How do I figure out what type of law I want to go into?

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How do I figure out what type of law I want to go into?

Post by lmh252 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:49 pm

By November of my 1L year I have to select a second semester elective. This elective then translates into what type of clinics I might be considered for my 2L year (based on what I've shown interest in). Any resources or things I should start thinking about to get ahead of the game? Going to a T14 btw.

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Re: How do I figure out what type of law I want to go into?

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:55 am

If you're talking about NYU, this really isn't as big a deal as you think it is.

The overwhelming majority of students end up doing conlaw or property, which aren't really electives and have no effect on which clinics you can take. As far as I remember, the only class that has a genuine impact on whether you can be in a clinic is going to be International Law for the Global Justice Clinic (because it's a year-long clinic and tends to strongly favor 2Ls), and even then, people have been allowed in if they register for it as a 2L class.

Otherwise, take IP if you're interested in IP or Tax if you're interested in tax. If you don't already know whether you're interested in those fields, you're not sacrificing anything by waiting until first-semester 2L to find out.


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Re: How do I figure out what type of law I want to go into?

Post by objctnyrhnr » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:36 am

Here’s a ridiculously oversimplified way to look at this issue: you either want to litigate or you do not. In my opinion, this is by far the most important question.

If you can determine that you do NOT want to litigate, there’s a host of other paths open to you and it isn’t that hard early-on to switch around between them. Those non litigation arenas typically lead to relatively high paying exit options in companies after just a few or a handful of years in Biglaw. however, if you end up learning later on that you do not want to litigate after going pretty far down the litigation path, then you are absolutely going to have a bad time because litigators who don’t like litigating are some of the most unhappy lawyers.

However if you DO want to litigate, the litigation attorneys in biglaw who LIKE litigating are often the most satisfied attorneys in biglaw.

So that’s your first issue. Do you like researching and writing for the act itself, or do you view it as a means to an end (I.e., do you just force yourself to do the work because you want to do well and complete assignments)? That’s the first, and possibly the most important, thing to figure out. Would the idea of clerking and talking to federal judges for hours on end about nuanced readings of dense cases and legal theory make you want to throw up, or does it seem exciting and intellectually engaging?


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Re: How do I figure out what type of law I want to go into?

Post by Anon-non-anon » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:05 am

Agree with OBJ. Good place to start, if you like law school, you'll prob lean litigation. if you don't, do corporate.

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Re: How do I figure out what type of law I want to go into?

Post by Wild Card » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:39 pm

If you end up at a biglaw firm that's mismanaged, and most are, the choice likely will be made for you.

You might decide to become a litigator, and take seminars and clinics to that end, but then your firm will tell you that you'll be starting in the M&A group, end of discussion.

So don't stress out about it.

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