Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

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starry eyed
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Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:01 pm

I'm talking about strategy as it relates to business planning or military commanding (same principle applies). Is law a job where you just show up, do your job, go home and get little recognition? I would think managing cases would require strategy same with preparing cases before a jury, business development, etc. I would think if a lawyer had success doing these things, he will get recognized and further opportunities will present themselves. One reason i want to be a lawyer is because I could not do something like an airline pilot where you show up do your job, go home, repeat; is this what biglaw is like? and how big of a factor does chance play in career advancement? (I'm not really talking the often mentioned route of biglaw then in-house until retirement)

I'm also interested in hearing anecdotes of any fellow lawyers y'all know of that split off and started their own firm and how their lives bettered or worsened.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:08 pm

There's definitely strategy involved in litigation. Varies by the case. But, for example, some attorneys use delaying tactics to avoid having their client or its officers & employers take depositions. Also, often want the lowest level employee to be the "fall guy". Try to bury opposing parties with tight budgets with extensive discovery requests. Sometimes get to use existing laws in new situations. Playing dumb to get the other side to reveal more than they normally might. Sometimes a choice of forum offers one side a strategic advantage. Using methods to stay out of arbitration or mediation if you're a plaintiff & vice-versa for defendants (especially those with deep pockets). Sandbagging even though arguably covered by earlier discovery requests. Using surprise tactics to get a postponement.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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starry eyed
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:10 pm

this sounds like what i want to do... it just sucks that there are less opportunities in litigation than transactional
Last edited by starry eyed on Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:18 pm

Lots of "timing" moves. Adding additional claims or counterclaims. You'll learn ways to pressure the opposition. Experience teaches how far one can push "limits".
Unfortunately, some litigators seem to work together in milking their respective clients for more than the litigation is worth.

To be clear, I'm just referring to civil litigation matters.

You'll find lots of books detailing various discovery strategies, direct & cross-examination techniques, negotiating tactics, jury selection, etc.

Strategies vary by jurisdiction, also.

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starry eyed
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:22 pm

Thanks for the response!

mvp99
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby mvp99 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:30 pm

delay tactics are a clear violation of the rules of ethics

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rpupkin
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:32 pm

mvp99 wrote:delay tactics are a clear violation of the rules of ethics

LOL

Traynor Brah
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:33 pm

Rule 11!

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jbagelboy
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:00 am

Litigation is inherently strategic, that is, when its not structurally determined or rote. It's pretty cool.

But lol if you think the junior associate is making those types of decisions

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starry eyed
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:02 am

(not biglaw focused-shocker)

the last sentence hinted that i thought

i wanted to know mainly for down the road

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:46 am

I use a lot of strategy determining what synonyms to use and how I want to my organize my 40th memo summarizing what someone said in a telephone call.

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starry eyed
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:05 am

JohannDeMann wrote:I use a lot of strategy determining what synonyms to use and how I want to my organize my 40th memo summarizing what someone said in a telephone call.


see this doesn't even seem worth the salary... i might do that for a few years if i have the opportunity just to raise capital.

no one has mentioned transactional? is that work less fun?

is in-house just as boring?

Cogburn87
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby Cogburn87 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:19 am

Law is where creativity goes to die.

Lawyerrr
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby Lawyerrr » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:55 am

starry eyed wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:I use a lot of strategy determining what synonyms to use and how I want to my organize my 40th memo summarizing what someone said in a telephone call.


see this doesn't even seem worth the salary... i might do that for a few years if i have the opportunity just to raise capital.

no one has mentioned transactional? is that work less fun?

is in-house just as boring?


For transactional, activist investor work is heavily strategic, for both the target and the activist.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:23 am

I would say it takes a couple years before you're even privy to or have any understanding at all of strategy in most high-stakes litigation, and a couple more years before you have any say in it whatsoever. Depends on firm size, case size, structure etc.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:33 am

starry eyed wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:I use a lot of strategy determining what synonyms to use and how I want to my organize my 40th memo summarizing what someone said in a telephone call.


see this doesn't even seem worth the salary... i might do that for a few years if i have the opportunity just to raise capital.

OP: keep in mind that not many people on TLS are further along in their careers than midlevel associate, so you're probably not going to see many first-hand accounts here of what it's like to be a senior lawyer. i don't know how far along johanndemann is, but i'm guessing junior associate. it seems unwise to me to base one's entire career on the work one does as junior, but i'm still a law student, so take that with a grain of salt. on the flipside, things can end up much worse--unemployment.

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starry eyed
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:36 am

you're right and although johann is a reputable bro, i keep forgetting this site's demogaphics

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Sat May 02, 2015 9:25 am

blsingindisguise wrote:I would say it takes a couple years before you're even privy to or have any understanding at all of strategy in most high-stakes litigation, and a couple more years before you have any say in it whatsoever. Depends on firm size, case size, structure etc.

This. It depends on the firm. At some boutique-type firms, juniors in their first 2-3 years are making potentially creative strategic decisions in case management (timing decisions, discovery strategy, etc.), whereas bigger decisions (should we make a 12(c) motion on X ground), though often proposed by the junior associate, are made by the partner involved.

At some firms (though probably with only some partners), even first-years can make recommendations for overall case strategy, even in high-stakes cases, and if it's a good idea the partner will run with it.

At some firms, you won't even know what is going on overall in the case because you'll be given discrete assignments for which you're not told the overall case structure. Or you won't have an audience with the partner calling the shots, so even if you do make a suggestions you'll make it to the senior associate who will present it to the partner as their own idea.

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pancakes3
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby pancakes3 » Sat May 02, 2015 9:29 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:OP: keep in mind that not many people on TLS are further along in their careers than midlevel associate, so you're probably not going to see many first-hand accounts here of what it's like to be a senior lawyer.


The idea that as TLS ages, there stands the possibility of shitpoasting partners... or dare I dream... NAME partners makes me smile.

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starry eyed
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Re: Is there any strategy/creativity in law?

Postby starry eyed » Sat May 02, 2015 12:59 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:OP: keep in mind that not many people on TLS are further along in their careers than midlevel associate, so you're probably not going to see many first-hand accounts here of what it's like to be a senior lawyer.


The idea that as TLS ages, there stands the possibility of shitpoasting partners... or dare I dream... NAME partners makes me smile.


and HIRING partners.

#tls cronyism




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