Litigation at BigLaw

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Anonymous User
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Litigation at BigLaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:05 am

Is it reasonable for an associate to expect to be the lead attorney after 7-8 years working at a typical Big Law firm? I'm just wondering what one should expect? What is a reasonable number of years? 5-8?

Whoops, sorry, did not mean to post this anon. I'm ajax adonis.

anon168
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Re: Litigation at BigLaw

Postby anon168 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is it reasonable for an associate to expect to be the lead attorney after 7-8 years working at a typical Big Law firm? I'm just wondering what one should expect? What is a reasonable number of years? 5-8?

Whoops, sorry, did not mean to post this anon. I'm ajax adonis.


No, it's probably not reasonable.

When you say "lead attorney" I'm assuming you mean a first-chair at trial? If so, then no, it's not reasonable.

If by "lead attorney" you mean someone who is in charge of pretrial motions and discovery, then the answer is maybe. Especially if the client is someone you brought in yourself. But even if the client is yours, the firm most likely will staff someone senior (like a jr. partner) on the matter just to oversee things (primarily for the firm's liability and malpractice policy).

The only exception I can think of is if the case is pro bono. Then all bets are off.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:19 am

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

anon168
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Re: Litigation at BigLaw

Postby anon168 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:37 am

ajax adonis wrote:What would be a reasonable time period to expect to be second chair then?


Probably 3-4 years in at the earliest, esp if the case is a smaller one.

ajax adonis wrote:And what would you say is a reasonable number of years to expect to be a first char?


Probably when you are a jr. partner.

Some of this is obviously client-driven. Lots of times a client will not want an associate to be second-chair, or sit at counsel table, for a variety of reasons. Other times, it's firm driven. Some partners just want all the glory.

Again, like I said before, the best way to get front-line litigation experience is on a pro bono matter. If you can prove your mettle to the firm in a case that doesn't affect the bottom-line, they will more likely give you earlier responsibility.

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Loose Seal
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Re: Litigation at BigLaw

Postby Loose Seal » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:07 pm

Also, it's important to note that "maybe never" is a possibility. Are you good at trials? You may be an excellent litigation associate who lacks trial advocacy skills, in which case you may be working on trials but you won't be first or second-chairing.

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homestyle28
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Re: Litigation at BigLaw

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:23 pm

Depends. At alot of firms you can get "1st chair" experience in pro-bono matters (but not big pro bono like Lawrence v Texas). It also depends on what those 7-8 years look like, if you leave for 3-4 years and do USAO lit and get significant trial experience your odds probably go up some, but most clients want partners.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Litigation at BigLaw

Postby BarbellDreams » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:07 pm

A friend of mine is a partner at a V100. He said they won't even let you sniff trial before 5-7 years at all, let alone first chairing. So no, I wouldn't say it is reasonable to expect to first chair.

anon168
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Re: Litigation at BigLaw

Postby anon168 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:22 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:A friend of mine is a partner at a V100. He said they won't even let you sniff trial before 5-7 years at all, let alone first chairing. So no, I wouldn't say it is reasonable to expect to first chair.


That's a miserable firm to be at.

I was fortunate enough to second-chair a trial as a 3rd year associate at a V5 firm (1 year at the firm following 2 clerkships). So it's possible to get early trial experience, just not as a "first-chair".




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