Is Lit "better" than Corporate

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Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:30 am

I'm a first year corporate associate at a V5 firm. I know, I know, I just started, but I cant bring myself to like this stuff (and don't understand how anyone does). Thinking that I should try to move to litigation, but am hesitant to do so. I'm not as concerned about exit options - I'd rather do something I don't hate.

Does corporate get any better? Is litigation more engaging?

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a first year corporate associate at a V5 firm. I know, I know, I just started, but I cant bring myself to like this stuff (and don't understand how anyone does). Thinking that I should try to move to litigation, but am hesitant to do so. I'm not as concerned about exit options - I'd rather do something I don't hate.

Does corporate get any better? Is litigation more engaging?


To piggyback, is restructuring, tax or real estate more engaging? Or does it all suck for the first few years

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby unlicensedpotato » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:52 am

I would take bankruptcy or tax over the others.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:53 am

"Corporate" and "Lit" are so broad they're meaningless terms for this discussion. I've seen Lit people that give up months of their lives straight through for trial/trial prep, and Lit people that have pretty regular predictable schedules with very few crisis moments. Corporate M&A bros are gonna have more short term unpredictability and more late night or weekend fire drills, but overall the lifecycles of their matters are way shorter so it's often more possible to structure your work around big vacation/life plans in a way you can't with litigation that lasts for years and may pop up whenever the judge feels like it. Finance guys or Corporate M&A specialists (tax, antitrust, etc.) seem to have a pretty decent balance in hours relative to the main M&A guys.

And all of this swings wildly on the type of clients (public v. private, banks v. borrowers, etc.) and how the firm staffs matters.

Tl;dr - ask more narrow questions and you'll get better answers.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:55 am

Litigation allows you more freedom to be creative/engaged. The only thing I've found mind-numbing in lit is doc review. For everything else, you pretty much have to be engaged or you'll end up working twice as hard re-reading/re-writing.

ETA: Lit is pretty broad. There's two distinctive types IMO: 1) motion practice and 2) trial work. Some litigation attorneys do both, but some shops have specific trial attorneys. There are plenty of litigation attorneys that have never argued a motion.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:58 am

1styearlateral wrote:Litigation allows you more freedom to be creative/engaged. The only thing I've found mind-numbing in lit is doc review. For everything else, you pretty much have to be engaged or you'll end up working twice as hard re-reading/re-writing.

Eh. In corporate there is contract negotiation (and some firms have juniors day one doing this on fairly easy things like NDAs) which requires a lot of the same critical thinking skills (and diligence which is similar to doc review in how tedious it can be).

Lit probably requires more conscious thought early on due to memo/motion research and drafting. Finance probably the least becuase you're working heavily off of precedent documents.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:12 am

Exit options in Lit are bad. Corp. is much better exit options wise.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Exit options in Lit are bad. Corp. is much better exit options wise.


Lit does have many more government jobs you can turn to....and still return to Biglaw after.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:27 pm

as much as people say there is no such thing as a dumb question, this toes that fine line. This toes it b/c this is only a question you can resolve as it's subjective to you personally - there is no objective evaluation of the two. I hate the thought of lit b/c I'm not adversarial in that sense. That said, I like corporate b/c I have a business/iBanking background, started a business, ran M&A deals at the IBank and overall like the way transactions work. So from that sense I think corporate is better than lit. I enjoy learning the details of the clients and their industries. Mostly, I enjoy this b/c I plan on leaving law in a few years and going into one of these business sectors on the business/finance side.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:as much as people say there is no such thing as a dumb question, this toes that fine line. This toes it b/c this is only a question you can resolve as it's subjective to you personally - there is no objective evaluation of the two. I hate the thought of lit b/c I'm not adversarial in that sense. That said, I like corporate b/c I have a business/iBanking background, started a business, ran M&A deals at the IBank and overall like the way transactions work. So from that sense I think corporate is better than lit. I enjoy learning the details of the clients and their industries. Mostly, I enjoy this b/c I plan on leaving law in a few years and going into one of these business sectors on the business/finance side.


If you worked in IBD and enjoyed it/want to go back to it, why did you go law school?

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Exit options in Lit are bad. Corp. is much better exit options wise.

Corp exit options are only better if you want to continue to be a corporate attorney. If you want to be a litigator then you should not do corp work.

If you just mean that corp exit options are better in the sense that there are more jobs that pay more, then that's probably true, but it's not a good reason to commit to decades in a practice area you don't like.

