Corporate Law vs. Litigation

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:13 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:I imagine being a corp or lit lawyer is also very stressful. Might as well have a niche area of expertise.


You can't have a niche until you learn how to be a fricken lawyer. You did not learn that in lawschool at all, and you will not learn that as a summer associate.


i meant down the road...not day one

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:14 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:I'm trying to decide between practicing corporate law or litigation. I'll be a summer associate at a V10 firm and have no clue which area to go into. I am interested in hearing pro's and con's of both areas. Which area has more exit opportunities? Better hours? More interesting work? Anything else you think is relevant. (If this thread exists I apologize)


Do you want to go to court? The answer to that answers your question.


interesting take. although i hear at big firms you don't see a courtroom for a long time and some partners don't even try cases.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:16 am

Big Shrimpin wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:
DeSimone wrote:3.5/165 --> V10

What's the secret?


got into a good regional school and transferred to a top 6 school. did lots of research on this site for succeeding in law school.


So credited. I think I remember you from the transfer forum last year. Congrats, dood.

As far as substantive advice, I've got nothing more to add than what RM said...pros and cons to each practice area...analyze your preferences and choose accordingly. I'm doing lit, but I didn't really have a choice (still happy about it, though). If I had been presented with the choice, I definitely might have chosen corp...especially at a V10. Billion-dollar transactions, ftw.


thanks! yeah, being at a v10 that is corporate driven actually is pushing me in the corp direction. i assume i'll get amazing training whereas the litigation training won't be as good b/c i won't get to court very much if at all. true?

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:45 am

ZXCVBNM wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:
DeSimone wrote:3.5/165 --> V10

What's the secret?


got into a good regional school and transferred to a top 6 school. did lots of research on this site for succeeding in law school.


So credited. I think I remember you from the transfer forum last year. Congrats, dood.

As far as substantive advice, I've got nothing more to add than what RM said...pros and cons to each practice area...analyze your preferences and choose accordingly. I'm doing lit, but I didn't really have a choice (still happy about it, though). If I had been presented with the choice, I definitely might have chosen corp...especially at a V10. Billion-dollar transactions, ftw.


thanks! yeah, being at a v10 that is corporate driven actually is pushing me in the corp direction. i assume i'll get amazing training whereas the litigation training won't be as good b/c i won't get to court very much if at all. true?


Sometimes you won't have a choice. Firms hire based on need, and I've known people who were surprised and disappointed to find themselves assigned to the corporate group when they wanted litigation. Firms aren't as up front about their hiring goals when you are there as a summer, and once they've reeled you in, your hooked and you're not going to chose to go back in the water. I can't speak to corporate practice, but its not like you'll be talking to CEOs as a corporate associate. You will be reviewing corporate records for due diligence. As a litigation associate, you may write memos, or you may do doc review all day long. You have to think long term either way. At the level you are talking, you're going to get shit on for years either way, but paid well. I'm not at that level. I'm at a large regional firm the local market knows well but you've never heard of, probably. But you have to know how the dirty work gets done before you can tell other people to do it.

What do you dream about doing once you can call your own shots? Going to court? Or closing deals? Then plan accordingly and cross your fingers. Good luck!
Last edited by NotMyRealName09 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JG Hall
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby JG Hall » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:50 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:I'm trying to decide between practicing corporate law or litigation. I'll be a summer associate at a V10 firm and have no clue which area to go into. I am interested in hearing pro's and con's of both areas. Which area has more exit opportunities? Better hours? More interesting work? Anything else you think is relevant. (If this thread exists I apologize)


Do you want to go to court? The answer to that answers your question.

dude, look at Vault 6-10. so doesn't matter.

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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:59 am

JG Hall wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:I'm trying to decide between practicing corporate law or litigation. I'll be a summer associate at a V10 firm and have no clue which area to go into. I am interested in hearing pro's and con's of both areas. Which area has more exit opportunities? Better hours? More interesting work? Anything else you think is relevant. (If this thread exists I apologize)


Do you want to go to court? The answer to that answers your question.

dude, look at Vault 6-10. so doesn't matter.


