Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

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nativtracker

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Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by nativtracker » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:31 pm

I've been curious about this for some time, but are there any prestigious corporate fellowships for lawyers? Something like the Bristow or other litigation based fellowships which mid-years in corporate can target? I feel like I always see something really amazing aimed at professional development only to find it is usually for litigation based attorneys. Thanks!

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:07 pm

No, not really. What would that even look like? By the time you get to be a midlevel corporate associate, experience and connections count for a lot more than prestige.

For certain practice areas, there's revolving-door stuff with the federal government, but even that stuff tends more litigation/regulatory than corporate. And nothing at all like a Bristow in terms of prestige.

nixy

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by nixy » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:37 pm

And just to nitpick, I don’t think the Bristow is really a midlevel job. It’s still supposed to be fairly recent grads (post- a clerkship).

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:13 pm

The closest thing I can think of in this would be a secondment through your firm with an office of general counsel at a big company. Not sure how many firms have programs like this, but I know of a few that do. I don't think they're any more prestigious than spending time at your firm, but it's basically a fellowship with another organization that expands your skillset.

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Sackboy

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by Sackboy » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:45 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:07 pm

For certain practice areas, there's revolving-door stuff with the federal government, but even that stuff tends more litigation/regulatory than corporate. And nothing at all like a Bristow in terms of prestige.
I have to agree in that nothing mirrors the Bristow in terms of timing (i.e. junior in your career), prestige, or duration (i.e. short).

Most of the opportunities involve DOJ/AUSA work and then coming back as a biglaw litigation partner.

Tax, Finance, and CM have quite a few opportunities in this department too, but they're generally not as sexy to outsiders. Most other corporate practice areas have zero revolving-door options. You see a fair number of biglaw stints where somebody will spend 5-10yrs at a top firm, go to the IRS/SEC/Etc. for 4-5 years and quickly accelerate there, and then come back to a partner position.

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:24 am

I don't know if a Delaware court of chancery clerkship would fit the bill for what you're asking about, but maybe?

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by soft blue » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:12 am

I feel like the logical answer to this is a secondment. Am I missing something? Obviously nowhere near on the level of a Bristow, etc.

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:17 am

OP, out of curiosity, are/were you competitive for Bristow-type positions? Because if so you could probably just clerk on DE Chancery (or SCOTUS?) and then go work at Wachtell or something. The eye of the needle is wider for super-elite corporate outcomes, which is part of the reason your initial question is hard to answer.

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:51 pm

OP here. I think I'm competitive, or honestly, who knows, its all a crap shoot at that level, plus with the likely change in administrations, not worth it.

But I mainly asked the question because while I was once litigation focused, clerking really opened my eyes to why I don't want to be a litigator. I had a great experience, but it just wasn't for me in the end. Thus, I am trying to think of things that are on the same footing as government fellowships or private sector fellowships like Bristow, AG Honors, etc, but might be more corporate focused. So far, I've come up with things like the White House Fellows Program, Franklin Fellowship Program (State Department), Robert Bosch Fellowship, German Chancellors Fellowship, but even then, I am skeptical as to how a selection committee would view a lawyer who focuses on M & A for example. Basically, looking for programs that a mid year corporate attorney might apply for that focus on leadership or public service. Perhaps a secondment is the answer I am looking for.

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:00 pm

Not trying to be rude, but what kind of work do you actually want to do? The litigation fellowships are important for getting the uber-qualified people into elite positions down the line. What non-lit work do you want to do that you feel you need a prestigious fellowship to do, rather than going to a top firm and doing M&A? You reference public service but it’s not clear to me where you’re trying to go.

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:12 pm

Another problem with public-service fellowships is that they tend to care a lot about demonstrated commitment to PI, which you probably don't have if you're coming off a prestigious clerkship and have a resume otherwise full of "biglaw/bigfed litigator" gold stars.

I agree with nixy that you need to think a lot harder about what your end goals are. It sounds like you have the raw credentials to go and do that directly.

To zoom out a bit, fellowships have two main functions: 1) as a launchpad/incubator for people at the very start of their careers, or 2) as a sinecure for accomplished people near the end of their careers who want to trade their reputation to some institution in return for a chill part-time lecturing job. It's just not really a mid-career thing. By "mid-year" it sounds like you mean someone only 2-3 years out of law school, which is another reason everyone in this thread is so confused (maybe it's just me).

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Re: Prestigious Corporate "Fellowships"

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:00 pm

I was confused by that too.

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