Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

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Very broadly, it's easier to get an SA in:

Corporate position
22
69%
Litigation position
10
31%
 
Total votes: 32

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Lawquacious
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Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:31 pm

All other things equal, is there a general trend in firm hiring that makes it easier to get a 'corporate' or transactional SA v. a litigation SA? I realize this will vary by firm, but I noticed that a lot of large firms seem to put more emphasis on corporate work (and hence I imagine they allocate resources and positions accordingly). OTOH, I think that less people may be interested in litigation than in transactional work, which could even things out if my first hunch is right...

Renzo
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Renzo » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:34 pm

There's no way to make a broad statement about this. There are firms that only do litigation. There are firms that don't do any litigation. My summer firm is pretty evenly split, and they are hiring like CRAZY for one particular finance practice, and not hiring at all for other areas where they have the strongest reputation, because they happen to be overstaffed.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:42 pm

For large NY firms, I think there is an easy general statement to be made, at least for this year. Many NY V20 summer classes are skewed heavily towards corporate. Cravath, DPW, Debevoise, Kirkland and STB all have a sizable majority in corporate (at many of these firms, 80%+, which is well in excess of the overall practice split). At my firm (which is one of these) the partners openly admit that they deliberately hired for corporate, and that it was harder to get hired as a summer going into litigation.

Who knows whether this will hold for another year, and I imagine this isn't true in many other markets, but in New York last year it was definitely advantageous to be interested in corporate.

Renzo
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Renzo » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:51 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:For large NY firms, I think there is an easy general statement to be made, at least for this year. Many NY V20 summer classes are skewed heavily towards corporate. Cravath, DPW, Debevoise, Kirkland and STB all have a sizable majority in corporate (at many of these firms, 80%+, which is well in excess of the overall practice split). At my firm (which is one of these) the partners openly admit that they deliberately hired for corporate, and that it was harder to get hired as a summer going into litigation.

Who knows whether this will hold for another year, and I imagine this isn't true in many other markets, but in New York last year it was definitely advantageous to be interested in corporate.


This is what I am trying to say. Firms that fired all their corporate attorneys three years ago are hiring like crazy now that the markets are back--most firms are only hiring 3Ls for corporate practices. But if you did OCI two years ago, it was all about litigation; and last year several firms filled up their bankruptcy departments. Maybe next year it will be regulatory practices or broker/dealer work, with Dodd Frank and the Affordable Care Act regs. getting rolled out. Or maybe the Republicans will fuck up the economy by defaulting on the national debt, and it'll be back to litigation and bankruptcy.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:49 am

The prestige of corporate positions is a relatively new and, I think, temporary fad. Litigation has always been more prestigious/desirable/competitive.

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nealric
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby nealric » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:50 am

Part of the reason corporate positions are prestigious is that corporate practice is nearly exclusive to biglaw and midlaw. Anybody with a bar card can work on litigation.


That is not changing anytime soon. Add to that e-discovery, which wil be around for quite some time- people hate the idea of dic review- and for good reason.

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thesealocust
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:00 am

The sea changes in the legal economy are hitting litigators. My impression is that at least in NYC, the ebb and flow of corporate attorneys is more robust than of litigators. E-discovery, outsourcing, etc. have tightened the job market for litigators more than for corporate attorneys, which means firms may simultaneously see lessened overall demand for litigation attorneys coupled with those who already have the jobs hanging on to them more.

In most markets, that won't make a big difference because corporate attorneys tend to be rarer than other practices, but in NYC there is so much corporate work that I think it will be legitimately easier to get hired with an interest in corporate. Keep in mind after 1L the only way a student would even know corporate existed, much less that they were interested in it, would be by doing a lot of self-motivated research. The numbers will be on your side, tons of people will want lit for no reason other than not really having thought about corporate.

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:51 pm

.
Last edited by APimpNamedSlickback on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:05 pm

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:could be wrong, but my sense is that people with the very best credentials tend aim for litigation rather than corporate


You are wrong.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:17 am

thesealocust wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:could be wrong, but my sense is that people with the very best credentials tend aim for litigation rather than corporate


You are wrong.


I think it's true that more people with top credentials aim for litigation, especially outside of NYC.

Anonymous User
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:21 am

It was much easier to get an SA at my non-NY, V50 firm for corporate than litigation, so it is not just the top firms or NY firms where this is the case. Only about 25% of my SA class is gunning for lit, and there may not be enough space for everyone. The transactional groups, on the other hand, are actively recruiting summers.

I agree with the doc review v. diligence disparity BTW. This means that there are more transactional jobs, but the work at lower levels will be more mundane. Particularly in M&A-type roles (as opposed to securities roles), because, for whatever reason, contract lawyers are deemed worthy of doing doc review but not diligence, transaction work will be more grinder-focused and it may be harder to advance--or at least know if you are on the perpetual-grinder track.

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rayiner
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:26 am

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:could be wrong, but my sense is that people with the very best credentials tend aim for litigation rather than corporate


Depends on what you mean by "credentials." I think most of the people who have WE-credentials tend to lean corporate, while those with top grades tend to lean litigation.

Renzo
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby Renzo » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:40 am

rayiner wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:could be wrong, but my sense is that people with the very best credentials tend aim for litigation rather than corporate


Depends on what you mean by "credentials." I think most of the people who have WE-credentials tend to lean corporate, while those with top grades tend to lean litigation.


I would agree with this. Additionally, people with top grades are more likely to clerk, and clerks are more likely to litigate.

keg411
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Re: Difficulty of Landing: Litigation v. Corporate

Postby keg411 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:It was much easier to get an SA at my non-NY, V50 firm for corporate than litigation, so it is not just the top firms or NY firms where this is the case. Only about 25% of my SA class is gunning for lit, and there may not be enough space for everyone. The transactional groups, on the other hand, are actively recruiting summers.

I agree with the doc review v. diligence disparity BTW. This means that there are more transactional jobs, but the work at lower levels will be more mundane. Particularly in M&A-type roles (as opposed to securities roles), because, for whatever reason, contract lawyers are deemed worthy of doing doc review but not diligence, transaction work will be more grinder-focused and it may be harder to advance--or at least know if you are on the perpetual-grinder track.


According to my (almost done with the first year) family member doing corporate at a V50: while this is definitely true for M&A, where the diligence is awful for first-years, if you're in capital markets or credit or something not-M&A, the work is actually far better, far more hands-on, and far more interesting than doc review and the work lit first-years in lit do.

However, most people who do corporate are M&A focused since it's more "prestigious" work.

BTW, said family member also says corporate is easier than lit, and that's mostly because more law students want to do lit after first year than want to do corporate (mostly because first year coursework and 1L summer jobs are mostly skewed to lit; of the interns at my current summer job, I'm the only one that has any interest in transactional work).




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