Yeah, I'm not at a firm like those. I make six figures at a firm with around 210 attorneys nationwide, but I get to write motions for summary, draft discovery requests and responses and miscellaneous motions, and attend hearings having only graduated last year. The world is interesting. I know of a girl in my local legal market, similar job as mine but her fiancée lives in N.Y. at a biglaw type firm. He gets paid out the ass but sits in a conference room and bills 10 hours a day, every day, doing doc review. I'm not 100% sure I'd trade places with him. 4 years from now, who will know more about actual lawyering? I'm not sure. He'll be richer, but C.O.L. in N.Y. eats some of that. And if he ever loses his job, he was a document monkey, what is his marketable skill other than his pedigree? Thats counts for a lot, sure, but its not the golden ticket it used to be.
Last edited by NotMyRealName09 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JG Hall
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby JG Hall » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:01 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
JG Hall wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:I'm trying to decide between practicing corporate law or litigation. I'll be a summer associate at a V10 firm and have no clue which area to go into. I am interested in hearing pro's and con's of both areas. Which area has more exit opportunities? Better hours? More interesting work? Anything else you think is relevant. (If this thread exists I apologize)


Do you want to go to court? The answer to that answers your question.

dude, look at Vault 6-10. so doesn't matter.


Yeah, I'm not at a firm like those. I make six figures at a firm with around 210 attorneys nationwide, but I get to write motions for summary and attend hearings having only graduated last year. The world is interesting. I know of a girl in my local legal market, similar job as mine but her fiancée lives in N.Y. He gets paid out the ass but sits in a conference room and bills 10 hours a day, every day, doing doc review. I'm not 100% sure I'd trade places with him. 4 years from now, who will know more about actual lawyering? I'm not sure.

You're missing the point.

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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:03 am

JG Hall wrote:]
You're missing the point.


Enlighten me. I may have drifted there into stream of consciousness writing.

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JG Hall
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby JG Hall » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:10 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
JG Hall wrote:You're missing the point.


Enlighten me. I may have drifted there into stream of consciousness writing.

OP is going to be a V10 summer and wants to pick between corp/lit. You said whether or not he wants to be in a courtroom should make his decision. Only the likelihood of spending any time in a courtroom from a V10 firms is insanely small, so there's no point in using it as a decisive factor. So how did we go from there to you defending your current employment?

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:20 am

JG Hall wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
JG Hall wrote:You're missing the point.


Enlighten me. I may have drifted there into stream of consciousness writing.

OP is going to be a V10 summer and wants to pick between corp/lit. You said whether or not he wants to be in a courtroom should make his decision. Only the likelihood of spending any time in a courtroom from a V10 firms is insanely small, so there's no point in using it as a decisive factor. So how did we go from there to you defending your current employment?


Well I was trying to provide context for my opinion, as I realized my advice was less applicable for the OP, but perhaps still useful for people generally interested in the topic but perhaps not at a V10 firm and instead in situations more similar to mine. And then I drifted into random thoughts I've had about my place in the world, the life of lawyers, the big dreams of the city and the soul crushing realities. Its late, its an anonymous forum, I'm bored. Cheers.
Last edited by NotMyRealName09 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

adude
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby adude » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:21 am

was just talking to a partner about how its possible to have a hybrid practice doing both transactional and lit work, especially if your area is highly specialized

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:23 am

adude wrote:was just talking to a partner about how its possible to have a hybrid practice doing both transactional and lit work, especially if your area is highly specialized


Employment law is sort of like that. They work on employer policy and hiring practices and also defend discrimination suits.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:32 am

I went to court with 3 V5 associates once on a case (took 3 of em to find the courthouse i guess)... Frankly, I've never seen such a pathetic display of poor lawyering combined with an obvious complete lack of actual substantive experience. That said, each one of those fuckers was making a shit ton more than me and was required to be about 1/10 as competent as I am on a daily basis so frankly, the last laugh is probably on me.
Last edited by reasonable_man on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JG Hall
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby JG Hall » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:35 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
adude wrote:was just talking to a partner about how its possible to have a hybrid practice doing both transactional and lit work, especially if your area is highly specialized


Employment law is sort of like that. They work on employer policy and hiring practices and also defend discrimination suits.

There are some people whose employment practice is entirely litigation-free, though.

If you really can't decide, I'd say bankruptcy.

