Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:41 am

I will just add some insight. Summered at a firm known for handling appeals and having many associates who’ve clerked (think GDC, W&C, KH, SG). Worked with two ex-SCOTUS clerks. Each said they had a docket of maybe 50-60% appellate work.

There were other associates who did 40-60% of appellate work too. some had feeder clerkships and some had non-feeder clerkships. Seems like the amount of work they got was based on their relationship with the practice group head/random luck of the draw/actively seeking out work and doing a good job

Besides the partners in the appellate group and a few very senior associates, I don’t think anyone at the firm has a workload of 70%+ appeals. But then again, I only summered there and I only talked to 6-7 people about this. So idk. Just an anecdote

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:10 pm

My response is unchanged

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby delusional » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:02 pm

Nebby wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Nebby wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lolwat wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:I assume when people say "appeals" they are referring to appeals on the federal level. But why is it so difficult to do appellate work without a SCOTUS clerkship? Shouldn't it really just come down to who the best brief writers are at the firm?


There isn't that much appellate work to go around, and it's not very profitable as compared to trial level litigation. People can work their way towards getting appellate work sometimes, but a firm isn't going to be able to identify you as a good brief writer up front, while the firm can easily see the benefits of a SCOTUS clerk working on appeals.

Presumably a clerkship is an indication of a "good brief writer" though

Lol

Feel free to elaborate

De-anon and I'll gladly humor you


All else being equal, a feeder clerkship is an indication of a good brief writer for several reasons. Of course you can be really edgy and claim that clerkships are all political and success in law school is random and spending a year or two afterward doing mainly research and writing among a group of judges selected on the basis of their legal acumen and clerks selected on the basis of their academic success and research and writing ability does not correlate at all with legal research and writing ability. But that would be too TLS for TLS.

IME, people at my firm with appellate clerkships worked disproportionately in legal research and writing. Not all of it was appellate - there are complex issues that require memos at pre-litigation stages, and there are district court issues that require competent briefing even in - gasp - discovery. Oh, and one fact that is probably completely undersold in discussions of "appellate practice".... There is also a lot of grunt work that goes into appeals, especially post-trial appeals.

By the same token, it is probably possible, if difficult, to move toward appellate-type work even without a law-review/clerkship background. Litigation and appellate groups in some firms (mine among them) work closely together. Do good work on pre-trial questions, and your name will come up when those partners are involved in appellate questions. I don't want to sound to pompous, but lots of partners are old-school, and don't see the function of a lawyer as confined to a particular subject within a particular practice area.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Nebby » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:42 pm

delusional wrote:All else being equal, a feeder clerkship is an indication of a good brief writer for several reasons.

[provides zero reasons]

Also, the original post I quoted just said "clerkships" not "feeder clerkship," but my above observation stands nonetheless.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:53 pm

Nebby wrote:
delusional wrote:All else being equal, a feeder clerkship is an indication of a good brief writer for several reasons.

[provides zero reasons]

Also, the original post I quoted just said "clerkships" not "feeder clerkship," but my above observation stands nonetheless.

Your "above observation[s]" being: (1) "lol" and (2) "De-anon and I'll gladly humor you"?

I am beginning to suspect that you don't have much to back up the proposition that a clerkship is not an "indication" that one is a good brief writer.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Nebby » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Nebby wrote:
delusional wrote:All else being equal, a feeder clerkship is an indication of a good brief writer for several reasons.

[provides zero reasons]

Also, the original post I quoted just said "clerkships" not "feeder clerkship," but my above observation stands nonetheless.

Your "above observation[s]" being: (1) "lol" and (2) "De-anon and I'll gladly humor you"?

I am beginning to suspect that you don't have much to back up the proposition that a clerkship is not an "indication" that one is a good brief writer.

I'm not one the one making a proposition. Others, ITT, including you, an anonymous poster with no credibility, are asserting that a clerkship is an indication of a good brief writer.

Sorry, but I do not take what an anonymous user proffers as truth. I asked for support for the proposition, but, to my dismay, no support has been proffered. Poster "delusional" argued that a feeder clerkship is an indication for several reasons, but did not offer any reasons.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:08 pm

For god's sake nebby, why do you do this in discussions of clerks??