Basically the exit options thing is only a useful point of distinction to someone who has no ideas about what they actually want to do with their life. So most biglaw associates I guess.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:52 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Exit options in Lit are bad. Corp. is much better exit options wise.

Corp exit options are only better if you want to continue to be a corporate attorney. If you want to be a litigator then you should not do corp work.

If you just mean that corp exit options are better in the sense that there are more jobs that pay more, then that's probably true, but it's not a good reason to commit to decades in a practice area you don't like.

Basically the exit options thing is only a useful point of distinction to someone who has no ideas about what they actually want to do with their life. So most biglaw associates I guess.


OP here, I agree that it's kind of a dumb question - I ended up at a big firm in corporate because it was the path of least resistance and without really considering if it fit my skills/personality/whatever. I think its not an uncommon path.

I'd really like to know what litigation is like (but don't want to sound like I'm miserable to work colleagues). I took trial, pretrial, edivence, etc in law school but I get the sense that being a firm litigator is much differant than trial attorney (which I think I would love actually).

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Exit options in Lit are bad. Corp. is much better exit options wise.

Corp exit options are only better if you want to continue to be a corporate attorney. If you want to be a litigator then you should not do corp work.

If you just mean that corp exit options are better in the sense that there are more jobs that pay more, then that's probably true, but it's not a good reason to commit to decades in a practice area you don't like.

Basically the exit options thing is only a useful point of distinction to someone who has no ideas about what they actually want to do with their life. So most biglaw associates I guess.


OP here, I agree that it's kind of a dumb question - I ended up at a big firm in corporate because it was the path of least resistance and without really considering if it fit my skills/personality/whatever. I think its not an uncommon path.

I'd really like to know what litigation is like (but don't want to sound like I'm miserable to work colleagues). I took trial, pretrial, edivence, etc in law school but I get the sense that being a firm litigator is much differant than trial attorney (which I think I would love actually).

Not uncommon at all.

I think the most pertinent question isn't whether you liked certain substantive courses in law school but whether you liked legal writing/research. Most of what you're likely to do for a few years in litigation is legal research, writing memos and briefs. In addition to factual development, drafting and responding to discovery requests, etc. Also civ pro. If you liked civ pro that helps. If you didn't, then probably I'd avoid lit.

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grand inquisitor

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby grand inquisitor » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:09 pm

litigation is what real lawyers do. corporate attorneys are just high-functioning paralegals.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:22 pm

grand inquisitor wrote:litigation is what real lawyers do. corporate attorneys are just high-functioning paralegals.


lol I was doing client intake, doc review, discovery responses/requests, mediation briefs, arbitration briefs, and low level motions as a paralegal.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby 84651846190 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:55 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
grand inquisitor wrote:litigation is what real lawyers do. corporate attorneys are just high-functioning paralegals.


lol I was doing client intake, doc review, discovery responses/requests, mediation briefs, arbitration briefs, and low level motions as a paralegal.


sounds like you were doing more cerebral work than most corporate associates

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:57 pm

ExBiglawAssociate wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
grand inquisitor wrote:litigation is what real lawyers do. corporate attorneys are just high-functioning paralegals.


lol I was doing client intake, doc review, discovery responses/requests, mediation briefs, arbitration briefs, and low level motions as a paralegal.


sounds like you were doing more cerebral work than most corporate associates


The cerebral work in any practice group isn't in biglaw unless you climb the ladder pretty high.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:03 pm

grand inquisitor wrote:litigation is what real lawyers do. corporate attorneys are just high-functioning paralegals.


savage

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby umichman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:13 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
ExBiglawAssociate wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
grand inquisitor wrote:litigation is what real lawyers do. corporate attorneys are just high-functioning paralegals.


lol I was doing client intake, doc review, discovery responses/requests, mediation briefs, arbitration briefs, and low level motions as a paralegal.


sounds like you were doing more cerebral work than most corporate associates


The cerebral work in any practice group isn't in biglaw unless you climb the ladder pretty high.
to be fair, isn't this the same in any big company/finance firm that you don't get to to the thinking until you move up high enough

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby elendinel » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:50 pm

I don't mean to call you out for this (especially since you did give more information after your original post), but this is like the 3-4th super-vague "I know these options, which is the best option" thread I've personally seen in the last week or so.

