Antitrust as a practice group?

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joedf
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Antitrust as a practice group?

Postby joedf » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:31 pm

Hi,

I've been doing some research lately into what sorts of law I want to practice after graduating (am a 0L currently). I still don't know exactly what I'd like to pursue by any means, but Antitrust piqued my interest. The sad thing is, I know almost nothing about it that the name doesn't say in itself.

For anyone out there in a practice group like this or with more knowledge than I have,

  • What sort of work do antitrust departments do on a regular basis? What skill sets does this practice group prize?

  • Is a clerkship desirable for this line of work? I'm assuming it's on the litigation side here - I don't even know that forsure.

  • In terms of activity during law school itself, what sorts of things could you do to set yourself up for success in this practice area? Beyond just "good grades" or "take the relevant classes" - would an (attempted) internship with the SEC/FTB during 1L summer be a good idea? There's also DOJ Antitrust - but how hard is that to get?

I'd be attending CLS, in this case. Please don't limit yourself to the questions I've asked - any information at all is helpful.

eerie_erie
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Antitrust as a practice group?

Postby eerie_erie » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:35 pm

Antitrust is a great area of law! I'm glad you're interested in it. Antitrust departments either conduct litigation or advise clients (especially those who have to conduct an HSR filing to clear their merger with the government agencies). Most cases don't go to trial, but antitrust rarely goes to trial. That being said some firms, especially defendant ones, are keen to show the government or the other side that they will be ready to move forward at a moment's notice. The antitrust attorneys I've spoken to say that they enjoy learning about an industry in depth and over long periods of time.

In terms of law school activity, go to networking events that feature antitrust attorneys. Also, join the ABA and get their student membership for the Antitrust Division, but do more than just read the Antitrust magazine that comes in your mailbox: really think about interesting legal issues and maybe even reach out to the attorneys who write articles for it. Talk to the professors that specialize in antitrust. 2L here who loves antitrust.

eerie_erie
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Antitrust as a practice group?

Postby eerie_erie » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:37 pm

Also, it is the DOJ or FTC that does antitrust work. SEC is the Securities and Exchange Commission. The power of good grades is not something to be underestimated; it can take you very far.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Antitrust as a practice group?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:32 am

Show interest by taking antitrust, law & econ and maybe even a stats class. Aside from law firms, there are econ consulting firms that do a lot of anti trust expert witness work and hire JDs with competitive salaries and what I consider a better work environment.

joedf
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Antitrust as a practice group?

Postby joedf » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:08 am

eerie_erie wrote:Antitrust is a great area of law! I'm glad you're interested in it. Antitrust departments either conduct litigation or advise clients (especially those who have to conduct an HSR filing to clear their merger with the government agencies). Most cases don't go to trial, but antitrust rarely goes to trial. That being said some firms, especially defendant ones, are keen to show the government or the other side that they will be ready to move forward at a moment's notice. The antitrust attorneys I've spoken to say that they enjoy learning about an industry in depth and over long periods of time.

In terms of law school activity, go to networking events that feature antitrust attorneys. Also, join the ABA and get their student membership for the Antitrust Division, but do more than just read the Antitrust magazine that comes in your mailbox: really think about interesting legal issues and maybe even reach out to the attorneys who write articles for it. Talk to the professors that specialize in antitrust. 2L here who loves antitrust.


Thank you for your input, that's really helpful! What are you hoping to do from here on out, as an antitrust 2L? Long term career goals?

Is there any particular coursework you'd recommend taking (for someone without an econ background in undergrad)?

Show interest by taking antitrust, law & econ and maybe even a stats class. Aside from law firms, there are econ consulting firms that do a lot of anti trust expert witness work and hire JDs with competitive salaries and what I consider a better work environment.


Is it a lot of statistics? I hadn't known that.

And for these econ consulting firms, are those jobs as competitive to get as I imagine? They'd probably want someone who'd already been in the field for a long time, right? Thanks!

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Antitrust as a practice group?

Postby bdubs » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:23 am

Hattori Hanzo wrote:Show interest by taking antitrust, law & econ and maybe even a stats class. Aside from law firms, there are econ consulting firms that do a lot of anti trust expert witness work and hire JDs with competitive salaries and what I consider a better work environment.


Ummmm, no. The big economic consulting firms don't regularly hire JDs, their salaries are generally not competitive with biglaw, and the work environment is not any better than a law firm. In addition, an attorney has a very limited ability to advance in an expert witness firm because they are not qualified to be an expert in an antitrust case (with a few small exceptions for law school professors who have made a niche for themselves).

joedf wrote:
  • What sort of work do antitrust departments do on a regular basis? What skill sets does this practice group prize?

  • Is a clerkship desirable for this line of work? I'm assuming it's on the litigation side here - I don't even know that forsure.

  • In terms of activity during law school itself, what sorts of things could you do to set yourself up for success in this practice area? Beyond just "good grades" or "take the relevant classes" - would an (attempted) internship with the SEC/FTB during 1L summer be a good idea? There's also DOJ Antitrust - but how hard is that to get?


Work in antitrust is slightly different than other areas of law. Knowledge of economic fundamentals is certainly helpful. In addition, antitrust is generally considered a more academic practice area. It is much more conceptual than more rule based areas of law (regulatory work, bankruptcy, securities litigation, etc..). Basically the whole area revolves around three broad and vague federal statutes. I think clerkships are valued for antitrust attorneys more so than other areas, but they certainly aren't a prerequisite. The day-to-day varies a bit based on whether you are doing litigation or doing merger work, but the fundamental issues are pretty similar between the two. Working at the DOJ (Antitrust Division) or FTC (Bureau of Competition) as a 1L would be a great way to demonstrate interest before OCI.

OP: Feel free to PM me on this topic.




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