Clerks get lots of experience writing --> experience writing tends to make someone a better writer --> being a better writer generally will tend to make you a better writer of briefs.

Also to get a feeder clerkship, people normally need to demonstrate exceptional writing skills.

No one is denying that you can have someone who clerked who turns out to be a not very good brief writer, and no one is suggesting that people who didn't clerk can't be excellent brief writers. They're just commenting generally.

Like I get that you like to push back on what you see as the prestige whoring about clerkships, but your obsession about this tends to derail these conversations. Stop picking fights with people over clerking (and anon posting - if someone doesn't want to connect their clerking to their user name they don't have to. You're free to discredit them for that reason but stop making a thing about it all over these threads).

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Nebby » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:20 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:No one is denying that you can have someone who clerked who turns out to be a not very good brief writer, and no one is suggesting that people who didn't clerk can't be excellent brief writers. They're just commenting generally.

This began because lolwat opined (I believe correctly), that whether you get appellate work in a firm is going to come down to who demonstrates the best brief writing ability. Someone responded "Presumably a clerkship is an indication of a 'good brief writer' though." Which, was not really responsive to lolwat's main point.

Nor was it particularly compelling because legal research and writing in a clerkship context is different than brief writing. One reason being that a clerk isn't actually writing appellate briefs. An appellate opinion is not written like an appellate brief, so I don't think we should just equivocate the two skills. Perhaps an appellate attorney who also clerked could speak to this? I have only written appellate briefs--never clerked, so I obviously cannot speak to the differences.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:34 pm

Nebby wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:No one is denying that you can have someone who clerked who turns out to be a not very good brief writer, and no one is suggesting that people who didn't clerk can't be excellent brief writers. They're just commenting generally.

This began because lolwat opined (I believe correctly), that whether you get appellate work in a firm is going to come down to who demonstrates the best brief writing ability. Someone responded "Presumably a clerkship is an indication of a 'good brief writer' though." Which, was not really responsive to lolwat's main point.

Nor was it particularly compelling because legal research and writing in a clerkship context is different than brief writing. One reason being that a clerk isn't actually writing appellate briefs. An appellate opinion is not written like an appellate brief, so I don't think we should just equivocate the two skills. Perhaps an appellate attorney who also clerked could speak to this? I have only written appellate briefs--never clerked, so I obviously cannot speak to the differences.

I addressed this already in my logical chain about clerking --> good writing --> good brief writing. Having been an appellate clerk and having written appellate briefs, though, no, they're not the same, but reading a whole bunch of appellate briefs for a year gives you a pretty good sense of the common issues that recur, as well as what works and what doesn't (also ingrains in you the standards of review and how to argue within each of them, which a shocking number of attorneys don't get at all).

Also you seem to be making a HUGE deal about a brief one sentence response. Like you could have said, "you don't have to have clerked to be a good brief writer," and everyone would have said, "yes, that's true," and this would be over. Let it gooooooooo.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Nebby » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:03 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Nebby wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:No one is denying that you can have someone who clerked who turns out to be a not very good brief writer, and no one is suggesting that people who didn't clerk can't be excellent brief writers. They're just commenting generally.

This began because lolwat opined (I believe correctly), that whether you get appellate work in a firm is going to come down to who demonstrates the best brief writing ability. Someone responded "Presumably a clerkship is an indication of a 'good brief writer' though." Which, was not really responsive to lolwat's main point.

Nor was it particularly compelling because legal research and writing in a clerkship context is different than brief writing. One reason being that a clerk isn't actually writing appellate briefs. An appellate opinion is not written like an appellate brief, so I don't think we should just equivocate the two skills. Perhaps an appellate attorney who also clerked could speak to this? I have only written appellate briefs--never clerked, so I obviously cannot speak to the differences.

I addressed this already in my logical chain about clerking --> good writing --> good brief writing. Having been an appellate clerk and having written appellate briefs, though, no, they're not the same, but reading a whole bunch of appellate briefs for a year gives you a pretty good sense of the common issues that recur, as well as what works and what doesn't (also ingrains in you the standards of review and how to argue within each of them, which a shocking number of attorneys don't get at all).

