Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

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twinkletoes16
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Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:18 pm

I'm a 0L, and therefore an idiot. [/disclaimer]

For BigLaw firms, do they care at all? Or do they just want to see a high GPA? Will they ask questions about this during OCI?

I'm interested in environmental/soft IP law and a few other PI-ish fields, and want to go Biglaw (pay off debts, see if I like it, and then if not, like many)--->inhouse to entertainment/tech company or to PI/NGO area. Will law firms be wary of hiring me based on my courses? I feel like I will be bored to death and/or not do as well in business/corporate/tax courses, but that seems like the courses that biglaw firms would want you to take. Yes, I know that IP/entertainment is notoriously hard to land. Humor me.


Thoughts/opinions/correct me? I have experience in non-profit/PI areas as well as in entertainment companies so my interests right now are completely divergent; I need to probably pick ONE field and focus on that... :oops:

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:23 pm

Most BigLaw hiring out of law school is done during or before the start of 2L year, and most of your 1L classes will be chosen for you. So I vote no.

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bk1
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:24 pm

No. And most of the courses (sometimes all, depending on school) you take prior to biglaw hiring are chosen for you.

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twinkletoes16
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:25 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Most BigLaw hiring out of law school is done during or before the start of 2L year, and most of your 1L classes will be chosen for you. So I vote no.



Sweet, thanks! Just wasn't sure if after the 2L SA they would look at my transcript and use that to no-offer me. It sounds like a lot of people lateral out to PI anyway so maybe it doesn't matter.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby philosoraptor » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:34 pm

The closest they'll come to caring is that during your SA, individual attorneys might have suggestions of classes to take. Like, if you have no business background and want to do corporate, you might want to take securities regulation and tax as a 3L.

I've also heard that if your resume screams public interest, it might be wise to sign up for BA or secured credit or something like that before OCI to round out your image. I believe there's something about that in the V15 senior associate thread in the employment forum.

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twinkletoes16
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:46 pm

philosoraptor wrote:The closest they'll come to caring is that during your SA, individual attorneys might have suggestions of classes to take. Like, if you have no business background and want to do corporate, you might want to take securities regulation and tax as a 3L.

I've also heard that if your resume screams public interest, it might be wise to sign up for BA or secured credit or something like that before OCI to round out your image. I believe there's something about that in the V15 senior associate thread in the employment forum.



i love your username and 'tar.

So if I have a balance of PI/tech/entertainment/whatever and business, I'll be okay? Is most biglaw corporate-focused anyway? Again, I'm a 0L. I'll be sure to look at the v15 thread, thanks!

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philosoraptor
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby philosoraptor » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:35 pm

twinkletoes16 wrote:
philosoraptor wrote:The closest they'll come to caring is that during your SA, individual attorneys might have suggestions of classes to take. Like, if you have no business background and want to do corporate, you might want to take securities regulation and tax as a 3L.

I've also heard that if your resume screams public interest, it might be wise to sign up for BA or secured credit or something like that before OCI to round out your image. I believe there's something about that in the V15 senior associate thread in the employment forum.



i love your username and 'tar.

So if I have a balance of PI/tech/entertainment/whatever and business, I'll be okay? Is most biglaw corporate-focused anyway? Again, I'm a 0L. I'll be sure to look at the v15 thread, thanks!
In terms of what attorneys do, biglaw generally means you'll be working for large corporations or other entities with considerable means. "Corporate" practice refers to the transactional side of things, which may involve helping companies do deals, such as M&A; raise money, such as doing private placements of securities or advising on IPOs; and advising companies on the legal structure of their business. Litigation, often thought of as the other side of the biglaw coin, is suing or being sued (usually the latter), and related stuff like corporate investigations, arbitrations, and so forth. Lawsuits can be on pretty much any matter, though clients may be more willing to pay top dollar for the best firms on extremely complex matters.

Really, though, you learn everything you need to know on the job (or at least that's what all the attorneys I worked with this summer told me), and you won't be doing truly substantive work for years. Take what you're interested in and see what ideas that gives you. The only people who really need to worry about their background vis-a-vis biglaw are those who have done only public interest work -- biglaw firms will not want to help you pay off your debts as quickly as possible and then leave to save the world; they want their huge investment in you to pay off, and that means keeping you there to bill as many hours as you can.

Here are couple really useful resources that all 0Ls should read:

Chambers practice area summaries: http://www.chambers-associate.com/Artic ... aSummaries
V15 senior associate/interviewer thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=163550

anattorney
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Re: Do biglaw firms care what courses you take?

Postby anattorney » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:50 pm

I know you know this, but you really need to narrow down your focus. First, forget this "try biglaw and see if I like it." You are not going to like biglaw. You just aren't. Second, it's next to impossible to "lateral" into PI from a biglaw job. PI jobs are tough to get and they want to see that you are dedicated. If you just waltz into a nonprofit as a third year biglaw associate they are going to smell the stink of filthy green on you and not give you a second look. If you want to do PI you would be better off choosing your school and debt load accordingly and just committing from the get go.

In terms of getting a biglaw job, no it doesn't really matter what classes you take. In terms of succeeding at a biglaw job, yes it can matter. Although it's true that a lot of it is on the job learning, you are going to be starting in a better position if you have some familiarity with corporations, secured transactions, etc.

Also, if you "feel like I will be bored to death and/or not do as well in business/corporate/tax courses" then you are also going to be bored to death and not do well as a business/corporate/tax lawyer. Plan accordingly.




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