Litigation Firms

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Litigation Firms

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:19 pm

1L at HLS here. So far i'm fairly interested in litigation firms, and was looking to get more information. What are the top litigation firms? What kind of grades do you need to secure jobs there? How does the experience compare to firms that are more balanced between litigation and transactional work? Any other information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:32 pm

Need to be more specific. There are securities, employment, white collar, appellate, trial, general commercial, and other niches for litigation. It seems like generally litigation has a stronger preference for those with top grades and LR, although it's obviously a sliding scale as you go up and down the prestige rankings.

Also a 1L though, this is just based on research.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby ph14 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:34 pm

bdubs wrote:Need to be more specific. There are securities, employment, white collar, appellate, trial, general commercial, and other niches for litigation. It seems like generally litigation has a stronger preference for those with top grades and LR, although it's obviously a sliding scale as you go up and down the prestige rankings.

Also a 1L though, this is just based on research.


Could you give a brief breakdown of what you would be doing in each of the niches? Or link to a source.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby quakeroats » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:37 pm

ph14 wrote:
Could you give a brief breakdown of what you would be doing in each of the niches?


Wishing you had a corporate department to supply you with business.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby bdubs » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:43 pm

ph14 wrote:Could you give a brief breakdown of what you would be doing in each of the niches? Or link to a source.


More sources than I can link to, but here are a few:

http://www.bcgsearch.com/pdf/legalpracticeareas.pdf

http://www.legal500.com/c/united-states/directory

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA

Your career services office probably has a good collection of books too.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:31 am

If I had to guess, I'd say that 95%+ of all law firms do litigation. I'd further guess that every V100 firm does litigation.

So, you might need to think a little harder about your career goals.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:35 am

thesealocust wrote:If I had to guess, I'd say that 95%+ of all law firms do litigation. I'd further guess that every V100 firm does litigation.

So, you might need to think a little harder about your career goals.


Gee, thanks. I was thinking along the lines of litigation boutiques but didn't want to use that vocabulary because it would overly-narrow the firms i'm trying to get information about.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:47 am

It's rare that a firm is distinguished by the fact that it only does litigation.

Some do plaintiffs work, and that is quite unique, since most large law firms do corporate law. A very small handful do appellate litigation or narrow / niche white collar work.

So basically if you have a narrow interest in the realm of white collar, plaintiff's work, appellate litigation, or patent law then it's possible there will be some litigation-only firms that offer unique experiences (culturally / size wise / in terms of training). Otherwise it's just not a meaningful distinction, whether a firm has a corporate / regulatory practice won't mean a hell of a lot for those who are at the firm doing litigation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273137
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:57 am

Ok, serious answer. Other posters are right that every firm does some litigation and that's not a very useful way of thinking about the issue. In the V11-V100 or thereabouts, there are some firms that do exclusively or almost exclusively lit (Quinn, Patterson Belknap, Williams & Connolly, Munger, Boies, Susman, etc.), as well as some firms which are clearly much stronger in lit than in traditional transactional work (Paul Weiss, O'Melveny, Irell, Gibson, Jenner, Mayer, MoFo, probably some others as well). Whether or not these firms are "better" at litigation than the V10 firms is debateable, but they're generally perceived to be litigation-centric places and might be worth looking at more closely.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:45 am

ph14 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:If I had to guess, I'd say that 95%+ of all law firms do litigation. I'd further guess that every V100 firm does litigation.

So, you might need to think a little harder about your career goals.


Gee, thanks. I was thinking along the lines of litigation boutiques but didn't want to use that vocabulary because it would overly-narrow the firms i'm trying to get information about.


"Litigation boutique" doesn't really mean anything other than the firm is relatively small and generally lacks a transactional group.

The above poster laid out the basic idea. Within the biglaw firms there are two groups, those that focus on almost exclusively on litigation (Boies, MTO, Quinn, W&C) and those that do both litigation and transactional, but are generally seen as better at litigation. There are also a handful that could arguably be called "top" firms in both areas (Cravath, Skadden, Kirkland). Lots of the other firms seem to see litigation as a support practice for their transactional relationships.

