Easiest Practice Groups

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Easiest Practice Groups

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:31 am

Hi,

I was hoping to start a thread on practice groups. I realize this changes drastically for each firm, but are there any areas that are intellectually easier/harder than others? My general concern is that I've had to claw my way through law school. I've realized along the way that some people are just smarter, get hard concepts more easily, and will certainly outshine me if similarly given difficult tasks.

I am trying to consider a practice area where I won't get surpassed immediately by people who are naturally more gifted. I realize this may seem like an insane question, but is there an area in a big corporate firm where personality/general work ethic can outshine natural ability? I have done well at a T14, but want to make sure I'm entering an area that I can last/survive in. My summer associate experience did not provide much insight into this decision. I only know that M&A seems like an insane lifestyle

I'd appreciate any general thoughts from junior-senior level associates with work experience at a big firm.

Thanks.

notrub14

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby notrub14 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:57 am

"I have done well at a T14"

I don't think it makes much sense for someone who has done well at a T14 to worry about whether they won't be able to keep up intellectually in BigLaw. Pick what practice group interests you the most and you will be fine.
Last edited by notrub14 on Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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glitched

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby glitched » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:04 pm

For corporate at the junior level, my understanding that it's way more about being organized than being smart.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby deepseapartners » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:07 pm

notrub14 wrote:Pick what practice group interests you the most and you will be fine.

Every practice area will have a steep learning curve, as law school prepares you for about 0% of Biglaw. Also, you will likely not be working in Biglaw in 3-5 years, so focus on getting into a group where you will want to start to build a career.

To answer your question more literally (Idk why I am though, it's the wrong question and will just feed your neuroses), don't pick tax.

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zhenders

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby zhenders » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:14 pm

Why in the world are people dumping on this OP? Jesus, there are plenty of posts that deserve the TLS hammer; this is not one of them. Also deepsea, you're still a law student. What exactly qualifies you to declare this is a pointless neurosis-feeding question?

I just wrapped up an SA, so I can't give much advice here either OP, but I suspect there are differences enough that someone will have an answer to your question; I have a feeling it's less about ease, and more about the balance of responsibilities though. Best of luck.

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby unlicensedpotato » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:16 pm

glitched wrote:For corporate at the junior level, my understanding that it's way more about being organized than being smart.


I would say anything corporate is fine, like M&A, cap markets, real estate, whatever. You need to have some threshold level of intelligence to do the job well but I suspect you have that if you're at a T14. Assuming that, the junior level is way more about being organized and working hard. Try to find something you're interested in though or it will be much less enjoyable.

I don't know as much about what junior lit folks do.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:22 pm

I will dump on this OP (nicely - nothing personal) because I completely agree that someone who did well at a T14 is totally absolutely positively smart enough to do well in biglaw. Variation in intelligence across the T14 is not so great that somehow people at the top are so beyond everyone else that there's no way to keep up. This is purely imposter syndrome speaking. :D

(I'm sure there are groups that are better/worse suited to your particular strengths or preferences, but that's not the same as being less intellectually challenging.)

(And before anyone points out that I'm not in biglaw - I'm not, so feel free to ignore. But I'm a practicing lawyer who's worked with lawyers from ALL KINDS of school and of varying intelligence.)

lolwat

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby lolwat » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:34 pm

Generally speaking anyone smart enough to make it to a t14 has the ability to handle most biglaw work. (exception if your last name or $$ was what got you into the school.) Maybe niche practices that require a higher level of understanding in certain areas (e.g., appellate or tax or patent) could be difficult for certain people but general litigation or most corporate should be fine for practically anybody from a t14.

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby RaceJudicata » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:38 pm

Try to do something you are interested in. Things feel much easier when you enjoy/are interested in the subject matter.

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:43 pm

Employment law. A marmot could do it.

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Raiden

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby Raiden » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:10 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:Employment law. A marmot could do it.


The biglaw Labor&Employment defense lawyer who posted on the "lawyer typical day" thread who really seemed to like his work, FWIW, so maybe the easiest and most interesting perhaps.

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:15 pm

Raiden wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:Employment law. A marmot could do it.


The biglaw Labor&Employment defense lawyer who posted on the "lawyer typical day" thread who really seemed to like his work, FWIW, so maybe the easiest and most interesting perhaps.


Labor law is a different beast than employment law.

Some people really do like employment law. It's risk free drama that you get to enjoy. The stories are funny and interesting. And the law is simple and not intellectually challenging.

