Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

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Anonymous User
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Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Hi all,

New v100 Biglaw associate who chose to do corporate over lit. So far, I can't help but shake the feeling that I chose incorrectly.

My favorite parts about law school were legal research and writing. I have a business background so I thought I would enjoy corporate work, but so far I haven't enjoyed any part of it. I know it's early, but it still feels as if I should have been a litigator.

Am I overreacting? Anyone else regret choosing corporate work over lit? Does it get better? Am I doomed to misery?

jd20132013
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby jd20132013 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:37 pm

U don't really do legal research and writing in lit at your level
U may do wild goose chase research projects that distill to emailed bullet points if that's what you like


I guess what I'm saying is u shouldn't regret anything

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:13 pm

jd20132013 wrote:U don't really do legal research and writing in lit at your level
U may do wild goose chase research projects that distill to emailed bullet points if that's what you like


I guess what I'm saying is u shouldn't regret anything


Seriously? I've been doing nothing but research and writing since I started at the firm. Granted, I do have other assignments and the occasional wide goose chase, which I haven't had in a while now, but I don't think that it takes that long to do real research and some writing. In my estimate, the first staffing on a case is when you stop getting wild goose chase assignments.

OP: Why not switch to financial services lit or something of the like where your business background comes into play? I mean, in biglaw, a business background is definitely helpful for lit because a lot of times the subject matter is business disputes.

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runinthefront
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:19 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:U don't really do legal research and writing in lit at your level
U may do wild goose chase research projects that distill to emailed bullet points if that's what you like


I guess what I'm saying is u shouldn't regret anything


Seriously? I've been doing nothing but research and writing since I started at the firm. Granted, I do have other assignments and the occasional wide goose chase, which I haven't had in a while now, but I don't think that it takes that long to do real research and some writing. In my estimate, the first staffing on a case is when you stop getting wild goose chase assignments.

OP: Why not switch to financial services lit or something of the like where your business background comes into play? I mean, in biglaw, a business background is definitely helpful for lit because a lot of times the subject matter is business disputes.

I think the poster you're referring to is talking about litigation at NYC firms.

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RedGiant
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby RedGiant » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

New v100 Biglaw associate who chose to do corporate over lit. So far, I can't help but shake the feeling that I chose incorrectly.


I would put some soft feels out to ask if anyone at your firm has ever switched. This does happen from time to time. You may have to wait a bit, but...it is doable, I promise. You are not doomed to a life you don't want. Also know that EVERYONE that doesn't have a strong business background or prior paralegal experience feels QUITE confused in corporate for the first few months. This is normal. But I would put out some soft feelers re switching. Don't be too vocal--it could be that you flag yourself as "unhappy" and first in line for layoffs, so you want to be chipper as you as around about this and act like you like both, but MISS lit. GL!

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:38 am

runinthefront wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:U don't really do legal research and writing in lit at your level
U may do wild goose chase research projects that distill to emailed bullet points if that's what you like


I guess what I'm saying is u shouldn't regret anything


Seriously? I've been doing nothing but research and writing since I started at the firm. Granted, I do have other assignments and the occasional wide goose chase, which I haven't had in a while now, but I don't think that it takes that long to do real research and some writing. In my estimate, the first staffing on a case is when you stop getting wild goose chase assignments.

OP: Why not switch to financial services lit or something of the like where your business background comes into play? I mean, in biglaw, a business background is definitely helpful for lit because a lot of times the subject matter is business disputes.

I think the poster you're referring to is talking about litigation at NYC firms.


I'm a lit 2nd year at a big NYC firm and my experience has been similar. Probably a few more wild goose chases but it's still research and writing.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:47 pm

RedGiant wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

New v100 Biglaw associate who chose to do corporate over lit. So far, I can't help but shake the feeling that I chose incorrectly.


I would put some soft feels out to ask if anyone at your firm has ever switched. This does happen from time to time. You may have to wait a bit, but...it is doable, I promise. You are not doomed to a life you don't want. Also know that EVERYONE that doesn't have a strong business background or prior paralegal experience feels QUITE confused in corporate for the first few months. This is normal. But I would put out some soft feelers re switching. Don't be too vocal--it could be that you flag yourself as "unhappy" and first in line for layoffs, so you want to be chipper as you as around about this and act like you like both, but MISS lit. GL!


Thanks all. I'll definitely see if I can put some feelers out.

It could also just be nerves/inexperience in doing something that I've never done before. I've worked in litigation-esque positions before joining my firm, so I know that I enjoy that, but being new at corporate is like learning to walk again.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:13 pm

As a summer, I thought that I wanted to do lit/white collar. After speaking to a number of more senior attorneys and reading this and a few other boards, I opted for corporate. I was way more concerned about going in-house and finding exits that paid well after leaving my firm, which I knew I hated, even as a summer. The first 1.5 years were extremely painful in terms of learning curve and workload, but I am extremely grateful for sticking with it. In my first year, I also thought that I had "ruined my life" by choosing corporate.

