Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

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Anonymous User
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Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:08 am

I have recently been offered the opportunity to spend two years working in the federal government helping to implement the Affordable Care Act and to help write/review regulations for the law that will go into effect in 2014.

My question is, what do you guys think my exit options are? This opportunity will make me one of the first subject matter experts on the new health care law. Do you think I will be marketable to big firms with a large insurance practice? Or will I be stuck in policy for the rest of my life?

TLSNYC
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby TLSNYC » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:18 am

Let me just say, that sounds like a pretty cool job. If you have an account and wouldn't mind sharing some details, I'd love to hear via PM how you got into this policy oriented stuff! (You can also post here if you like, but I imagine you may be nervous about anonymity.)

Anonymous User
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:31 am

I pm'd you with some details.

Come on guys, someone has to have a thought on the matter!

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mi-chan17
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby mi-chan17 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:46 am

Worked in an agency's reg. affairs for a summer and later got biglaw offers.

I think that reg. writing can be spun to be applicable to the practice of law, and many biglaw firms have attorneys that deal with regulatory compliance (often combined with FCPA compliance). Given the new-ness of the ACA, and provided that it doesn't get dismantled by SCOTUS, I think being an expert on the law and regs of healthcare would be extremely marketable to any firm dealing with insurance law.

THAT SAID, two years is quite a bit longer of working in regs than I spent, and so I don't want to promise you that not working as a lawyer for two years won't be a problem. I think it can be overcome, in this case, but it's not a guarantee.

Anonymous User
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:49 pm

bump. I am curious to know as well.

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monkey85
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby monkey85 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:58 pm

Echoing the caveat of Mi-chan:
mi-chan17 wrote:provided that it doesn't get dismantled by SCOTUS


I would say: welcome to the world of DC regulatory BigLaw.

New laws = regulatory compliance = jobs for lawyers = you are marketable.

théo
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby théo » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I pm'd you with some details.

Come on guys, someone has to have a thought on the matter!


Will you PM the details as well? I'd like to hear how you got into this!

bartlett1234
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby bartlett1234 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:18 pm

I'm interested in hearing details on this too. Sounds fun.

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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:57 pm

This is all very good to hear. I am really hoping to get into some sort of insurance practice after my 2 years, and I figured with it ending in 2014 the time would be perfect for helping out with regulatory compliance. I suppose working on the Hill might always be an option as well, since I'm sure some congressmen might want someone with prior experience with the ACA to be on staff.

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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:15 pm

I think this is highly unlikely for several reasons. But, if the Court does decide to abandon all pretenses that it is actually a "court," then I suppose I am SOL.

Renzo
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Renzo » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:25 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What will you do if SCOTUS holds that (1) the mandate is unconstitutional and (2) the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA?


Not to hijack the thread, but I'll bet you a fancy steak dinner that no matter what else happens, they don't do this. I think it's plausible the whole thing gets upheld; but if not, they will sever.

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ben4847
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby ben4847 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:57 pm

Renzo wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What will you do if SCOTUS holds that (1) the mandate is unconstitutional and (2) the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA?


Not to hijack the thread, but I'll bet you a fancy steak dinner that no matter what else happens, they don't do this. I think it's plausible the whole thing gets upheld; but if not, they will sever.


Ah. But what if the mandate is struck down but severable. But then congress ditches the whole thing since without the mandate it is impossible.

sebastian0622
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby sebastian0622 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:08 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Renzo wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What will you do if SCOTUS holds that (1) the mandate is unconstitutional and (2) the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA?
... you will be very marketable to DC regulatory practices. But you might be stuck in the health care sector as a result.


This would be my big concern with any regulatory job right out of law school. While I'm sure it's possible to move on to biglaw or a general practice firm somewhere, it seems it could be an uphill battle to move into different types of work. If a biglaw firm hires you, wouldn't it be because of your expertise in health care regulation, thus pigeonholing you there? And if a small or mid-sized general practice firm had a choice between hiring someone who did two years of regulatory work versus someone who clerked for two years, my intuition is that they would prefer the person who clerked. That intuition may be wrong, but two years of regulation most likely means two years of NOT being exposed to depositions, litigation, discovery, motion practice, negotiations, transactions/mergers, or 99% of the areas of law practice.

