Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, tell it to us straight...starting in Plaintiffs' work as a Plan B to striking out at OCI is a low-success endeavor.


Its tough to find a firm that is willing to train you and understand that a first year attorney isn't necessarily as skilled.

But to be fair, I struck out at OCI and started at a Plaintiffs firm.


What did you do your 2L year?

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:Years ago, the common wisdom was that a year or two spent in a DA's office or with the Public Defender would give the potential plaintiff's lawyer an advantage. Is that still the case?


Interested in this too.


Absolutely because Courtroom and especially trial experience is so rare. We have at least one former prosecutor working for us currently. While substantively, crim lit is not related to civil lit, the trial experience is fantastic preparation for Plaintiffs work.

That being said, at least at my firm, biglaw to Plaintiffs side is the most common path (most the attorneys were former big law). I've also seen a lot of Insurance Defense to Plaintiffs side.


So, tell it to us straight...starting in Plaintiffs' work as a Plan B to striking out at OCI is a low-success endeavor.



Not OP: I struck out at OCI and got a FT offer from a small plaintiff's firm paying a guaranteed six figures and possibly more depending on the firm's success. It's obviously anecdotal evidence, but I don't think it's any less likely to be a successful endeavor than other non Biglaw options.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:56 pm

I'm a 2L with offers from a lit boutique and one of the big p-side firms that has a summer program. I've already committed half of my summer to a typical mid-law firm. I'm curious if OP and others might be able to give me some input on which firm I should give my other half to. I'm particularly interested in what the junior assoc. work level would look like at each of these firm, if anyone can compare. I'm also curious if stability of the firm should factor into my decision. Pay is comparable at each.

The big p-side offers between 0-40% of their summers. It's not in my target market, but close enough.

The boutique does defense work to pay the rent and plaintiff's work as icing on the cake. They expect to bring me on permanently so long as my work is up to par over the summer. They've done cases that made national headlines and they're in the 2-10 range as far as size. Firm is in my target market.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L with offers from a lit boutique and one of the big p-side firms that has a summer program. I've already committed half of my summer to a typical mid-law firm. I'm curious if OP and others might be able to give me some input on which firm I should give my other half to. I'm particularly interested in what the junior assoc. work level would look like at each of these firm, if anyone can compare. I'm also curious if stability of the firm should factor into my decision. Pay is comparable at each.

The big p-side offers between 0-40% of their summers. It's not in my target market, but close enough.

The boutique does defense work to pay the rent and plaintiff's work as icing on the cake. They expect to bring me on permanently so long as my work is up to par over the summer. They've done cases that made national headlines and they're in the 2-10 range as far as size. Firm is in my target market.


ITE, I'd go with the boutique for the decreased risk of graduating unemployed.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L with offers from a lit boutique and one of the big p-side firms that has a summer program. I've already committed half of my summer to a typical mid-law firm. I'm curious if OP and others might be able to give me some input on which firm I should give my other half to. I'm particularly interested in what the junior assoc. work level would look like at each of these firm, if anyone can compare. I'm also curious if stability of the firm should factor into my decision. Pay is comparable at each.

The big p-side offers between 0-40% of their summers. It's not in my target market, but close enough.

The boutique does defense work to pay the rent and plaintiff's work as icing on the cake. They expect to bring me on permanently so long as my work is up to par over the summer. They've done cases that made national headlines and they're in the 2-10 range as far as size. Firm is in my target market.


If the boutique isn't insurance defense (sounds like its not), Id probably go with that. truthfully that sounds like a better opportunity to train and learn then the P-side firm. Also the high impact cases are much more fun then the bottom of the barrel stuff. I know I enjoy drafting a response for a high impact unique case then I do for a run of the mill PI case.

If you really want to get into a mass tort firm, its a lot easier 3 or 4 years down the line with much more experience.

On the other hand, if its insurance defense I'd stay far away. I deal with Ins. Defense probably 60% of the time on my cases, and there is a noticeable difference between the quality of their work and the quality of their happiness/lives.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If the boutique isn't insurance defense (sounds like its not), Id probably go with that. truthfully that sounds like a better opportunity to train and learn then the P-side firm. Also the high impact cases are much more fun then the bottom of the barrel stuff. I know I enjoy drafting a response for a high impact unique case then I do for a run of the mill PI case.

If you really want to get into a mass tort firm, its a lot easier 3 or 4 years down the line with much more experience.

On the other hand, if its insurance defense I'd stay far away. I deal with Ins. Defense probably 60% of the time on my cases, and there is a noticeable difference between the quality of their work and the quality of their happiness/lives.


The boutique doesn't do insurance defense, only really interesting work from institutional clients on the defense side from what I can tell. Also, they have been involved in mass tort MDL with success, but in a really small way in comparison to the other. The big p-side firm is one of the most pre-dominant in MDL mass torts in the country, and they do securities litiigation, qui tam, etc. which is a really high interest of mine. It may be naive overconfidence, but I really think I'll wind up with an offer at the big firm. I've established a really good relationship with the hiring chair. Also, the mid-law firm I've committed to has a 100% offer rate, so I'm not really concerned about being jobless if either of the lit-only firms don't work out.