The firms that focus almost exclusively on litigation mentioned above are probably the most selective firms for grades, and generally only take people who have clerked, or are very likely to clerk before starting. They are also quite a bit smaller than the V10s (ex. WLRK), so less "big" biglaw.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, serious answer. Other posters are right that every firm does some litigation and that's not a very useful way of thinking about the issue. In the V11-V100 or thereabouts, there are some firms that do exclusively or almost exclusively lit (Quinn, Patterson Belknap, Williams & Connolly, Munger, Boies, Susman, etc.), as well as some firms which are clearly much stronger in lit than in traditional transactional work (Paul Weiss, O'Melveny, Irell, Gibson, Jenner, Mayer, MoFo, probably some others as well). Whether or not these firms are "better" at litigation than the V10 firms is debateable, but they're generally perceived to be litigation-centric places and might be worth looking at more closely.


Thanks a lot. Would appreciate more information about which firms fit in this category, what they look for in applicants, differences between litigation boutiques and traditional firms (ie, more responsibility earlier? etc.), etc.

User avatar
Detrox
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby Detrox » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:30 pm

Disclaimer: 2L who has yet to actually work in any firm but at least did significant research for OCI.

The anonymous poster gave a pretty good list of the notable firms in each category he described so I can't elaborate on those. What they look for in applicants is pretty straightforward: good grades, demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, demonstrated interest in litigation (e.g. moot court/mock trial experience or plans, oral advocacy experience), and an ability to articulate why you know you are committed to litigation. This last one is important I've found especially since law students have no experience in what corporate work is like and thus are unable to explain to litigation firms why they have committed themselves to a litigation path. Other than these general factors, lit. shops are going to look for the same stuff as other top firms: ties to location, grades/law review, ability to interview well. Final note on this is that clerkships may be additionally valuable/necessary to securing a position in these firms.

As for differences between the work, I don't want to speculate too much without experience, but the general storyline that lit. boutiques sell is that you will be worked harder but deal with more substantial work early on than your peers at the large Corp/Lit/etc. firms. They will sell you on the chance to engage in trial experience earlier then usual, as well as developing faster in more substantive work. Additionally, without a corporate department, lit. shops are able to do plaintiffs' side work that larger firms are unable to take due to confict with their work on the corp. side. The caveats are generally that you will be working extreme hours (even for Biglaw standards).

Again, take all of what I say with a large grain of salt, but these were the general impressions I gathered from pre-OCI research, interviews, and callbacks.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Litigation Firms

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:33 pm

Detrox wrote:Disclaimer: 2L who has yet to actually work in any firm but at least did significant research for OCI.

The anonymous poster gave a pretty good list of the notable firms in each category he described so I can't elaborate on those. What they look for in applicants is pretty straightforward: good grades, demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, demonstrated interest in litigation (e.g. moot court/mock trial experience or plans, oral advocacy experience), and an ability to articulate why you know you are committed to litigation. This last one is important I've found especially since law students have no experience in what corporate work is like and thus are unable to explain to litigation firms why they have committed themselves to a litigation path. Other than these general factors, lit. shops are going to look for the same stuff as other top firms: ties to location, grades/law review, ability to interview well. Final note on this is that clerkships may be additionally valuable/necessary to securing a position in these firms.

As for differences between the work, I don't want to speculate too much without experience, but the general storyline that lit. boutiques sell is that you will be worked harder but deal with more substantial work early on than your peers at the large Corp/Lit/etc. firms. They will sell you on the chance to engage in trial experience earlier then usual, as well as developing faster in more substantive work. Additionally, without a corporate department, lit. shops are able to do plaintiffs' side work that larger firms are unable to take due to confict with their work on the corp. side. The caveats are generally that you will be working extreme hours (even for Biglaw standards).

Again, take all of what I say with a large grain of salt, but these were the general impressions I gathered from pre-OCI research, interviews, and callbacks.


Great, thanks so much for the info!




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.