The Top Fifteen Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Litigator: Most Attorneys Should Not Be Litigators

Litigation is the riskiest, most demanding, and most thankless practice area there is.

A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Litigation is also the practice area in which it is most difficult to get good lateral jobs. It is very hard to distinguish yourself because there are so many litigators out there. Moreover, while there are countless litigators practicing, few are any good and most get their hats handed to them more often than not.

Litigators are demoralized by courts, employers, opposing counsel, and clients. They are stressed out by deadlines and have personality traits that compel them to be conniving and to be in constant “fight” mode. Litigation is by and large unglamorous work spent outside the courtroom. Heck, many litigators do not even go to trial because most cases settle. Litigators spend the majority of working hours doing piles of mundane discovery and other busywork. For many litigators, the daily grind involves working mindlessly on matters about as interesting as watching dew form on sand overnight in the middle of the desert.


There are lots of litigation jobs out there, but few good ones. Most litigation jobs involve working in small offices and doing things like representing families suing nursing homes over bedsores. These thankless jobs may pay by the hour or they may pay low salaries. Many litigation jobs pay less than an attorney would make working as a manager for a restaurant. There are tons of bad litigation jobs out there and this is where most of the jobs are. Most of the attorneys doing these jobs do not enjoy them. Many litigators are not happy, healthy, or successful by any means.