Do I Practice Shitlaw?

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Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:15 pm

I do a lot of work for small to medium size local companies that are sued for negligence. Mostly jones act or longshore cases. These often involve catastrophic injuries. Plaintiffs generally seek multi millions of dollars. Cases normally settle for around 500k but we do go to trial on rare occasions.

The thing is these companies obviously have insurance. Think AIG or Travelers. While the insurance companies aren't my client, they pay the bill and generally call the shots for settlements. We also generally ask the adjuster for permission to file dispositive motions and we need approval for noticing a witness for deposition or hiring an expert witness.

I hear a lot of talk on here about insurance defense being shitlaw. Am I practicing insurance defense? My firm has about 20 lawyers in a smaller low CoL city. I make $80k and work about 50 hours a week. Am I a shitlawyer?

lavarman84

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:21 pm

Sounds like you have a good job. Especially if you're a junior lawyer.

FSK

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby FSK » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:36 pm

Your job isn't flashy. But you're probably building useful skills. Do something with that.
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SFSpartan

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:44 pm

This does sound like insurance defense. It also sounds, as others have said, like you have a really good job for a junior attorney.

People call it "shitlaw" because it isn't prestigious, and the work is largely commodotized. But that doesn't mean you don't build marketable skills doing ID or other types of shitlaw. As FSK said, build useful/marketable skills, and use them to do other types of lit if that's what you want. There's also nothing wrong with doing ID if you enjoy it.

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MGH1989

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby MGH1989 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:02 pm

Honestly you have a good thing going dude. 80k, low COL, and reasonable work hours sound better than slaving away at a V10 working 75 hours a week making 150k in NYC. I mean yea the prestige is missing, but who gives a damn, you are still building a skill set and can turn that into something of value later on.

If you don't mind saying, how did you get into this gig?

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:59 pm

OP here. Thanks for the responses folks. I just wanted to get a sense of what the generally big law oriented people on here think about this kind of law.

I just kind of fell into it. I worked at a Plaintiffs firm throughout law school handling the other side of things. Mainly maritime related personal injury work. Jones act and longshore cases have a more relaxed negligence standard and can be quite lucrative. I worked there the entire time I was in school. Firm I'm at wanted someone with a bit more experience than normal law school graduate. I'm now a second year associate.

The work I listed is probably 60% of my practice. 10% is normal commercial litigation, normally contract disputes for local companies. Low damages on the line, less than $100k. Not insurance defense but again not flashy.

30% of the time I do work for Property and Indemnity clubs as a casualty correspondent. They are basically international insurance companies insuring only vessel interests. I live in a port town so basically whenever a ship comes in and has an issue I head out to the vessel and take care of the investigation or deal with the coast guard or other agency taking care of regulatory issues to get the ship back up and running. It could be an injury, cargo damage, stowaway, or environmental issue (generally smaller oil spills). If there is litigation that comes with it, we handle that afterwards. On those cases though I'm working directly for the p&i club as the owner's representative. They call all of the shots, moreso than the other insurers. Major con is that I'm on call most of the time because maritime emergencies rarely happen during working hours. We take turns on weekends, I'm on maybe twice a month. It's nice to get out of the office sometimes though. Im guessing this is insurance defense also?

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:13 pm

Honestly, what you do sounds very interesting.

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:53 pm

Thanks for posting more about what you do. I have enjoyed reading about it and the follow up comments.

I enjoyed it because I do something similar. I'm in-house for the insurnace company.

I don't think it is shit law. Personally, I find this area of law extremely interesting and engaging. I also think you are learning and gaining some extremely valuable skills. You could stay in this practice area your entire career or transition elsewhere, you aren't bound.

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Mr. Fancy

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Mr. Fancy » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for posting more about what you do. I have enjoyed reading about it and the follow up comments.

I enjoyed it because I do something similar. I'm in-house for the insurnace company.

I don't think it is shit law. Personally, I find this area of law extremely interesting and engaging. I also think you are learning and gaining some extremely valuable skills. You could stay in this practice area your entire career or transition elsewhere, you aren't bound.

