Is there a "do everything" type of law?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
BlueFeathers
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:52 pm

Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby BlueFeathers » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:36 am

This might be a dumb question but I can't really word it right except asking if you have to specialize in a specific law area. (IP, tax, banking, etc). I'm thinking there wouldn't be that much job dissatisfaction if I'm not doing that same thing.

Or is there such a thing as a general practice where you have a good handle on pretty much everything. Something akim to an emergency medicine or family practice in medicine (sure there's a specialty for everything BUT they have a good handle on everything...something small that can do some surgery on it, if it happens they can deliver the baby,) as if they can give you advice, look over whatever with good judgment but if you need more you'll go specifically to a tax attorney, etc. There's not much burnout because you're not looking at the same thing everyday. (If I had a science bone in me and went for medicine I would without a doubt go for emergency medicine or family practice...for a job in what I want (being a doctor...in this case a lawyer, but one that gives me variety).

Big law seems that way but I'm thinking people still hone in one one specific areas and stick there.

taxguy
Posts: 307
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby taxguy » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:31 am

You do NOT have to specialize in anything. However, with that said, there are some schools with general practice concentrations. They recommend a broad battery of courses that would provide skills and knowledge that a lawyer would see in a private practice. This includes basic civil litigation, general criminal procedure, family law, estate planning and wills, some advanced real estate courses, some elder law and health law etc.

The key to this type of practice is that you want a broad based expertise in a number of routine matters experienced by many people.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2395
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby nealric » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:52 am

You can't do everything. It would be literally impossible to do everything. There are generalists out there, but they are getting fewer and fewer. It's the old "country lawyer" paradigm.

Specialization usually doesn't happen too much in law school, it happens once you get out.

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby firemed » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:30 pm

I have been told by graduates from a T2 school (4/5 of whom have legal jobs) that your best bet is to specialize in a couple of things in school. Pick a couple of areas and get good grades in those classes. It is your only hope of getting a job. Of course, I suppose if they had taken a little bit of everything, that might have worked out for them... but as one pointed out to me, taking criminal law classes over and over again and getting good grades is what helped him land an ADA job over some T14 people. Because the T14 people hadn't taken a criminal law class since their 1L year he looked better than them. Of course, if they had taken crim law classes they would have had the job over him.

So your best bet is to go T14 and specialize, in my opinion.

User avatar
Seally
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Seally » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:21 pm

From my knowledge, you will basically start focusing on a certain type of law right after you get hired in a Firm or other type of employer, you don't specialize in most Law Schools, but some do offer some type of concentrations allowing you to focus and learn more about a certain subject.

With this horrible economy and uncertain prospects for U.S. Law grads, your best bet would be on a T-14, good luck.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:24 pm

I've heard JAG is this way?

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:40 pm

IAFG wrote:I've heard JAG is this way?



Some firms also encourage their associates to be generalists as well. I interviewed with one such firm; thought it was pretty cool that everyone just kinda did everything.

User avatar
fugitivejammer
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby fugitivejammer » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:36 pm

IAFG wrote:I've heard JAG is this way?


That's the best example I can think of - you'll be practicing your skills in military law (UCMJ), operational law (more-so on deployments), contract law, administrative law, labor law, environmental law, and international law (when on a foreign assigment). You'll also spend a lot of your time being an advisor to military personel on civil issues, wills, divorces, contracts, etc.

User avatar
Seally
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Seally » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:55 pm

fugitivejammer wrote:
IAFG wrote:I've heard JAG is this way?


That's the best example I can think of - you'll be practicing your skills in military law (UCMJ), operational law (more-so on deployments), contract law, administrative law, labor law, environmental law, and international law (when on a foreign assigment). You'll also spend a lot of your time being an advisor to military personel on civil issues, wills, divorces, contracts, etc.



Interesting, i heard the salary is not bad as well, how much do they make and does the Army, Air Force or Navy pay your debts ?

I've always wondered about Junior JAG Salary up to Senior Attorneys holding higher ranks... :|

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:06 pm

the problem with betting on JAG is that they would rather take top 10% from a TTTT than median at a T10. or so i am told. gov't hiring matrices etc.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:13 pm

IAFG wrote:the problem with betting on JAG is that they would rather take top 10% from a TTTT than median at a T10. or so i am told. gov't hiring matrices etc.



I think jag is really all about fit and interest level to be honest. I know two people who were below median at t50s that got the very competitive 1L summer jag positions.

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby firemed » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:18 pm

Seally wrote:
Interesting, i heard the salary is not bad as well, how much do they make and does the Army, Air Force or Navy pay your debts ?

I've always wondered about Junior JAG Salary up to Senior Attorneys holding higher ranks... :|



You start at approximately 40K a year, more like 50 or 60 if you include all the housing benefits and perks and such.

