Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

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Magnificent
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Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:04 pm

After talking to many different lawyers in DC, I'm beginning to think that appellate lit is the best practice group in terms of both lifestyle and ease. First of all, you really don't have a large learning curve after law school unlike many other practices because if there is one thing law school prepares us for, it is reading court opinions and writing appellate briefs. Second, the hours are always predictable because you know months in advance when briefs are due. Third, there isn't the horrible grunt work involved in other areas of litigation like doc review. Fourth, its also the most prestigious practice group in law, and you'll always be able to impress other lawyers when they find out you do appellate litigation.

Working at a top flight DC firm, working primarily on appellate matters = the holy grail of private practice

I can only think of being a law professor at a top school that even comes close.

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fatduck
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby fatduck » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:15 pm

sounds okay. i'd go with supreme court justice, but maybe i'm just an attention whore.

dixon02
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby dixon02 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:18 pm

fatduck wrote:sounds okay. i'd go with supreme court justice, but maybe i'm just an attention whore.


No money in it.

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Haymarket
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Haymarket » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:20 pm

Magnificent wrote: Third, there isn't the horrible grunt work involved in other areas of litigation like doc review. Fourth, its also the most prestigious practice group in law, and you'll always be able to impress other lawyers when they find out you do appellate litigation.

These seem highly suspect. Have you ever had to go through a trial record?

Edit: Also I like how you phrased the title in the form of a question when you really just wanted to tell everyone how your practice area is superior.
Last edited by Haymarket on Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

chasgoose
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby chasgoose » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:21 pm

Magnificent wrote:After talking to many different lawyers in DC, I'm beginning to think that appellate lit is the best practice group in terms of both lifestyle and ease. First of all, you really don't have a large learning curve after law school unlike many other practices because if there is one thing law school prepares us for, it is reading court opinions and writing appellate briefs. Second, the hours are always predictable because you know months in advance when briefs are due. Third, there isn't the horrible grunt work involved in other areas of litigation like doc review. Fourth, its also the most prestigious practice group in law, and you'll always be able to impress other lawyers when they find out you do appellate litigation.

Working at a top flight DC firm, working primarily on appellate matters = the holy grail of private practice

I can only think of being a law professor at a top school that even comes close.


Spoken like a true K-JD who doesn't get that there is a whole world of law out there beyond law school. Also I like how the post was framed as a question but then just more typical Magnificent garbage ranting...
Last edited by chasgoose on Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LawClerk1234
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:26 pm

Good luck getting an appellate-only job without a SCOTUS clerkship.

Besides, this is not a great career path. If you don't make partner at your firm, there are very few exit options. No company has an in-house appellate lawyer. The federal government hires very few appellate lawyers. Not much lateral action. It's much better to specialize in an area of law, or do general litigation.

Magnificent wrote:After talking to many different lawyers in DC, I'm beginning to think that appellate lit is the best practice group in terms of both lifestyle and ease. First of all, you really don't have a large learning curve after law school unlike many other practices because if there is one thing law school prepares us for, it is reading court opinions and writing appellate briefs. Second, the hours are always predictable because you know months in advance when briefs are due. Third, there isn't the horrible grunt work involved in other areas of litigation like doc review. Fourth, its also the most prestigious practice group in law, and you'll always be able to impress other lawyers when they find out you do appellate litigation.

Working at a top flight DC firm, working primarily on appellate matters = the holy grail of private practice

I can only think of being a law professor at a top school that even comes close.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:07 pm

Magnificent wrote:After talking to many different lawyers in DC, I'm beginning to think that appellate lit is the best practice group in terms of both lifestyle and ease. First of all, you really don't have a large learning curve after law school unlike many other practices because if there is one thing law school prepares us for, it is reading court opinions and writing appellate briefs. Second, the hours are always predictable because you know months in advance when briefs are due. Third, there isn't the horrible grunt work involved in other areas of litigation like doc review. Fourth, its also the most prestigious practice group in law, and you'll always be able to impress other lawyers when they find out you do appellate litigation.