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boredtodeath

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby boredtodeath » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:18 pm

A trained monkey could do this job.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby deepseapartners » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:22 pm

zhenders wrote:Why in the world are people dumping on this OP? Jesus, there are plenty of posts that deserve the TLS hammer; this is not one of them. Also deepsea, you're still a law student. What exactly qualifies you to declare this is a pointless neurosis-feeding question?

(1) I'm not still in law school.
(2) You are, and far more importantly, neither of us are a psychiatrist, so this should all be taken with an internet forum-sized grain of salt anyway.
(3) Like Nony said above, this isn't an actual question about ranking intellectual depth of various legal practices, it's imposter syndrome - to some extent, all Biglaw practices are not that hard, and all Biglaw practices are extremely hard, and there's not some golden ticket practice group that all the dumb people end up in and is an easier place to hide.

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Raiden

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby Raiden » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:30 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Raiden wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:Employment law. A marmot could do it.


The biglaw Labor&Employment defense lawyer who posted on the "lawyer typical day" thread who really seemed to like his work, FWIW, so maybe the easiest and most interesting perhaps.


Labor law is a different beast than employment law.

Some people really do like employment law. It's risk free drama that you get to enjoy. The stories are funny and interesting. And the law is simple and not intellectually challenging.


It can't be that simple, you have different federal laws and state laws and all the agencies in between. Meal and wage claims are probably well settled, but I'd imagine there is quite of bit of nuance that you have to research.

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SmokeytheBear

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:31 pm

Raiden wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Raiden wrote:
SmokeytheBear wrote:Employment law. A marmot could do it.


The biglaw Labor&Employment defense lawyer who posted on the "lawyer typical day" thread who really seemed to like his work, FWIW, so maybe the easiest and most interesting perhaps.


Labor law is a different beast than employment law.

Some people really do like employment law. It's risk free drama that you get to enjoy. The stories are funny and interesting. And the law is simple and not intellectually challenging.


It can't be that simple, you have different federal laws and state laws and all the agencies in between. Meal and wage claims are probably well settled, but I'd imagine there is quite of bit of nuance that you have to research.


Nope. It's pretty simple.

fxb3

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby fxb3 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi,

I was hoping to start a thread on practice groups. I realize this changes drastically for each firm, but are there any areas that are intellectually easier/harder than others? My general concern is that I've had to claw my way through law school. I've realized along the way that some people are just smarter, get hard concepts more easily, and will certainly outshine me if similarly given difficult tasks.

I am trying to consider a practice area where I won't get surpassed immediately by people who are naturally more gifted. I realize this may seem like an insane question, but is there an area in a big corporate firm where personality/general work ethic can outshine natural ability? I have done well at a T14, but want to make sure I'm entering an area that I can last/survive in. My summer associate experience did not provide much insight into this decision. I only know that M&A seems like an insane lifestyle

I'd appreciate any general thoughts from junior-senior level associates with work experience at a big firm.

Thanks.


I've been practicing for the better part of a decade, and bottom line #1 is that law is really never rocket science. It honestly isn't. And as everyone has said, if you've done well at a T14, you're fine in terms of intellectual capacity. There are MANY partners in just about any practice group at top-tier firms who couldn't get in to your school.

Find a practice you like, stay organized in your work (organization is 75% of the battle not just in corporate but to a surprising extent in litigation and especially white collar investigations), never miss a deadline, never complain to your superiors, and you'll be on the right track.

I know it's not what anyone wants to hear, but "find something you like" really is the best way to make it easy. If there were a BigLaw practice group that involved sacrificing my health to play video games 18 hours a day, I would do it and find it "easy." My wife, on the other hand, would find it torture if she was told "your $200k a year job is to play video games." More realistically, my wife loves practicing ERISA law, like she is really excited about it. I, on the other hand, can listen to her describe ERISA for about 3 minutes before I start scanning the room for the nearest exit. I literally could not do it if you paid me to.

jd20132013

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Re: Easiest Practice Groups

Postby jd20132013 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi,

I was hoping to start a thread on practice groups. I realize this changes drastically for each firm, but are there any areas that are intellectually easier/harder than others? My general concern is that I've had to claw my way through law school. I've realized along the way that some people are just smarter, get hard concepts more easily, and will certainly outshine me if similarly given difficult tasks.

I am trying to consider a practice area where I won't get surpassed immediately by people who are naturally more gifted. I realize this may seem like an insane question, but is there an area in a big corporate firm where personality/general work ethic can outshine natural ability? I have done well at a T14, but want to make sure I'm entering an area that I can last/survive in. My summer associate experience did not provide much insight into this decision. I only know that M&A seems like an insane lifestyle

I'd appreciate any general thoughts from junior-senior level associates with work experience at a big firm.

Thanks.



There is literally no practice group that requires brilliance from juniors



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