Opportunities After Shitlaw

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Anonymous User
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Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:13 pm

hi i need some general advice and hope someone can give me guidance or insights on what to do. i missed the biglaw boat and my first job out of law school has been working for a solo practitioner, doing immigration law. it isn't what i expected to do starting out, but surprisingly i am enjoying it. learning both litigation and transactional work, work-life balance is good, and people at work are really chill. pay is decent for a first-year and it's increasing and i can see myself growing with this firm, but up to a certain point.

however, my major concern is that i may be limiting myself by "specializing" in immigration law. this is the only area of law the firm practices. could this potentially close future doors for me, in case I want to lateral out to a larger firm that does more than immigration law?

how long should i stay with this firm before I sandbox myself in this area with no exit opportunities? my thinking was to build experience at the beginning and then market myself towards bigger regional firms/biglaw. my goal is to lateral and the way i see it is that i can always return to immigration law. most bigger firms don't focus on immigration, with the only exception coming to mind being fragomen. what would be a logical, and sensible, step to take?

Anonymous User
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:29 pm

Pull up the office rosters for the biglaw firms in your city. What are the practice areas of the attorneys? Litigation and corporate, maybe some IP, real estate. Without experience in a practice area that big law specializes in (immigration not typically one of them), your options are slim. Your best bet is to get to a firm in a practice that transfers easily to biglaw. Use common sense, plaintiff's personal injury doesn't equate to litigation. You need to make your resume look like the resumes of people lateralling to the firm or firms you want to be at. Review the law firm websites, LinkedIn, etc.

andythefir
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby andythefir » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:58 pm

Depending on lots of variables (where you are, what the market is like, how saturated the market is), immigration law may actually be better than a big firm. If you own your own firm you get way better hours, more control over your life, more person-to-person contact (which is highly correlated to happiness). The only thing you wouldn’t get is the very high end of the salary, which 1 in my judgement isn’t worth it if you’ve got a niche you like and can pay well and 2 may be off the table anyway. In some markets the people making the most money do immigration, criminal defense, and civil plaintiff work in 1 to 2 person firms.

Why do you want to work at a big firm? They do give good training and grease the wheels for some later jobs, but they also tend to chew up and spit out the people that work there.

Anonymous User
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:17 am

Not many people will end up owning their own firms.

mcmand
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby mcmand » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:42 am

What is with the anon abuse in the replies??

OP your current gig sounds good. If there are other things you're interested in, maybe you should talk to your colleagues about bringing in other matters that you just work on?

Some regional midsize firms sometimes do some immigration, so try looking for that. From there you could probably branch out to their other practice areas.

Mobster1983
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby Mobster1983 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:01 pm

mcmand wrote:What is with the anon abuse in the replies??

OP your current gig sounds good. If there are other things you're interested in, maybe you should talk to your colleagues about bringing in other matters that you just work on?

Some regional midsize firms sometimes do some immigration, so try looking for that. From there you could probably branch out to their other practice areas.


I agree with this poster. It really depends on what your goals are. It is important to enjoy what you are doing, and if your compensation is workable for you, especially considering the hours you have to put in, then why change? If you want to be a big-time corporate attorney, then maybe you should look at something more broadening.

I will expand on something mcmand said, and that is bringing in other matters. There are a lot of areas that tie in well with immigration law that you may be able to add to your firm. One thing, for example, is business investment. If you are working with someone applying for an EB-5 visa, what is to stop you from helping them set up their business and even later on providing business advice? Things like this can bring in additional business, growing the firm and expanding your knowledge base (albeit to a limited extent initially). You can always start with small, simple matters and grow as you gain knowledge and experience.

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deadpanic
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby deadpanic » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Use common sense, plaintiff's personal injury doesn't equate to litigation.


Uh, yes it does? Unless you are just talking about settling nuisance slip-and-fall cases for $500 in high volume, plaintiff PI attorneys absolutely do litigation. They are what trial lawyers are really named after.

Anyways, to the OP: I think you are likely never going to be in BigLaw. Once you miss it from the start at OCI, it is unlikely to appear again absent other circumstances. I don't think switching practice areas is going to get you a shot at BL.

I agree with others that it sounds like you have a pretty good gig. One of the biggest things any firm will hire you for is having a big book of business. If you can bring over a lot of clients, I can see a mid-size firm bringing you over to get a cut of that business. However, not sure how that would work with immigration, including its profitability. It really sounds like the best path to success is to stick to the current path and hope to become a shareholder or open up your own shop down the line.

lolwat
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby lolwat » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:11 pm

FYI not every small firm/solo practitioner is shitlaw. Your solo practitioner might be very well regarded in the community as a go-to guy for immigration law, and he might have tons of connections. I'm saying this so you don't get the idea that just because you're working for a solo guy that it's suddenly shitlaw and your options are somehow limited.

As for your goals--yes, I imagine you'll get pigeon-holed into immigration if that's all you're doing. If you don't want to focus on immigration long-term, see if you can get some flexibility where you are. Small firms are nice, especially when the people are chill and the pay is decent. From the perspective of someone at a small firm, biglaw might be great, but there really is a reason why so many biglaw associates are willing to take giant pay cuts to go elsewhere.

Uh, yes it does? Unless you are just talking about settling nuisance slip-and-fall cases for $500 in high volume, plaintiff PI attorneys absolutely do litigation. They are what trial lawyers are really named after.


I agree with this but it's not the same style of litigation.

hugerez
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby hugerez » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:44 pm

deadpanic wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Use common sense, plaintiff's personal injury doesn't equate to litigation.


