Law practice Nothing Like Law School

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Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:44 pm

Hey All,


So after working in a few different legal offices/companies, I've finally noticed that law practice is never like anything we do in law school. Law school is intellectually stimulating, where public policy, elements, etc, all have arguments, and I find the discussions very satisfying.

In the real world, everywhere I've worked involves none of any of this. It's all paperwork, or doing things that don't even require a BA. All my assignments are simple things, like ''look over these contracts and see if the terms are different from our master contract. Redline changes". Nothing in my contract-focused summer job has done ANYTHING with breach of contract, mistake, duress, unconscionability, or any other interesting K theory.

I guess it kind of sucks realizing the two environments are drastically different, because I really enjoy law school learning. All I do is contract work at my job, and someone with a GED could do the exact same tasks. And it seems the attorneys in the office rarely do anything truly 'lawyerly' in nature either -- they mostly just explain contracts to people.

Anyone else feel this way?

(I know people will say 'you dont get real legal work b/c you arent a lawyer'. But, all the attys I've worked for very rarely ever did anything interesting or "lawyerly".)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BigZuck

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Law school is intellectually stimulating, where public policy, elements, etc, all have arguments, and I find the discussions very satisfying.

No, I don't feel this way at all

h2go

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby h2go » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:52 pm

How it took you more than 5 minutes to realize law school is nothing like actual practice is beyond me...

mushybrain

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby mushybrain » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:53 pm

And thank god for that.

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p1921

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby p1921 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:18 pm

What did you expect? Have you read anything on TLS to make you think this wouldn't be the case?

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:54 pm

Litigation is intellectually stimulating, depending on your role. Less so when you start out.

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Pleasye

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Pleasye » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:12 pm

Sounds like you want to be a litigator instead, OP.

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pancakes3

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:16 pm

Can't spend preftige job satisfaction

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zot1

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby zot1 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:40 pm

I enjoyed law school but found practice to be way more stimulating, exciting, and rewarding. I think the issue here is that "practice" means different things depending on what you're doing. So although you may feel this way, you might not if you were working somewhere else.

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby misterjames » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:30 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:Litigation is intellectually stimulating, depending on your role. Less so when you start out.


regulatory is the same way, and i felt the same way OP does when i did a transactional internship even though i went into law school thinking that's what i wanted to do. OP, look into lit and reg.

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:18 pm

OP here.

Thanks for the actually useful comments. I have always been interested in litigation, but did a transactional job this summer because I thought transactional would be more interesting and "business" focused. Maybe now in OCI I can apply for SAs and say I'm focused on lit? Since I tried trans and didn't like it? Or in OCI do students not brand themelves as lit/trans?

imalreadyamember?

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby imalreadyamember? » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks for the actually useful comments. I have always been interested in litigation, but did a transactional job this summer because I thought transactional would be more interesting and "business" focused. Maybe now in OCI I can apply for SAs and say I'm focused on lit? Since I tried trans and didn't like it? Or in OCI do students not brand themelves as lit/trans?


I showed up my first day of my SA with my casebooks and highlighters and got some weird looks. Why didn't anyone respond to my study group email?

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:16 am

imalreadyamember? wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks for the actually useful comments. I have always been interested in litigation, but did a transactional job this summer because I thought transactional would be more interesting and "business" focused. Maybe now in OCI I can apply for SAs and say I'm focused on lit? Since I tried trans and didn't like it? Or in OCI do students not brand themelves as lit/trans?


I showed up my first day of my SA with my casebooks and highlighters and got some weird looks. Why didn't anyone respond to my study group email?


nt @ being comical. gg

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:41 pm

I wish partners had defined office hours.

delusional

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby delusional » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks for the actually useful comments. I have always been interested in litigation, but did a transactional job this summer because I thought transactional would be more interesting and "business" focused. Maybe now in OCI I can apply for SAs and say I'm focused on lit? Since I tried trans and didn't like it? Or in OCI do students not brand themelves as lit/trans?
There are probably conflicting points of view on this, and there are certainly different practice areas. But my experience has been that it is a matter of perspective. If you don't see how the law relates to the work you are doing, you might be doing it wrong.

run26.2

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby run26.2 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks for the actually useful comments. I have always been interested in litigation, but did a transactional job this summer because I thought transactional would be more interesting and "business" focused. Maybe now in OCI I can apply for SAs and say I'm focused on lit? Since I tried trans and didn't like it? Or in OCI do students not brand themelves as lit/trans?

