path to trial law

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pre-med person
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Re: path to trial law

Postby pre-med person » Thu May 31, 2012 1:05 pm

I have one more question.

Do you believe that being a practicing doctor could inspire clients to hire the doctor over other trial attorneys? I know this is a controversial topic, apologies in advance, I don't mean to derail the thread.

For example, I could see how a practicing psychiatrist could be very useful to a family law practice. Not that being a psychiatrist would increase your ability as a trial lawyer, but I could see how it could inspire clients to choose you over other lawyers in disputes where psychiatric diagnosis' are involved. This is one of many examples that I can think about.

CanadianWolf
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Re: path to trial law

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 31, 2012 2:01 pm

Although prospective trial lawyers benefit greatly from clerking for trial court judges, appellate clerkships are also quite valuable since it educates one on how to set up issues for appeals. Plus, appellate clerks get to review the work product of both trial & appellate attorneys.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu May 31, 2012 2:41 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Although prospective trial lawyers benefit greatly from clerking for trial court judges, appellate clerkships are also quite valuable since it educates one on how to set up issues for appeals. Plus, appellate clerks get to review the work product of both trial & appellate attorneys.


This is true. And this would be an added bonus. But no clerkship, appellate or trial, is a substitute for the other things I laid out.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu May 31, 2012 2:48 pm

pre-med person wrote:I have one more question.

Do you believe that being a practicing doctor could inspire clients to hire the doctor over other trial attorneys? I know this is a controversial topic, apologies in advance, I don't mean to derail the thread.

For example, I could see how a practicing psychiatrist could be very useful to a family law practice. Not that being a psychiatrist would increase your ability as a trial lawyer, but I could see how it could inspire clients to choose you over other lawyers in disputes where psychiatric diagnosis' are involved. This is one of many examples that I can think about.


I see no advantage whatsoever as far as general trial practice is concerned. But, if you are a doctor, I would think you would have an advantage over other lawyers as to any healthcare claim based in contract or tort (including medical malpractice). But that is the only advantage I see. As for other advantages, they might be there is some regard, but they won't be at all visible to prospective clients. If anything, your being a doctor could taint your ability to be seen as a charismatic person who can relate to a jury. Doctors are not known as charismatic individuals. Whether or not this is true is besides the point. If prospective clients feel this way, then there is not much you can do about it.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu May 31, 2012 2:51 pm

If you want to be a good trial lawyer, you HAVE to have charisma and charm. If you don't, no matter how smart or proficient you are, you better choose another area of law to practice. Or you better hope that every trial lawyer you go up against is just as dry as you are. If you can't speak/relate to that jury, but your opponent can, you're sunk. This isn't appellate practice. This is trial practice. This is the prime reason why big law firms usually get their asses kicked in the courtroom when facing a charismatic trial lawyer who can say his ABC's backwards. He doesn't have to be that smart. He just can't lack intellect altogether.

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TyrionLannister
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Re: path to trial law

Postby TyrionLannister » Thu May 31, 2012 7:43 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:If you want to be a good trial lawyer, you HAVE to have charisma and charm. If you don't, no matter how smart or proficient you are, you better choose another area of law to practice. Or you better hope that every trial lawyer you go up against is just as dry as you are. If you can't speak/relate to that jury, but your opponent can, you're sunk. This isn't appellate practice. This is trial practice. This is the prime reason why big law firms usually get their asses kicked in the courtroom when facing a charismatic trial lawyer who can say his ABC's backwards. He doesn't have to be that smart. He just can't lack intellect altogether.


Thanks for taking the time to write such a complete response to my last round of questions. As someone transitioning into the legal field from acting - charisma, charm, and ability to perform under pressure are my greatest advantages over the next person. I had considered a focus towards being a trial lawyer, and you are doing a fine job of convincing me that my instincts are dead on. I was hoping you could paint a picture of the income and hours of your specialty. Obviously, life gets more hectic around "game day", when you are actively at trial, but can you give a sense of hours work/billed for a trial lawyer? Equal to typical Biglaw jobs? What is your typical compensation for the work that you do? Flat fee or percentage? How did you first set a price for your skills? Is there a market rate/scale that you generally charge depending on a lawyer's level of experience? Best case scenario, what is the likely annual net income for a trial lawyer?

Sorry if the answers to these questions are hard to provide because of the broad spectrum of specialties, experience, and demand for different lawyers. Anything you could offer about what a successful trial lawyer makes and the hours he works would be great.

