Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

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Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:01 am

So yeah, any litigators out there who enjoy their work yet hated lrw?

I'm assuming litigation involves a TON of the same work from lrw...I went into law school thinking that litigation and persuasive writing was what I wanted to do, but I hate memos and I really disliked most of the time I spent writing my brief.

thoughts?

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TTRansfer
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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:26 am

You are going to have to do legal writing in any legal field. If you hate LRW, don't go into law.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:36 am

I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:41 am

Lacepiece23 wrote:I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.


Plus law school LRW is just obnoxious.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Pope Francis » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:47 am

TTRansfer wrote: Plus law school LRW is just obnoxious.


This.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:59 am

Lacepiece23 wrote:I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.


OP here, thanks for this

the stakes being higher argument is something I could really go w/

I've thought about this myself, as one of the things I hate about LRW is how pointless it is (pass/fail)

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.


OP here, thanks for this

the stakes being higher argument is something I could really go w/

I've thought about this myself, as one of the things I hate about LRW is how pointless it is (pass/fail)


Look. Everyone EVER to go through law school has hated LRW. I have never met a single person that ever liked that shit class. But the fact remains that we all have to take it. If you honestly cannot stand it and want to murder everyone involved with it, law might not be for you. But if you just cannot stand it but can still force your way through it, than you will probably be fine.

There are a number of different levels of hate, though. There is the normal hate that every single law student has for the class and there is the insane "hate it to the core of my being" hate that may make you want to re-think the field. Because you are going to be a doing a shit ton of legal writing if you get a job.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby iconoclasttt » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:05 am

What precisely is it that you hate?

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:07 am

TTRansfer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.


OP here, thanks for this

the stakes being higher argument is something I could really go w/

I've thought about this myself, as one of the things I hate about LRW is how pointless it is (pass/fail)


Look. Everyone EVER to go through law school has hated LRW. I have never met a single person that ever liked that shit class. But the fact remains that we all have to take it. If you honestly cannot stand it and want to murder everyone involved with it, law might not be for you. But if you just cannot stand it but can still force your way through it, than you will probably be fine.

There are a number of different levels of hate, though. There is the normal hate that every single law student has for the class and there is the insane "hate it to the core of my being" hate that may make you want to re-think the field. Because you are going to be a doing a shit ton of legal writing if you get a job.


well, definitely not hate on the magnitude of career-changing, but it's something that could push me towards different areas of practice (i.e. transactional)...which is why I'm trying to gauge experiences of those who have been in a similar position and are now in practice

pretty much, I really dislike bluebooking and trying to write persuasively about or research something I have no stake in. I assume many people feel this in; wondering if current litigators feel some sort of 'passion' since they are personally invested in the outcome, etc.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.


OP here, thanks for this

the stakes being higher argument is something I could really go w/

I've thought about this myself, as one of the things I hate about LRW is how pointless it is (pass/fail)


Look. Everyone EVER to go through law school has hated LRW. I have never met a single person that ever liked that shit class. But the fact remains that we all have to take it. If you honestly cannot stand it and want to murder everyone involved with it, law might not be for you. But if you just cannot stand it but can still force your way through it, than you will probably be fine.

There are a number of different levels of hate, though. There is the normal hate that every single law student has for the class and there is the insane "hate it to the core of my being" hate that may make you want to re-think the field. Because you are going to be a doing a shit ton of legal writing if you get a job.


well, definitely not hate on the magnitude of career-changing, but it's something that could push me towards different areas of practice (i.e. transactional)...which is why I'm trying to gauge experiences of those who have been in a similar position and are now in practice

pretty much, I really dislike bluebooking and trying to write persuasively about or research something I have no stake in. I assume many people feel this in; wondering if current litigators feel some sort of 'passion' since they are personally invested in the outcome, etc.


Transactional LRW is going to be just as bad. Memos out the ass, monotonous research, etc.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:29 am

TTRansfer wrote: Transactional LRW is going to be just as bad. Memos out the ass, monotonous research, etc.


Yeah I figured it won't be much better, but from what I've read there's a lot less of it than litigation

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby hiima3L » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
TTRansfer wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:I can't speak personally, but this was answered by someone in another thread. Don't remember the thread and couldn't find it, but anyway they said that they are now an attorney hated LRW, and doing very well in litigation. He/She said something along the lines of being bad, or not liking it in law school didn't equate to actual practice. Guessing because maybe the stakes are higher.


OP here, thanks for this

the stakes being higher argument is something I could really go w/

I've thought about this myself, as one of the things I hate about LRW is how pointless it is (pass/fail)


Look. Everyone EVER to go through law school has hated LRW. I have never met a single person that ever liked that shit class. But the fact remains that we all have to take it. If you honestly cannot stand it and want to murder everyone involved with it, law might not be for you. But if you just cannot stand it but can still force your way through it, than you will probably be fine.