Working at a top flight DC firm, working primarily on appellate matters = the holy grail of private practice

I can only think of being a law professor at a top school that even comes close.


-You aren't going to make partner. Sorry, but unless you were a deputy AG in the DOJ or a deputy SG, you have a virtually 0 shot at making partner.

-No money. Unless your name is Paul Clement, you can't justify billing $1000/hour. And you can't justify throwing 10 associates working full time on an appeal.

-You don't develop any specialized knowledge and you don't develop any skills.

-Virtually no one works only on appellate matters. Even the "appellate" boutiques (Kellog, Robbins Russell) do trial work and motions work.

-If you've ever done any high level appellate work, it requires a special personality. Most people can't spend 3-4 hours going line by line and arguing the strength of a given word or sentence structure. Sure, the work looks beautiful when its produced, but does anyone really enjoy arguing over the placement of however in a random sentence.

-Hours are not necessarily predictable. When you're the bottom brief/BIO, you're at the mercy of opposing counsel. And, some circuit courts are starting to crackdown on automatically granting extensions.

-No one cares about "appellate practice" prestige. I'm more impressed when I meet the lead trial lawyer for BP on the spill litigation than a "appellate lawyer." Most appellate lawyers work for the government.

-Holy grail of private practice = getting paid well to practice the area of law that you enjoy/interests you. Being a partner in a top ERISA practice if that's your passion is >>>>> better than "appellate lawyer"

There are many people who successfully incorporate some appellate work in their practice but very few people actually do only appellate work (or even want to do only appellate work). Plus, most appellate practices support themselves with a motions practice.

Magnificent
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:11 pm

LawClerk1234 wrote:Good luck getting an appellate-only job without a SCOTUS clerkship.

Besides, this is not a great career path. If you don't make partner at your firm, there are very few exit options. No company has an in-house appellate lawyer. The federal government hires very few appellate lawyers. Not much lateral action. It's much better to specialize in an area of law, or do general litigation.


You can get appellate only jobs if you have a good appellate clerkship. You don't need SCOTUS, though it is helpful. At many of the top appellate shops, a clerkship with a prestigious CoA judge is sufficient.

If you can get an appellate job at a place like Kellogg Huber, Robbins Russell, GDC, Wilmer, Jenner, Mayer Brown, etc. you can get any job in government. You won't have to worry about what you'll do after not making partner.

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rayiner
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Anon: detailed, specific arguments.
Magnificent: handwaving.

Gonna have to go with Anon on this one.

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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:57 pm

The problem with appellate litigation is that it offers basically no exit options, so if you don't make partner, you're screwed. Obviously if you clerk for SCOTUS you'll never have trouble finding a job, but if you don't, it doesn't make sense to begin your career in a firm's appellate practice if you desire to stay in private practice long-term. Partnership prospects are slim because appellate practices aren't that profitable, and unless you're the next Paul Clement, the firm can easily replace you with a younger version of you, fresh off a court of appeals clerkship, for a lower salary. And when you're pushed out as senior associate, the only skill you'll have is appellate brief-writing, which isn't very marketable because few employers employ appellate specialists (the vast majority of litigation occurs at the trial level). Employers (whether they're small firms or in-house departments) want litigators with experience in trial motions and discovery, not appellate briefs.

If you're looking to leave private practice after a short time for academia or government, then there may be good reasons to spend two years doing appellate litigation at GDC, OMM, Mayer, etc., but if you want to stay in private practice, it's better to do just about anything else.

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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:20 pm

tag

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Haymarket
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Haymarket » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:tag

lol.

LawClerk1234
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:28 pm

Haha. Are you a 1L or a 2L?

Magnificent wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:Good luck getting an appellate-only job without a SCOTUS clerkship.

Besides, this is not a great career path. If you don't make partner at your firm, there are very few exit options. No company has an in-house appellate lawyer. The federal government hires very few appellate lawyers. Not much lateral action. It's much better to specialize in an area of law, or do general litigation.


You can get appellate only jobs if you have a good appellate clerkship. You don't need SCOTUS, though it is helpful. At many of the top appellate shops, a clerkship with a prestigious CoA judge is sufficient.

