Anyone do White Collar?

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didntretake
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Anyone do White Collar?

Postby didntretake » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:08 pm

I was looking for one of those "typical day" posts from that practice area, but didn't see one. If anyone has a link, or wants to share their experience, I would appreciate it.

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Actus Reus
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Actus Reus » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:13 pm

That's because its all doc review at all levels

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:38 am

Actus Reus wrote:That's because its all doc review at all levels


I've done some white collar and from my experience, it's pretty much all doc review and interview/deposition prep; at least on the defense side.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Actus Reus wrote:That's because its all doc review at all levels


I've done some white collar and from my experience, it's pretty much all doc review and interview/deposition prep; at least on the defense side.

This is accurate.

At the senior level it can be more interesting and there are actual legal, advocacy, and strategic considerations. But any investigation is going to be very fact-oriented, so the junior-through-midlevel work is generally very granular fact work.

This is different from actual post-indictment representation, but those cases are few and far between in the biglaw context; the typical "white collar" matter is a corporate internal investigation.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:17 am

While it *is* all doc review, it's more fun than priv review.

didntretake
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby didntretake » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While it *is* all doc review, it's more fun than priv review.


Can you explain this more? I'm just trying to get a sense of it. It is starting to sound less interesting than I had maybe hoped, but I'd still like to hear more about it. I can't tell what % of this is normal TLS biglaw cynicism.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:26 pm

didntretake wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:While it *is* all doc review, it's more fun than priv review.


Can you explain this more? I'm just trying to get a sense of it. It is starting to sound less interesting than I had maybe hoped, but I'd still like to hear more about it. I can't tell what % of this is normal TLS biglaw cynicism.

I really love it, personally, but someone who was staffed on a case with me got huffy and was like, "this isn't even legal work." I guess maybe not. It's combing through a huge production, in my case, based on the search queries I came up with, to prove or disprove elements of the allegations.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:30 pm

I'm a junior who does a lot of white collar investigations work. (Responded up thread as well.) It's true that calling it "doc review" does it a disservice. It's just very factual. So a lot of the work consists of things like, "the government will want to prove that we paid this amount to this person, find out how we can show the money actually went elsewhere." That involves combing through documents, bringing accountants in sometimes, etc. Its not the same as typical "doc review" in the sense of, check a box if this is relevant to a request.

didntretake
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby didntretake » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a junior who does a lot of white collar investigations work. (Responded up thread as well.) It's true that calling it "doc review" does it a disservice. It's just very factual. So a lot of the work consists of things like, "the government will want to prove that we paid this amount to this person, find out how we can show the money actually went elsewhere." That involves combing through documents, bringing accountants in sometimes, etc. Its not the same as typical "doc review" in the sense of, check a box if this is relevant to a request.


Ok, thanks for this and the person above this post.

I started to get interested in it because I was originally drawn to crim prosecution in the investigations bureau of a DA office, but now that I am going biglaw I was wondering if I might find some overlap with white collar in terms of the investigations. Obviously the material is going to be very different but I was thinking the interest in investigatory work might carry over.

Anyone else have insight to share? I'd still love to see one of those "typical day" outlines if anyone can throw one together.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:11 pm

Not technically white collar, but I do a bunch of health care fraud and abuse work for providers facing government investigations and civil proceedings. I also do some provider licensure work (for individuals and for facilities).

What everyone is saying on here is spot on. You go in, interview a bunch of people, review tons of documents, then write a memo summarizing what you found. You write letters back and forth with the government explaining the results of the investigation and your position. If the government files an administrative complaint, you turn your memo into a responsive pleading. There's some legal argument, but it's mostly arguing facts.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:00 pm

I mean, here's a not-atypical day:

Wake up
See you got an email from senior associate at 2 am saying we have an urgent issue to resolve because the government asked a question about something we haven't focused on
Search for, review, and summarize thousands of documents on that issue for the next 10 hours
Write up an outline based on those documents that partner can use in phone call with government

Partner has call next morning with government to show them how on top of all these issues we are.

If you like piecing together minutiae and making connections in developing a factual narrative then you may like it. And you develop some real advocacy skills by being totally forthcoming yet presenting facts in a manner that helps your client. But it's a practice area with many downsides, primarily the amount of granular fact work and the prevalence of fire drills.

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Sirius Blackstone
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Sirius Blackstone » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:03 pm

didntretake wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:While it *is* all doc review, it's more fun than priv review.


Can you explain this more? I'm just trying to get a sense of it. It is starting to sound less interesting than I had maybe hoped, but I'd still like to hear more about it. I can't tell what % of this is normal TLS biglaw cynicism.


To add to this, my experience with some white collar doc review last year at a firm was looking through large amounts of documents looking for facts to support a particular legal argument the partner wanted to make. It involved a lot of reading emails and internal memos, and I found it pretty interesting.

didntretake
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby didntretake » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I mean, here's a not-atypical day:

Wake up
See you got an email from senior associate at 2 am saying we have an urgent issue to resolve because the government asked a question about something we haven't focused on
Search for, review, and summarize thousands of documents on that issue for the next 10 hours
Write up an outline based on those documents that partner can use in phone call with government

Partner has call next morning with government to show them how on top of all these issues we are.

If you like piecing together minutiae and making connections in developing a factual narrative then you may like it. And you develop some real advocacy skills by being totally forthcoming yet presenting facts in a manner that helps your client. But it's a practice area with many downsides, primarily the amount of granular fact work and the prevalence of fire drills.


This is great, thanks. I didn't think it would be an area especially prone to fire drills.

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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:17 pm

didntretake wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I mean, here's a not-atypical day:

Wake up
See you got an email from senior associate at 2 am saying we have an urgent issue to resolve because the government asked a question about something we haven't focused on
Search for, review, and summarize thousands of documents on that issue for the next 10 hours
Write up an outline based on those documents that partner can use in phone call with government

Partner has call next morning with government to show them how on top of all these issues we are.

If you like piecing together minutiae and making connections in developing a factual narrative then you may like it. And you develop some real advocacy skills by being totally forthcoming yet presenting facts in a manner that helps your client. But it's a practice area with many downsides, primarily the amount of granular fact work and the prevalence of fire drills.


This is great, thanks. I didn't think it would be an area especially prone to fire drills.

It depends on the type of case, where you're at in the process, and to some extent the personalities you're working with. But it's definitely more fire drill prone than traditional litigation practices. You don't often get stuff in lit where someone needs to know something RIGHT NOW. It happens all the time with white collar work.

For what it's worth, I thought I would really like white collar, and do find aspects of it interesting, but after a couple years of this I am gravitating more towards civil lit, which is less stressful and has more room for junior level tasks that aren't making charts of documents.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:34 pm

What are the exit options like for doing white collar?

I'm working for a V10 NY firm my 2L summer and would like to move back to my hometown in a strong secondary market after a couple of years. Is this a feasible possibility? Not sure if relevant, but: lower T14, around median, no journal.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone do White Collar?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:30 pm

Junior who responded upthread.

Don't know about exit opps, honestly. People go to government but there's not nearly enough of those jobs to go around. It seems like in house compliance would be feasible, but in two years I haven't seen anyone from my firm leave for anything other than government jobs or other firms. (We have one of the better regarded white collar groups for what it's worth.)

Basically I don't think it's any better than commercial lit.

Edit: also, I could be wrong but white collar work seems heavily oriented to DC and NY. You need to have a working relationship with regulators/gov enforcement lawyers. It doesn't strike me as a great practice area if you want to move to a secondary city. Again, could be wrong, maybe there's a demand and I just don't know about it.




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