Plaintiff side Employment law or PI

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fm1477

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Plaintiff side Employment law or PI

Postby fm1477 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:09 am

Hello, all.

I am going into my 3L year and I am trying to decide in which field I would like to specialize, Employment or Person Injury. I know that I would like to spend most of my career representing plaintiffs. Regarding Employment, I am most interested in matters of discrimination, retaliation, and the like. For PI, the more catastrophic the better.

Either way, I'll have to get in with a firm to start. I have a 3.7 GPA at a mid-ranked school and I've received several awards for writing and oral advocacy.

I enjoy both fields very much. However, I would like to have my own practice one day and the duration and costs of PI cases (even most that settle) is a concern. On the other hand, employment discrimination cases tend to be much lower on costs, and much shorter. The possibility of a hybrid retainer has an appeal, also.

Employment Lawyers: I have spent some time around one of the preeminent employment discrimination lawyers in my region over the last few weeks, and it seems like this field can be extremely lucrative. For example, she received a 100k cut of a 280k settlement--six months of work.

While the PI verdicts and settlements seem to have higher dollar amounts in general, is this field still more lucrative after the high costs of discovery and expert witnesses? Of course, it depends on who you are and the types of cases that you get.

I suppose I'm looking for a 5 year and 10 year comparison of a well producing plaintiff's PI lawyer and plaintiff's employment discrimination lawyer. At the very least, I would like some insight. It seems like you can do quite well either way.

Thank you all for your help!

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Plaintiff side Employment law or PI

Postby objctnyrhnr » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:33 pm

fm1477 wrote:Hello, all.

I am going into my 3L year and I am trying to decide in which field I would like to specialize, Employment or Person Injury. I know that I would like to spend most of my career representing plaintiffs. Regarding Employment, I am most interested in matters of discrimination, retaliation, and the like. For PI, the more catastrophic the better.

Either way, I'll have to get in with a firm to start. I have a 3.7 GPA at a mid-ranked school and I've received several awards for writing and oral advocacy.

I enjoy both fields very much. However, I would like to have my own practice one day and the duration and costs of PI cases (even most that settle) is a concern. On the other hand, employment discrimination cases tend to be much lower on costs, and much shorter. The possibility of a hybrid retainer has an appeal, also.

Employment Lawyers: I have spent some time around one of the preeminent employment discrimination lawyers in my region over the last few weeks, and it seems like this field can be extremely lucrative. For example, she received a 100k cut of a 280k settlement--six months of work.

While the PI verdicts and settlements seem to have higher dollar amounts in general, is this field still more lucrative after the high costs of discovery and expert witnesses? Of course, it depends on who you are and the types of cases that you get.

I suppose I'm looking for a 5 year and 10 year comparison of a well producing plaintiff's PI lawyer and plaintiff's employment discrimination lawyer. At the very least, I would like some insight. It seems like you can do quite well either way.

Thank you all for your help!


First of all, congrats on the GPA. Before I say what I am going to say, I want to acknowledge that you asked about doing A or B and I’m choosing C.

Anyway, I think you should use that GPA and a bit of networking to try to land biglaw or reputable midlaw. Get into the employment or class action defense group and then you’ll be in an ideal spot to lateral to one of the best plaintiffs firms (excluding the top of the top above-market ones I mean) in your geographical area. I know it means sticking it out repping the big guys for a bit, but the investment will be worth it from a resume/exit options perspective.

yankees12345!

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Re: Plaintiff side Employment law or PI

Postby yankees12345! » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:32 am

You can do both! If you’re going to do either plaintiff side personal injury or employment work, you’re likely going to be at a relatively small firm where building the business and the brand are as important as practicing law. There’s no reason why your brand can’t be handling both, at least over the long term.

In the near term, you may have to choose one or the other simply because your potential employers will do one or the other. In that case, I think it really comes down to your opportunities. If you have an opportunity to work for a top level, successful practitioner in either field, my recommendation would be to take it. Both are interesting and potentially lucrative fields, and working for a well respected firm in either will give you the base you need to be successful at one and expand into the other later in your career.

Don’t take it from me, though! I went the third route recommended by the last poster. While I’m not thrilled to be repping big companies, I am learning the basics of litigation (commercial lit, not employment or personal injury) and getting paid enough to bury my debts before too long. And, I have found that it appears to have given me the mobility to make a switch probably without too much friction when the time is right, which for me will be after a clerkship.

Good luck!



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