Thanks again! Great thread.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu May 31, 2012 8:08 pm

TyrionLannister wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:If you want to be a good trial lawyer, you HAVE to have charisma and charm. If you don't, no matter how smart or proficient you are, you better choose another area of law to practice. Or you better hope that every trial lawyer you go up against is just as dry as you are. If you can't speak/relate to that jury, but your opponent can, you're sunk. This isn't appellate practice. This is trial practice. This is the prime reason why big law firms usually get their asses kicked in the courtroom when facing a charismatic trial lawyer who can say his ABC's backwards. He doesn't have to be that smart. He just can't lack intellect altogether.


Thanks for taking the time to write such a complete response to my last round of questions. As someone transitioning into the legal field from acting - charisma, charm, and ability to perform under pressure are my greatest advantages over the next person. I had considered a focus towards being a trial lawyer, and you are doing a fine job of convincing me that my instincts are dead on. I was hoping you could paint a picture of the income and hours of your specialty. Obviously, life gets more hectic around "game day", when you are actively at trial, but can you give a sense of hours work/billed for a trial lawyer? Equal to typical Biglaw jobs? What is your typical compensation for the work that you do? Flat fee or percentage? How did you first set a price for your skills? Is there a market rate/scale that you generally charge depending on a lawyer's level of experience? Best case scenario, what is the likely annual net income for a trial lawyer?

Sorry if the answers to these questions are hard to provide because of the broad spectrum of specialties, experience, and demand for different lawyers. Anything you could offer about what a successful trial lawyer makes and the hours he works would be great.

Thanks again! Great thread.


I'll get to your question in a moment. But if you have a lot of acting experience, you should be able to kill it. I think one thing that helps me was that I had a lot of drama instruction when I was in high school. Mostly it's just who I am as a person more than anything else. That's where my charisma and charm comes from.

005618502
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Re: path to trial law

Postby 005618502 » Thu May 31, 2012 8:16 pm

tag, will come back to ask ? in a few. Thanks for this!

CanadianWolf
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Re: path to trial law

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 31, 2012 8:55 pm

Theatical training may help you conquer stage fright, but it is not a substitute for thorough preparation & sincerity.

P.S. Plus, you have to write your own lines. :D

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TyrionLannister
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Re: path to trial law

Postby TyrionLannister » Thu May 31, 2012 9:26 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Theatical training may help you conquer stage fright, but it is not a substitute for thorough preparation & sincerity.

P.S. Plus, you have to write your own lines. :D


No one said that it did.

BTW, theatrical training of any value preaches thorough preparation & sincerity as necessary elements to any performance.

As to your P.S., I'm assuming that the :D means that you are joking. If not, thanks for insulting me by assuming I'm not intelligent enough to know that.

Jeremyl
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Re: path to trial law

Postby Jeremyl » Thu May 31, 2012 10:00 pm

If a prospective student wants to be a trial lawyer, would you recommend Baylor over UT? They have better interscholastic teams, and the 3l practice court provides more of the additional training you are so hip on.

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princeR
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Re: path to trial law

Postby princeR » Thu May 31, 2012 10:01 pm

TyrionLannister wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Theatical training may help you conquer stage fright, but it is not a substitute for thorough preparation & sincerity.

P.S. Plus, you have to write your own lines. :D


No one said that it did.

BTW, theatrical training of any value preaches thorough preparation & sincerity as necessary elements to any performance.

As to your P.S., I'm assuming that the :D means that you are joking. If not, thanks for insulting me by assuming I'm not intelligent enough to know that.

He was definitely joking, learn the internetz better!

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu May 31, 2012 10:20 pm

Jeremyl wrote:If a prospective student wants to be a trial lawyer, would you recommend Baylor over UT? They have better interscholastic teams, and the 3l practice court provides more of the additional training you are so hip on.


Ah yes, I remember you. As someone who has actually practiced in the profession and has participated and learned from actually good and knowledgeable trial lawyers, I would NEVER in a million years recommend Baylor over Texas for anything, let alone for advocacy learning. See my post about black letter versus theory and how learning theory gives you a much bigger advantage to tackling more difficult cases. They don't learn theory at Baylor. There is a reason why the richest lawyer in the country, Joe Jamail who is a trial lawyer who's worth 1.5 billion dollars, is a UT Law grad.

Mock trial is taught very differently at South Texas and Baylor than it is at UT Law. The way they teach it does not translate to success in the pros.

You can debate that all you want and make yourself look like an ass. But I refuse to degrade myself by talking to someone completely ignorant about what I do as a profession. And I'm not going to let you hijack this thread and ruin it for everyone else who has actual sense.

