Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

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Anonymous User
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Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:25 am

This might sound like a dumb question, but can you join a firm as an appellate attorney right away?

Or are you expected to practice in other areas before the firm "promotes" you to appellate law?

rad lulz
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Re: Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:28 am

You're usually gonna want to clerk first

But hardly anyone practices just appellate law

It's just not that profitable and there aren't as many appeals as you'd think

And it's not unusual for trial counsel to also do the appeal

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:35 am

rad lulz wrote:You're usually gonna want to clerk first

But hardly anyone practices just appellate law

It's just not that profitable and there aren't as many appeals as you'd think

And it's not unusual for trial counsel to also do the appeal


Yeah, appeals are heavily reliant on the trial record, and trial counsel knows the record best. You're more likely to become a litigator, have a case of yours head to appeal, and you work on the briefs. Much of time spent on appeal is spent on review of the record - it's cheaper for trial counsel to go over it all with a fine tooth comb. Sure there are definitely appellate specialists, but you don't just start jamming on appeals - you learn how to conduct trials first.

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BVest
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Re: Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

Postby BVest » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:00 am

I know a couple people who have done it (with a clerkship, of course). There are a handful of smaller firms that are pure lit/appeals but are better known for their appeals. They were often brought in for the trial but were not primary representation until the appeals started. The cases for which they were brought in for trial were the cases that were going to appeal regardless of the outcome because of the money involved.

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cinephile
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Re: Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:24 am

I met a guy at a networking event who said he did just that. He didn't choose to do appellate law, he joined a firm in their lit department and he got assigned to one appeal, and handled it well, so he got another and another. And now that's all he does. But it was really just happenstance.

Anonymous User
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Re: Can one become an appellate attorney right after graduation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:24 am

I interviewed at a firm that primarily does this and said they hired out of law school for appellate attorneys. I do believe they wanted you to clerk first if possible.

I wasn't interested (beyond taking any and all interviews, obviously), so I didn't investigate that path much further. I have noticed a decent number of mid-sized and boutiques that primarily do this or specialize in it with some attorneys who just do this. I'm not sure if this is more of a regional thing (maybe it is just custom here in New England) or not.




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