Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
genetics4lyfe

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:43 am

Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by genetics4lyfe » Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:22 pm

Hey folks--I'm a recent grad interested in both appellate patent practice (I think substantive patent law is fascinating but do not enjoy trial litigation) and FDA regulatory work and am wondering if others have had experience as an associate doing work from both regulatory and litigation groups (even if not necessarily those two). I've been looking at partner profiles online and have found some that crossover between regulatory and investigations work, or regulatory and deals work, but few that seem to straddle regulatory and litigation. Any thoughts welcome--and many thanks in advance!

ghostoftraynor

Bronze
Posts: 296
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:43 pm

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by ghostoftraynor » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:38 pm

I think the chance of doing appellate work mixed with something else is pretty close to zero.

12YrsAnAssociate

New
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 3:03 pm

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:31 pm

I worked in a health regulatory practice, and I did a lot of appellate work (appeals from agency decisions to DDC, appeals to the DC Circuit, and one time an appeal to SCOTUS). But I clerked for both a federal district court and a federal court of appeals, so the group thought it was a value add for me to help with the appeals. In all honesty, though, the appellate work kinda sucked at the DC Circuit and SCOTUS levels because we basically handed the case off to the Supreme Court and appellate group, and my job on those cases was to do ground level research and find documents, and maybe do some rushed first draft meant to identify key issues.

I'm sure here are some groups in DC that appeal PTAB decisions and FDA decisions, though. Maybe Latham or King & Spalding? MWE? Ropes? Maybe Powers Pyles or Honigman? I really don't know. I'd google around for something like that.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350998
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:07 pm

genetics4lyfe wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:22 pm
Hey folks--I'm a recent grad interested in both appellate patent practice (I think substantive patent law is fascinating but do not enjoy trial litigation) and FDA regulatory work and am wondering if others have had experience as an associate doing work from both regulatory and litigation groups (even if not necessarily those two). I've been looking at partner profiles online and have found some that crossover between regulatory and investigations work, or regulatory and deals work, but few that seem to straddle regulatory and litigation. Any thoughts welcome--and many thanks in advance!
I do this a little, though others in my group do far more. We're financial regulatory so the transition to enforcement actions and related litigation is fairly smooth (and my mostly-regulatory practice includes a lot of legal research anyway). I enjoy the mix and would guess something similar should be possible in healthcare, though we don't generally handle appellate work (as others have noted, that tends to end up with appellate teams).

Anonymous User
Posts: 350998
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:28 pm

I was pretty generalized for the first 3 years or so in my biglaw career, but it's going to be hard to pull off your litigation/regulatory mix (1) long term, where must firms (and clients, in-house, etc.) want you to specialize after year 2 or 3 and (2) with appellate as part of the mix, because appellate itself is pretty specialized. If you operate at a free market firm and luck in with the right partners, you'll have the chance to work on a lot of different things and have a mix, but in my experience it will be more by chance (right partners, right time, right availability) than choice.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


genetics4lyfe

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:43 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by genetics4lyfe » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:49 pm

These responses are really helpful! I appreciate you all taking the time to think through this with me. It sounds like for a variety of reasons this may be either unpalatable or just not feasible. I'll rethink this. Maybe pairing health regulatory work with IP counseling, which I've looked into a little bit before and think overlaps relatively well with regulatory strategy, might be more feasible.
12YrsAnAssociate wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:31 pm
I worked in a health regulatory practice, and I did a lot of appellate work (appeals from agency decisions to DDC, appeals to the DC Circuit, and one time an appeal to SCOTUS). But I clerked for both a federal district court and a federal court of appeals, so the group thought it was a value add for me to help with the appeals. In all honesty, though, the appellate work kinda sucked at the DC Circuit and SCOTUS levels because we basically handed the case off to the Supreme Court and appellate group, and my job on those cases was to do ground level research and find documents, and maybe do some rushed first draft meant to identify key issues.

I'm sure here are some groups in DC that appeal PTAB decisions and FDA decisions, though. Maybe Latham or King & Spalding? MWE? Ropes? Maybe Powers Pyles or Honigman? I really don't know. I'd google around for something like that.
Thanks for this detailed note. I'm essentially in the same boat as you (clerking for a federal district court and then the Fed Circuit), which is why I was hoping I might be able to finagle my way into some appellate work as well. But I appreciate you describing the nature of that involvement. From what you and others have said, it sounds like the appellate group runs the show on actually crafting the appeals, and I think--like you--I'd be relatively unsatisfied engaging with appellate work in the capacity you've described. I'll talk to more folks and look into alternative options! I appreciate your candor in sharing your experience.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350998
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:50 pm

ERISA and benefits litigation is exactly this.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350998
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:42 am

International trade litigation also probably falls into this bucket. Anti-dumping/countervailing duties get litigated in the Court of International Trade (the litigation is often highly technical) and can be appealed up to the Federal Circuit.

The regulatory aspect comes from helping clients navigate the investigations by Commerce and US International Trade Commission that precede the imposition of dumping/countervailing duties.

pi.radians

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:42 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by pi.radians » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:19 pm

genetics4lyfe wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:22 pm
Hey folks--I'm a recent grad interested in both appellate patent practice (I think substantive patent law is fascinating but do not enjoy trial litigation) and FDA regulatory work and am wondering if others have had experience as an associate doing work from both regulatory and litigation groups (even if not necessarily those two). I've been looking at partner profiles online and have found some that crossover between regulatory and investigations work, or regulatory and deals work, but few that seem to straddle regulatory and litigation. Any thoughts welcome--and many thanks in advance!
What about Hatch-Waxman and/or PTAB litigation with any attendant Federal Circuit appeals?

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Anonymous User
Posts: 350998
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:19 pm

I do environmental work and there's a ton of overlap

Anonymous User
Posts: 350998
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Blending regulatory and litigation practice areas?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:02 pm

I also do environmental work and agree that there is a ton of overlap between regulatory and litigation. I have handled trial and appellate litigation at state and federal levels, but at least half my work is regulatory (entitlements, agency lobbying/interfacing/commenting, agency hearings, etc.)

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”