"What kind of law do you want to practice?"

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marija
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"What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby marija » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:21 am

Is it bad that I don't have an answer to this question yet?

Edit: To clarify: starting 1L in a couple of weeks.

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Rand M.
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby Rand M. » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:38 am

marija wrote:Is it bad that I don't have an answer to this question yet?

Edit: To clarify: starting 1L in a couple of weeks.


No. Knowing the type of law you want to practice isn't necessary until you are about to start practicing law (interviewing--> starting somewhere) It's not bad to have a general idea, but most firms want you to try your hand at a few different things before you commit to something.

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JazzOne
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby JazzOne » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:43 am

You won't even get exposure to transactional work unless you get a summer clerkship, so don't worry about it for now. Just focus on grades and making law review.

marija
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby marija » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:48 am

This is pretty much what I thought, but I'm just curious because it's the question that EVERYONE seems to be asking me. When it's random people it doesn't bother me, but lawyers ask me that question and I don't know what to say. I usually ask them if they knew what kind of law they wanted to practice when they were starting law school, but I wonder if I should just make something up so they don't think I'm another clueless kid just going to law school because I think it's a golden ticket to wealth and prestige.

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Veyron
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:57 am

marija wrote:This is pretty much what I thought, but I'm just curious because it's the question that EVERYONE seems to be asking me. When it's random people it doesn't bother me, but lawyers ask me that question and I don't know what to say. I usually ask them if they knew what kind of law they wanted to practice when they were starting law school, but I wonder if I should just make something up so they don't think I'm another clueless kid just going to law school because I think it's a golden ticket to wealth and prestige.


Yah, I get this question a lot from attorneys as well. I just say that I don't know but I think I'd like to do either criminal or civil litigation. That has the virtue for being both broad and specific enough to be a jumping off point for a covo. Got a 1L summer job offer while using this response.

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nealric
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby nealric » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:29 pm

Better to say "I don't know" than the standard 0L/New 1L response of "International law" or some such nonsense.

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TommyK
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby TommyK » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:41 pm

Maybe I'm way off-base, but I feel like that's mostly like people asking, "so, what's your major", when you were in undergrad. Probably just as much trying to start a conversation as anything else. (Exception being at OCI, I imagine. They probably want to see how you think, what prompted your decision in law, how you could fit into their firm) I think it's more important to respond sounding intelligent than having a firm answer.

"I realize that the vast majority of law students end up wanting to practice something different than they had hoped to when they started law school. That being said, right now I'm really attracted to the xxxx aspects of xxxxx law, and the xxxx of xxxx"

Better than, "Oh gosh... I don't know. I was just sick of retail so here I am!"

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clevinger33
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby clevinger33 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:43 pm

TommyK wrote:"I realize that the vast majority of law students end up wanting to practice something different than they had hoped to when they started law school. That being said, right now I'm really attracted to the xxxx aspects of xxxxx law, and the xxxx of xxxx"


This is basically what I say when anyone asks me this question.

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Jarndyce
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby Jarndyce » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:18 pm

It's not only okay that you don't know- it is good that you don't know. You don't just say "I want a Ford XXX" without seeing it/ driving it. You have to figure out what is right for you.

rynabrius
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby rynabrius » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:37 pm

It's okay that you don't know what you want to practice--even knowing what different types of lawyers do will give you a leg-up at this point.

You might want to get "The Official Guide to Legal Specialties."

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TTH
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby TTH » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:37 pm

rynabrius wrote:You might want to get "The Official Guide to Legal Specialties."


This book is worthless.

rynabrius
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby rynabrius » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:51 pm

TTH: Thanks for the tip. I haven't read it, I just assumed there was some truth in advertising.

Bumi
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby Bumi » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:59 pm

Oh my god is this relevant. I got this question again today for the billionth time, and I'm just an 0L. My answers have evolved over time:

1) I have no idea
2) I have an engineering degree, so patent law?
3) I have an engineering degree, so everyone says patent law. But I kind of want to keep an open mind.
4) It doesn't matter until I get to working in a firm anyway, so who cares?

I'll tell you what kind of law I want to practice: appellate litigation or legal scholarship. But I recognize that this is like dreaming about playing in the NFL or about nailing Scarlett Johansson: fun, but not remotely likely. From now on I'm going to stick with (3) above.

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TTH
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby TTH » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:45 pm

rynabrius wrote:TTH: Thanks for the tip. I haven't read it, I just assumed there was some truth in advertising.


A little more than "it's worthless." I read the descriptions for most of the corporate transactional specialities, and they all read the same. Ditto for the different types of litigation. Not a lot of useful info.

rynabrius
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby rynabrius » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:02 pm

TTH wrote:
rynabrius wrote:TTH: Thanks for the tip. I haven't read it, I just assumed there was some truth in advertising.


A little more than "it's worthless." I read the descriptions for most of the corporate transactional specialities, and they all read the same. Ditto for the different types of litigation. Not a lot of useful info.


That is too bad. I found "Guerrilla Tactics" to be very helpful, and they are from the same publisher. You have dissuaded me from following my plan to get "Guide". I s'pose the internet is still the ultimate resource.

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superflush
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby superflush » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:01 pm

marija wrote:This is pretty much what I thought, but I'm just curious because it's the question that EVERYONE seems to be asking me. When it's random people it doesn't bother me, but lawyers ask me that question and I don't know what to say. I usually ask them if they knew what kind of law they wanted to practice when they were starting law school, but I wonder if I should just make something up so they don't think I'm another clueless kid just going to law school because I think it's a golden ticket to wealth and prestige.


This question is asked from all directions: the maintenance guy at my apartment, the barista at the cafe, the furniture delivery people, waitresses, bartenders ...

solidsnake
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby solidsnake » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:40 pm

Unless you have the pre-ls resume to back up a particular specialty, just say something along the lines of "keeping an open mind, for now."

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pu_golf88
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby pu_golf88 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:42 pm

Bumi wrote:Oh my god is this relevant. I got this question again today for the billionth time, and I'm just an 0L. My answers have evolved over time:

1) I have no idea
2) I have an engineering degree, so patent law?
3) I have an engineering degree, so everyone says patent law. But I kind of want to keep an open mind.

4) It doesn't matter until I get to working in a firm anyway, so who cares?

I'll tell you what kind of law I want to practice: appellate litigation or legal scholarship. But I recognize that this is like dreaming about playing in the NFL or about nailing Scarlett Johansson: fun, but not remotely likely. From now on I'm going to stick with (3) above.


Same, but I don't really know what my "dream" area of law is. I like to think it's patent lit, but who knows.

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thuggishruggishbone
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Re: "What kind of law do you want to practice?"

Postby thuggishruggishbone » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:31 am

biglaw




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