Assuming both firms had a 100% offer rate, what would be the correct decision? Or I guess, what would the difference in experience be? Is big p-side analogous to biglaw in that I wouldn't really see any responsibility for a really long time and partner would be virtually impossible? I know for a fact I'd be thrown in the fire from day one at the boutique and they're looking to make a partner & real trial lawyer out of their associates.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If the boutique isn't insurance defense (sounds like its not), Id probably go with that. truthfully that sounds like a better opportunity to train and learn then the P-side firm. Also the high impact cases are much more fun then the bottom of the barrel stuff. I know I enjoy drafting a response for a high impact unique case then I do for a run of the mill PI case.

If you really want to get into a mass tort firm, its a lot easier 3 or 4 years down the line with much more experience.

On the other hand, if its insurance defense I'd stay far away. I deal with Ins. Defense probably 60% of the time on my cases, and there is a noticeable difference between the quality of their work and the quality of their happiness/lives.


The boutique doesn't do insurance defense, only really interesting work from institutional clients on the defense side from what I can tell. Also, they have been involved in mass tort MDL with success, but in a really small way in comparison to the other. The big p-side firm is one of the most pre-dominant in MDL mass torts in the country, and they do securities litiigation, qui tam, etc. which is a really high interest of mine. It may be naive overconfidence, but I really think I'll wind up with an offer at the big firm. I've established a really good relationship with the hiring chair. Also, the mid-law firm I've committed to has a 100% offer rate, so I'm not really concerned about being jobless if either of the lit-only firms don't work out.

Assuming both firms had a 100% offer rate, what would be the correct decision? Or I guess, what would the difference in experience be? Is big p-side analogous to biglaw in that I wouldn't really see any responsibility for a really long time and partner would be virtually impossible? I know for a fact I'd be thrown in the fire from day one at the boutique and they're looking to make a partner & real trial lawyer out of their associates.


MDL work for young attorneys is pretty boring stuff. Lots of filing complaints, making calls, etc. The MDL/ Mass torts I'm involved in are more time consuming then substantive. The bellweather cases are more interesting obviously, especially if it goes to trial.

That being said, Plaintiffs firms still generally give more substantive early experience.

My personal preference would be the smaller firm (thats more similar to my experience). getting that early chance to develop and early experience is a very rare opportunity.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:MDL work for young attorneys is pretty boring stuff. Lots of filing complaints, making calls, etc. The MDL/ Mass torts I'm involved in are more time consuming then substantive. The bellweather cases are more interesting obviously, especially if it goes to trial.

That being said, Plaintiffs firms still generally give more substantive early experience.

My personal preference would be the smaller firm (thats more similar to my experience). getting that early chance to develop and early experience is a very rare opportunity.
Thank you for all of the insight. It's been incredibly helpful in getting me to see the value in the higher quality of work and training at the boutique. The brand name/prestige of the big firm is just so hard to see past.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:23 am

You say: "The boutique doesn't do insurance defense, only really interesting work from institutional clients on the defense side from what I can tell."

Lots of questions here. How can a firm be doing institutional defense work without doing insurance defense work? Virtually all institutional defense work IS insurance defense. Even corporations that use large self-insured retentions, like FedEx, operate exactly like insurance defense set ups. They even hire from the same pool of insurance claim adjusters to handle claims.

You also say this is "interesting" defense work. Not sure what that means, but after several years of being a (now former) insurance defense associate maybe I'm jaded. Products liability? Car accidents?

You say this about the other firm: "The big p-side firm is one of the most pre-dominant in MDL mass torts in the country, and they do securities litiigation, qui tam, etc."

Ten years from now when you get nudged out of BIGLAW because you are among the 95% of senior associates without a massive book of business, what are you going to do? Open up a solo shop doing securities and qui tam litigation? You could but that won't last long. On the other hand, you could spend your ten years becoming a skilled, gritty civil litigator whose skills can translate to any number of areas of law, in which case maybe the USAO or a state attorney general would want to bring you aboard. And for that, you might be better off going for whichever of these 2 firms offer you earlier and more hands-on experience, and avoiding the one that will stick you in a back room for 5 years writing memos.

Insurance defense sucks in its own ways so I get that. But as a young insurance defense associate, I knocked out about 200 depositions in my first 3 years of practice, feel perfectly at home in our state's appellate courts, and the list goes on. A buddy of mine who went to Yale the same time I went to my T50 law school, in the meantime, didn't see the inside of a courtroom until his 4th year of practice. (And I still don't really count that. It was a mundane status conference where all he did was announce his name and sit down. But he was excited about it!)