Also you seem to be making a HUGE deal about a brief one sentence response. Like you could have said, "you don't have to have clerked to be a good brief writer," and everyone would have said, "yes, that's true," and this would be over. Let it gooooooooo.

Buttsee, e.g.,
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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:03 pm

Yes, Nebby, and that person is you.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby 1styearlateral » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:41 pm

I disagree with Nebby in that I think clerks tend to be better writers based upon they're partially chosen for their writing abilities (plus academics, of course) and their consistent writing tasks.

However, he's right that it seems like a lot of anon posters ITT (and in general) use the feature to broadcast unpopular positions. Own what you say. Like they're scared people on the internet might disagree with them. The board's composed of 99% lawyers and law students, of course people will disagree.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby lolwat » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:04 pm

Oh damn, my opinion spawned a pile of posts about clerkships and writing ability? Lol. I suppose I might as well give my opinions on all of that:

1. Law students get clerkships not because they're necessarily a better writer, but because they had a combination of good stats (GPA+LR), connections (references/calls from professors), and luck.

2. Clerks do learn writing--and if their judge is a good writer, good writing--and that's the bulk of what a clerk does. So it's probably true that a clerkship does make someone a better writer than if that person did not clerk. But that doesn't necessarily mean the clerk is necessarily a better writer than someone else who did not clerk but instead went elsewhere to work for a year.

3. As far as a (COA) clerkship suggesting better writing AND THEREFORE suggesting the clerk is better suited for appellate work, perhaps that is true, but the problem OP (or anyone else gunning for appellate work) will run into is that you're literally competing with all of the SCOTUS, feeder COA, and non-feeder COA clerks--and probably a pile of other D.Ct. clerks and associates who never clerked but are proving themselves to be good writers nevertheless--for a very limited amount of appellate work at the firm. That's why it's hard to get appellate work at a biglaw firm.

I will just add some insight. Summered at a firm known for handling appeals and having many associates who’ve clerked (think GDC, W&C, KH, SG). Worked with two ex-SCOTUS clerks. Each said they had a docket of maybe 50-60% appellate work.

There were other associates who did 40-60% of appellate work too. some had feeder clerkships and some had non-feeder clerkships. Seems like the amount of work they got was based on their relationship with the practice group head/random luck of the draw/actively seeking out work and doing a good job

Besides the partners in the appellate group and a few very senior associates, I don’t think anyone at the firm has a workload of 70%+ appeals. But then again, I only summered there and I only talked to 6-7 people about this. So idk. Just an anecdote


I have no personal experience, but I would say this is GENERALLY as good as you'll get at a biglaw firm. Obviously YMMV. You might just get really lucky and be the one or two full-time appellate associates at a firm. The firm you get into might have enough of a dedicated appellate practice and that appellate practice is self-sufficient enough to supply all of your billable hours for a year. Etc. But chances are good that researching and writing appellate briefs won't take up 100% of your time, and you'll get pulled into some trial-level work, although that work might still be somewhat appellate-related (e.g., writing major motions, monitoring trials to ensure issues are preserved for appeal, etc.).

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby run26.2 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:20 pm

lolwat wrote:I have no personal experience, but I would say this is GENERALLY as good as you'll get at a biglaw firm. Obviously YMMV. You might just get really lucky and be the one or two full-time appellate associates at a firm. The firm you get into might have enough of a dedicated appellate practice and that appellate practice is self-sufficient enough to supply all of your billable hours for a year. Etc. But chances are good that researching and writing appellate briefs won't take up 100% of your time, and you'll get pulled into some trial-level work, although that work might still be somewhat appellate-related (e.g., writing major motions, monitoring trials to ensure issues are preserved for appeal, etc.).

