Choosing a Biglaw Practice Area

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Choosing a Biglaw Practice Area

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:49 pm

I'm a 3L trying to decide which practice group I want to join. Headed to a big NY firm.

THINGS I WANT
-Something that involves problem solving and being meticulous with statutes/caselaw (For this reason, Tax is my #1 choice, but I'm trying to figure out others that are similar in "feel")
-Interesting work (Basically see above. Don't want to slog through contracts/doc review/etc)
-Geographic Flexibility (Not sure I want to be in NY forever so want to have experience that is marketable in other markets)

THINGS I'M WILLING TO SACRIFICE
-OK with unpredictable hours. I don't have a family or anything, and I've accepted that the next 4 or 5 years will be crazy
-Sexy work (Don't need to be on headline making deals)
-Not super particular about exit options. I want to be able to leave the firm, but not too concerned about going to BIGGOV or in house or whatever. Going to a smaller firm would be fine with me

Also, feel free to turn this into a discussion about practice groups generally. There aren't enough threads about different practice groups. Curious to hear everyone's experiences. I figure if we're going to be spending every waking hour doing this stuff, it's important to find something we like (or at least tolerate)

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Choosing a Biglaw Practice Area

Postby rad lulz » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:04 pm

Well what does your firm do

What are the strengths of the office you're in

What groups are presently looking for help and what groups are on the bubble

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Choosing a Biglaw Practice Area

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:23 pm

The firm does everything. It's a V10 and NY is it's HQ. I would say it's more known for corporate/transactional. Not sure which groups are doing well because they try to make it sound like every group is amazing.

Based on what I know now, I've been thinking exec comp/ERISA would be good b/c it's statute based and very detailed like the tax code. Also thought about bankruptcy?

Again, tax is my first choice but I need a backup option in case I can't get into it.

Also anyone feel free to chime in w/ your experiences with different practice groups

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Choosing a Biglaw Practice Area

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:15 am

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

gulcregret
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:08 pm

Re: Choosing a Biglaw Practice Area

Postby gulcregret » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:07 pm

Tax transactional work is primarily based in NY according to my friends in tax groups at similar firms, so unless you want to do tax regulatory or policy work, you may be limited to NY.

I think you will be analyzing more contracts than you think in the ERISA/exec comp group, but I don't know for sure what the precise work will entail. Junior attorneys just seem to do a lot of that work. That said, I think Tax can become more interesting a little later on than say corp or M&A work or capital markets.

Does your firm have a derivatives shop or an asset backed securities practice? That stuff is pretty fascinating and growing right now with all sorts of new rules. It presents a chance to be an expert at an early stage in your career because it's so new.

I always thought general corporate work in a firm sounded like the best because you can just bill and take your time learning how to be a transactional lawyer. You get exposure to a wide range of areas and become a good manager (make good contacts also).




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