What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

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Thelaw23

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What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Thelaw23 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:40 am

I am assuming that elite litigation boutiques are the best places to get litigation experience while attaining a good salary to pay off law school debt.

What I want to know now, is what type of credentials it takes to land jobs in some of these elite firms?

Would I be able to a land a job in Susman out of a T6? Do they only take associates out of clerkships?



Also, if any of you can give a list of some of these type of boutiques that are located in New York, that would be great. I'm looking for litigation/trial work and experience at a good salary, if possible. I understand that you don't receive much of that in biglaw and only after years will you even be able to get close to a trial or any substantial litigation work.

This information will hopefully aid me in making the right decision about which law school to attend.

Go Nats!

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Go Nats! » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:43 pm

I'm stopping in here to only say that you don't need to have a clerkship to get into a boutique right out of law school but it certainly helps. The people I knew in law school who wanted to go to boutiques planned to either do a clerkship or a few years in biglaw first before going to a boutique. A very small number of people from my T10 my year - that I knew, anyway - went to a boutique straight away.

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby BigZuck » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:11 pm

I think Susman only hires people who clerked first

I don't think this is a meaningful thing to think about at this point in time. The chance of working at a place like Susman is pretty remote.

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Lincoln

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Lincoln » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:12 pm

Thelaw23 wrote:I am assuming that elite litigation boutiques are the best places to get litigation experience while attaining a good salary to pay off law school debt.

What I want to know now, is what type of credentials it takes to land jobs in some of these elite firms?

Would I be able to a land a job in Susman out of a T6? Do they only take associates out of clerkships?



Also, if any of you can give a list of some of these type of boutiques that are located in New York, that would be great. I'm looking for litigation/trial work and experience at a good salary, if possible. I understand that you don't receive much of that in biglaw and only after years will you even be able to get close to a trial or any substantial litigation work.

This information will hopefully aid me in making the right decision about which law school to attend.


I don't know if this is trolling or you're just misinformed, but this is, at best, a gross oversimplification.

As for landing a good NYC boutique, you'd probably need good grades from a T14 and a clerkship or two. But whatever you do, don't choose a school based on where you think Susman and its ilk hires from. The number of jobs available at those firms is dwarfed by those available in Big Law and government.

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Thelaw23

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Thelaw23 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:20 pm

Lincoln wrote:
Thelaw23 wrote:I am assuming that elite litigation boutiques are the best places to get litigation experience while attaining a good salary to pay off law school debt.

What I want to know now, is what type of credentials it takes to land jobs in some of these elite firms?

Would I be able to a land a job in Susman out of a T6? Do they only take associates out of clerkships?



Also, if any of you can give a list of some of these type of boutiques that are located in New York, that would be great. I'm looking for litigation/trial work and experience at a good salary, if possible. I understand that you don't receive much of that in biglaw and only after years will you even be able to get close to a trial or any substantial litigation work.

This information will hopefully aid me in making the right decision about which law school to attend.


I don't know if this is trolling or you're just misinformed, but this is, at best, a gross oversimplification.

As for landing a good NYC boutique, you'd probably need good grades from a T14 and a clerkship or two. But whatever you do, don't choose a school based on where you think Susman and its ilk hires from. The number of jobs available at those firms is dwarfed by those available in Big Law and government.


Would you be able to expand upon the "gross oversimplifcation."? I have kept my focus on admissions so far so I am definitely ignorant about some (many) things in the legal career.

I just want to know if there is a way to work in a place with a decent salary (100k - 140k, not necessarily big law numbers), while at the same time doing some sort of meaningful litigation work? Or being able to see a big part of the process, rather than being a small grind in the gear as in Big Law. Or am I completely wrong about Big Law?

I would also like to open up my own practice later on down the road, which is another big reason I am trying to find this type of experience.




I understand that Susman is top of the echelon, but are there other litigation boutiques, not as prestigious, that pay alright? Something that doesn't require a federal clerkship?

And, I apologize for more of my ignorance, but clerkships are only available after you graduate, right? Or are there summer clerkship opportunities?

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby tomwatts » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:01 pm

Thelaw23 wrote:I just want to know if there is a way to work in a place with a decent salary (100k - 140k, not necessarily big law numbers), while at the same time doing some sort of meaningful litigation work? Or being able to see a big part of the process, rather than being a small grind in the gear as in Big Law. Or am I completely wrong about Big Law?

...

I understand that Susman is top of the echelon, but are there other litigation boutiques, not as prestigious, that pay alright? Something that doesn't require a federal clerkship?

