Biglaw lawyer taking questions

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miamiman
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby miamiman » Sat May 15, 2010 9:53 pm

I think the general TLS consensus is that recruiting for the coming fall will be up - though to what extent remains unclear. Have you heard any rumblings in your firm about your individual recruiting needs?

Also, ATL ran an article a couple weeks ago suggestive that litigation would be halved in the next decade. Can you comment upon this?

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 9:56 pm

atlantalaw wrote:i was just wondering if you could give a bit more detail on how being on a secondary journal helped. is it just because of the writing experience? or were employers pretty impressed? both? other? thanks!


A little of both. No one's really impressed with a secondary journal unless you hold one of the top two positions. Being EIC or Managing Editor can make a difference. The writing experience isn't really as useful as the experience having to edit a ton of stuff quickly. Doing that a lot helped with editing my own work.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 10:20 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
atlantalaw wrote:i was just wondering if you could give a bit more detail on how being on a secondary journal helped. is it just because of the writing experience? or were employers pretty impressed? both? other? thanks!


A little of both. No one's really impressed with a secondary journal unless you hold one of the top two positions. Being EIC or Managing Editor can make a difference. The writing experience isn't really as useful as the experience having to edit a ton of stuff quickly. Doing that a lot helped with editing my own work.


Thank you for answering questions, sir/ma'am. I surfed through the questions that you've answered on almost all the pages, but I couldn't find an answer to this question, and all of it has to do with being a litigator at biglaw:

1. As a third year litigator, what are the prospects of being able to gain actual courtroom experience? My understanding is that the partner or senior associate ends up representing the client in court while the junior associates take care of the legwork. Are pro bono cases pretty much the only opportunity for gaining actual courtroom experience?

2. Assuming that you haven't had as much contact with clients as a third/fourth year associate, how do you think the transition from being a kind of "support" attorney for a litigation to being the actual person standing in court? More specifically, when* and how* do you start developing a client base in order to transition into partnership?

3. I've read from here and there that some litigation attorneys are actually promoted to partnership even if they don't have a relatively (as an associate) substantial book of business.

Answers to any of the following would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading all sorts of articles on the topic, but just can't seem to find answers to these questions.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sat May 15, 2010 10:38 pm

any clue if OCI will be better this august? also, what is a solid reason or answer to a potential employer for why someone wants to be a litigator? what skills or experience are required? how is it different from other Big Law gigs? Thanks!

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 10:41 pm

miamiman wrote:I think the general TLS consensus is that recruiting for the coming fall will be up - though to what extent remains unclear. Have you heard any rumblings in your firm about your individual recruiting needs?

Also, ATL ran an article a couple weeks ago suggestive that litigation would be halved in the next decade. Can you comment upon this?


I'd more expect recruiting to be flat, but it may be up slightly. I think firms are still being cautious is my market.

As for litigation halving, I think that's a huge overstatement. Litigation is still fairly busy in my firm and market. I think firms overall will stay leaner than in the past, but I don't see litigation taking a huge cut.

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swc65
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby swc65 » Sat May 15, 2010 10:44 pm

Just read through this whole thread. Thank you for the great info!

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 10:45 pm

PLATONiC wrote:
Thank you for answering questions, sir/ma'am. I surfed through the questions that you've answered on almost all the pages, but I couldn't find an answer to this question, and all of it has to do with being a litigator at biglaw:

1. As a third year litigator, what are the prospects of being able to gain actual courtroom experience? My understanding is that the partner or senior associate ends up representing the client in court while the junior associates take care of the legwork. Are pro bono cases pretty much the only opportunity for gaining actual courtroom experience?

2. Assuming that you haven't had as much contact with clients as a third/fourth year associate, how do you think the transition from being a kind of "support" attorney for a litigation to being the actual person standing in court? More specifically, when* and how* do you start developing a client base in order to transition into partnership?

3. I've read from here and there that some litigation attorneys are actually promoted to partnership even if they don't have a relatively (as an associate) substantial book of business.

Answers to any of the following would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading all sorts of articles on the topic, but just can't seem to find answers to these questions.