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mez06
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby mez06 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:59 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
JG Hall wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
JG Hall wrote:You're missing the point.


Enlighten me. I may have drifted there into stream of consciousness writing.

OP is going to be a V10 summer and wants to pick between corp/lit. You said whether or not he wants to be in a courtroom should make his decision. Only the likelihood of spending any time in a courtroom from a V10 firms is insanely small, so there's no point in using it as a decisive factor. So how did we go from there to you defending your current employment?


Well I was trying to provide context for my opinion, as I realized my advice was less applicable for the OP, but perhaps still useful for people generally interested in the topic but perhaps not at a V10 firm and instead in situations more similar to mine. And then I drifted into random thoughts I've had about my place in the world, the life of lawyers, the big dreams of the city and the soul crushing realities. Its late, its an anonymous forum, I'm bored. Cheers.


+1 I found the information useful and interesting. Appreciate the post.

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nealric
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:21 am

I went to court with 3 V5 associates once on a case (took 3 of em to find the courthouse i guess)... Frankly, I've never seen such a pathetic display of poor lawyering combined with an obvious complete lack of actual substantive experience. That said, each one of those fuckers was making a shit ton more than me and was required to be about 1/10 as competent as I am on a daily basis so frankly, the last laugh is probably on me.


I'm guessing if a V5 only sent associates, they weren't exactly making the case a high priority. That said, I think a V5 would be a pretty bad place to train as a litigator. Midlaw or Government seems to be the way to go from a training standpoint.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:50 am

nealric wrote:
Irrespective of which one you choose, you will be a highly paid paralegal for 3 years.


This is overstated. And it is 100% false for many niche practice areas (like tax).



And how many new biglaw associates wind up in those niche areas? Not nearly enough to make this statement "overstated."

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nealric
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:55 am

And how many new biglaw associates wind up in those niche areas? Not nearly enough to make this statement "overstated."


It's overstated in general, but completely false in niche areas.

Sure, corporate and lit associates at my firm do quite a bit of grunt work, but they are far from glorified paras.

2LLLL
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby 2LLLL » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:45 am

I'm personally going for litigation because I enjoy legal writing and research. I will also be at a midlaw firm that has low leverage, outsources all of their doc review, and puts a heavy emphasis on associates taking substantive responsibility early.

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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:55 pm

Someone mentioned litigation lawyers in the V10 don't typically see a courtroom, but how about for the rest of the V100? I'm interested in the work that litigation lawyers do, but am not too excited about speaking in court haha

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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby Renzo » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Someone mentioned litigation lawyers in the V10 don't typically see a courtroom, but how about for the rest of the V100? I'm interested in the work that litigation lawyers do, but am not too excited about speaking in court haha


Unless you go work for a government entity, it will likely be years before you speak in court no matter where you go. That being said, eventually someone is going to expect you to be able to do it. A litigator that's afraid of court isn't going to attract a lot of clients.

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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:56 pm

I'm SA-ing at a V10 in NY. They've been pretty good about giving us 1st-year type assignments, and this is what I've gotten so far:

1) Revise the market research section of a prospectus, making it laymen-friendly and removing forward looking statements.
2) Draft settlement agreements to close out claims in a bankruptcy case.
3) Research a point of law to support negotiating a settlement in a bankruptcy case.
4) Researching a pretty straightforward question posed by a client about whether they could or could not do something under a certain statute.
5) Researching an area of law for a pro-bono case and drafting a complaint.
6) Writing a summary of part of a merger agreement for a term sheet.

All of my work is checked and re-checked by a supervising junior or midlevel, but it's not like they completely re-do everything. Most of my stuff got sent to a client in recognizable form.

I think at a big firm corporate is better than litigation in terms of getting to do real work. In litigation all work product that goes to the court is high stakes, so firms are wary of putting juniors on such work. In corporate, there are a ton of less important things that juniors can do. Diligence, of course, but even substantive work in less important parts of the case. A firm might not let a junior work on the plan for a major restructuring, but will be fine with letting a junior draft things for all the minor settlements that inevitably arise in such cases.

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thesealocust
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Re: Corporate Law vs. Litigation

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:52 pm

Heh, good article today on why the things corporate attorneys do can actually be pretty important: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... lenews_wsj




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