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

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

Postby quakeroats » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:33 pm

One thing to understand is that legal writing professors are the contract attorneys of the legal academy. Some schools don't even bother hiring actually faculty to teach LARW and give the work to 2Ls/3Ls. LARW professors aren't tenure-track, don't have any real opportunities for advancement, and are very often litigators who didn't make it in practice and couldn't find something better. The pay is lousy and the tenured faculty has exactly zero respect for the work LARW profs do. The LARW profs know this--and occasionally write articles like this one pleading for "decency" (http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/facpub/339/)--and their work product shows it. All this is to say, I wouldn't put any stock in what your LARW prof has to say. No one else does.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:43 pm

TTRansfer wrote:
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.

You keep doing this. I am the non-OP anon from earlier. The corporate friends I referenced earlier said they chose corporate precisely because they didn't wanna do LRW (which means writing memos based on Westlaw/Lexis research). They may have been doing "a ton of research" for whatever it is corporate folks do, but it is was NOT similar to law school LRW, like litigation work is. Please quit trying to conflate any kind of research or writing done in law with the very specific type of research and writing that makes up LRW classes and/or litigation work.

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

Also this.

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

Postby quakeroats » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:55 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
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:


In many ways, contract drafting is the antithesis of legal writing. It's so different that I've heard corporate partners describe teaching drafting as an attempt to undo the damage inflicted by legal writing. For a good introduction check out this book (which is also available for free on Bloomberg law): http://www.amazon.com/Working-With-Cont ... 402410603/

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

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:59 pm

And "diligence" is not "legal research." I don't research law. I research the company's disclosures to look for red flags. I'm pretty sure no LRW class goes into that.

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Jsa725
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Re: Hate LRW...don't go into litigation?

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:21 pm

.
Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:26 pm

OP is asking about legal writing and litigation, not transactional, right?

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

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:31 pm

Jsa725 wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:And "diligence" is not "legal research." I don't research law. I research the company's disclosures to look for red flags. I'm pretty sure no LRW class goes into that.

Can you elaborate? What type of red flags... is there any experience prior to working that helps (finance background). Is it learned durning an SA or was it easily learnable when you started full-time?


1) Basic corporate building blocks
2) Any issues in the org documents (i.e., tag rights, drag rights)
3) Change of control clauses or anti-assignment clauses in contracts
4) Vendor/Supplier relationships, including whether there are contractual relationships and the nature of those contracts
5) Existing debt
6) Anything in any document the corporation is bound to that would be triggered if the company was purchase.

That's just a preview.

Finance background helps for spotting financial red flags, but usually client is a sophisticated buyer and has already performed the financial diligence or had an investment bank do that.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:33 pm

UnfrozenCaveman wrote:OP is asking about legal writing and litigation, not transactional, right?


OP here, sorry I was vague but I am essentially asking about both (want to know whether or not real litigation would be the same grind as LRW and also whether transactional research and writing was very different)

Thanks for all the responses, esp. the recent ones about the actual distinctions b/w transactional writing and litigation (I assumed there was a difference...good to know that there is)

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:36 pm

TTRansfer wrote: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.

At my SA with a litigation firm, one of the associates distinguished the 2 named partners for me: "Partner A knows how to write, he just doesn't. Partner B...he doesn't know how to write." (Firm did mostly complex civil lit, but Partner B started as a public defender.) :lol:

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:11 pm

Non OP anon again. From a corporate associate from one of the biglaw threads

Since I'm in a transactional practice I do very little legal research, and I do literally no legal writing.
. . .
Research: Like I said, not much of this, but it does come up. It can be formal (client needs a memo) or informal (side point related to the deal that needs to be pinned down).


To OP, your instincts are right, if you truly can't stand researching stuff in Lexis/Westlaw and writing about it, avoid litigation (and clerking). But at the very least, you should try summering at a place where you get a variety of experience before closing doors to yourself.

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

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:53 pm

I think LRW just made my writing worse. I was convinced I was a terrible writer after it because my assignments got less than stellar grades. Since then I've published and won a couple writing awards, and gotten rave reviews from supervisors on writing.

I also haven't used the memo format for pretty much anything since 1L year. The briefs I've written are so remarkably different than the WOA brief that I'm not even sure I would call it the same thing.




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