Is Antitrust career suicide?

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El_Bee_Oh

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Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby El_Bee_Oh » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:37 pm

I find antitrust to be a fascinating area of law, have relevant experience prior to law school, and am going to a firm that is well regarded in the space. The issue is I, like most incoming associates, doubt I will end up making partner. Given how specialized the work is, are there plentiful decent quality exit opportunities to in house etc.? Is it any harder/easier to make partner than other areas of litigation or is it one of those areas where you can stick around as of counsel indefinitely? Thanks.

2013

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby 2013 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:54 pm

You will notice this when you start, but many attorneys in specialty groups tend to have longer stints in biglaw. Because they aren’t as easily replaceable, I think they aren’t pushed out as quickly or often. That’s why for many specialty groups, you end up seeing so many of counsel and partners for those groups.

timbs4339

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:03 pm

Yes, there are fewer antitrust partners but there are also fewer antitrust associates. Your chance of making partner will depend too much on firm-specific factors to tell and you really should never go into a biglaw firm expecting to make partner. If you are interested in antitrust, though, picking a firm with strong litigation and deal practices is probably a better fit as you'll get a better variety of work and maybe be in a position to transition to be an antitrust service partner a little down the line if you don't make it at your first firm. And the practice area is actually very "deal focused" so there are interesting in-house opportunities if you find you don't like the litigation stuff as much. I know antitrust lawyers who do not do any antitrust litigation they just advise on the antitrust aspects of deals.
Last edited by QContinuum on Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ICFMFWIWY

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby ICFMFWIWY » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:52 am

No, going to law school is career suicide

ball is life

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby ball is life » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:54 pm

As far as I understand, antitrust-specific exit options are going to be gov (e.g. DOJ, FTC) and boutique firms that will be materially similar to biglaw as far as pay and hours (e.g. Axinn). However, depending on how you firm arranges it's antitrust group you might be able to have the regular litigation exit of going to a smaller firm with less hours and less pay if you work only on litigation or in-house if you work on a lot of deals.

El_Bee_Oh

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby El_Bee_Oh » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:52 pm

Thanks this is all very helpful. Any thoughts generally on antitrust as a practice group in terms of work quality and lifestyle?

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:57 pm

There are also IP Litigation practice groups that put a premium on having Antitrust knowledge because it often intersects with IP.

El_Bee_Oh

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby El_Bee_Oh » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:45 am

Is it worth doing antitrust outside of DC? Do any other secondary markets have good antitrust presence, and/or is it worth doing at a regional office of a DC-focused firm?

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:59 pm

The vast majority of antitrust deal work is in DC and NY (more in DC). I get the sense that you can do antitrust litigation in other markets (eg San Francisco) but that a lot of that is also based out of DC and NY.

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Elston Gunn

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby Elston Gunn » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:10 am

I don’t disagree with any specific here, but I do think the overall impression of this thread is a bit too rosy. You can totally have a successful career as a pure antitrust lawyer, but there are downsides imo. It’s a niche practice that doesn’t have a lot of the benefits of most niche practices (ie, there aren’t a lot of specialized in house positions, niche boutiques etc). The government options are pretty decent, but jobs at DOJ/FTC aren’t easy to get, and my impression is that they are happy to hire more generalist litigators who do a fair amount of antitrust work, rather than focusing on people who spend all there time in an antitrust group.

rk42

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby rk42 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:47 am

Do deal-focused antitrust lawyers have similar in-house opportunities as other corp associates?

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:57 pm

No. Antitrust deal lawyers file HSRs (a regulatory filing for deals above a certain size) and engage in advocacy before the antitrust agencies and responding to Second Requests (basically a subpoena the FTC or DOJ issue if a deal poses competitive issues). This is mostly the province of outside counsel. Antitrust deal lawyers don’t do a ton of work on the transaction agreement itself besides advising on the antitrust provisions, which typically doesn’t take a lot of time.

Large companies (eg Google, Amazon, Walmart) all have in-house antitrust counsel but these positions are much more rare than M&A positions and generally involve all sorts of antitrust work (litigation, a lot of counseling, some deal work, etc.).

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby Npret » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:26 pm

El_Bee_Oh wrote:I find antitrust to be a fascinating area of law, have relevant experience prior to law school, and am going to a firm that is well regarded in the space. The issue is I, like most incoming associates, doubt I will end up making partner. Given how specialized the work is, are there plentiful decent quality exit opportunities to in house etc.? Is it any harder/easier to make partner than other areas of litigation or is it one of those areas where you can stick around as of counsel indefinitely? Thanks.

Making partner is a risk in any area. You should look at what your firm has been doing with of counsel roles. There may be other associates in line at the firm.
Anti-trust is highly specialized but I’ve seen lawyers that practice it have a good life style.
There aren’t as many jobs as from M and A but your life will be worse.

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Redamon1

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Re: Is Antitrust career suicide?

Postby Redamon1 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:57 am

At least on the litigation side, the ins-and-outs of the practice are not that different from other complex litigation, and should be marketable outside the antitrust area. There is a fair amount of class action work, MDLs, and other complex work with experts and discovery, which is good training for litigation generally. Antitrust litigators also deal with consumer-protection statutes, since many antitrust claims are couched as, or brought alongside, consumer claims. So your experience will include consumer class actions more generally, likely under a variety of state and federal statutes.



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