There are a number of different levels of hate, though. There is the normal hate that every single law student has for the class and there is the insane "hate it to the core of my being" hate that may make you want to re-think the field. Because you are going to be a doing a shit ton of legal writing if you get a job.


well, definitely not hate on the magnitude of career-changing, but it's something that could push me towards different areas of practice (i.e. transactional)...which is why I'm trying to gauge experiences of those who have been in a similar position and are now in practice

pretty much, I really dislike bluebooking and trying to write persuasively about or research something I have no stake in. I assume many people feel this in; wondering if current litigators feel some sort of 'passion' since they are personally invested in the outcome, etc.


Every legal job requires incredibly boring tasks from time-to-time (or all the time), but legal writing and research is the majority of what you'll be doing at any legal job. The importance of Bluebooking will vary dramatically between employers and tasks, but it becomes so routine by the time you're done with law school that you won't have to worry about it, really.

But what do you think lawyers do aside from writing, research, doc review, etc.? It's a ton of paper pushing in any legal job.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:58 am

iconoclasttt wrote:What precisely is it that you hate?

This is the best question. I sometimes hate my legal writing class because of the artificiality of it all, but when it comes down to it, I actually like researching and structuring an argument. Should be better when am writing about real problems

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:00 am

If it's just the class you hate--i.e. drafting and redrafting lengthy memos and briefs on some silly research topic while the instructor holds your hand, ultimately to be graded on a curve against your peers--I wouldn't worry about it. But if you hate the actual process of researching law and writing a memo with your legal analysis, you should probably find a different profession.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:18 am

Cavalier wrote:If it's just the class you hate--i.e. drafting and redrafting lengthy memos and briefs on some silly research topic while the instructor holds your hand, ultimately to be graded on a curve against your peers--I wouldn't worry about it. But if you hate the actual process of researching law and writing a memo with your legal analysis, you should probably find a different profession.


I hated everything about LRW. I also heard the same regurgitated advice that was given in this thread but I'm the type of person that had to see it for my myself. I took a job at a small lit boutique over the summer and got rave reviews for my writing and analysis. But even better than that I actually liked it. It wasn't all fun but knowing your research matters and could effect a case is awesome. Also when you find that one case that the partner vaguely remembered but thought might be useful is also a pretty cool feeling. IMO memo writing/doing research for a real case is so much different than anything I did in LRW.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:01 am

TTRansfer wrote:You are going to have to do legal writing in any legal field. If you hate LRW, don't go into law.

This is silly. Yeah legal writing is part of any legal job, but the kind taught in LRW isn't. Two biglaw corporate senior associate friends told me they chose corporate because they realized they hated legal research during their 2L summer. They said in corporate, they have to go on Westlaw only a couple of times a year.

Similarly, I ran into a recently graduated state prosecutor friend the other day and guess what: the first thing she mentioned as a perk of her job is not having to use Westlaw and the like. I am guessing this will change as she gets more senior and deals with bigger cases (I don't know how the prosecutor career path works, but someone in that office must be doing the research, no?) but for now, she is in court most morning arraigning defendants and most afternoons conducting trials (DUI and such).

I am a patent guy whose ambivalence about LRW may dictate my career path. I enjoy the final product of research and writing and I've gotten great reviews on it. However, the process involves considerable pain for me, and I am pretty sure that it takes me significantly longer to produce a memo/brief than my peers, good though the work product may be. As a result, I may head into patent prosecution instead, where legal research and memo writing are relatively rare. Still trying to figure this out myself and hope to get some clarity on the issue this summer.

So saying "you are going to have to do legal writing in any legal field," while technically true, doesn't quite address the issue. The amount of LRW varies wildly depending on practice area.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby iconoclasttt » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:18 pm

My two cents on the subject (as a practicing attorney):

Legal writing is a tangible manifestation of legal thinking. For the vast majority of lawyers who do little to no oral advocacy, it's just about the only work product they produce. The style of what's written varies depending on the context--objective vs. persuasive, who's the reader, etc.--but almost invariably, what's written requires some sort of analysis of law and facts, and application of these to come to some conclusion that is demonstrably justified. There are exceptions for writing that is more descriptive than analytical, but even in that context, there's a goal or set of goals that govern the result.

I take a very pragmatic, utilitarian view of legal writing. To me, disordered or flawed legal writing tends to represent disordered or flawed legal thinking. Whenever I approach a drafting problem--whether it's a memo, brief, opinion, patent application, what have you--I try to keep myself focused on the ultimate purpose of the project, and what it takes to serve that purpose.

When people complain about LRW, there are usually two main categories of complaints: they don't like the way the course is taught or structured, or they don't like the somewhat regimented (to them) task of goal-oriented legal writing itself. The former is a fair complaint. The latter is worrisome for a lawyer-to-be, because even if you end up as a corporate lawyer who never touches a motion or brief and doesn't research cases, you'll still need to analyze and synthesize written work product that is intended to accomplish a legal goal.

Anonymous User wrote:I am a patent guy whose ambivalence about LRW may dictate my career path. I enjoy the final product of research and writing and I've gotten great reviews on it. However, the process involves considerable pain for me, and I am pretty sure that it takes me significantly longer to produce a memo/brief than my peers, good though the work product may be. As a result, I may head into patent prosecution instead, where legal research and memo writing are relatively rare. Still trying to figure this out myself and hope to get some clarity on the issue this summer.


