Gibson DC or Covington DC

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Which?

Gibson
5
33%
Covington
10
67%
 
Total votes: 15

Anonymous User
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Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:38 pm

I swore I wouldn't make one of these topics but at this point I'm nitpicking to find some distinguishing factor.

I'm interested in litigation - insofar as there are more specific areas, that isn't a distinguishing factor for me. I'd be interested in Gibson's Labor practice but I'd also be interested in Covington's insurance practice.

The sizes are the big difference - would Gibson's smaller size give me more partner contact/more substantive experience earlier? or does that just mean that associates have to handle a bigger chunk of doc review with no real substantive benefit?

Exit options (ideally into government) are important but I don't think that they'd be significantly different, although I'd welcome hearing anything different.

Not politically inclined so Gibson's reputation isn't that important to me, and I haven't gotten the impression that it's a huge part of life there from talking to people.

I don't know, anyone have any way of choosing here? or do I just have to flip a coin

edit: also preftige is important (for exit options etc) but I'm sure there's no real difference here either right?

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thesealocust
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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby thesealocust » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The sizes are the big difference - would Gibson's smaller size give me more partner contact/more substantive experience earlier?


No. They're both gigantic mega firms, GDC's slightly smaller office in DC doesn't transform it into a kinder or gentler place.

GDC is a great firm and it's got a seriously star-studded and impressive appellate litigation practice in DC. Covington is basically undeniably a "better" firm if you're comparing firm-to-firm in Washington DC though. They're the preeminent full-service firm in Washington. You can argue other firms beat them in specific areas or that a lot of that reputation is based on past glory, but it's a real reputation.

Your actual work on a day to day basis and exit options aren't likely to be hugely different, even given that fact. You should probably go for which ever one you clicked with the people the most in. It'll have by far the biggest impact on your life from here on out.

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:45 pm

Thanks for that post, Tsl.

The people at Covington definitely seemed a bit more boring, but I'm not so sure that that's necessarily a bad thing day to day for me. the unfortunate thing is not having worked in a law firm for a long period of time, I'm not sure whether I'd prefer more lively coworkers or more laid back coworkers.

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:09 am

I worked in law firms for several years before going back to school. Interviewed and got offers at both of the firms you're considering. I'd choose Gibson of the two. If you have any interest in appellate litigation, there is truly no better place to be in the world than Gibson D.C.. But that aside, like you, I was concerned about the size of Cov. I've worked in big office and I've worked in small offices and there is a world of difference. It's the difference between being able to know everyone in your practice group and not.

I won't be going to either (opted for a lit boutique much smaller than both), but if you're worried about the size, it's a valid concern and you should go Gibson.

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:14 am

I do have interest in appellate litigation, but my thinking to this point is that since I'll probably need an appellate clerkship to make any real progress in a DC appellate group, I should pick without taking that into account, and revisit it later if I'm able to get a circuit clerkship.

all things being equal, I think I'd love to be someone who focuses on appellate - the intellectual rigor and creativity involved with bending a fact pattern to your needs really appeals to me, but what a rising 2L thinks he wants to do can certainly change a lot...

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:I do have interest in appellate litigation, but my thinking to this point is that since I'll probably need an appellate clerkship to make any real progress in a DC appellate group, I should pick without taking that into account, and revisit it later if I'm able to get a circuit clerkship.

all things being equal, I think I'd love to be someone who focuses on appellate - the intellectual rigor and creativity involved with bending a fact pattern to your needs really appeals to me, but what a rising 2L thinks he wants to do can certainly change a lot...


Intellectual rigor? Most certainly. Creativity? Not so much. Don't forget that appeals are narrowly focused on very well defined issues; especially by the time they reach the SCOTUS. Your argument will have essentially have been made for you by how the case below framed the issue. Appellate work is more about research and writing extremely well. You're brought into brief the issue (and I quite literally mean only to brief, you will not be arguing an appellate case in the next 7 years even if you were a SCOTUS clerk), not relitigate the case. You'll be arguing the law, not facts. If you want to be massaging the case and really getting neck deep into the shit, you probably want to be doing trial level work.

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:26 pm

Interesting take. I suppose that makes sense.

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Intellectual rigor? Most certainly. Creativity? Not so much. Don't forget that appeals are narrowly focused on very well defined issues; especially by the time they reach the SCOTUS. Your argument will have essentially have been made for you by how the case below framed the issue. Appellate work is more about research and writing extremely well. You're brought into brief the issue (and I quite literally mean only to brief, you will not be arguing an appellate case in the next 7 years even if you were a SCOTUS clerk), not relitigate the case. You'll be arguing the law, not facts. If you want to be massaging the case and really getting neck deep into the shit, you probably want to be doing trial level work.

Just thought I'd add on here.

This is very true. I thought for a while I wanted to do appellate work. I did a great 1L summer job with appellate criminal defenders, and got a lot of hands-on experience (I wrote five entire briefs, front to back), but it really made clear how much appellate work can suck. There were plenty of times when I'd spot something, ponder it, do a little side research, come up with a quite reasonable argument, and then go "Man, I wish they'd preserved this issue for appeal," and have to let it go. My work was basically pre-defined for me, with only one narrow issue per file that was actually appealable, and it was clear that the trial lawyer's decisions on what to pursue and what to leave out at trial had pretty much already decided each case. A place like that occasionally gets an interesting case or a real constitutional issue to make research and policy arguments interesting, but from what I gathered the bulk of what they all did was what I was doing, clearing out a backlog of largely-unwinnable cases. From what I understand it's not all that different at a law firm. Clients come based not on how winnable their appeal is but how much they're willing to pay you to make one.

Novel, creative arguments don't really work at the appellate level anyway. The law would become too arbitrary if appeals courts were easily swayed by unsupported arguments; appellate judges and justices try not to disturb trial outcomes without having a reason to cite to. If you're the first person to come up with a legal argument, then nobody else has written anything you can cite about that argument. Where the law does leave leeway for creativity, it leaves it at the trial level, when it grants judges discretion to make decisions about certain issues. To avoid undermining trial judges, appellate courts require you to prove the judge abused his discretion coming out the way he did, which is not easy. Westlaw and Lexis are littered with opinions which quite literally recite the case facts and then state the trial court judge did not abuse his discretion. The best way to win on any appealable issue is to find existing caselaw to cite that already supports your argument, which means that most of what you're doing is neither creative nor precedent-breaking.

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Re: Gibson DC or Covington DC

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:52 pm

one weekend bump.




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