Why do firms value government experience?

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misterjames

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Why do firms value government experience?

Postby misterjames » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:56 pm

It seems that a lot of government attorneys are able to make the jump to the private sector, but they probably aren't coming with a book of business. Do firms value them simply for their connections to the public sector? Is the "government perspective" considered to be worth the investment?

sparty99

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby sparty99 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:10 am

I wouldn't necessairly use the term "a lot." However, government lawyers get solid litigation experience or the work is very specific in a certain area. If you work at the SEC or EEOC, NLRB, then that translates well into corporate securities litigation or labor and employment law. Private firms often deal with these areas, so having a government insider is good to have.

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:02 am

It's not all federal government attorneys that are highly valued, and it depends primarily on the agency. Some agencies, like the FTC or SEC are basically a complete revolving door between government and elite firms, while other are very difficult to lateral from. It comes down to the value those lawyers offer the clients in terms of their knowledge of government procedures and thinking as well as the prestige of having insiders. For instance, an antitrust department will be consistently dealing with the FTC on numerous transactions. Having partners that were former FTC managers is a huge plus since they know how the agency thinks and have personal contacts at the agency. Similarly, lower level FTC attorneys can offer that to a lesser degree if they are brought on as mid-level associates. The same applies to other regulatory agencies. Some are also very niche fields with high legal and technical skills, like FERC, so those lawyers are very highly sought after. But a typically attorney in a federal government General Counsel's office that deals with agency employment issues or ethics is generally going to have a harder time. It goes the other way around too, since at those agencies attorneys from the prominent firms in the field are highly sought after as well. Hence the revolving door metaphor.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mal Reynolds

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:04 am

misterjames wrote:It seems that a lot of government attorneys are able to make the jump to the private sector, but they probably aren't coming with a book of business. Do firms value them simply for their connections to the public sector? Is the "government perspective" considered to be worth the investment?


Obama appointed a partner at Debevoise to be the SEC chair. This should answer your question.

mw115

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby mw115 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:05 am

Clients like people who worked in government for a couple of reasons, much of it coming from the perception that a government attorney will know how to work the system having been in the system.

Also, govt. Attorneys usually have substantive experience with federal cases, which makes them about as experienced as a junior partner at a major firm.

jarofsoup

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby jarofsoup » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:08 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:
misterjames wrote:It seems that a lot of government attorneys are able to make the jump to the private sector, but they probably aren't coming with a book of business. Do firms value them simply for their connections to the public sector? Is the "government perspective" considered to be worth the investment?


Obama appointed a partner at Debevoise to be the SEC chair. This should answer your question.


That came from the USAO before she was at Debevoise. Basically, they are usually trained and have expertise.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:49 am

A lot of these people all know each other, which can be an intangible benefit. Not saying the DOJ attorney is going to toss out a case because the defense attorney used to sit down the hall and chat about the Bears, but it really can't hurt to have built up that kind of ingrained trust.

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Yukos

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Re: Why do firms value government experience?

Postby Yukos » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:24 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:A lot of these people all know each other, which can be an intangible benefit. Not saying the DOJ attorney is going to toss out a case because the defense attorney used to sit down the hall and chat about the Bears, but it really can't hurt to have built up that kind of ingrained trust.


Surprised no one mentioned this sooner. Any time there's negotiation (white-collar defense, maybe some notice-and-comment proceedings) the personal connections are invaluable.

As you can see from this thread, there are tons of reasons gov employees are so in demand. And with how competitive honors programs are these days, most of them probably would've been more than qualified to join the firm out of OCI anyway.



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