Litigation work is not going to escape the criticisms you raise. Lots of litigation, especially at junior levels, also involves non-"lawyerly" work (as you put it). Many junior associates spend time on mindless (and endless) doc review. Even when you're more senior, much of your work doesn't involve creative thinking or policy debates. Lots of it is legal research, factual research, and summarizing these 2 facets for others. If you really want to engage in the free thinking aspects you are talking about, you should try to be a law professor. Of course, that's a pretty tall order.

HonestAdvice

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby HonestAdvice » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:32 pm

The less prestigious and less high paying private practice jobs are more like law school. Even if you're taking a case involving a business rather than a person, the client from Hadley vs. Baxendale or whatever it's called isn't going to be able to afford big law fees.

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Abbie Doobie » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:37 pm

mushybrain wrote:And thank god for that.

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pancakes3

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:41 pm

isn't the entire purpose of hiring a transactional attorney to avoid breach and ambiguity?

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:11 pm

pancakes3 wrote:isn't the entire purpose of hiring a transactional attorney to avoid breach and ambiguity?


of course it is. But that's why I think it's so boring, nothing ever happens. Everything is so pre-laid out and all liability is controlled, so there is never anything interesting that happens...Never any debates ahout substantial performance v. material breach, accord and satisifaction, or anything. it's just "are the terms in the new K they sent us different from last years? Do a word-compare on Word and let me know".

It seems like Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, from first year of law school is useful. I never have needed to know anything about torts, criminal law, property, (maybe a bit of civ pro), or contracts. Contracts as a class is interesting and stimulating, with all the different theories and ways to get out of contracts (infancy for example).

Maybe what I'm looking for is less 'biglaw' transactional work and more small/mid-sized. In a smaller firm, I'd imagine they get more contract disputes that use things you actually learn in law school, like material breach or mistake or duress or something.

Comments?

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Desert Fox

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:isn't the entire purpose of hiring a transactional attorney to avoid breach and ambiguity?


of course it is. But that's why I think it's so boring, nothing ever happens. Everything is so pre-laid out and all liability is controlled, so there is never anything interesting that happens...Never any debates ahout substantial performance v. material breach, accord and satisifaction, or anything. it's just "are the terms in the new K they sent us different from last years? Do a word-compare on Word and let me know".

It seems like Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, from first year of law school is useful. I never have needed to know anything about torts, criminal law, property, (maybe a bit of civ pro), or contracts. Contracts as a class is interesting and stimulating, with all the different theories and ways to get out of contracts (infancy for example).

Maybe what I'm looking for is less 'biglaw' transactional work and more small/mid-sized. In a smaller firm, I'd imagine they get more contract disputes that use things you actually learn in law school, like material breach or mistake or duress or something.

Comments?


You are looking for litigation not transactional. Contracts, the class, is about litigation.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

clshopeful

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby clshopeful » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:26 pm

I guess that's true. K class is largely a litigation-focused class. Never really realized that I guess.

For people doing upcoming OCI, is it appropriate to label myself as lit v. tran? Don't want to limit my callbacks by saying I only want lit

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:51 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:isn't the entire purpose of hiring a transactional attorney to avoid breach and ambiguity?


of course it is. But that's why I think it's so boring, nothing ever happens. Everything is so pre-laid out and all liability is controlled, so there is never anything interesting that happens...Never any debates ahout substantial performance v. material breach, accord and satisifaction, or anything. it's just "are the terms in the new K they sent us different from last years? Do a word-compare on Word and let me know".

It seems like Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, from first year of law school is useful. I never have needed to know anything about torts, criminal law, property, (maybe a bit of civ pro), or contracts. Contracts as a class is interesting and stimulating, with all the different theories and ways to get out of contracts (infancy for example).

Maybe what I'm looking for is less 'biglaw' transactional work and more small/mid-sized. In a smaller firm, I'd imagine they get more contract disputes that use things you actually learn in law school, like material breach or mistake or duress or something.

Comments?


You are looking for litigation not transactional. Contracts, the class, is about litigation.


True, I've litigated several classic contract issues. They can be pretty fun and challenging depending whether you get to have some input on strategy and arguments.

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby unlicensedpotato » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:52 pm

Yeah transactional classes are like Sec Reg and anything titled ___ Drafting. Contracts is about disputes over the performance of contracts.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Law practice Nothing Like Law School

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:59 pm

clshopeful wrote:I guess that's true. K class is largely a litigation-focused class. Never really realized that I guess.

For people doing upcoming OCI, is it appropriate to label myself as lit v. tran? Don't want to limit my callbacks by saying I only want lit


I just would say that you are leaning litigation, but you are definitely interested in trying some transactional work in the summer. Most people will understand that you will and probably should have no idea what you want to do at this point.



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