question if anybody could help: we have to sign up for classes tomorrow and I was wondering if firms care what you take as your spring elective. Specifically, I was wondering whether somebody with a fairly liberal looking resume should stay away from courses (at least during 1L yr) that would just reconfirm your political views. There are a few courses that I'm interested in but I don't want firms to be skeptical of my career goals. In other words, I know I want to end up in biglaw, so I don't want (esp ITE) to be disadvantaged (even slightly) during recruitment next year due to firms possibly thinking that I'm a public-interest type thats just going to bail on them in a couple years. Would it be better for someone with an already pretty liberal resume to take something more traditional (corps, tax, etc.)?

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: Course Selection and Biglaw

Postby dougroberts » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:05 pm

If you are shooting for BigLaw, make sure you either
1.) have worthwhile business experience;
2.) an undergrad in business; AND/OR
3.) pursue business law related courses in law school.

Here's why:
After going through OCI, and landing a biglaw position for next summer (I am a 2L), all my interviewers were impressed at my business undergrad - all said there are not enough business people in law. That being said, if your undergrad is not business (and I mean legit business majors, like finance or accounting, not marketing b.s.) then you better take as many business related courses as possible 1L-Spring and 2L. Your interviewers will also ask what classes you are taking 2L year when you are interviewing during August before 2L year starts.

I suggest you take (depending on your school's prerequisites):
  • Agency
  • Corporations
  • Income Tax
  • Business Tax
  • Contract-transactional Drafting type class
  • Sales (UCC)
  • Secured Transactions (UCC)

Some of the above classes will have to wait till 2L and 3L, just fyi.

But whatever you do, just try to get relevant business educational or work experience somehow. Keep in mind that it is corporations and businesses that are the bread-and-butter for big law firms. Individuals with custody, immigration, and personal injury issues rarely use big law firms because they are expensive - for the most part clients of big firms are business. Hence, business acumen is a must.

sfdreaming09
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:54 pm

Re: Course Selection and Biglaw

Postby sfdreaming09 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:19 pm

dougroberts wrote:If you are shooting for BigLaw, make sure you either
1.) have worthwhile business experience;
2.) an undergrad in business; AND/OR
3.) pursue business law related courses in law school.

Here's why:
After going through OCI, and landing a biglaw position for next summer (I am a 2L), all my interviewers were impressed at my business undergrad - all said there are not enough business people in law. That being said, if your undergrad is not business (and I mean legit business majors, like finance or accounting, not marketing b.s.) then you better take as many business related courses as possible 1L-Spring and 2L. Your interviewers will also ask what classes you are taking 2L year when you are interviewing during August before 2L year starts.

I suggest you take (depending on your school's prerequisites):
  • Agency
  • Corporations
  • Income Tax
  • Business Tax
  • Contract-transactional Drafting type class
  • Sales (UCC)
  • Secured Transactions (UCC)

Some of the above classes will have to wait till 2L and 3L, just fyi.

But whatever you do, just try to get relevant business educational or work experience somehow. Keep in mind that it is corporations and businesses that are the bread-and-butter for big law firms. Individuals with custody, immigration, and personal injury issues rarely use big law firms because they are expensive - for the most part clients of big firms are business. Hence, business acumen is a must.


Thanks for the advice. That's actually exactly what I was thinking. I have a liberal arts undergrad, no WE, and all the EC's on my resume from college are liberal-looking stuff (e.g. work with the DNC, teaching SAT courses to underprivileged kids, etc.). My only concern is that a lot of people have told me not to take a 4-unit course next sem and instead take a 2-unit seminar so that the workload doesn't get too heavy. But all the Business-type courses are 4 unit classes so I don't know what to do at this point. I'll definitely take mostly Biz-related courses next year, but what do you think would be best next semester? Take a 4-unit Corps/Tax/Trusts&Estates or stick with the 2-unit seminar? Thanks again.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Course Selection and Biglaw

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:21 pm

dougroberts wrote:If you are shooting for BigLaw, make sure you either
1.) have worthwhile business experience;
2.) an undergrad in business; AND/OR
3.) pursue business law related courses in law school.

Here's why:
After going through OCI, and landing a biglaw position for next summer (I am a 2L), all my interviewers were impressed at my business undergrad - all said there are not enough business people in law. That being said, if your undergrad is not business (and I mean legit business majors, like finance or accounting, not marketing b.s.) then you better take as many business related courses as possible 1L-Spring and 2L. Your interviewers will also ask what classes you are taking 2L year when you are interviewing during August before 2L year starts.

I suggest you take (depending on your school's prerequisites):

  • Agency
  • Corporations
  • Income Tax
  • Business Tax
  • Contract-transactional Drafting type class
  • Sales (UCC)
  • Secured Transactions (UCC)

Some of the above classes will have to wait till 2L and 3L, just fyi.

But whatever you do, just try to get relevant business educational or work experience somehow. Keep in mind that it is corporations and businesses that are the bread-and-butter for big law firms. Individuals with custody, immigration, and personal injury issues rarely use big law firms because they are expensive - for the most part clients of big firms are business. Hence, business acumen is a must.
All my interviewers were impressed with my psychology major. They keep reiterating how we need more psychologists in the law.

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: Course Selection and Biglaw

Postby dougroberts » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:37 pm

sfdreaming09 wrote:Thanks for the advice. That's actually exactly what I was thinking. I have a liberal arts undergrad, no WE, and all the EC's on my resume from college are liberal-looking stuff (e.g. work with the DNC, teaching SAT courses to underprivileged kids, etc.). My only concern is that a lot of people have told me not to take a 4-unit course next sem and instead take a 2-unit seminar so that the workload doesn't get too heavy. But all the Business-type courses are 4 unit classes so I don't know what to do at this point. I'll definitely take mostly Biz-related courses next year, but what do you think would be best next semester? Take a 4-unit Corps/Tax/Trusts&Estates or stick with the 2-unit seminar? Thanks again.


Again, I would suggest business courses, and thus 4-unit Corp or Tax. At least personally, I think some 2-unit classes are as much work as 3 or 4-unit classes. And in any event, if you are going to take 14-16 units or whatever, what does it matter if you take a 4-unit class or 2 2-unit classes? Personally, I liked having fewer larger-unit ( :lol: ) courses than more smaller ones.




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