Employment at PI firms/plaintiffs' lawyer boutiques

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Employment at PI firms/plaintiffs' lawyer boutiques

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:31 pm

I'm diving into this subject carefully, since I'll go ahead and guess there's a fair amount of haughtiness on this board when it comes to personal injury firms. Still ... while I had absolutely no intention when I started law school of working for one, I ended up interviewing for a part-time clerk job at one this week.

My question, then, is if anyone here has experience working for a good PI firm, one well-known in the region, as opposed to a solo-practitioner ambulance-chaser sleazebag kind of place. Without naming names, I interviewed this week at a mid- to upper-tier firm -- in contrast with other PI firms, that is -- and was generally impressed with what I saw. They have some seriously swank offices, for starters, along with at least a half-dozen attorneys working there in addition to the founder for whom the firm is named (I have no clue whether they're associates or equity partners, however). I did some checking on the founder, and the dude is basically swimming in money (and I know he grew up poor, so it's not inherited or anything): he's not even 40 and has a $5 mil house in the 'burbs, plus he and his wife are on the board of trustees for some of the most upscale arts organizations in the city (symphony, several art museums, etc. - and I know an annual "contribution" of around $100K is required to obtain a board seat with the local symphony). The work he described his clerks as doing sounds really intriguing in terms of developing a skill set that will actually be useful outside of law school: drafting motions and filings, taking depositions, extensive research into certain claims, etc.

So: what do you guys think? Advice from anyone who's taken a similar position while in law school would be particularly appreciated (I'm a 2L btw).

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Re: Employment at PI firms/plaintiffs' lawyer boutiques

Postby kings84_wr » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:01 am

Full disclaimer- I'm a 2nd year at a similar P-side firm. But high end PI is awesome. Personally I enjoy the work I do, whether its drafting MSJ responses, taking depositions, going to hearings, or other similar things.

Some of the Pros: no billing, bigger case load, client contact (plus about 75% of the time you actually really want to help your clients), more responsibility.

Cons: lots of discovery/form pleadings which is monotonous, you have to be able to do 100 things at once (this is an incredibly understated skill that took me a long time to really get a handle on), if you pick/recommend a bad case you make no money for your boss/yourself.

Personally I love PI. But after making my 100th Lipitor screening call this week, you start to realize its very formulaic.

Feel free to PM me for more specifics..

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Re: Employment at PI firms/plaintiffs' lawyer boutiques

Postby anon168 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm diving into this subject carefully, since I'll go ahead and guess there's a fair amount of haughtiness on this board when it comes to personal injury firms.

There is?

It's so hard to tell.

But seriously, if you like the people there and think you will enjoy the work, then by all means go for it. There's more to being a lawyer than working for a Vault 100 or NLJ 250 firm.

And assuming this isn't a slip/fall or med-mal firm, mass torts and mass defect cases are actually quite sophisticated and, more importantly, interesting to litigate from the left side of the "V".

Good luck.

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