I think one aspect of appellate work is that for most people who do appellate work, even at the most prestigious firms, it is very hard to fill 100% of your time with appellate-only work. I have no idea what the actual percentage is, but I think it must be significantly lower. I know people at highly regarded firms who basically rejoice when they get an assignment in the evening (even on the weekend) because it means they have billable work to do. One related issue is that it is pretty hard to make partner, and once partner to maintain a steady stream of business, if you focus mostly or entirely on appeals. Some can do it, but the folks that do ascend into pretty rarefied air.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Hi OP. I was also #1, did a couple prestigious (not SCOTUS) clerkships, and am an associate in DC. Only been here a couple months, but my impression is that in a lot of even not-exactly-appellate shops, there are two kinds of litigation associates in the world: fact associates and writing associates. The first do tons of discovery and case management.

The second write tons of briefs. Sometimes these are appellate briefs (I have done those and am supposed to be writing one now), but sometimes they are also memoranda in support of motions to dismiss, motions for a PI, summary judgment motions, motions in limine, motions to change venue, motions to stay or oppositions to motions to stay, motions to expedite, complaints, etc. --- there is a lot of writing. This isn't to say that I'm always writing (I'm not), but it's most of my job and on most days I like it. Becoming a writing associate generally means having credentials walking in (which you do), or otherwise getting partners to trust you. If you're willing to do more than just pure appellate briefing, I think there are a lot of opportunities out there. If not, it'll be tougher.

DC in general has a lot of appellate stuff, so it might be worth looking at if it makes any geographic sense.

Maybe a little more general biglaw advice, to the limited extent I am in a position to give it:

I think I like my job more because I'm not in debt (I'm lucky) and don't view it as some sort of financial slavery. Rather it's nice to have a "wow I get to wake up and go work with interesting people and make a shitload of money today doing interesting stuff" sort of attitude. I have not felt this way on my highest billing weeks, and I'm sure it may fade over time, but a lot of people who have the trust of the partners they work for and who see this as a medium-term career (I think I want to stay 4-5 years and then reassess) actually seem to like the firm. If you wake up every day feeling like you've given up on your dream and are here to slowly bleed yourself until you've been punished enough, though, then it'll suck.

Also, say no to cases when you need to/can, avoid New York (hearsay but I believe it), and guard your free time. 2000 hours really isn't bad (I've billed that at an annualized pace so far, even including the first two-week slow period and Christmas--New Years), and really I don't think 2200 would be life destroying either, but the weeks where my billables were closer to 60 were where I first felt like I didn't like my job. I also showed up at 11 this Thursday because I hadn't been to the gym in too long and needed a break; doing little flexible things for yourself seems like an important way to stay sane.

Good luck.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:46 pm

Very helpful post, thanks.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Lincoln » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi OP. I was also #1, did a couple prestigious (not SCOTUS) clerkships, and am an associate in DC. Only been here a couple months, but my impression is that in a lot of even not-exactly-appellate shops, there are two kinds of litigation associates in the world: fact associates and writing associates. The first do tons of discovery and case management.

The second write tons of briefs. Sometimes these are appellate briefs (I have done those and am supposed to be writing one now), but sometimes they are also memoranda in support of motions to dismiss, motions for a PI, summary judgment motions, motions in limine, motions to change venue, motions to stay or oppositions to motions to stay, motions to expedite, complaints, etc. --- there is a lot of writing. This isn't to say that I'm always writing (I'm not), but it's most of my job and on most days I like it. Becoming a writing associate generally means having credentials walking in (which you do), or otherwise getting partners to trust you. If you're willing to do more than just pure appellate briefing, I think there are a lot of opportunities out there. If not, it'll be tougher.

DC in general has a lot of appellate stuff, so it might be worth looking at if it makes any geographic sense.

Maybe a little more general biglaw advice, to the limited extent I am in a position to give it:

I think I like my job more because I'm not in debt (I'm lucky) and don't view it as some sort of financial slavery. Rather it's nice to have a "wow I get to wake up and go work with interesting people and make a shitload of money today doing interesting stuff" sort of attitude. I have not felt this way on my highest billing weeks, and I'm sure it may fade over time, but a lot of people who have the trust of the partners they work for and who see this as a medium-term career (I think I want to stay 4-5 years and then reassess) actually seem to like the firm. If you wake up every day feeling like you've given up on your dream and are here to slowly bleed yourself until you've been punished enough, though, then it'll suck.

