biglaw litigation?

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eric922
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biglaw litigation?

Postby eric922 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:36 pm

I'm interested in litigation work and biglaw. What does a first year associate do at a litigation firm? I'm assuming since these firms have a 100+ lawyers they won't all be in court especially not new lawyers. So what do new associates at these firms do their first few years? I'm guessing mostly research but do they get to shadow the trial attorneys in court so they can learn how things are done? Thanks in advance for any answers.

utlaw2007
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:46 pm

I have never worked in a biglaw environment. But many of my law school classmates have. And it seems that most have worked in lit departments of big firms. I would say that your very first years are primarily spent doing doc review for litigation. As you gain experience, you will then be asked to write motions, responses to motions, summary judgments, etc. to various cases within the firm. That's what I hear from most of my classmates working in biglaw lit departments. You have to have quite a few years of experience before you write summary judgments. Those deal with case dismissals so they are very important.

As for seeing the inside of a courtroom, I suppose that is firm specific. None of my classmates have even seen the inside of a courtroom while working as a lawyer. But I suppose some might sit third chair at some point. That is, you are the third lawyer for that party. For the most part, at least in Texas, I don't believe third chairs are even allowed to speak. The court local rules only allow no more than two lawyers to present a case for each side.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby Kafkaesquire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:50 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:I have never worked in a biglaw environment. But many of my law school classmates have. And it seems that most have worked in lit departments of big firms. I would say that your very first years are primarily spent doing doc review for litigation.


I second this. I have been told several times that you don't actually do work that requires a JD for the first few years as a junior associate. That's just how the cookie crumbles. You gotta pay your dues. But you do get "big firm" salary after completing the bar exam, even for doing document review. At least, that's what I've been told used to happen in big law.

utlaw2007
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:01 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:I have never worked in a biglaw environment. But many of my law school classmates have. And it seems that most have worked in lit departments of big firms. I would say that your very first years are primarily spent doing doc review for litigation.


I second this. I have been told several times that you don't actually do work that requires a JD for the first few years as a junior associate. That's just how the cookie crumbles. You gotta pay your dues. But you do get "big firm" salary after completing the bar exam, even for doing document review. At least, that's what I've been told used to happen in big law.


Yes, $160,000 salary is still earned by biglaw junior associates, even for doing doc review.

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dood
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:59 am

Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:03 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:I have never worked in a biglaw environment. But many of my law school classmates have. And it seems that most have worked in lit departments of big firms. I would say that your very first years are primarily spent doing doc review for litigation.


I second this. I have been told several times that you don't actually do work that requires a JD for the first few years as a junior associate. That's just how the cookie crumbles. You gotta pay your dues. But you do get "big firm" salary after completing the bar exam, even for doing document review. At least, that's what I've been told used to happen in big law.


Yes, $160,000 salary is still earned by biglaw junior associates, even for doing doc review.


plus, u get to surf the internets and poast on TLS while u doc review. which is what im doing right now.

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Lincoln
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby Lincoln » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:05 pm

Doc review is definitely a big part of being a junior associate in litigation, but it's by no means everything you do. There are lots of research assignments and accompanying memos, taking notes at and preparing recaps of interviews or meetings, preparing orders of proof, editing/proofing briefs, preparing deposition outlines, doing deposition prep work, etc. You'll probably also do some pro bono, meaning you might go to court and file briefs in that case. As you progress, you'll do more substantive work in the form of motions, writing parts of briefs, etc.

As for going to court, keep in mind that only about 2% of federal civil cases reach a verdict. The vast majority of litigation work is pre-trial practice. You may go to court as part of that, like for oral arguments on pre-trial motions or for scheduling conferences, but even at big firms that do lots of trials many partners only do one trial per year. That means there might be up to twelve associates more senior than you involved in that one trial, so you may never see the inside of a courtroom in your first year. If you want extensive trial practice, you should be a prosecutor or public defender.

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dood
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby dood » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:06 pm

Lincoln wrote:Doc review is definitely a big part of being a junior associate in litigation, but it's by no means everything you do. There are lots of research assignments and accompanying memos, taking notes at and preparing recaps of interviews or meetings, preparing orders of proof, editing/proofing briefs, preparing deposition outlines, doing deposition prep work, etc. You'll probably also do some pro bono, meaning you might go to court and file briefs in that case. As you progress, you'll do more substantive work in the form of motions, writing parts of briefs, etc.

As for going to court, keep in mind that only about 2% of federal civil cases reach a verdict. The vast majority of litigation work is pre-trial practice. You may go to court as part of that, like for oral arguments on pre-trial motions or for scheduling conferences, but even at big firms that do lots of trials many partners only do one trial per year. That means there might be up to twelve associates more senior than you involved in that one trial, so you may never see the inside of a courtroom in your first year. If you want extensive trial practice, you should be a prosecutor or public defender.


this is the best answer i have ever seen. very concise and 100% accurate.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby Kafkaesquire » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:22 pm

dood wrote:plus, u get to surf the internets and poast on TLS while u doc review. which is what im doing right now.


lol'd at this :lol: :P :lol: :P

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Lincoln
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Re: biglaw litigation?

Postby Lincoln » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:00 pm

dood wrote:
Lincoln wrote:Doc review is definitely a big part of being a junior associate in litigation, but it's by no means everything you do. There are lots of research assignments and accompanying memos, taking notes at and preparing recaps of interviews or meetings, preparing orders of proof, editing/proofing briefs, preparing deposition outlines, doing deposition prep work, etc. You'll probably also do some pro bono, meaning you might go to court and file briefs in that case. As you progress, you'll do more substantive work in the form of motions, writing parts of briefs, etc.

As for going to court, keep in mind that only about 2% of federal civil cases reach a verdict. The vast majority of litigation work is pre-trial practice. You may go to court as part of that, like for oral arguments on pre-trial motions or for scheduling conferences, but even at big firms that do lots of trials many partners only do one trial per year. That means there might be up to twelve associates more senior than you involved in that one trial, so you may never see the inside of a courtroom in your first year. If you want extensive trial practice, you should be a prosecutor or public defender.


this is the best answer i have ever seen. very concise and 100% accurate.


Thanks :)




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