- This practice area category focuses on lawsuits and the adversarial processes that take place to resolve disputes in state and federal trial courts, as well as other proceedings like arbitrations.
- Litigation work includes motion work, discovery, taking and defending depositions, and trials.
- Securities Litigation and White Collar Crime are each special kinds of litigation, as are Appellate Litigation, Tax Litigation, and International Arbitration.
Why Do Litigation Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
- Attorneys who enjoy litigation like writing and crafting creative arguments.
- Litigators are also the ones who typically control how cases go and rarely take orders from their clients.
- Litigators also tend to be able to bill their clients lots of hours because the work is very time-consuming.
- The best litigators enjoy conflict and trying to win arguments about small points.
- This is a good practice area in many respects because it is somewhat recession proof; even in the worst recessions, cases do not stop, and the work continues.
What Are the Difficulties of Being a Litigation Attorney?
- Attorneys who do not like litigation are often turned off by the fact that there are constant deadlines, that it is rarely easy to take a vacation because matters are constantly flaring up, and that the attorneys are constantly surrounded by angry people trying to tear each other (and the attorney) down.
- Clients get upset when they lose, the other side is constantly attacking the attorney, judges may be rude to the attorney, and more.
- There is also a lot of sitting around and waiting in court, travel to and from the court, and sitting in conference rooms in various locations taking depositions, reviewing documents, and so forth.
- Unless they have a lot of business, it is very difficult for senior litigators to find positions as well.
How Easy Is It to Move Laterally as a Litigation Attorney?
- To be attractive to large law firms, litigators need to have exceptional qualifications (grades, schools, clerkships, and firm experience) because credentials assume more importance in litigation than in other practice areas because there are so many litigators out there (it is by far the most popular practice group for attorneys).
- Because litigators need the bar to go to court, it is also more difficult for them to move laterally and get positions in other states.
- Litigation tends to get busy when the economy is slow (because people sue more in search of money) and then slows down when the economy is healthy again. Accordingly, during healthy economies, there is often a glut of litigators and very few jobs.
See the following articles for more information about litigation:
- Why Does Litigation Hiring Seem to Take So Much Longer Than Hiring for Other Practice Areas?
- Is Contract Work the New Normal for Litigators?
- Why Most Attorneys Have No Business Being Litigators: Fifteen Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Litigator
Litigation Case Studies
- Experienced Mid-level to Senior Complex Litigator Placed at Elite Litigation Boutique in LA
- Big Law Litigator Placed at Prestigious Plaintiff-side Litigation Boutique in the OC
- Clerkship Candidate Lands Fantastic Position at Small Growing Firm in General Litigation
- The Silver Lining Shines Through for a Laid-Off Junior Litigator Returing to His Home Market
- Senior Litigator without Business Placed at Boutique Firm in the East Bay Area
- National, Multi-office Firm Opens Honolulu Office for Class of 2017 Federal Clerk and General Litigation Candidate
- Second Year Associate Looking for a Firm he Could Call Home
- Talented Litigation Associate with Solid Foundation Jumps to Boutique Firm to Focus on More Complex Matters
- Second Circuit Law Clerk Lands at Boutique Litigation Firm in Seattle
- Motivated, Rainmaking, Unique Sports Lawyer Joins New Team
- District Court Clerk with Firm Experience Joins BigLaw Firm as a 5th Year Associate
- Placement of Senior Litigator without Book of Business in Maryland
- Placement of Litigation Associate at Sophisticated Litigation Boutique in White Plains/Westchester
- Rocky Mountain Dreams Come True for Diverse Attorney with Substance and Sparkle
- Big Law Litigator with Top Academic Credentials Placed at Litigation Boutique in LA
- Experienced Litigator with Expertise in Probate Litigation Placed with Small Firm in Orlando During Pandemic
- Talented Diverse Litigator Makes the Switch from Criminal Law to Civil Litigation
- Placement of Senior Litigation Associate with Elite Litigation Boutique in Miami
- Big Law Litigator Placed at Prestigious Plaintiff-side Litigation Boutique in the OC
- Senior Attorney Lands Top Big Law Senior Litigator Role
- State Government Attorney Lands Back in Big Law in Seattle
- Unemployed Litigation Associate with Excellent Credentials Accepts 6 Figure Remote Part-Time Position with Elite Litigation Boutique
- Junior Litigation Associate Relocating from Atlanta to Tampa Placed at Zuckerman Spaeder
- Big Law Senior Litigator Lands Counsel Level Position
- Mid-level Mid-Sized Firm Litigation Associate Move to Big Law
- Litigation Associate with Nationally-Ranked Firm Finds New Opportunity Back in Midwest Hometown
- Senior Litigation Associate at AmLaw Firm Finds Boutique Opportunity in Small Hometown
- Litigation Associate Finishing Magistrate Clerkship Receives Multiple Offers in Boston
- Staff Attorney Clerk Moves to Regional Medium Sized Firm
- Placement of Senior Litigator in Miami with New Prestigious Litigation Boutique Firm
- Class of 2019 General Litigator Placed in the Inland Empire
- Mid-level Small Firm Lit Associate Makes Move to Strong Mid-Sized Firm
- Junior Litigation Associate from Top 25 Law School Finds New Opportunity in Outstate Wisconsin to Join Fiancee
- Placement of Unemployed Senior Litigator with No Portable Book with Sophisticated Firm in Delaware
- Junior Associates with Extraordinary Credentials Don't Necessarily Need Law Firm Experience
- Junior Litigator (and Former DA) Lands Job at Boutique Bay Area Firm
- Senior Attorney Makes Move from Big Law to Top Litigation Boutique
- Class of 2014 Business Litigation Associate (and former In-House Attorney) Placed with Top Boutique Firm
- Making the Move from Government Prosecutor to Top Boutique Law Firm
- Junior Litigator Based in Ontario, CA Lands at National Firm in the OC
- Boutique Law Firm General Litigator Lands at a Large National Firm
- Junior Litigator Laterals from a Solo Practitioner to a Solid Mid-Sized Firm
- Senior Litigator Moves from a Small Long Beach-Based Firm to a Mid-Sized Firm in El Segundo
- Junior Litigator Placed at Florida Boutique Firm
- Litigation Partner at Major Law Firm in Los Angeles Interested in Relocating to a Law Firm with More Work
- Midlevel Litigation Attorney at Top DC Firm Told to Look for Another Job
- Candidate with a Great Personality and Stable Employment History Goes In-House
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.
With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.
Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.
Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.
One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.
One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.
Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.
In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.
Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.
In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.