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TyrionLannister
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Re: path to trial law

Postby TyrionLannister » Thu May 31, 2012 10:59 pm

princeR wrote:
TyrionLannister wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Theatical training may help you conquer stage fright, but it is not a substitute for thorough preparation & sincerity.

P.S. Plus, you have to write your own lines. :D


No one said that it did.

BTW, theatrical training of any value preaches thorough preparation & sincerity as necessary elements to any performance.

As to your P.S., I'm assuming that the :D means that you are joking. If not, thanks for insulting me by assuming I'm not intelligent enough to know that.

He was definitely joking, learn the internetz better!


LOL, I know. I read it at a bad moment and put a condescending spin on the whole post. No worries tho, I just got my panties in a bunch. My bad!

Now let's not derail this awesome thread any further! Back to the great info!

Jeremyl
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Re: path to trial law

Postby Jeremyl » Thu May 31, 2012 11:08 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:
Jeremyl wrote:If a prospective student wants to be a trial lawyer, would you recommend Baylor over UT? They have better interscholastic teams, and the 3l practice court provides more of the additional training you are so hip on.


Ah yes, I remember you. As someone who has actually practiced in the profession and has participated and learned from actually good and knowledgeable trial lawyers, I would NEVER in a million years recommend Baylor over Texas for anything, let alone for advocacy learning. See my post about black letter versus theory and how learning theory gives you a much bigger advantage to tackling more difficult cases. They don't learn theory at Baylor. There is a reason why the richest lawyer in the country, Joe Jamail who is a trial lawyer who's worth 1.5 billion dollars, is a UT Law grad.

Mock trial is taught very differently at South Texas and Baylor than it is at UT Law. The way they teach it does not translate to success in the pros.

You can debate that all you want and make yourself look like an ass. But I refuse to degrade myself by talking to someone completely ignorant about what I do as a profession. And I'm not going to let you hijack this thread and ruin it for everyone else who has actual sense.


Wut? Hijack the thread? Isn't this thread entitled "path to trial law"? My question is directly related to this topic, as I specifically asked which school you thought would be the best path to being a trial lawyer.

So let me get this straight: all that talk about trial training and interscholastic competition teams isn't really what you meant then, because it seems to me like you are saying that going to a school with a theory based curriculum always outweighs going to a school that is objectively better at teaching you how to practice.

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fatduck
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Re: path to trial law

Postby fatduck » Thu May 31, 2012 11:09 pm

he said go to a good school and join the interscholastic mock trial team. sounds like good advice to me.

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Veyron
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Re: path to trial law

Postby Veyron » Thu May 31, 2012 11:21 pm

Would your advice be different for a trial lawyer on the criminal side?

Jeremyl
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Re: path to trial law

Postby Jeremyl » Thu May 31, 2012 11:24 pm

fatduck wrote:he said go to a good school and join the interscholastic mock trial team. sounds like good advice to me.


I agree with that advice, but he didn't actually say that though. But my question was basically where do you draw the line at trying to balance theory and practical education. Baylor obviously has better practical training, which utlaw007 seemed so keen on, but it lacks a fully theoretical curriculum (although I think utlaw overlooks the fact that Baylor does in fact have theoretical classes). I still refuse to believe having a theoretical approach outweighs a practice oriented education, when the student wants to gain experience so that they can actually practice in a courtroom immediately after graduation. But what do I know? I'm just a law student. I bow to the superior intellect of the solo with 5 full trials under his belt

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Tanicius
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Re: path to trial law

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:09 am

Baylor has far and away the better trial programs. The reason you'd pick UT has nothing to do with the quality of education you would receive. It's not the theory that helps but the connections and reputation of the school. If someone is dead-set on solo'ing right out of school, a scholarship at Baylor would be perfectly sensible.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: path to trial law

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:03 am

Veyron wrote:Would your advice be different for a trial lawyer on the criminal side?


Tag, and hope to hear the answer to this.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:06 am

Jeremyl wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:
Jeremyl wrote:If a prospective student wants to be a trial lawyer, would you recommend Baylor over UT? They have better interscholastic teams, and the 3l practice court provides more of the additional training you are so hip on.


Ah yes, I remember you. As someone who has actually practiced in the profession and has participated and learned from actually good and knowledgeable trial lawyers, I would NEVER in a million years recommend Baylor over Texas for anything, let alone for advocacy learning. See my post about black letter versus theory and how learning theory gives you a much bigger advantage to tackling more difficult cases. They don't learn theory at Baylor. There is a reason why the richest lawyer in the country, Joe Jamail who is a trial lawyer who's worth 1.5 billion dollars, is a UT Law grad.