In addition to lit boutiques, you might consider:
* Large law firms with significant pro bono practices. Paying clients are a little iffy about junior lawyers getting really significant responsibility for their cases, but pro bono clients usually are glad just to have representation at all, so you can get more substantive responsibility earlier in pro bono cases. Some law firms are really serious about doing a significant amount of pro bono, and some are not.
* Government-side litigation, whether federal, state, or local. In most instances, you get a bunch of substantive experience very early, and at least some positions will get into the 100K or above range within a couple years of starting out (and some positions will start in that range).
* Plaintiffs' firms. They have a lot fewer resources than big, defense-side firms, so they tend to staff cases thinly in the same way that a mid-sized litigation boutique would, and they tend to give pretty substantive responsibilities early on.

My impression is that you can "see" a big part of the process pretty much everywhere, but you don't get to do anything meaningful at some big firms until you're fairly experienced (like, at least several years into working there) because a Fortune 500 company doesn't want some junior associate arguing their motions or whatever. However, firms vary (obviously), so inquiring about individual firms is useful, etc.

For an 0L, I'd say that most of this is irrelevant, though. The main considerations in employment are 1) the rank of your school and 2) the region of your school, where 1) >> 2) for relatively high-ranked schools. So your goal should be go to a relatively highly ranked school in the region you want to work or, failing that, just a relatively highly ranked school.

Thelaw23 wrote:And, I apologize for more of my ignorance, but clerkships are only available after you graduate, right? Or are there summer clerkship opportunities?

It is possible to intern for a judge during the summer (and, depending on where you are, possibly during the year for course credit also).

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unicorntamer666

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby unicorntamer666 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:32 am

I think you're on the right track - though you should be aware Susman only hires about one kid per year from each HYS school. It generally only becomes a realistic option after a post-grad clerkship (summer clerkships AKA "judicial internships" are no real substitute - in fact employers may view them as an indication you couldn't get a firm job).

Quinn and Boies Schiller are also litigation boutiques with great NY offices. As far as I'm aware there are no other NY-based litigation boutiques on the level of Quinn, Susman and Boies (though others may correct me). The alternative is to simply do litigation at a good big firm or make the leap to a true plaintiffs firm (though the latter underpay associates, possibly for dubious reasons).

Beyond working as a federal prosecutor, the suggestion above to seek out pro bono work as a means of getting trial experience makes sense.

I'd echo others' suggestion that you basically focus on little at this stage beyond going to the best possible school and getting the best possible grades. The fixation on grades in this industry can't be overstated. One year of hard work will pay dividends.

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby lawlorbust » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:56 am

unicorntamer666 wrote:I think you're on the right track - though you should be aware Susman only hires about one kid per year from each HYS school. It generally only becomes a realistic option after a post-grad clerkship (summer clerkships AKA "judicial internships" are no real substitute - in fact employers may view them as an indication you couldn't get a firm job).


Incorrect (granted, their summer class is still very small).

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby lawlorbust » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:00 am

Thelaw23 wrote:What I want to know now, is what type of credentials it takes to land jobs in some of these elite firms?


Look, there are a bunch of pretty helpful posts on what a lit boutique is, but to answer your question about the route to landing a job, there isn't going to be anything substantively different than what you'd do to get through law school / get a normal firm job.

Get into a good school. Get good grades. Get a clerkship. Tack on other law-school-prestigey stuff, and do the usual signaling that you're interested in lit.

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poptart123

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby poptart123 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:47 am

Butting my head in, and I'm curious about these questions too. How does one go big law -> USAO/Lit in government if big law doesn't really give you great litigation experience for your first few years? If you're not even in a deposition until year 2-3 then why would high level litigation want you after year 3/4/5?

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Nebby » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:03 am

poptart123 wrote:Butting my head in, and I'm curious about these questions too. How does one go big law -> USAO/Lit in government if big law doesn't really give you great litigation experience for your first few years? If you're not even in a deposition until year 2-3 then why would high level litigation want you after year 3/4/5?

The big law - > USAO wisdom really only applies to SDNY and EDNY and a lil at SDCA, EDCA, NDCA, EDIL. It's more tradition than anything else, tbh.

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Nebby » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:05 am

OP, the answer is to get top grades and clerk. But you really shouldn't worry about this. Try you're best, but know that the most effective route will probably be to go into biglaw, work a couple of years in lit, and then try to make the transition. Network with the boutique attorneys during and after law school so some people know your name by the time you apply as a junior.

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Thelaw23

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Re: What it takes to land a job in litigation boutiques

Postby Thelaw23 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:43 am

Thanks, guys!

Another question - are litigation boutiques a more permanent career option than big law?

I know in big law the chances of making partner are very slim, so you'll probably be out after a 4-5 years max.



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