If you can get an appellate job at a place like Kellogg Huber, Robbins Russell, GDC, Wilmer, Jenner, Mayer Brown, etc. you can get any job in government. You won't have to worry about what you'll do after not making partner.

Magnificent
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:13 pm

LawClerk1234 wrote:Haha. Are you a 1L or a 2L?
[/quote]

3L with a CoA clerkship lined. I also have already worked at a DC boutique that does a lot of appellate work.

Magnificent
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The problem with appellate litigation is that it offers basically no exit options, so if you don't make partner, you're screwed. Obviously if you clerk for SCOTUS you'll never have trouble finding a job, but if you don't, it doesn't make sense to begin your career in a firm's appellate practice if you desire to stay in private practice long-term. Partnership prospects are slim because appellate practices aren't that profitable, and unless you're the next Paul Clement, the firm can easily replace you with a younger version of you, fresh off a court of appeals clerkship, for a lower salary. And when you're pushed out as senior associate, the only skill you'll have is appellate brief-writing, which isn't very marketable because few employers employ appellate specialists (the vast majority of litigation occurs at the trial level). Employers (whether they're small firms or in-house departments) want litigators with experience in trial motions and discovery, not appellate briefs.

If you're looking to leave private practice after a short time for academia or government, then there may be good reasons to spend two years doing appellate litigation at GDC, OMM, Mayer, etc., but if you want to stay in private practice, it's better to do just about anything else.


Who the hell wants to practice at a firm their whole lives?

I just want a place to camp out for a couple of years, make some money, and then move on to government or academia. An appellate shop then works perfectly for people with interests similar to mine. I obviously am not talking to folks who graduated median at a T14 and are just looking for short/long term job security. I don't have to worry about what I want to do after working at a firm because my credentials are strong enough to get almost any job in law.

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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:15 pm

Magnificent wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:Good luck getting an appellate-only job without a SCOTUS clerkship.

Besides, this is not a great career path. If you don't make partner at your firm, there are very few exit options. No company has an in-house appellate lawyer. The federal government hires very few appellate lawyers. Not much lateral action. It's much better to specialize in an area of law, or do general litigation.


You can get appellate only jobs if you have a good appellate clerkship. You don't need SCOTUS, though it is helpful. At many of the top appellate shops, a clerkship with a prestigious CoA judge is sufficient.

If you can get an appellate job at a place like Kellogg Huber, Robbins Russell, GDC, Wilmer, Jenner, Mayer Brown, etc. you can get any job in government. You won't have to worry about what you'll do after not making partner.


Um, no. Getting top litigation jobs in the DOJ is not easy. While all those firms hire top quality people, the qualifications needed to get into those firms are lower than the qualifications these days to get a civil appellate or federal programs position. Talk to some people who have been through the DOJ honors process recently (about the only way to get into the DOJ during the freeze). The one or two people per year that federal programs, for example, is hiring are in the top 5 (not %) of their class with multiple prestigious clerkships.

Now, if you have the qualifications to get a COA clerkship and a good DC firm, you'll land on your feet. But you aren't going to waltz into the DOJ unless you have significant connections + luck.

Personally, I would much rather specialize in an area of litigation/administrative practice, develop deep knowledge, and occasionally work an appeal or two than ever do solely appellate (or even a large %) work.

LawClerk1234
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby LawClerk1234 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:18 pm

wow. if you aren't flame, you sound like a truly horrible and arrogant person.

Magnificent wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The problem with appellate litigation is that it offers basically no exit options, so if you don't make partner, you're screwed. Obviously if you clerk for SCOTUS you'll never have trouble finding a job, but if you don't, it doesn't make sense to begin your career in a firm's appellate practice if you desire to stay in private practice long-term. Partnership prospects are slim because appellate practices aren't that profitable, and unless you're the next Paul Clement, the firm can easily replace you with a younger version of you, fresh off a court of appeals clerkship, for a lower salary. And when you're pushed out as senior associate, the only skill you'll have is appellate brief-writing, which isn't very marketable because few employers employ appellate specialists (the vast majority of litigation occurs at the trial level). Employers (whether they're small firms or in-house departments) want litigators with experience in trial motions and discovery, not appellate briefs.

If you're looking to leave private practice after a short time for academia or government, then there may be good reasons to spend two years doing appellate litigation at GDC, OMM, Mayer, etc., but if you want to stay in private practice, it's better to do just about anything else.


Who the hell wants to practice at a firm their whole lives?

I just want a place to camp out for a couple of years, make some money, and then move on to government or academia. An appellate shop then works perfectly for people with interests similar to mine. I obviously am not talking to folks who graduated median at a T14 and are just looking for short/long term job security. I don't have to worry about what I want to do after working at a firm because my credentials are strong enough to get almost any job in law.

Anonymous User
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:20 pm

Magnificent wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The problem with appellate litigation is that it offers basically no exit options, so if you don't make partner, you're screwed. Obviously if you clerk for SCOTUS you'll never have trouble finding a job, but if you don't, it doesn't make sense to begin your career in a firm's appellate practice if you desire to stay in private practice long-term. Partnership prospects are slim because appellate practices aren't that profitable, and unless you're the next Paul Clement, the firm can easily replace you with a younger version of you, fresh off a court of appeals clerkship, for a lower salary. And when you're pushed out as senior associate, the only skill you'll have is appellate brief-writing, which isn't very marketable because few employers employ appellate specialists (the vast majority of litigation occurs at the trial level). Employers (whether they're small firms or in-house departments) want litigators with experience in trial motions and discovery, not appellate briefs.

If you're looking to leave private practice after a short time for academia or government, then there may be good reasons to spend two years doing appellate litigation at GDC, OMM, Mayer, etc., but if you want to stay in private practice, it's better to do just about anything else.


Who the hell wants to practice at a firm their whole lives?

I just want a place to camp out for a couple of years, make some money, and then move on to government or academia. An appellate shop then works perfectly for people with interests similar to mine. I obviously am not talking to folks who graduated median at a T14 and are just looking for short/long term job security. I don't have to worry about what I want to do after working at a firm because my credentials are strong enough to get almost any job in law.


Congrats on having a good clerkship lined up. Others of us who are posting on here are either clerking or about to start clerking. And, others of us posting on here also have amazing credentials and have connections in most of the DC appellate boutiques.

But, I can tell you two things:

-Getting a top DOJ job is not easy these days. There is incredible competition for litigation positions and appellate positions in the DOJ.

-The credentials you have now will be relatively meaningless in 7-8 years. Yes, having great grades, from a great school, with a great clerkship means that you'll land on your feet. But you don't walk on water, and you won't be able to waltz into whatever job you want. You better have a damn good skill set after a few years in practice. And you better not have this holier than thou attitude -- it's rather off-putting. And government attorneys tolerate a lot less of the prima dona attitude.

JusticeJackson
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby JusticeJackson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:26 pm

.
Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Magnificent
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:Good luck getting an appellate-only job without a SCOTUS clerkship.

Besides, this is not a great career path. If you don't make partner at your firm, there are very few exit options. No company has an in-house appellate lawyer. The federal government hires very few appellate lawyers. Not much lateral action. It's much better to specialize in an area of law, or do general litigation.


You can get appellate only jobs if you have a good appellate clerkship. You don't need SCOTUS, though it is helpful. At many of the top appellate shops, a clerkship with a prestigious CoA judge is sufficient.

If you can get an appellate job at a place like Kellogg Huber, Robbins Russell, GDC, Wilmer, Jenner, Mayer Brown, etc. you can get any job in government. You won't have to worry about what you'll do after not making partner.


Um, no. Getting top litigation jobs in the DOJ is not easy. While all those firms hire top quality people, the qualifications needed to get into those firms are lower than the qualifications these days to get a civil appellate or federal programs position. Talk to some people who have been through the DOJ honors process recently (about the only way to get into the DOJ during the freeze). The one or two people per year that federal programs, for example, is hiring are in the top 5 (not %) of their class with multiple prestigious clerkships.