Uh, yes it does? Unless you are just talking about settling nuisance slip-and-fall cases for $500 in high volume, plaintiff PI attorneys absolutely do litigation. They are what trial lawyers are really named after.

Anyways, to the OP: I think you are likely never going to be in BigLaw. Once you miss it from the start at OCI, it is unlikely to appear again absent other circumstances. I don't think switching practice areas is going to get you a shot at BL.

I agree with others that it sounds like you have a pretty good gig. One of the biggest things any firm will hire you for is having a big book of business. If you can bring over a lot of clients, I can see a mid-size firm bringing you over to get a cut of that business. However, not sure how that would work with immigration, including its profitability. It really sounds like the best path to success is to stick to the current path and hope to become a shareholder or open up your own shop down the line.


It always made me wonder why somebody with such a significant book would split that profit just to work at biglaw. Wouldn't you be making less money? Also at that point in career it is unlikely you need the BL on resume for another better gig.

lolwat
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby lolwat » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:52 pm

hugerez wrote:
deadpanic wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Use common sense, plaintiff's personal injury doesn't equate to litigation.


Uh, yes it does? Unless you are just talking about settling nuisance slip-and-fall cases for $500 in high volume, plaintiff PI attorneys absolutely do litigation. They are what trial lawyers are really named after.

Anyways, to the OP: I think you are likely never going to be in BigLaw. Once you miss it from the start at OCI, it is unlikely to appear again absent other circumstances. I don't think switching practice areas is going to get you a shot at BL.

I agree with others that it sounds like you have a pretty good gig. One of the biggest things any firm will hire you for is having a big book of business. If you can bring over a lot of clients, I can see a mid-size firm bringing you over to get a cut of that business. However, not sure how that would work with immigration, including its profitability. It really sounds like the best path to success is to stick to the current path and hope to become a shareholder or open up your own shop down the line.


It always made me wonder why somebody with such a significant book would split that profit just to work at biglaw. Wouldn't you be making less money? Also at that point in career it is unlikely you need the BL on resume for another better gig.


hugerez = mercy main? Anyway, I think it's a combination of (1) biglaw paying those partners a lot of money and (2) not everyone actually wants to run their own firm (they want to have the biglaw firm take care of all of that). You can have a $100mil book of business but you need people to work on that business and the infrastructure set up to support all of that. Owning a firm might seem a-mei-zing to some people but it's not for everyone.

hugerez
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:27 pm

Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby hugerez » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:04 pm

lolwat wrote:
hugerez wrote:
deadpanic wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Use common sense, plaintiff's personal injury doesn't equate to litigation.


Uh, yes it does? Unless you are just talking about settling nuisance slip-and-fall cases for $500 in high volume, plaintiff PI attorneys absolutely do litigation. They are what trial lawyers are really named after.

Anyways, to the OP: I think you are likely never going to be in BigLaw. Once you miss it from the start at OCI, it is unlikely to appear again absent other circumstances. I don't think switching practice areas is going to get you a shot at BL.

I agree with others that it sounds like you have a pretty good gig. One of the biggest things any firm will hire you for is having a big book of business. If you can bring over a lot of clients, I can see a mid-size firm bringing you over to get a cut of that business. However, not sure how that would work with immigration, including its profitability. It really sounds like the best path to success is to stick to the current path and hope to become a shareholder or open up your own shop down the line.


It always made me wonder why somebody with such a significant book would split that profit just to work at biglaw. Wouldn't you be making less money? Also at that point in career it is unlikely you need the BL on resume for another better gig.


hugerez = mercy main? Anyway, I think it's a combination of (1) biglaw paying those partners a lot of money and (2) not everyone actually wants to run their own firm (they want to have the biglaw firm take care of all of that). You can have a $100mil book of business but you need people to work on that business and the infrastructure set up to support all of that. Owning a firm might seem a-mei-zing to some people but it's not for everyone.


Im a diamond level mercy but probably never playing her again after the pending update. RIP Mercy.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Opportunities After Shitlaw

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:it isn't what i expected to do starting out, but surprisingly i am enjoying it. learning both litigation and transactional work, work-life balance is good, and people at work are really chill. pay is decent for a first-year and it's increasing and i can see myself growing with this firm, but up to a certain point.

I understand your concerns about getting in too deep in one practice area, and other posters have had some good comments on that, but the best kept secret on this forum is that "shitlaw" is more often than not better than big law.

Mobster1983 wrote:I will expand on something mcmand said, and that is bringing in other matters. There are a lot of areas that tie in well with immigration law that you may be able to add to your firm. One thing, for example, is business investment. If you are working with someone applying for an EB-5 visa, what is to stop you from helping them set up their business and even later on providing business advice? Things like this can bring in additional business, growing the firm and expanding your knowledge base (albeit to a limited extent initially). You can always start with small, simple matters and grow as you gain knowledge and experience.

This is very good advice for you, OP. Obviously run this by your firm first, but always treat a client like a forever client. When your work for them ends, send them a letter thanking them for selecting you as a lawyer, and make sure they know you can do additional work for them.

lolwat wrote:FYI not every small firm/solo practitioner is shitlaw. Your solo practitioner might be very well regarded in the community as a go-to guy for immigration law, and he might have tons of connections. I'm saying this so you don't get the idea that just because you're working for a solo guy that it's suddenly shitlaw and your options are somehow limited.

Ding ding ding. If you're with a reputable solo that has a good business sense, you're in a better situation than you probably think.




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