People talk a lot about in-house exit options for corporate associates, and how they're much more common than those for litigators. This is true. But I've also noticed that the demand for corporate laterals in firms is MUCH greater than for lit-- something to keep in mind, especially if you're starting out in NYC and looking to switch to another market (smaller markets also love NY-trained corporate associates). All of what I'm saying may change in the event that the economy tanks and we find ourselves in a recession (corporate work will dry up), but points to keep in mind.

I know that I'll get a lot of flack for suggesting that you abandon an area of practice that you're "passionate" about, but I've noticed that a lot of litigators in my associate class have terrible QOL, just like the corporate folks. At my firm, a lot of the more senior litigation associates who aren't going to make partner (which is like 95% of them) say they wish they had done corporate (I had a few tell me this verbatim when I was a summer).

TL; DR: Grind it out in corporate for a year or two. Get as much exposure to M&A-- and to a lesser extent securities-- as possible. If you REALLY hate it still, you can switch to lit using the methods that the poster above mentioned (though you may need to take a hit in your class year).

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a summer, I thought that I wanted to do lit/white collar. After speaking to a number of more senior attorneys and reading this and a few other boards, I opted for corporate. I was way more concerned about going in-house and finding exits that paid well after leaving my firm, which I knew I hated, even as a summer. The first 1.5 years were extremely painful in terms of learning curve and workload, but I am extremely grateful for sticking with it. In my first year, I also thought that I had "ruined my life" by choosing corporate.

People talk a lot about in-house exit options for corporate associates, and how they're much more common than those for litigators. This is true. But I've also noticed that the demand for corporate laterals in firms is MUCH greater than for lit-- something to keep in mind, especially if you're starting out in NYC and looking to switch to another market (smaller markets also love NY-trained corporate associates). All of what I'm saying may change in the event that the economy tanks and we find ourselves in a recession (corporate work will dry up), but points to keep in mind.

I know that I'll get a lot of flack for suggesting that you abandon an area of practice that you're "passionate" about, but I've noticed that a lot of litigators in my associate class have terrible QOL, just like the corporate folks. At my firm, a lot of the more senior litigation associates who aren't going to make partner (which is like 95% of them) say they wish they had done corporate (I had a few tell me this verbatim when I was a summer).

TL; DR: Grind it out in corporate for a year or two. Get as much exposure to M&A-- and to a lesser extent securities-- as possible. If you REALLY hate it still, you can switch to lit using the methods that the poster above mentioned (though you may need to take a hit in your class year).


Thanks for this. The potential for good exit ops was definitely one of the reasons I chose corporate. The fact that I can switch later (I don't mind taking a class year hit) makes me feel better about my decision.

Will take the advice and grind for a couple years!

toast and bananas
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby toast and bananas » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As a summer, I thought that I wanted to do lit/white collar. After speaking to a number of more senior attorneys and reading this and a few other boards, I opted for corporate. I was way more concerned about going in-house and finding exits that paid well after leaving my firm, which I knew I hated, even as a summer.

...

TL; DR: Grind it out in corporate for a year or two. Get as much exposure to M&A-- and to a lesser extent securities-- as possible. If you REALLY hate it still, you can switch to lit using the methods that the poster above mentioned (though you may need to take a hit in your class year).


Just curious as to why you're deemphasizing capital markets? You mentioned that a perk of corporate life is more in-house opportunities, which is true, but my understanding is that capital markets work is much more relevant to in-house work than M&A.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone regret choosing corporate over lit?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:42 pm

toast and bananas wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As a summer, I thought that I wanted to do lit/white collar. After speaking to a number of more senior attorneys and reading this and a few other boards, I opted for corporate. I was way more concerned about going in-house and finding exits that paid well after leaving my firm, which I knew I hated, even as a summer.

...

TL; DR: Grind it out in corporate for a year or two. Get as much exposure to M&A-- and to a lesser extent securities-- as possible. If you REALLY hate it still, you can switch to lit using the methods that the poster above mentioned (though you may need to take a hit in your class year).


Just curious as to why you're deemphasizing capital markets? You mentioned that a perk of corporate life is more in-house opportunities, which is true, but my understanding is that capital markets work is much more relevant to in-house work than M&A.


I'm the anon who posted this. Because cap markets work GENERALLY prepares you for public company work (i.e., disclosure), whereas M&A exposes you to deal work that you might expect to see with an acquisitive company, as well as weird commercial contract issues, employment/benefits issues, real estate, IP, and a whole host of either quirks that might affect a private OR public company. I just think training in M&A exposes a wider universe of legal crap that might affect a company. Others may differ in their opinion on this.

I also think that M&A teaches you about deal mechanics in a much more in-depth way than cap markets. In M&A, you learn deal mechanics by literally drafting the agreement that dictates how the deal will proceed. Cap markets work-- though "deal" work as well-- is much more process-based (e.g. in an IPO, your timeframe is dictated by the SEC and the exchange on which you register the shares, and closing mechanics aren't all that difficult/complicated).




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