Big law vs litigation boutique

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thesealocust
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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby thesealocust » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:39 pm

MrKappus wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:Exceedingly rare may have been an exaggeration, but the ratio is roughly 2:1 transactional to litigation.

See here: http://www.heidrick.com/PublicationsRep ... el2011.pdf


That's a great report, thanks for the cite. I'd be curious to know what the industry-wide breakdown of transactional attorneys vs. litigators is. If it's 50-50, or even litigator heavy, then your argument makes sense is stronger (edit). If transactional attorneys outnumber litigators, then the results in that report make a bit more sense. All in all though, I was mainly just reacting to the "exceedingly rare," so thanks for responding.


The report is very interesting. I'd also like to know how corp/lit breaks down.

I know a few firms in NYC are 2/3 transactional, but I also know you could throw a mountain's worth of rocks without hitting a transactional attorney in DC. And hell, I think even Wachtell is only like 50-60% transactional (by body count). Since there are (1) some enormous litigation-only firms and (2) relatively fewer corporate boutiques than lit boutiques, my guess is that in the entry-level-associate market there might be a 2:1 ratio of litigators to corporate attorneys, but that's pretty speculative on my part.

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thesealocust
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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby thesealocust » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:58 pm

Did some counting on my own to procrastinate. In the V5 (excluding Skadden, they have too many categories to easily count) there are 1,746 corporate attorneys and 1,207 litigation attorneys (roughly 1.44 : 1). My guess is from all points south that number will start tipping heavily towards litigation. The whole reason the V5/V10 NYC firms are well known is for their transactional work. Plus as you add in more firms, places like W&C, Boies, and Quinn come to mind. The few Chicago firms I looked at were close to 50-50 and DC firms are heavily lit/reg focused (I think Hogan has the biggest corporate department in DC, and they're still 2:1 lit:corp). Patent firms are probably also overwhelmingly lit.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:15 am

OP here- thanks for the comments. Countering the "exit option" approach in choosing a firm, which place do you think gives an associate the best chance to make partner, lit boutique or big law? I ask this question specifically in how it differs from lit botique to big law rather than how one makes partner in general (e.g., rainmaker).

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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:19 am

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Veyron
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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Lit botique is on par with Bartlit Beck, big law V100.


Wait a minute, so you have Susman and you are actually asking this question? How dumb are you?

I guess it could be S&C but then you wouldn't have distinguished the V100.

P.S. Oh yes, I mad. Or jealous. In retrospect, probably jealous. . . but also so so mad.

Kochel
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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby Kochel » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:48 am

In-house counsel (ex-Biglaw) here. The ratio of in-house corporate lawyers to in-house litigators will vary based on the type of company. In most industries, though, companies need far more corporate lawyers than litigators. At my own employer, in the financial services sector, the corporate/litigation ratio has traditionally been roughly 9:1, and I think that's pretty common. That said, in many companies the in-house litigator can become pretty prominent, to the extent that he or she is responsible for managing big-dollar cases that can influence the company's bottom line or that require lots of attention from senior management.

Note: the term "transactional lawyer," when used in opposition to "litigator," is misleading, because it excludes the very large practice categories that aren't transaction-driven--tax, benefits, employment, regulatory compliance, IP, etc. My own legal department is full of lawyers who practice in these areas. I prefer the more generic term "corporate lawyer" when distinguishing from "litigator."

imchuckbass58
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Re: Big law vs litigation boutique

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:18 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:
Exceedingly rare may have been an exaggeration, but the ratio is roughly 2:1 transactional to litigation.

See here: http://www.heidrick.com/PublicationsRep ... el2011.pdf


Hate to bump an old thread, but found a particularly relevant followup:

"Corporate probably increases your in-house marketability five- to tenfold"

http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecare ... -corp.html




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