Big Law - Litigation or Transactional?

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luclawstudier
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:52 am

Big Law - Litigation or Transactional?

Postby luclawstudier » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:58 am

Generally, is it easier to get a job at a Big Law Firm by trying to go into litigation or transactional work?

Are there any differences in the lifestyles of working in litigation or transactional work in Big Law?

Thanks!

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

Re: Big Law - Litigation or Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:43 pm

luclawstudier wrote:Generally, is it easier to get a job at a Big Law Firm by trying to go into litigation or transactional work?

Are there any differences in the lifestyles of working in litigation or transactional work in Big Law?

Thanks!



Well you're first assuming you have a choice.

All firms are different. Most don't hire 2Ls as summer associates to work in any practice group specifically. Most firm just anticipate their needs generally and hire that many student to fill those needs. Firms don't assume you know exactly what you want to do or that you will foreclose the idea of working in a certain practice area before ever allowing you to practice in that area. Some firms may have a formal rotation process for summer associates to feel out all of the practice groups and some may have a more fluid assignment system allowing you to get assignments from any group as they arise. But upon hiring, you likely won't work in just 1 practice group.

If a firm has a large litigation practice and most of the associates work in litigation then you may work in that group. If the firm has experienced a boost in an area, say bankruptcy, then they may have a bigger need for new associates in that area. Obviously you would want a firm that values your personal desires, but that's a different topic.

Many law students end up taking jobs at firms simply because of name or salary with little regard to the kind of work the firm will have them do, and when they begin working they realize they hate what they do. At my firm litigation associates have a higher billable hour minimum (50 extra hours). It's not that big of a deal because litigation associates have no problem picking up those hours. There are other notable differences between the litigation and transactional groups. But most people tend to lean into an area that fits them the most. If you really like what you're doing then billing 2000 hours may not seem all that bad. If you're in a practice group where you hate every facet of the work you may absolutely hate the job. Again, my firm has more than 40 practice areas and they give you at least a year to truly decide where you like working unless you really have a passion (or the skills) to work in a particular area. But a few of our offices really only do certain types of work (gaming law and bankruptcy for example in the Las Vegas office).

luclawstudier
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:52 am

Re: Big Law - Litigation or Transactional?

Postby luclawstudier » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:02 pm

Thanks! That helped!

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marlo45
Posts: 99
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Re: Big Law - Litigation or Transactional?

Postby marlo45 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:02 pm

Very informative. Thanks.

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

Re: Big Law - Litigation or Transactional?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
luclawstudier wrote:Generally, is it easier to get a job at a Big Law Firm by trying to go into litigation or transactional work?

Are there any differences in the lifestyles of working in litigation or transactional work in Big Law?

Thanks!



Well you're first assuming you have a choice.

All firms are different. Most don't hire 2Ls as summer associates to work in any practice group specifically. Most firm just anticipate their needs generally and hire that many student to fill those needs. Firms don't assume you know exactly what you want to do or that you will foreclose the idea of working in a certain practice area before ever allowing you to practice in that area. Some firms may have a formal rotation process for summer associates to feel out all of the practice groups and some may have a more fluid assignment system allowing you to get assignments from any group as they arise. But upon hiring, you likely won't work in just 1 practice group.

If a firm has a large litigation practice and most of the associates work in litigation then you may work in that group. If the firm has experienced a boost in an area, say bankruptcy, then they may have a bigger need for new associates in that area. Obviously you would want a firm that values your personal desires, but that's a different topic.

Many law students end up taking jobs at firms simply because of name or salary with little regard to the kind of work the firm will have them do, and when they begin working they realize they hate what they do. At my firm litigation associates have a higher billable hour minimum (50 extra hours). It's not that big of a deal because litigation associates have no problem picking up those hours. There are other notable differences between the litigation and transactional groups. But most people tend to lean into an area that fits them the most. If you really like what you're doing then billing 2000 hours may not seem all that bad. If you're in a practice group where you hate every facet of the work you may absolutely hate the job. Again, my firm has more than 40 practice areas and they give you at least a year to truly decide where you like working unless you really have a passion (or the skills) to work in a particular area. But a few of our offices really only do certain types of work (gaming law and bankruptcy for example in the Las Vegas office).

Shouldn't you generally have an answer in mind for this question at an interview, assuming the firm does both lit and corp? I am doing lit this summer but am interested in doing, or at least trying, corp if I get an SA, but I have only lit experience. Trying to figure out a way to answer this question for OCI.




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