Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

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Peg
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Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Peg » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:21 am

I told myself I would not apply for 1L summer jobs just before my exam, but tonight I'm suddenly reading about how it gets exponentially harder when you wait till after finals so...cover lettering time! I'm applying to midlaw and small-law right now, trying to be realistic here, and just realized that I have no idea why I'm interested in litigation, apart from the fact that the hours are slightly better and corporate law sounds goddawful.

Please indulge me for 5 minutes and give me a quick check list for litigation pros/cons and, if you're a corporate attorney, the same for corporate law. I want to hammer out these letters, go back to studying for finals until 1 AM, and then have some coffee and edit the cover letters.

Thanks, and cookies all around.

Image

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:22 am

Do you want to make messes or do you want to clean them up?

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ph14
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby ph14 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:23 am

Peg wrote:I told myself I would not apply for 1L summer jobs just before my exam, but tonight I'm suddenly reading about how it gets exponentially harder when you wait till after finals so...cover lettering time! I'm applying to midlaw and small-law right now, trying to be realistic here, and just realized that I have no idea why I'm interested in litigation, apart from the fact that the hours are slightly better and corporate law sounds goddawful.

Please indulge me for 5 minutes and give me a quick check list for litigation pros/cons and, if you're a corporate attorney, the same for corporate law. I want to hammer out these letters, go back to studying for finals until 1 AM, and then have some coffee and edit the cover letters.

Thanks, and cookies all around.

Image


Your welcome: http://www.chambers-associate.com/Pract ... -Summaries

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patrickd139
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:28 am

Transferthrowaway wrote:Do you want to make messes or do you want to clean them up?

I was thinking fighter-pilots v. cargo pilots, but that analogy works, too.

Peg
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Peg » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:28 am



OMG that is exactly what I wanted.

Do you want to make messes or do you want to clean them up?


Which one involves less interaction with assholes?

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ph14
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby ph14 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:29 am

Peg wrote:


OMG that is exactly what I wanted.

[img]Do%20you%20want%20to%20make%20messes%20or%20do%20you%20want%20to%20clean%20them%20up?[/img]

Which one involves less interaction with assholes?


Transactional (corporate) is less confrontational than litigation. You're working more with deal facilitation rather than adversarial legal battles.

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patrickd139
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:32 am

Peg wrote:Which one involves less interaction with assholes?

Neither.

Peg
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Peg » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:40 am

ph14 wrote:Transactional (corporate) is less confrontational than litigation. You're working more with deal facilitation rather than adversarial legal battles.


Oh this is starting to ring a bell, I remember hearing this somewhere.

Meanwhile, if any litigators/corporate attorneys stumble across this thread, please dish to me (briefly) what you love/hate about your work.

headandshoulderos
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby headandshoulderos » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:05 am

The difference is very simple. Litigators handle lawsuits. Corporate lawyers handle business deals. It's two completely different lines of work. You can imagine.

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traehekat
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby traehekat » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:09 am

While the Chambers summaries someone posted are extremely helpful for this sort of thing, I suggest doing a forum search if you haven't already. This has been talked about numerous times and there is plenty of good info out there for both your own curiosity and cover letter writing purposes.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:13 am

I'll also take the opportunity to plug bankruptcy, especially debtor's side work.

In restructuring, you do a lot of deal work and also get to make court appearances for a little sprinkling of the lit side of things. Further, it's nice that instead of just being the lawyer told to go paper the deal, you're legitimately counseling the client through a situation they have (probably) never been through before.

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stratocophic
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby stratocophic » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:15 am

patrickd139 wrote:
Peg wrote:Which one involves less interaction with assholes?

Neither.
Med school, if you don't go into proctology

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:16 am

stratocophic wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Peg wrote:Which one involves less interaction with assholes?

Neither.
Med school, if you don't go into proctology

http://www.hiyoooo.com/

Give his head one click for me.

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stratocophic
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby stratocophic » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:22 am

Transferthrowaway wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Peg wrote:Which one involves less interaction with assholes?

Neither.
Med school, if you don't go into proctology

http://www.hiyoooo.com/

Give his head one click for me.
I approve this followup

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patrickd139
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:22 am

Transferthrowaway wrote:I'll also take the opportunity to plug bankruptcy, especially debtor's side work.

