plaintiffs' work

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Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:50 pm

plaintiffs' work

Postby timmyd » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:44 pm

Most of the employment posts here are dedicated to defense work or public interest. Genuinely curious about the plaintiff side. Are there large plaintiff firms with SA programs and/or that take judicial clerks? Are these positions as competitive as big law? I ask because, while the average salary of a big law or lit boutique lawyer on the defense side is probably higher, it seems that the richest lawyers are plaintiffs attorneys. I could be wrong on that, its just my impression. Obviously, its kind of a sink or swim proposition but nonetheless intriguing.

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Holly Golightly

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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:30 am

Re: plaintiffs' work

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:18 pm

There aren't really big plaintiff's firms in the same way that big defense firms exist (unless you count like Quinn). There are some bigger plaintiff's firms and a few who have summer programs, but generally they don't know how many offers they'll be able to give out because they're smaller and it's harder to predict need. There are some plaintiff's firms that hire straight out of law school, and of course a few jobs will come up every year, but there aren't a lot and you generally have to hustle to get them.

In my experience, the hiring criteria is also different than it is for biglaw. Since most plaintiff's firms are smaller, a lot of them prefer associates with a couple of years experience. Clerking can also help. And I wouldn't say that prestige doesn't matter at all for them, because it can definitely help, but generally practical experience and a demonstrated interest in the work can go farther than prestige on its own.

(Disclaimer: Most of this is based on my knowledge about plaintiff's firms that practice nationwide and do class actions and mass torts. I really don't know much about personal injury-type firms.)

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