They recently changed their website. They used to pay off up to 70K of your loans or so (I can't remember the exact number)... now it appears it can be anywhere from 20K a year to ALL your loans after 3 years... this is vague and unclear, leading me to believe they are getting enough applicants that they aren't offering much (minimum contract is for 4 years active, BTW). Of course, if you work for them you go on the 10 year loan discharge plan... so that is something.

As for senior ranks, just look up the pay for a Major, General, etc... they are public knowledge.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:19 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
IAFG wrote:the problem with betting on JAG is that they would rather take top 10% from a TTTT than median at a T10. or so i am told. gov't hiring matrices etc.



I think jag is really all about fit and interest level to be honest. I know two people who were below median at t50s that got the very competitive 1L summer jag positions.

what the fuck would LS grades have to do with 1L jobs

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:25 pm

IAFG wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:
IAFG wrote:the problem with betting on JAG is that they would rather take top 10% from a TTTT than median at a T10. or so i am told. gov't hiring matrices etc.



I think jag is really all about fit and interest level to be honest. I know two people who were below median at t50s that got the very competitive 1L summer jag positions.

what the fuck would LS grades have to do with 1L jobs


I'm having a hard time determining if this is sarcasm, or if you're actually lashing out like this...1L grades have a lot to do with summer jobs like this. My school had a 1L OCI, and much like during the regular OCI process, grades matter. Additionally, of the few big law firms that hire 1L's, a quick glance at their NALP profiles will reveal that many of them want to see your 1st semester grades before making any decisions.

Also, JAG 1L positions aren't selected until well after 1L's have their first semester grades. One would think that they factor grades into the selection process as a result.
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
fugitivejammer
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby fugitivejammer » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:56 pm

The JAG summer internships are actually really competitive, but really awesome. They have programs for 1Ls and 2Ls, and you might be able to do it in like Germany, Korea, Italy, Hawaii if you wanted, but grades DO matter. The deadline to apply for 1L is March, and 2L is November.

As far as Army paying your ticket, it really depends on when you approach the Army with your interest in JAG. If you just started LS, the Army offers a number of competitive full-tuition scholarships for law school. When you graduate, they also allow you to pursue to FLEP (loan re-payment program) which shouldn't be difficult to get once you committ, but it has a cap of $65k over 4 years. You might also be able to do something called an ADSO (increase your service obligation) to have the Army pay off more of your debt.

Once you commission, you'll also be promoted to 1LT within 6 months, so you'll be getting 0-2 pay (here's the Army pay scale: --LinkRemoved--)
This isn't including your housing allowance and such, which changes in amount depending on where you live.

User avatar
fugitivejammer
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby fugitivejammer » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:04 am

As far as how your pay would be earlier on versus later on, it depends on how long you're in and how well you are able to get promoted. If you're in for a shorter stint, you may finish as an 0-3 or 0-4 (captain or major). If you're in for career, and aren't completely incompetent, then you'll likely get to 0-5 or 0-6 (lt. col or col) on the pay scale. 0-7 is brig. general, just fyi.

User avatar
Seally
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Seally » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:28 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:
Seally wrote:
Interesting, i heard the salary is not bad as well, how much do they make and does the Army, Air Force or Navy pay your debts ?

I've always wondered about Junior JAG Salary up to Senior Attorneys holding higher ranks... :|



You start at approximately 40K a year, more like 50 or 60 if you include all the housing benefits and perks and such.

They recently changed their website. They used to pay off up to 70K of your loans or so (I can't remember the exact number)... now it appears it can be anywhere from 20K a year to ALL your loans after 3 years... this is vague and unclear, leading me to believe they are getting enough applicants that they aren't offering much (minimum contract is for 4 years active, BTW). Of course, if you work for them you go on the 10 year loan discharge plan... so that is something.

As for senior ranks, just look up the pay for a Major, General, etc... they are public knowledge.


Doesn't sound too bad, especially if you consider Loan repayment + All benefits and travels(I'd love to work in another city or country without having to cram 9 months in trying to find jobs overseas.)

But since it's the Government, there's always a trap, nothing is perfect, i will think twice before considering this path.

Thanks for the insight :wink:

Michelle87
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:48 pm

Re: Is there a "do everything" type of law?

Postby Michelle87 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:02 pm

Family Law is in many ways a "do everything" type of law - every case is different, and every day is different. You handle everything from Real Estate issues, Tax Law issues (as related to Child Support/Alimony, etc.), Contracts, Criminal Law (domestic violence, etc.), Adoptions, etc.
There is a certain level of emotional stress that comes with Family Law, but it's a great way to fill the 'general practitioner' role that you seem to be looking for.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests