Is appellate lit the best practice in terms of lifestyle?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:00 pm

Magnificent wrote:
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.


You can't fake it for so long... A good attorney can sniff out a BS'er, and the DOJ is filled with good attorneys.

Oh, and btw, I and others posting on here are certainly not "beneath you".

Shouldn't you just go back to autoadmit?

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

Postby Detrox » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:00 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.


Yes, you would hate to sound arrogant...

You must have been terribly picked on prior to law school to be this desperate for affirmation of your success and intelligence. Rampantly posting on TLS about how great you are and belittling everyone who disagrees with you. Regardless of your acheivements, (and I think you'll do very well careerwise if you're being honest on here), but probably will never actually be happy or satisfied and will have to resort to feigning superiority over random people on the internet for quite a long time.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:14 pm

.

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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 9:41 pm

dear JusticeJackson,

i will refrain from quoting your deleted post if you will spell out MAGNIFICENT in stacks of hundos and post a picture here

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

Postby TatteredDignity » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:53 pm

In a probably futile attempt to turn this thread into something useful...

I'm very interested in practicing appellate lit, but most of the posts ITT have been sort of disparaging of that idea. I'm sure a lot of that has been due to the extreme priggishness of OP, so I'm looking for a more neutral overview. Is it really not a good idea to have a goal of doing appellate work for a big firm with a strong appellate practice and then maybe transitioning into bigfed/DOJ or something similar?

I'm just not crazy about juries, I guess. I like the (what I perceive to be) slow, thoughtful and intellectual nature of appellate work.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:04 am

One of the reasons it's hard to get an answer to your questions (aside from the rampant douchebaggery above) is that the world of "appellate litigation" is ridiculously tiny. Especially if you're talking federal government positions where you can make a livable wage. Aside from an unpredictable scattering of agency work and ridiculously competitive DOJ slots (OLC, OSG, most other appellate spots at Main Justice), the only other federal government appellate positions are AUSAs, which are often lifers and increasingly being handled by an appellate bureau within individual USAOs. (FWIW, a hefty majority -- though not all -- USAOs have moved away from or are in the process of transitioning to having dedicated appellate attorneys rather than line attorneys handle all of their own appeals.) You're more likely to get hit by a car than find a grade/pay/salary-appropriate opening during this freeze.

If you want to be more realistic, and talk State AAG jobs and the like, moving from biglaw to one of those positions is workable and happens all the time. 40 hours a week is fantastic. But, state budgets are notoriously unpredictable, the benefits aren't as good, and in most states, your pay is going to max out in the 105–125k range unless you end up a purely political appointee (often Deputy AG or its equivalent).

EDIT: I guess I would add that Fed PD and CJA attorneys are doing appellate work too. But other than the fact that CJA is totally unpredictable and Fed PDs are also tight on money, I don't know anything about the defense side of the equation.

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

Postby kwais » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:14 am

I would rather read a Treatise on Legal Hiring from taxguy or brsgirl than a single post from Magnificent. Truly one of the shittiest people on TLS if not in general.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:32 am

i would pay the op $50 via paypal if he or she could prove that they are telling the truth itt with respect to their background. i'm confident that magnificent is a liar.




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