On this particular point, being focused on prosecution myself, note that although research and memo writing are indeed rare in routine work, the volume of both analytical/persuasive and descriptive writing is extremely high. In prosecution, the applicable legal principles in play tend to be the same ones from a very small set for every office action or appeal brief you do, so the research aspect tends to be moot. But the application of the facts of the case to those legal principles remains, and whether you get a notice of allowance will depend on how well you can convince the examiner or board of the strength of your analysis.

So if you find the research tedious, it's true that there's much less of that in routine prosecution. But if it's the process of articulating a coherent, well-reasoned, well-organized position directed towards accomplishing a particular legal goal that you find unpleasant, prosecution isn't going to offer you much relief IMO.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:19 pm

TTRansfer wrote:You are going to have to do legal writing in any legal field. If you hate LRW, don't go into law.


No you won't.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:21 pm

but legal writing and research is the majority of what you'll be doing at any legal job.


False. I do M&A and I haven't done any legal writing. Research is maybe 5% of my work, and it never involves Westlaw/Lexis.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby igo2northwestern » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:03 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
but legal writing and research is the majority of what you'll be doing at any legal job.


False. I do M&A and I haven't done any legal writing. Research is maybe 5% of my work, and it never involves Westlaw/Lexis.


Can you describe what you do then?

Honest question--I really don't know what corporate junior associates do... It was my impression that they try to find the legal implications of x, y, and z maneuvers for the client.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:48 pm

Juniors: Diligence, disclosure schedules, some drafting, running process.
Midlevel: Drafting, overseeing the junior doing the above, running process.
Senior: Drafting, overseeing the above, and negotiating.
Partner: Drafting, negotiating, or just plain negotiating.

This isn't precisely how it shakes out; juniors can do more and midlevels can do less, but that is more or less how it is.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:21 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:Juniors: Diligence, disclosure schedules, some drafting, running process.
Midlevel: Drafting, overseeing the junior doing the above, running process.
Senior: Drafting, overseeing the above, and negotiating.
Partner: Drafting, negotiating, or just plain negotiating.

This isn't precisely how it shakes out; juniors can do more and midlevels can do less, but that is more or less how it is.


There is "legal writing" in all of that. You aren't writing briefs, but you're still doing legal writing. And, frankly, I'd rather be doing the writing than diligence.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:05 pm

When I did litigation assignments over the summer, pretty much everything was in memo form.

When I did corporate assignments, even when it involved some level of legal research, they'd chuckle when I asked if they wanted it in memo form. They just wanted an email with my work. No bluebooking or anything like that. The idea of doing the kind of formal legal writing you do in LRW class in the corporate field was totally foreign to them.

TTRansfer wrote:There is "legal writing" in all of that. You aren't writing briefs, but you're still doing legal writing. And, frankly, I'd rather be doing the writing than diligence.

That's a false dichotomy. It's not between diligence and "legal writing." It's a choice between diligence + one kind of "legal writing" v. doc review + another form of "legal writing," one that resembles LRW structure a lot more. If that floats your boat, sure. He's just saying that there are career options where you won't be doing the kind of work that really resembles LRW assignments.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby TTRansfer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When I did litigation assignments over the summer, pretty much everything was in memo form.

When I did corporate assignments, even when it involved some level of legal research, they'd chuckle when I asked if they wanted it in memo form. They just wanted an email with my work. No bluebooking or anything like that. The idea of doing the kind of formal legal writing you do in LRW class in the corporate field was totally foreign to them.

TTRansfer wrote:There is "legal writing" in all of that. You aren't writing briefs, but you're still doing legal writing. And, frankly, I'd rather be doing the writing than diligence.

That's a false dichotomy. It's not between diligence and "legal writing." It's a choice between diligence + one kind of "legal writing" v. doc review + another form of "legal writing," one that resembles LRW structure a lot more. If that floats your boat, sure. He's just saying that there are career options where you won't be doing the kind of work that really resembles LRW assignments.


Oh, I understand that. There's less involved in that (especially as a junior associate since they aren't going to let you touch the actual written aspects), yet you're still going to be doing a ton of research. That changes as you progress. Shit, what I saw at my SA was that the litigation partners were not doing much research or writing. That was given to the associates (and in turn to the SAs). The partners may re-write the associates' work product. Almost seems like an inverse comparison to the corporate field where the partners don't want the junior associates doing anything other than research/diligence/etc.

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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:33 pm

TTRansfer wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:Juniors: Diligence, disclosure schedules, some drafting, running process.
Midlevel: Drafting, overseeing the junior doing the above, running process.
Senior: Drafting, overseeing the above, and negotiating.
Partner: Drafting, negotiating, or just plain negotiating.

This isn't precisely how it shakes out; juniors can do more and midlevels can do less, but that is more or less how it is.


There is "legal writing" in all of that. You aren't writing briefs, but you're still doing legal writing. And, frankly, I'd rather be doing the writing than diligence.


Drafting is not legal writing. But, please, continue to tell me how I do my job. :roll:




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