Now, if you have the qualifications to get a COA clerkship and a good DC firm, you'll land on your feet. But you aren't going to waltz into the DOJ unless you have significant connections + luck.

Personally, I would much rather specialize in an area of litigation/administrative practice, develop deep knowledge, and occasionally work an appeal or two than ever do solely appellate (or even a large %) work.


Not to sound arrogant but I've pretty much been told that I can get any job in government that I want. I've also got good connections in Washington. I'm right now debating between OLC, the Legal Adviser's office, or private practice after finishing my clerkship.

I guess you're right that if someone wants to stay in private practice all their lives, then appellate might not be for you. But in my short time in law, I've learned that I hate pretty much all of the practice areas except for appellate. Its the most tolerable and is in line with my interest of not wanting to practice at a firm for more than a couple of years.
Last edited by Magnificent on Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Magnificent
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:50 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:wow. if you aren't flame, you sound like a truly horrible and arrogant person.

Magnificent wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The problem with appellate litigation is that it offers basically no exit options, so if you don't make partner, you're screwed. Obviously if you clerk for SCOTUS you'll never have trouble finding a job, but if you don't, it doesn't make sense to begin your career in a firm's appellate practice if you desire to stay in private practice long-term. Partnership prospects are slim because appellate practices aren't that profitable, and unless you're the next Paul Clement, the firm can easily replace you with a younger version of you, fresh off a court of appeals clerkship, for a lower salary. And when you're pushed out as senior associate, the only skill you'll have is appellate brief-writing, which isn't very marketable because few employers employ appellate specialists (the vast majority of litigation occurs at the trial level). Employers (whether they're small firms or in-house departments) want litigators with experience in trial motions and discovery, not appellate briefs.

If you're looking to leave private practice after a short time for academia or government, then there may be good reasons to spend two years doing appellate litigation at GDC, OMM, Mayer, etc., but if you want to stay in private practice, it's better to do just about anything else.


Who the hell wants to practice at a firm their whole lives?

I just want a place to camp out for a couple of years, make some money, and then move on to government or academia. An appellate shop then works perfectly for people with interests similar to mine. I obviously am not talking to folks who graduated median at a T14 and are just looking for short/long term job security. I don't have to worry about what I want to do after working at a firm because my credentials are strong enough to get almost any job in law.


Agreed. I think he is flame because his writing is objectively terrible. I understand that most people don’t put much thought into how they post on the internet, but he makes really basic wrong-word errors throughout his posts. The type of errors that spell check doesn’t fix and that everyone who has made it out of elementary school shouldn’t make, regardless of how fast they’re typing.


If it makes you feel better then sure think I'm a flame. I guess it hurts to know that some folks like myself who have "made it" don't feel too bad about rubbing it to jealous folks like you.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:53 pm

Magnificent wrote: rubbing it to jealous folks like you.

That's just gross.

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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Magnificent » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The problem with appellate litigation is that it offers basically no exit options, so if you don't make partner, you're screwed. Obviously if you clerk for SCOTUS you'll never have trouble finding a job, but if you don't, it doesn't make sense to begin your career in a firm's appellate practice if you desire to stay in private practice long-term. Partnership prospects are slim because appellate practices aren't that profitable, and unless you're the next Paul Clement, the firm can easily replace you with a younger version of you, fresh off a court of appeals clerkship, for a lower salary. And when you're pushed out as senior associate, the only skill you'll have is appellate brief-writing, which isn't very marketable because few employers employ appellate specialists (the vast majority of litigation occurs at the trial level). Employers (whether they're small firms or in-house departments) want litigators with experience in trial motions and discovery, not appellate briefs.

If you're looking to leave private practice after a short time for academia or government, then there may be good reasons to spend two years doing appellate litigation at GDC, OMM, Mayer, etc., but if you want to stay in private practice, it's better to do just about anything else.


Who the hell wants to practice at a firm their whole lives?