Random strangers on the internet can't tell you what will work best for you unless you tell them about yourself and what you're looking for. If you don't know what you're looking for, you, at a minimum, need to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, what you like/don't like about where you are now, and potential avenues for you that you think may be good next steps (depending on the specifics of those avenues). If you don't know these things, you have to figure it out before asking the question.

It's not dumb to ask what ____ job/field is really like; you're never going to get information that is actually useful to you if you don't do this basic inquiry about yourself to inform the responses people give you, though.

So specifically for you, what did you like about the idea of being a trial attorney? What do you find boring/loathsome about corporate law? Do you think the issue you have with corporate law has to do with your tasks, or is it maybe a product of the types of clients you work with/their particular issues? If money was not an issue, what field would you have gone into post law school? Etc.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:26 pm

Idk man. For me most the people who really wanted to be lawyers go lit; with some exceptions. I feel like the people who wanted to make six figures for the rest of their life and have an opportunity to work 9 to 5 st some point in the relatively near future I.e. Less than 5 years out of law school go Corp. Obviously there are some exceptions there too with the folks with a business background. At the end of the day litigation is a tough life and you have to enjoy it. There are few cushy in house jobs and even ausa which I highly sought after is a grind. You have to really love it. Just some overgenalizations. Sorry typing from stream of conscious from my phone.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:17 am

there is an almost endless prestige-chasing and badge collecting in "lit" that you just don't have in corporate, and that shit starts early too. there is always law review, some board position on law review, a clerkship, a district court clerkship, a district court clerkship w/ some particular judge and/or prestigious geographic area, a COA clerkship, a COA clerkship w/ some prestigious judge and/or geographic area, some boutique you should lateral to, some USAO you should lateral to... and so on. i mean, i guess you can just not give a fuck and coast, but if that's what you wanted to do coasting in corp is probably easier/better. at a generic vault biglaw firm, the median outcome of a mediocre corp. associate 5 years out is probably better than the median outcome of a mediocre lit. associate.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:there is an almost endless prestige-chasing and badge collecting in "lit" that you just don't have in corporate, and that shit starts early too. there is always law review, some board position on law review, a clerkship, a district court clerkship, a district court clerkship w/ some particular judge and/or prestigious geographic area, a COA clerkship, a COA clerkship w/ some prestigious judge and/or geographic area, some boutique you should lateral to, some USAO you should lateral to... and so on. i mean, i guess you can just not give a fuck and coast, but if that's what you wanted to do coasting in corp is probably easier/better. at a generic vault biglaw firm, the median outcome of a mediocre corp. associate 5 years out is probably better than the median outcome of a mediocre lit. associate.


Just depends what you want to do. 95% of litagotors will never do the things you listed. A lot will end up working for smallish mid sized firms later in their career making six figures. Probably more work than an in house job, but I'd say it's more interesting too.

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby Eldon Tyrell » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:44 am

Corporate partner: I'm not sure why you abbreviated "lit" while fully writing out "corporate." I don't care which you use, but keep it consistent. We should talk about this when you get a chance. Also not sure why you didn't end the question with a question mark. Please add proper punctuation to each sentence - this should be a global change. thx

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Re: Is Lit "better" than Corporate

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Exit options in Lit are bad. Corp. is much better exit options wise.

Corp exit options are only better if you want to continue to be a corporate attorney. If you want to be a litigator then you should not do corp work.

If you just mean that corp exit options are better in the sense that there are more jobs that pay more, then that's probably true, but it's not a good reason to commit to decades in a practice area you don't like.

Basically the exit options thing is only a useful point of distinction to someone who has no ideas about what they actually want to do with their life. So most biglaw associates I guess.


OP here, I agree that it's kind of a dumb question - I ended up at a big firm in corporate because it was the path of least resistance and without really considering if it fit my skills/personality/whatever. I think its not an uncommon path.

I'd really like to know what litigation is like (but don't want to sound like I'm miserable to work colleagues). I took trial, pretrial, edivence, etc in law school but I get the sense that being a firm litigator is much differant than trial attorney (which I think I would love actually).


Frankly, biglaw isn't going to offer many opportunities for trial attorneys. Hell, trial work outside of biglaw is getting more and more rare. Your best bet at being a trial attorney is to lateral to a "boutique" that specializes in trial work. Issue with that is you won't make nearly as much as a biglaw associate early in your career. But the longer you go without getting real trial experience and experience managing cases, the harder it is to convince those sort of firms that they should take a chance on you.



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