In other words, I don't think there's anything wrong with regulatory work, but I question the opportunity cost for someone so early in a legal career.

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vamedic03
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:35 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Renzo wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What will you do if SCOTUS holds that (1) the mandate is unconstitutional and (2) the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA?
... you will be very marketable to DC regulatory practices. But you might be stuck in the health care sector as a result.


This would be my big concern with any regulatory job right out of law school. While I'm sure it's possible to move on to biglaw or a general practice firm somewhere, it seems it could be an uphill battle to move into different types of work. If a biglaw firm hires you, wouldn't it be because of your expertise in health care regulation, thus pigeonholing you there? And if a small or mid-sized general practice firm had a choice between hiring someone who did two years of regulatory work versus someone who clerked for two years, my intuition is that they would prefer the person who clerked. That intuition may be wrong, but two years of regulation most likely means two years of NOT being exposed to depositions, litigation, discovery, motion practice, negotiations, transactions/mergers, or 99% of the areas of law practice.

In other words, I don't think there's anything wrong with regulatory work, but I question the opportunity cost for someone so early in a legal career.


Or, you develop early, specialization that is valuable. There are lots of junior litigators, there will be far fewer ACA specialists who actually worked on the regs. If you leave the big law firm, you would be an excellent candidate for a healthcare regulatory boutique.

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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:55 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Or, you develop early, specialization that is valuable. There are lots of junior litigators, there will be far fewer ACA specialists who actually worked on the regs. If you leave the big law firm, you would be an excellent candidate for a healthcare regulatory boutique.


TITCR. And bear in mind that regulatory expertise can be a valuable credential at any of the following:
- biglaw firms with specific practice areas
- boutiques
- lobbying firms
- consulting firms with an industry practice (not a legal role, but potentially lucrative)
- in-house with regulated entities (i.e. insurance companies or hospitals will usually have regulatory counsel)
- the regulatory agency itself (general counsel's office, for instance)
- state agencies impacted by the federal regs (state insurance regulators, for instance)

So, yeah, you might find yourself more limited in terms of your practice area. But if you find healthcare interesting, there's a ton of different career options within that space. As the poster above noted, there will be very few attorneys out there with comparable knowledge/skills after you spend 2 years at HHS (or OMB?), which will be valuable for picking your next move.

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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:03 pm

Not looking good...

Renzo
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby Renzo » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:38 pm

ben4847 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What will you do if SCOTUS holds that (1) the mandate is unconstitutional and (2) the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA?


Not to hijack the thread, but I'll bet you a fancy steak dinner that no matter what else happens, they don't do this. I think it's plausible the whole thing gets upheld; but if not, they will sever.


Ah. But what if the mandate is struck down but severable. But then congress ditches the whole thing since without the mandate it is impossible.


Dude, that shit will be legislative armageddon if that happens. The Democrats won't vote for repeal; they'll hold out for a fix/replacement, which the Republicas will never allow. The White House will start selectively enforcing the parts of the law it deems tenable, and it will be an all around clusterfuck.

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ben4847
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Re: Writing regs for the government ---> transition to big firm

Postby ben4847 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:53 pm

Renzo wrote:
ben4847 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:What will you do if SCOTUS holds that (1) the mandate is unconstitutional and (2) the mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA?


Not to hijack the thread, but I'll bet you a fancy steak dinner that no matter what else happens, they don't do this. I think it's plausible the whole thing gets upheld; but if not, they will sever.


Ah. But what if the mandate is struck down but severable. But then congress ditches the whole thing since without the mandate it is impossible.


Dude, that shit will be legislative armageddon if that happens. The Democrats won't vote for repeal; they'll hold out for a fix/replacement, which the Republicas will never allow. The White House will start selectively enforcing the parts of the law it deems tenable, and it will be an all around clusterfuck.


Yeah, that would be a riot. I suppose it would also matter which party was in the administration.




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