1. Pro bono's almost the only way to do it. Pick up a criminal pro bono case and you'll get trial experience. I can't think of anyone at my level who has gained courtroom experience on a normal case, including all my friends in other firms.

2. Well I've actually had a ton of contact with clients. I think it depends on the firm, but you can get a lot of experience dealing with clients early. Other than that, when you hit midlevel years (4-6) they're going to push you to get involved in things like bar associations, board memberships of area organizations, and writing articles to start developing your client base. They'll also push you to maintain relationships from law school, then it's just a matter of luck.

3. Depends on the firm, I think it's changing these days, and if you want to make partner (at least equity partner) you need a book of business. To make income partner, you just need to show that you have the potential to generate business.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 10:51 pm

Thank you for your reply!

How much do the friends back in law school help your practice? Do you believe that they'd be willing to refer you cases in the future? (provided that he/she isn't involved in that particular practice area, or is a transactional lawyer that don't have a clue about litigation).

Is it safe to say, then, that it is oftentimes more difficult to develop a book of business as a litigator than as a transactional lawyer?

Litigation work seems to be a little more spontaneous, whereas transactional work can be a little more continuous. But then again, I've read that litigation work is less cyclical, whereas transactional work definitely is. Hence, your response would be greatly valued:D

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 10:53 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:any clue if OCI will be better this august? also, what is a solid reason or answer to a potential employer for why someone wants to be a litigator? what skills or experience are required? how is it different from other Big Law gigs? Thanks!


If it's better, only slightly better, that's my bet. Litigation is a whole different beast than other types of Big Law jobs. It's basically litigation or transactional. To be a good litigator you have to be able to figure out the best way to present, and to prove your case. You have to be a good/persuasive writer, and you have to be ready to sacrifice your life for months at time. In the early years, you don't really need good speaking skills, you need attention to detail and good writing/research skills. To me, transactional work, at least the little bit that I've done, is very repetitive and doesn't challenge me.

As far as a solid reason, I'm not sure there's one answer to give. I said that I wanted to be in court, wanted to be battling with the other side for my clients, and that transactional work seemed boring.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 10:56 pm

PLATONiC wrote:Thank you for your reply!

How much do the friends back in law school help your practice? Do you believe that they'd be willing to refer you cases in the future? (provided that he/she isn't involved in that particular practice area, or is a transactional lawyer that don't have a clue about litigation).

Is it safe to say, then, that it is oftentimes more difficult to develop a book of business as a litigator than as a transactional lawyer?

Litigation work seems to be a little more spontaneous, whereas transactional work can be a little more continuous. But then again, I've read that litigation work is less cyclical, whereas transactional work definitely is. Hence, your response would be greatly valued:D


The thought is that your former classmates will refer work to you. Firms are conflicted out of litigation all the time, if they can't do it, they'll pass the work on to you, hopefully. I've already been in the position to refer friends for smaller transactional work, so maybe in the future they'll throw some lit. my way.

I don't really want to speculate too much about building a book of business, I don't have one, so I don't want to pretend like I've got this deep insight, when I don't.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sat May 15, 2010 10:59 pm

Great thanks. Would moot court or trial advocacy be an advantage? Is there any experience I am expected to have on my resume before OCI? Or is interest just enough. I feel like I could be good at litigation. I really enjoyed writing and arguing my brief this year. Any other advice would be great.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 10:59 pm

I understand what you mean by speculation:D

One last question: When you say that you come across some transactional work, how do you come across it? Does some random client contact you via email? Does a partner pass it onto you and you end up not feelling like doing it? I'm very very curious as to how people come across legal work in a biglaw setting besides through the partner.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 11:01 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:Great thanks. Would moot court or trial advocacy be an advantage? Is there any experience I am expected to have on my resume before OCI? Or is interest just enough. I feel like I could be good at litigation. I really enjoyed writing and arguing my brief this year. Any other advice would be great.


I think trial ad is useful, moot court, not as much. There's really nothing in particular that you're supposed to have on your resume, just express your interest in litigation.

