Commercial lit --> L&E? Forum

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Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:43 am

Did any of you start your career practicing commercial litigation and later switch to L&E (mix of litigation and counseling work)?

If so, can you please share a little bit about your experience making this transition? Relative pros and cons? Biglaw or midlaw/boutique?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:52 am

I'm considering this change as well and would appreciate any insight. A few of the current LE associates at my firm started as comm lit elsewhere. My understanding is that they took a hefty class-year cut to make the switch.

My perception is that switching from comm lit to LE will help with exit options a few years from now, but maybe I'm mistaken on that.

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Re: Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:02 pm

I made the switch from general litigation at a regional firm to a labor and employment position at a V30 firm after about 2 years of practice. I had taken two employment law classes in law school and did some noncompete cases at my first firm, so I wasn’t totally starting from scratch, but there was still a bit of a learning curve on the employment-specific issues. I had gotten a lot of really good early experience at my first firm, so my litigation skills were solid, and probably even ahead of my peers at my second firm. It also helped that I made the switch early enough that I wasn’t too far behind on the employment issues, and they did not make me take a class cut. You can catch up on employment law issues on Practical Law and PLI, and there are also some good employment law podcasts out there.

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Re: Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:50 pm

my s/o does mix of both, at a V10. just developed organically as part of practice. views it as a plus. good to be able to market yourself internally/externally as having some sort of specialist knowledge, even though the L&E work s/he does isn't really any different than traditional BigLaw complex litigation + investigations.

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Re: Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:02 pm
I made the switch from general litigation at a regional firm to a labor and employment position at a V30 firm after about 2 years of practice. I had taken two employment law classes in law school and did some noncompete cases at my first firm, so I wasn’t totally starting from scratch, but there was still a bit of a learning curve on the employment-specific issues. I had gotten a lot of really good early experience at my first firm, so my litigation skills were solid, and probably even ahead of my peers at my second firm. It also helped that I made the switch early enough that I wasn’t too far behind on the employment issues, and they did not make me take a class cut. You can catch up on employment law issues on Practical Law and PLI, and there are also some good employment law podcasts out there.
Do you miss anything about commercial litigation? Is there pressure to bill relatively few hours for projects on employment matters (i.e., more cost-sensitive)?

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Re: Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by sparty99 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:43 am
Did any of you start your career practicing commercial litigation and later switch to L&E (mix of litigation and counseling work)?

If so, can you please share a little bit about your experience making this transition? Relative pros and cons? Biglaw or midlaw/boutique?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
If you have class action experience that can be useful.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389144
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Commercial lit --> L&E?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:54 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:02 pm
I made the switch from general litigation at a regional firm to a labor and employment position at a V30 firm after about 2 years of practice. I had taken two employment law classes in law school and did some noncompete cases at my first firm, so I wasn’t totally starting from scratch, but there was still a bit of a learning curve on the employment-specific issues. I had gotten a lot of really good early experience at my first firm, so my litigation skills were solid, and probably even ahead of my peers at my second firm. It also helped that I made the switch early enough that I wasn’t too far behind on the employment issues, and they did not make me take a class cut. You can catch up on employment law issues on Practical Law and PLI, and there are also some good employment law podcasts out there.
Do you miss anything about commercial litigation? Is there pressure to bill relatively few hours for projects on employment matters (i.e., more cost-sensitive)?
I don’t miss commercial litigation; I find employment law to be a lot more interesting. Unfortunately, yes, there is a lot of billing pressure, and I frequently underwrite my own time to try to keep some partners happy. Some partners have reassigned cases when associates “bill” too much—even when they legitimately worked those hours. The rate pressures and dismal partnership prospects are my biggest issues with Big Law L&E.

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