I just want a place to camp out for a couple of years, make some money, and then move on to government or academia. An appellate shop then works perfectly for people with interests similar to mine. I obviously am not talking to folks who graduated median at a T14 and are just looking for short/long term job security. I don't have to worry about what I want to do after working at a firm because my credentials are strong enough to get almost any job in law.


Congrats on having a good clerkship lined up. Others of us who are posting on here are either clerking or about to start clerking. And, others of us posting on here also have amazing credentials and have connections in most of the DC appellate boutiques.

But, I can tell you two things:

-Getting a top DOJ job is not easy these days. There is incredible competition for litigation positions and appellate positions in the DOJ.

-The credentials you have now will be relatively meaningless in 7-8 years. Yes, having great grades, from a great school, with a great clerkship means that you'll land on your feet. But you don't walk on water, and you won't be able to waltz into whatever job you want. You better have a damn good skill set after a few years in practice. And you better not have this holier than thou attitude -- it's rather off-putting. And government attorneys tolerate a lot less of the prima dona attitude.


Well I've gotten every job I've wanted so far since starting law school. I'm sure there will be some time when I don't get exactly what I want. But I doubt its as dire as you make it sound. Sure I might not get the attorney-adviser position I want at OLC, but I'm sure I'll be able to get a job at some lower level of government.

Plus I obviously know better than to be this way when dealing with folks who I want to hire me. I personally don't care how I come across to you guys cause I don't care about the opinions of those beneath me.

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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:58 pm

Magnificent wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Magnificent wrote:
LawClerk1234 wrote:Good luck getting an appellate-only job without a SCOTUS clerkship.

Besides, this is not a great career path. If you don't make partner at your firm, there are very few exit options. No company has an in-house appellate lawyer. The federal government hires very few appellate lawyers. Not much lateral action. It's much better to specialize in an area of law, or do general litigation.


You can get appellate only jobs if you have a good appellate clerkship. You don't need SCOTUS, though it is helpful. At many of the top appellate shops, a clerkship with a prestigious CoA judge is sufficient.

If you can get an appellate job at a place like Kellogg Huber, Robbins Russell, GDC, Wilmer, Jenner, Mayer Brown, etc. you can get any job in government. You won't have to worry about what you'll do after not making partner.


Um, no. Getting top litigation jobs in the DOJ is not easy. While all those firms hire top quality people, the qualifications needed to get into those firms are lower than the qualifications these days to get a civil appellate or federal programs position. Talk to some people who have been through the DOJ honors process recently (about the only way to get into the DOJ during the freeze). The one or two people per year that federal programs, for example, is hiring are in the top 5 (not %) of their class with multiple prestigious clerkships.

Now, if you have the qualifications to get a COA clerkship and a good DC firm, you'll land on your feet. But you aren't going to waltz into the DOJ unless you have significant connections + luck.

Personally, I would much rather specialize in an area of litigation/administrative practice, develop deep knowledge, and occasionally work an appeal or two than ever do solely appellate (or even a large %) work.


Not to sound arrogant but I've pretty much been told that I can get any job in government that I want. I've also got good connections in Washington. I'm right now debating between OLC, the Legal Adviser's office, or private practice after finishing my clerkship.

I guess you're right that if someone wants to stay in private practice all their lives, then appellate might not be for you. But in my short time in law, I've learned that I hate pretty much all of the practice areas except for appellate. Its the most tolerable and is in line with my interest of not wanting to practice at a firm for more than a couple of years.


Hmm... the majority of people I know who have worked in OLC, OSG, etc. have tended to be very down to earth and relatively humble people. Someone with this attitude is just not going to make it... you know, there are always better people waiting in the wings.

BTW - I wouldn't count your chickens before they hatch... come back here and post about what you're "debating between" when you actually have offers on the table.

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fatduck
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Re: Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

Postby fatduck » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:59 pm

Magnificent wrote:Plus I obviously know better than to be this way when dealing with folks who I want to hire me. I personally don't care how I come across to you guys cause I don't care about the opinions of those beneath me.

you're one of my favorite trolls, and i mean that in all seriousness, but you're blowing it. reel it in.




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