Now what you do is shitlaw

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby FSK » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:33 am

Man if your job involves hanging out on boats even a little bit thats sweet.
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Londonbear

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Londonbear » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:53 pm

What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?

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hairbear7

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby hairbear7 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:00 pm

Londonbear wrote:What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?


Celebrity law

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jchiles

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby jchiles » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:10 pm

Londonbear wrote:What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?


Food law

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kellyfrost

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby kellyfrost » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:46 pm

Londonbear wrote:What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?


Whatever Drew Rosenhaus is doing.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:49 pm

Londonbear wrote:What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?


Being John Roberts.

Edit: sorry for unnecessary anon. Force of habit.

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deadpanic

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby deadpanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:18 am

It's all relative. It sounds like you are in a small(er) market in a medium-sized city. In small markets, most of the best firms do at least a little insurance defense, if not quite a bit. These markets just don't have the kind of work that you would get in non-shitlaw. Plus, you get to hang on piers and boats during work hours. Don't tell me next you get to have boat drinks during work hours as well.

I am surprised your hours are so low considering it's insurance defense. You have a great gig for your market IMO.

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BarbellDreams

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:48 am

Sounds like a pretty solid job actually. Assuming you actually like being an attorney it seems like you would develop a good deal of relevant skills with that, and the salary for 50 hour weeks is solid, despite what TLS kids who think its 160k or bust all the time may say.

I always laugh when people say Insurance Defense is "shitlaw". Outside of ADAs and PDs, Insurance Defense lawyers likely know their way around a courtroom and the litigation process better than any biglaw and midlaw attorney who spends his days doing endless research memos, doc review and drafting 1000 page summary judgment motions and responses. ID lawyers actually do deps, argue motions, negotiate settlements,draft and answer standard litigation docs, meet with witnesses, etc etc etc.. In short, they do what "lawyers" do, and actually build skills. I can't tell you how many friends I have who washed out of biglaw in 2-3 years and literally don't know how to do ANYTHING except research and write memos and maybe draft some standard motions. What skills are you selling if you've never deposed a freaking witness in your life?!

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LeDique

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby LeDique » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:52 am

lol who cares

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Eldon Tyrell

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby Eldon Tyrell » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:01 am

jchiles wrote:
Londonbear wrote:What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?


Food law


lol

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kellyfrost

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby kellyfrost » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:01 pm

LeDique wrote:lol who cares


You need to get your keyboard checked out before graded LRW assignments are due. I think you will struggle to score above a C+ if your entire memorandum is devoid of punctuation.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby kellyfrost » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:02 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Sounds like a pretty solid job actually. Assuming you actually like being an attorney it seems like you would develop a good deal of relevant skills with that, and the salary for 50 hour weeks is solid, despite what TLS kids who think its 160k or bust all the time may say.

I always laugh when people say Insurance Defense is "shitlaw". Outside of ADAs and PDs, Insurance Defense lawyers likely know their way around a courtroom and the litigation process better than any biglaw and midlaw attorney who spends his days doing endless research memos, doc review and drafting 1000 page summary judgment motions and responses. ID lawyers actually do deps, argue motions, negotiate settlements,draft and answer standard litigation docs, meet with witnesses, etc etc etc.. In short, they do what "lawyers" do, and actually build skills. I can't tell you how many friends I have who washed out of biglaw in 2-3 years and literally don't know how to do ANYTHING except research and write memos and maybe draft some standard motions. What skills are you selling if you've never deposed a freaking witness in your life?!


Very well said.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:31 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Sounds like a pretty solid job actually. Assuming you actually like being an attorney it seems like you would develop a good deal of relevant skills with that, and the salary for 50 hour weeks is solid, despite what TLS kids who think its 160k or bust all the time may say.


Bruh it's 180k or bust now, get with it.

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Re: Do I Practice Shitlaw?

Postby BNA » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:57 pm

jchiles wrote:
Londonbear wrote:What practice areas are considered on the opposite end of the spectrum of shitlaw?


Food law


We'll done



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