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 11:03 pm

PLATONiC wrote:I understand what you mean by speculation:D

One last question: When you say that you come across some transactional work, how do you come across it? Does some random client contact you via email? Does a partner pass it onto you and you end up not feelling like doing it? I'm very very curious as to how people come across legal work in a biglaw setting besides through the partner.


All my work comes from partners. A partner could just ask an associate that sits by him/her to do some small projects, at least they can at my firm. Different firms have different systems set up so it's not all universal. Generally my work comes through one of a couple partners now who I work primarily for. In the beginning it was more of a random group of things that I was assigned based on my availability.

liljerry
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby liljerry » Sat May 15, 2010 11:26 pm

Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.

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Core
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Core » Sat May 15, 2010 11:48 pm

liljerry wrote:Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.

Building on this - how does your firm view Penn relative to CCN?

d34d9823
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Sat May 15, 2010 11:50 pm

Core wrote:
liljerry wrote:Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.

Building on this - how does your firm view Penn relative to CCN?

Lol (actually did laugh) at this given your question the other day :D

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Core
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Core » Sat May 15, 2010 11:51 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
Core wrote:
liljerry wrote:Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.

Building on this - how does your firm view Penn relative to CCN?

Lol (actually did laugh) at this given your question the other day :D

Lol are you referring to a post from my Penn/Chicago crisis thread?
That was a bad day :(.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 11:53 pm

I would like to see this Penn/Chicago crisis thread :D

3rdYrLitigator
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby 3rdYrLitigator » Sat May 15, 2010 11:54 pm

liljerry wrote:Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.


As far as I can tell, no one really makes much of a difference after HYS, it's all basically the same after that. CCN, Penn, whatever, no one's really getting much of a boost from one or the other, aside from a specific partners' dislikes of certain schools.

d34d9823
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Sat May 15, 2010 11:56 pm

Core wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Core wrote:
liljerry wrote:Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.

Building on this - how does your firm view Penn relative to CCN?

Lol (actually did laugh) at this given your question the other day :D

Lol are you referring to a post from my Penn/Chicago crisis thread?
That was a bad day :(.

Yeah. Sorry to find amusement in your problem. :(

But seriously, it's not like you can make a bad choice here. Did you decide yet?

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Core
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Core » Sat May 15, 2010 11:58 pm

Yeah. Sorry to find amusement in your problem. :(

But seriously, it's not like you can make a bad choice here. Did you decide yet?

Nah it's cool. I'd do the same.
Yea - Penn. I was having second thoughts and doubting myself, but once I snapped out of it I realized that my decision was, for me, the right one.

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Core
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby Core » Sat May 15, 2010 11:59 pm

3rdYrLitigator wrote:
liljerry wrote:Do partners at your firm differentiate ccn from the rest of the t10? Or is it all the same besides hys? I saw you answered a question similar to this earlier but didn't address ccn directly.


As far as I can tell, no one really makes much of a difference after HYS, it's all basically the same after that. CCN, Penn, whatever, no one's really getting much of a boost from one or the other, aside from a specific partners' dislikes of certain schools.

Glad to hear it!

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hiromoto45
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby hiromoto45 » Sun May 16, 2010 12:12 am

1. How do women fair at your firm?
2.During what year or time does it become seemingly clear which associates are on the partner track and which are not?
3. Are the URMs in your firm given work level to yours or is it significantly less demanding? I ask because you said previous URMs have been hired with lesser gpas. I can't but think that would affect the quality of work or productivity that would be expected of URMs.
4. Do URMs still face a glass-ceiling to partnership even if they excel beyond expectations or are just as productive as non-urms that are on the partner track?

d34d9823
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Re: Biglaw lawyer taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Sun May 16, 2010 12:14 am

hiromoto45 wrote:1. How do women fair at your firm?
2.During what year or time does it become seemingly clear which associates are on the partner track and which are not?
3. Are the URMs in your firm given work level to yours or is it significantly less demanding? I ask because you said previous URMs have been hired with lesser gpas. I can't but think that would affect the quality of work or productivity that would be expected of URMs.
4. Do URMs still face a glass-ceiling to partnership even if they excel beyond expectations or are just as productive as non-urms that are on the partner track?

Whoa not pullin' any punches here.




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