Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

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Which practice area could help me, eventually, lateral to a regulatory practice?

General Litigation
4
14%
Internal Investigations
14
48%
Investment Management
7
24%
Capital Markets
1
3%
M&A
3
10%
Executive Compensation
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 29

Anonymous User
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Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:00 pm

I am a current summer associate with the following options. Would one be best to prepare me, eventually, for a DC "regulatory" practice?

JHP

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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by JHP » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:02 am

What kind of "regulatory" practice? What are you envisioning? It's hard to advise (especially with the vast areas of law you're covering with your poll options). Financial regulatory work would be very different from FDA or healthcare regulatory practice, for example.

Casper123

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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Casper123 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:49 am

Your question seems a bit unclear. Are you an SA at a DC office but can only choose from the stated practice areas? Or do you want to change to DC within the same firm later on? Do you want to lateral to a DC regulatory practice after a couple of years?

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:59 am

The above questions are important, and I'll add one more: how many steps are you imagining you'll take to get into a DC reg practice? Are you thinking biglaw, clerkship, govt agency, then regulatory work w/r/t that agency? If you're looking at financial regulatory work, there are different optimal paths if you're thinking of banking reg, securities reg, etc. But for a one-size-fits-all first step, internal investigations/white collar is TCR.

Sporty1911

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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Sporty1911 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:10 am

I can think of one umbrella "regulatory practice" with multiple sub-practices where someone with litigation experience but no M&A experience would be valuable to one sub-group but not to another sub-group, where M&A experience would be valued over litigation. You need to get more specific, and the fact that you aren't tells me you probably need to spend some more time looking into what type of regulatory work you want to get into on a substantive level (securities, healthcare, FDA, trade, etc.) and then find out what attorney's in that practice actually do on a day-to-day basis.

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:40 am

My take, having some experience in this area, is that any form of corporate/transactional work won't be helpful for DC regulatory work. Very little regulatory stuff is comparable to transactional work.

Internal investigations/white collar might be okay, but it's usually totally divorced from statutes, regulations, etc. and is often criminal work. Criminal work doesn't translate to regulatory very much, unless you're thinking about securities enforcement.

My take is that general litigation is probably the best bet. Many people start off as general litigators, because that is how firms structure their practices, and then specialize later on. And you'll get basic skills, e.g., depositions, brief-writing, documents, etc., that are useful in any regulatory practice. General litigation is broad enough that you could try to angle your way onto cases related to the regulatory field that interests you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:02 pm

Depends on the substantive area of regulation. If you're thinking health care, then internal investigations is a good way to get there, since quite a bit of health care regulation is based in the fraud and abuse laws (Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, False Claims Act), which may often implicate billing regulations issued by CMS or other HHS sub-agencies. Regulatory could also mean FCPA, which is very much white-collar/internal investigations work. Internal investigations work is often tied to sophisticated clients' compliance work, which often implicates regulation. So, in my opinion, based off of the options you listed, internal investigations may be the closest thing.

I distinguish "regulatory" from "administrative law." The latter is very much a DC practice, and your route there may be something like commercial litigation or appellate litigation.

Anonymous User
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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:02 pm

I worked in a healthcare regulatory practice in DC. Everyone in the group either (1) had significant experience in health before or during law school, (2) spent time in a health-specific hill position after law school, (3) worked at CMS/FDA/OIG/DOJ civil frauds before coming to the firm, or (4) had a litigation and clerkship background. Other regulatory practices at the firm had a fairly similar array of backgrounds specific to the relevant area. I would identify the specific regulatory practice you're interested in and find a way to build relevant experience. If you're interested in health, I think litigation, investigations, and M&A could all potentially help, but that really depends on the type of work those groups do at your firm, and what the health practice you want to join is looking for.

Anonymous User
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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:49 am

OP here. Thank you for all the responses.

My hope is to find some kind of political/nonprofit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) practice in DC. Federal pay-to-play laws, lobbying, etc.

I understand this practice area is small and competitive, but I don't see it mentioned on TLS/reddit as much as the traditional "elite" goals like appellate advocacy. Is that because even fewer people do it?

Basically, my concern is that I won't be starting in a relevant regulatory or administrative practice area. I have related pre-law school work experience, but in the short term, I'd rather not enter a practice area that will make my long term goal tougher.

Any advice?

Sporty1911

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Re: Building Skills for Regulatory Practice

Post by Sporty1911 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:49 am
OP here. Thank you for all the responses.

My hope is to find some kind of political/nonprofit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) practice in DC. Federal pay-to-play laws, lobbying, etc.

I understand this practice area is small and competitive, but I don't see it mentioned on TLS/reddit as much as the traditional "elite" goals like appellate advocacy. Is that because even fewer people do it?

Basically, my concern is that I won't be starting in a relevant regulatory or administrative practice area. I have related pre-law school work experience, but in the short term, I'd rather not enter a practice area that will make my long term goal tougher.

Any advice?
Does your firm have a group that does this? If not, I'm not really sure which of the options would be best related, but I would definitely try to do pro-bono work for non-profits while at your firm. Then lateral as a junior to a firm that has this practice and point to your pre-law school and pro-bono work experience to show interest.

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