In restructuring, you do a lot of deal work and also get to make court appearances for a little sprinkling of the lit side of things. Further, it's nice that instead of just being the lawyer told to go paper the deal, you're legitimately counseling the client through a situation they have (probably) never been through before.

My father is bankruptcy attorney (has represented individuals with no assets, done creditors rights collection for banks and everything in between).

While bankruptcy does blend transactional and litigation work nicely (as does tax controversy work, for that matter), I don't think young bankruptcy lawyers do what you think they do. If you're at a firm working on 'restructuring,' you're sure as hell not going to be meeting the client, much less 'counseling' them through a situation they've never been through before, because you've never been through it before either. You'll be papering the deal just like every other first year associate.

Now if you want actual client interaction, you'll probably be able to start representing individual debtors pretty soon out, in a smaller market, by hanging a shingle or small firm. In that case, you'll get the client counseling aspect, but you sure as hell won't be "restructuring" anything of significance.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:28 am

patrickd139 wrote:
Transferthrowaway wrote:I'll also take the opportunity to plug bankruptcy, especially debtor's side work.

In restructuring, you do a lot of deal work and also get to make court appearances for a little sprinkling of the lit side of things. Further, it's nice that instead of just being the lawyer told to go paper the deal, you're legitimately counseling the client through a situation they have (probably) never been through before.

My father is bankruptcy attorney (has represented individuals with no assets, done creditors rights collection for banks and everything in between).

While bankruptcy does blend transactional and litigation work nicely (as does tax controversy work, for that matter), I don't think young bankruptcy lawyers do what you think they do. If you're at a firm working on 'restructuring,' you're sure as hell not going to be meeting the client, much less 'counseling' them through a situation they've never been through before, because you've never been through it before either. You'll be papering the deal just like every other first year associate.

Now if you want actual client interaction, you'll probably be able to start representing individual debtors pretty soon out, in a smaller market, by hanging a shingle or small firm. In that case, you'll get the client counseling aspect, but you sure as hell won't be "restructuring" anything of significance.


I'm talking about as a career, bro. Also, restructuring associates at places like K&E are getting significant client contact and running specific aspects by the time they're 4th years.
Last edited by Transferthrowaway on Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:30 am

Transferthrowaway wrote:I'll also take the opportunity to plug bankruptcy, especially debtor's side work.

In restructuring, you do a lot of deal work and also get to...
zzzzzZZZZzzZZZZzZzzzzzz....

bdubs
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby bdubs » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:33 am

Peg wrote:I have no idea why I'm interested in litigation, apart from the fact that the hours are slightly better and corporate law sounds goddawful.


I am pretty sure that this is incorrect. Both are pretty awful on the hours front, but litigation has lots more ups and downs than corporate. I think overall litigators probably end up working more hours when things are really busy.

Anonymous User
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:36 am

I'm just a 3L, but I'm a 3L who's done several litigation internships and both lit and corporate work at a law firm. This is what I can tell you:

Litigation:

Highly adversarial, things may get a bit personal, be prepared to hate your adversary

Every case is different in some way, fact-driven, can involve different combinations of claims/causes of action

Lots of research into cases that support your client, long and tedious but frequent exposure to new areas of law

Hours are unpredictable, your adversary may suddenly file a motion and create 40 hours of work you have 3 days to do

Very few cases reach trial these days, parties prefer to settle pre-trial, but you'll get to do depositions and pre-trial motions

Victories are celebrations, but losses are brutal, and your client hates you because he didn't want to have to hire you anyway

Corporate:

Typically all parties want a favorable outcome, but depending on difficulty of parties, you might like all parties or end up hating everyone

Work is extremely similar between transactions, and people often quickly specialize in one type of work (M&A, VC, etc).

Research is often into prior successful contracts, long and boring as you cut+paste old good contracts to Frankenstein new ones

Hours are more predictable, but still brutal; you'll still have 40 hours of work in 3 days, just know on your calendar it's the 3 days before your client's deadline

Projects can fall apart at just about any stage, but could live on from there by having your client find a new buyer/seller that suits their needs

Closed deals are celebrations, failures are reasons to just try gain, and your client loves you because you helped make the deal they were willing to make

funstuff
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby funstuff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:48 am

Can anyone substantiate his claims? I've heard varying things on the predictability of work for corp/lit.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:21 am

funstuff wrote:Can anyone substantiate his claims? I've heard varying things on the predictability of work for corp/lit.


Litigation is way more predictable than corporate. Because you know the filing dates and hearing dates for your cases (or, at least, you SHOULD know them), you also know where the peaks and valleys are. In corporate, on the other hand, you could find yourself doing nothing for a week and then, suddenly, on Friday at 5pm, you lose your weekend because a client wants a deal closed on Monday.

Peg
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Peg » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:55 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
funstuff wrote:Can anyone substantiate his claims? I've heard varying things on the predictability of work for corp/lit.


Litigation is way more predictable than corporate. Because you know the filing dates and hearing dates for your cases (or, at least, you SHOULD know them), you also know where the peaks and valleys are. In corporate, on the other hand, you could find yourself doing nothing for a week and then, suddenly, on Friday at 5pm, you lose your weekend because a client wants a deal closed on Monday.


Yeah this was actually exactly what I heard, which is why I was leaning towards litigation.

bdubs
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby bdubs » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:01 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
funstuff wrote:Can anyone substantiate his claims? I've heard varying things on the predictability of work for corp/lit.


Litigation is way more predictable than corporate. Because you know the filing dates and hearing dates for your cases (or, at least, you SHOULD know them), you also know where the peaks and valleys are. In corporate, on the other hand, you could find yourself doing nothing for a week and then, suddenly, on Friday at 5pm, you lose your weekend because a client wants a deal closed on Monday.


Deadlines for litigation almost never hold in large cases. The pretrial conference schedule is set and then 2 days before a big deadline one side (or both) will request an extension. This means you work like crazy only to have to do it all again in 2 months. Judges also have great habits of changing the schedule when they don't like it, decide they want to take a vacation, or have a conflict with another case.

I would be very surprised if litigation were more predictable than corporate, but I haven't had involvement with the legal side of transactional work before.

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Unitas
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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Unitas » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:13 pm

bdubs wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
funstuff wrote:Can anyone substantiate his claims? I've heard varying things on the predictability of work for corp/lit.


Litigation is way more predictable than corporate. Because you know the filing dates and hearing dates for your cases (or, at least, you SHOULD know them), you also know where the peaks and valleys are. In corporate, on the other hand, you could find yourself doing nothing for a week and then, suddenly, on Friday at 5pm, you lose your weekend because a client wants a deal closed on Monday.


Deadlines for litigation almost never hold in large cases. The pretrial conference schedule is set and then 2 days before a big deadline one side (or both) will request an extension. This means you work like crazy only to have to do it all again in 2 months. Judges also have great habits of changing the schedule when they don't like it, decide they want to take a vacation, or have a conflict with another case.

I would be very surprised if litigation were more predictable than corporate, but I haven't had involvement with the legal side of transactional work before.



I have heard over and over again that Tax is where the best hours are at. Not sure why that would be so given the work depends to a large part on corporate deal work and also some on litigation settlements I would assume.

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Re: Litigation vs Corporate quick run-through?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:47 pm

bdubs wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
funstuff wrote:Can anyone substantiate his claims? I've heard varying things on the predictability of work for corp/lit.


Litigation is way more predictable than corporate. Because you know the filing dates and hearing dates for your cases (or, at least, you SHOULD know them), you also know where the peaks and valleys are. In corporate, on the other hand, you could find yourself doing nothing for a week and then, suddenly, on Friday at 5pm, you lose your weekend because a client wants a deal closed on Monday.


Deadlines for litigation almost never hold in large cases. The pretrial conference schedule is set and then 2 days before a big deadline one side (or both) will request an extension. This means you work like crazy only to have to do it all again in 2 months. Judges also have great habits of changing the schedule when they don't like it, decide they want to take a vacation, or have a conflict with another case.

I would be very surprised if litigation were more predictable than corporate, but I haven't had involvement with the legal side of transactional work before.


Aren't you a 1L?




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