Big Law/Lobbyist firm

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jarofsoup
Posts: 1951
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby jarofsoup » Mon May 30, 2011 1:34 pm

I am a political junkie and I have been doing a lot of research into lobbying firms and I have noticed that a lot of the big law firms double as lobbying powerhouses.(Greenberg Traurig LLP,Holland Knight, Venable LLP...to name a few) A lot of the lobbyist in these firms have JDs.

How does someone in law school become a lobbyist in contrast to a lawyer. I am under the assumption that a lot of these people started on political committees, as congressional interns, staffers, etc. or they started as associates in DC firms and were kind of groomed into these positions.

I am not necessarily interested in becoming a lobbyist and I image that the competition for these positons is great and the hours are hell. I have heard that being a litigator is like swimming in a pool with sharks, but could only imagine what it is like to the middle man between industry and politicians.

Does anyone have any insight?

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 30, 2011 1:41 pm

Getting a lobbying job is usually a very narrow process. Few people are hired for their raw talent at whatever the hell "lobbying" is - instead, you'll get hired somewhere based on connections. So you pretty much have to bring something major to the table: (relatively) high level work for (relatively) important committees or agencies on your resume is probably the best way.

Sometimes you can start at a "big law" firm that does a substantial amount of lobbying (Patton Boggs really comes to mind here) and begin doing some of the gruntwork that way, but it's not the best way to get your career moving in that direction.

jarofsoup
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Re: Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby jarofsoup » Mon May 30, 2011 3:15 pm

thesealocust wrote:Getting a lobbying job is usually a very narrow process. Few people are hired for their raw talent at whatever the hell "lobbying" is - instead, you'll get hired somewhere based on connections. So you pretty much have to bring something major to the table: (relatively) high level work for (relatively) important committees or agencies on your resume is probably the best way.

Sometimes you can start at a "big law" firm that does a substantial amount of lobbying (Patton Boggs really comes to mind here) and begin doing some of the gruntwork that way, but it's not the best way to get your career moving in that direction.



Bart Stupak is working for Venable LLP as a lobbyist. I guess it is kind of a revolving door with congress?

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valle ... s-venable-

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thesealocust
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Re: Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 30, 2011 3:49 pm

Many (most?) DC firms have things like that. You don't have to be elected to office though, the door revolves at much more earthly career positions.

Still, as I said, a lobbyist is largely useless without connections or deep skill/understanding in a specific field. I actually know some exceptions, who got very entry level lobbying jobs and just held on until they'd developed a network that way, but it's rare. If lobbying is something you're seriously interested in, a great way to get there would be looking into agencies that do work you're interested in or congressional committees that hire fresh JDs.

It goes without saying that a JD isn't strictly speaking necessary for lobbying, but it's helpful at several levels and for several reasons.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby JusticeJackson » Mon May 30, 2011 6:36 pm

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MissLucky
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Re: Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby MissLucky » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:06 pm

how much does a lawyer lobbyist make (more or less than their pure attorney colleagues)? for example, a lawyer lobbyist at patton boggs?

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law/Lobbyist firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:40 pm

I worked at a big law/lobbying firm in DC before law school. All of those people came from Congress (legislative aide or such) or in some cases agencies. The principals had law degrees, but the people below them didn't even have advanced degrees. They just spent 10 years on the Hill.

But I'm not sure if now is a good time for lobbying. Companies are pulling back because of the economy, and they're starting to find themselves not wanting any lobbyists given that Congress does nothing anyways. There was even an article in the WaPost this week saying that only certain niche areas in the next year are going to do well on K Street -- immigration, guns, energy, health care.

I don't know what people above me made, but as a regulatory analyst without an advanced degree, I was paid merely $42,000. I can't imagine my colleagues making what big law people make.




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