- 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