Mock trial is taught very differently at South Texas and Baylor than it is at UT Law. The way they teach it does not translate to success in the pros.

You can debate that all you want and make yourself look like an ass. But I refuse to degrade myself by talking to someone completely ignorant about what I do as a profession. And I'm not going to let you hijack this thread and ruin it for everyone else who has actual sense.


Wut? Hijack the thread? Isn't this thread entitled "path to trial law"? My question is directly related to this topic, as I specifically asked which school you thought would be the best path to being a trial lawyer.

So let me get this straight: all that talk about trial training and interscholastic competition teams isn't really what you meant then, because it seems to me like you are saying that going to a school with a theory based curriculum always outweighs going to a school that is objectively better at teaching you how to practice.


GTFO. You say you aren't hijacking the thread and then you argue with my earlier points? Enough. Are you a trial lawyer? If not, than quit with the unreliable information. The main point is do not argue with my advice, especially since you don't know what the hell you are talking about. You are referring to PERCEPTIONS, and you are referring to perceptions that don't mean a damn thing. I'm no longer responding to you because that would make me a donkey's ass for debating with someone who hasn't a clue about the profession, but thinks he knows what type of education and training is superior for trial law having never performed a trial a day in his life in the courtroom.

And your paraphrase of what I said is not what I said. Don't get on here and butcher what I said. This will be the last time I respond to you. Everyone on this board, please pay no mind to this kid. He loves Baylor Law and hates on UT Law.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:11 am

Tanicius wrote:Baylor has far and away the better trial programs. The reason you'd pick UT has nothing to do with the quality of education you would receive. It's not the theory that helps but the connections and reputation of the school. If someone is dead-set on solo'ing right out of school, a scholarship at Baylor would be perfectly sensible.


Are you a trial lawyer? I'm asking a serious question. Are you? Since you say that theory doesn't give an advantage. Yeah, going to Baylor will allow you to work every last of my difficult cases that no other lawyer takes.

Yeah, connections and reputation of the school would help you put on a difficult, complex theory of a case that makes the case winnable. Yes, that is fine logic.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:20 am

Let me say something and this needs to be said. I find it completely asinine that someone with absolutely no experience and education in advocacy and no experience in a real courtroom would get on my thread and give advice about trial law. If you are going to say ANYTHING about trial law by posing as an expert, please state your years of practice experience as a trial lawyer and where you went to law school. South Texas has a better advocacy program than UT Law, PERCEPTION WISE, but it is NOT BETTER. Those programs at South Texas and Baylor are programs designed to win mock trial competitions. They are not designed to translate effectively into practice. I'm not going to debate this point with someone who has zero years of trial experience. I just don't want those that are trying to get info on this board to be misinformed.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:38 am

I haven't forgotten your question, Tyrian. I just don't have time to answer it at the moment. I have to meet with a client this morning. Yesterday, I had to begin finding a solution to a difficult problem I have with another case.

Knowledge of blackletter will do absolutely NOTHING for you if you take on the difficult cases I have. I have had and have multiple lawyers with 10+ and 20+ years trial experience consult me on difficult trial issues because of my approach to those issues.

So don't sit there and presume to know the reason why I am successful at the trial level more so than me and those lawyers while having absolutely no experience as a trial lawyer. It makes you look less than bright, to say the least.

I have been asked to present cases at trial from OTHER LITIGATORS because of my ability.

So how absurd does someone sound when they refute my advice with their own anecdotes for trial practice? But everyone is entitled to their opinion I suppose. But I think it is fair that before a person gives a statement about the state of advocacy education for a particular school or actual trial practice on this thread, state your credentials, where you went to law school and how much trial experience you have, including contested hearings whether criminal or civil. That way, people can see for themselves if your advice is anchored in firsthand experience or suspect hearsay.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: path to trial law

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:41 am

Tanicius wrote:Baylor has far and away the better trial programs. The reason you'd pick UT has nothing to do with the quality of education you would receive. It's not the theory that helps but the connections and reputation of the school. If someone is dead-set on solo'ing right out of school, a scholarship at Baylor would be perfectly sensible.


Says the person who made the profound comment and insult is if I'm too dang stupid to know whether a person was saying something to me out of kindness as if I'm a twelve year old kid or genuineness.




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