Job Opportunities in Antitrust Law?

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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:52 pm

Job Opportunities in Antitrust Law?

Postby tomato8 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Hi All,

I'm currently a 0L considering going to law school. I have an undergrad degree in economics. Although I'm interested in econ, I don't think I would be able to handle the intense math in an econ PhD program. I did some online research and going into antitrust law seemed like an interesting path for me since I'm really interested in industrial organization, which seems to have a big impact on antitrust law. My question for you guys is where would a lawyer need to be employed to work in antitrust? Are positions mainly restricted to government? Also, how hard it is to get these jobs coming from a T-14 or top tier school? And if anyone is currently working in this field, how do you like it?


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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Job Opportunities in Antitrust Law?

Postby bikepilot » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:15 am

I also have an econ background and was interested in antitrust. One maddening thing is most antitrust law is developed by lawyers and politicians with non-economic agendas and as such, the economic foundation of antitrust law is weak or non-existent if you really dig into it. Some economic background is probably still useful though and is especially useful if you want to get into antitrust policy or academic writing as opposed to advocacy.

As far as employment, it isn't particularly difficult. Most large firms have large antitrust practices and of course the DOJ Antitrust division hires plenty of people as well. I was interested in antitrust as a 1L and had a 2L job offer with one of the nation's leading antitrust practices. I eventually decided that I antitrust was less exciting than I'd initially thought and went a different direction, but the jobs are there and based on my limited experience no harder to get than any other job at a similar level. If you graduate from HYS you'd be virtually certain to be able to get an antitrust job at DOJ or biglaw right out of law school, from the other T14 your chances will depend to some extent on your class rank (and of course high class rank doesn't hurt at HYS).

I would recommend you pay attention to particular schools' faculty when choosing a school. Some don't have much in the way of law and econ faculty.

Generally, you should have a look at law and economics generally - its a genera of legal academia and applicable to most practice areas. Most schools will have an Olin Fellowship Program in Law and Economics and I'd highly recommend applying - you'l generally get some money, get assigned a faculty member and attend some sort of workshop.

Harvard has one of the best Law and Econ/Antitrust faculties in the country and of course Chicago is also extremely strong. I know less about the others.

One other practical consideration is that antitrust cases tend to be huge and extremely long - they drag on so long that few young lawyers are able to see a case through from start to finish. This was a big downside to me and part of the reason why I eventually decided not to go into antitrust practice.

You don't need to decide now though, but it would be helpful to have some idea by the end of 1L when you'll be interviewing for 2L jobs.

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:52 pm

Re: Job Opportunities in Antitrust Law?

Postby tomato8 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks for your input. That was really helpful. So is policy writing usually done by JDs or econ/law PhDs? I'm looking into possibly applying to a JD/MA econ program. I doubt I'll have the LSAT score for Harvard but I'll definitely look into Chicago.

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