Also, say no to cases when you need to/can, avoid New York (hearsay but I believe it), and guard your free time. 2000 hours really isn't bad (I've billed that at an annualized pace so far, even including the first two-week slow period and Christmas--New Years), and really I don't think 2200 would be life destroying either, but the weeks where my billables were closer to 60 were where I first felt like I didn't like my job. I also showed up at 11 this Thursday because I hadn't been to the gym in too long and needed a break; doing little flexible things for yourself seems like an important way to stay sane.

Good luck.


I need a new fucking job.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi OP. I was also #1, did a couple prestigious (not SCOTUS) clerkships, and am an associate in DC. Only been here a couple months, but my impression is that in a lot of even not-exactly-appellate shops, there are two kinds of litigation associates in the world: fact associates and writing associates. The first do tons of discovery and case management.

The second write tons of briefs. Sometimes these are appellate briefs (I have done those and am supposed to be writing one now), but sometimes they are also memoranda in support of motions to dismiss, motions for a PI, summary judgment motions, motions in limine, motions to change venue, motions to stay or oppositions to motions to stay, motions to expedite, complaints, etc. --- there is a lot of writing. This isn't to say that I'm always writing (I'm not), but it's most of my job and on most days I like it. Becoming a writing associate generally means having credentials walking in (which you do), or otherwise getting partners to trust you. If you're willing to do more than just pure appellate briefing, I think there are a lot of opportunities out there. If not, it'll be tougher.

DC in general has a lot of appellate stuff, so it might be worth looking at if it makes any geographic sense.

Maybe a little more general biglaw advice, to the limited extent I am in a position to give it:

I think I like my job more because I'm not in debt (I'm lucky) and don't view it as some sort of financial slavery. Rather it's nice to have a "wow I get to wake up and go work with interesting people and make a shitload of money today doing interesting stuff" sort of attitude. I have not felt this way on my highest billing weeks, and I'm sure it may fade over time, but a lot of people who have the trust of the partners they work for and who see this as a medium-term career (I think I want to stay 4-5 years and then reassess) actually seem to like the firm. If you wake up every day feeling like you've given up on your dream and are here to slowly bleed yourself until you've been punished enough, though, then it'll suck.

Also, say no to cases when you need to/can, avoid New York (hearsay but I believe it), and guard your free time. 2000 hours really isn't bad (I've billed that at an annualized pace so far, even including the first two-week slow period and Christmas--New Years), and really I don't think 2200 would be life destroying either, but the weeks where my billables were closer to 60 were where I first felt like I didn't like my job. I also showed up at 11 this Thursday because I hadn't been to the gym in too long and needed a break; doing little flexible things for yourself seems like an important way to stay sane.

Good luck.


Yikes. When you say you’ve billed 2k at an annualized pace, does that mean you haven’t even completed a year?

Note to self: avoid the “writing associates.”

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby lawlorbust » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:35 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi OP. I was also #1, did a couple prestigious (not SCOTUS) clerkships, and am an associate in DC. Only been here a couple months, but my impression is that in a lot of even not-exactly-appellate shops, there are two kinds of litigation associates in the world: fact associates and writing associates. The first do tons of discovery and case management.


Yikes. When you say you’ve billed 2k at an annualized pace, does that mean you haven’t even completed a year?

Note to self: avoid the “writing associates.”


Isn't that the first (well, the second, or the fourth) thing he said?

Are you a retard?

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Desert Fox » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:47 pm

His experience matches mine. There are definitely some "brief writers" at the firms I've worked with. They did as much appellate as they could get their hands on, but they often came in as a "gun slinger" for some major briefs.

It seems like a pretty chill gig, but they seem to have pretty limited room for growth because they don't become well rounded.

The "fact" associates end up writing briefs, just not as often.

I know one guy who is known as a brief writer, but pushes hard to get involved in the rest of the case. He's on the best trajectory since he can do an entire case himself.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi OP. I was also #1, did a couple prestigious (not SCOTUS) clerkships, and am an associate in DC. Only been here a couple months, but my impression is that in a lot of even not-exactly-appellate shops, there are two kinds of litigation associates in the world: fact associates and writing associates. The first do tons of discovery and case management.