Years later, when it came time for me to give up the insurance defense world, I applied for a government dream job. I remember one of the panel interviewers asking me if I was the kind of lawyer who he could just hand a case to and then not have to worry about micro-managing or supervising because I automatically knew what the hell I was doing. It took me all I had to not answer with, "Dude, seriously?" I got the job.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ten years from now when you get nudged out of BIGLAW because you are among the 95% of senior associates without a massive book of business, what are you going to do? Open up a solo shop doing securities and qui tam litigation? You could but that won't last long. On the other hand, you could spend your ten years becoming a skilled, gritty civil litigator whose skills can translate to any number of areas of law, in which case maybe the USAO or a state attorney general would want to bring you aboard. And for that, you might be better off going for whichever of these 2 firms offer you earlier and more hands-on experience, and avoiding the one that will stick you in a back room for 5 years writing memos.


Thanks for the input. I've decided to go with the small firm largely due to quoted logic. The defense work they do runs the gamut. I'd rather not list the areas, for fear of outing myself.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby 20160810 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:27 am

If you're in CA can you tell your bros to stop wasting everyone's tiime with bogus 17200 claims? Thanks.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby FSCU25 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You say: "The boutique doesn't do insurance defense, only really interesting work from institutional clients on the defense side from what I can tell."

Lots of questions here. How can a firm be doing institutional defense work without doing insurance defense work? Virtually all institutional defense work IS insurance defense. Even corporations that use large self-insured retentions, like FedEx, operate exactly like insurance defense set ups. They even hire from the same pool of insurance claim adjusters to handle claims.

You also say this is "interesting" defense work. Not sure what that means, but after several years of being a (now former) insurance defense associate maybe I'm jaded. Products liability? Car accidents?

You say this about the other firm: "The big p-side firm is one of the most pre-dominant in MDL mass torts in the country, and they do securities litiigation, qui tam, etc."

Ten years from now when you get nudged out of BIGLAW because you are among the 95% of senior associates without a massive book of business, what are you going to do? Open up a solo shop doing securities and qui tam litigation? You could but that won't last long. On the other hand, you could spend your ten years becoming a skilled, gritty civil litigator whose skills can translate to any number of areas of law, in which case maybe the USAO or a state attorney general would want to bring you aboard. And for that, you might be better off going for whichever of these 2 firms offer you earlier and more hands-on experience, and avoiding the one that will stick you in a back room for 5 years writing memos.

Insurance defense sucks in its own ways so I get that. But as a young insurance defense associate, I knocked out about 200 depositions in my first 3 years of practice, feel perfectly at home in our state's appellate courts, and the list goes on. A buddy of mine who went to Yale the same time I went to my T50 law school, in the meantime, didn't see the inside of a courtroom until his 4th year of practice. (And I still don't really count that. It was a mundane status conference where all he did was announce his name and sit down. But he was excited about it!)

Years later, when it came time for me to give up the insurance defense world, I applied for a government dream job. I remember one of the panel interviewers asking me if I was the kind of lawyer who he could just hand a case to and then not have to worry about micro-managing or supervising because I automatically knew what the hell I was doing. It took me all I had to not answer with, "Dude, seriously?" I got the job.


I have a couple questions regarding ID work, would you be willing to PM me?

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:46 pm

I'm curious if there's a role in plaintiff's firms for someone who is not a great trial attorney. Are there attorneys who almost exclusively do writing/research? Or does everyone do both?

The reason that I ask is that seems like to succeed as a plaintiff's attorney in the courtroom a major thing is that you are extremely charismatic/likeable and people with these characteristic are less than 1% of attorneys. I think I might like plaintiff's work in the future, but I'm not John Edwards so it wouldn't make sense for me to be the lead attorney arguing a case in court.

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby anon333 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:21 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm curious if there's a role in plaintiff's firms for someone who is not a great trial attorney. Are there attorneys who almost exclusively do writing/research? Or does everyone do both?

The reason that I ask is that seems like to succeed as a plaintiff's attorney in the courtroom a major thing is that you are extremely charismatic/likeable and people with these characteristic are less than 1% of attorneys. I think I might like plaintiff's work in the future, but I'm not John Edwards so it wouldn't make sense for me to be the lead attorney arguing a case in court.


Class action, especially securities class action. You'll probably never go to trial. Antitrust class action seems to go to trial just a tiny bit more. But either way, it's mostly paper. Note that class action =/= mass tort.

OP, does that seem right?

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Re: Plaintiffs Lawyer taking questions

Postby anon168 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:16 pm

anon333 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm curious if there's a role in plaintiff's firms for someone who is not a great trial attorney. Are there attorneys who almost exclusively do writing/research? Or does everyone do both?

The reason that I ask is that seems like to succeed as a plaintiff's attorney in the courtroom a major thing is that you are extremely charismatic/likeable and people with these characteristic are less than 1% of attorneys. I think I might like plaintiff's work in the future, but I'm not John Edwards so it wouldn't make sense for me to be the lead attorney arguing a case in court.


Class action, especially securities class action. You'll probably never go to trial. Antitrust class action seems to go to trial just a tiny bit more. But either way, it's mostly paper. Note that class action =/= mass tort.

OP, does that seem right?


If you can research and write, then there's always a job for you. You just have to be able to do both well, and efficiently.

99% of the lawyers at firms -- both defense and plaintiff side -- are not great trial attorneys. In fact, most are not even trial attorneys of any kind.




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