The second write tons of briefs. Sometimes these are appellate briefs (I have done those and am supposed to be writing one now), but sometimes they are also memoranda in support of motions to dismiss, motions for a PI, summary judgment motions, motions in limine, motions to change venue, motions to stay or oppositions to motions to stay, motions to expedite, complaints, etc. --- there is a lot of writing. This isn't to say that I'm always writing (I'm not), but it's most of my job and on most days I like it. Becoming a writing associate generally means having credentials walking in (which you do), or otherwise getting partners to trust you. If you're willing to do more than just pure appellate briefing, I think there are a lot of opportunities out there. If not, it'll be tougher.

DC in general has a lot of appellate stuff, so it might be worth looking at if it makes any geographic sense.

Maybe a little more general biglaw advice, to the limited extent I am in a position to give it:

I think I like my job more because I'm not in debt (I'm lucky) and don't view it as some sort of financial slavery. Rather it's nice to have a "wow I get to wake up and go work with interesting people and make a shitload of money today doing interesting stuff" sort of attitude. I have not felt this way on my highest billing weeks, and I'm sure it may fade over time, but a lot of people who have the trust of the partners they work for and who see this as a medium-term career (I think I want to stay 4-5 years and then reassess) actually seem to like the firm. If you wake up every day feeling like you've given up on your dream and are here to slowly bleed yourself until you've been punished enough, though, then it'll suck.

Also, say no to cases when you need to/can, avoid New York (hearsay but I believe it), and guard your free time. 2000 hours really isn't bad (I've billed that at an annualized pace so far, even including the first two-week slow period and Christmas--New Years), and really I don't think 2200 would be life destroying either, but the weeks where my billables were closer to 60 were where I first felt like I didn't like my job. I also showed up at 11 this Thursday because I hadn't been to the gym in too long and needed a break; doing little flexible things for yourself seems like an important way to stay sane.

Good luck.


OP here. Thanks so much for the insight; this was a great post. Yeah, I'd be fine doing appellate work + motion writing...I just want to avoid straight trial work (doesn't suit my personality or strengths). Thanks!

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby Nebby » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks so much for the insight; this was a great post. Yeah, I'd be fine doing appellate work + motion writing...I just want to avoid straight trial work (doesn't suit my personality or strengths). Thanks!

What do you mean when you say "straight trial work?"

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:18 am

lawlorbust wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi OP. I was also #1, did a couple prestigious (not SCOTUS) clerkships, and am an associate in DC. Only been here a couple months, but my impression is that in a lot of even not-exactly-appellate shops, there are two kinds of litigation associates in the world: fact associates and writing associates. The first do tons of discovery and case management.


Yikes. When you say you’ve billed 2k at an annualized pace, does that mean you haven’t even completed a year?

Note to self: avoid the “writing associates.”


Isn't that the first (well, the second, or the fourth) thing he said?

Are you a retard?


Yes. Certified retard.

lolwat

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby lolwat » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:43 pm

Desert Fox wrote:His experience matches mine. There are definitely some "brief writers" at the firms I've worked with. They did as much appellate as they could get their hands on, but they often came in as a "gun slinger" for some major briefs.

It seems like a pretty chill gig, but they seem to have pretty limited room for growth because they don't become well rounded.

The "fact" associates end up writing briefs, just not as often.

I know one guy who is known as a brief writer, but pushes hard to get involved in the rest of the case. He's on the best trajectory since he can do an entire case himself.


This is true of my experience and from talking to others in my market too. And brief writers do have somewhat limited room for growth in the usual sense because they don't do things like discovery, depositions, building case strategy, trials, and so on... so they don't build the usual litigation skills that allow them to run an entire case by themselves as a mid or senior-level attorney. (Unless they make a conscious effort to build those skills.) But then again it often seems like the people who get slotted into those roles don't WANT to do those kinds of things.I happen to be one of those people, actually. :) I've done a bunch of things over the years but researching/thinking/writing is so much more enjoyable to me than the other aspects of litigation.

jd20132013

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Re: Chances of getting an appellate gig in biglaw?

Postby jd20132013 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:55 pm

I want to be a writing associate



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