Why Doing Corporate While Eyeing Litigation Is Counter Productive
[00:00:00] I'm a law student at a top 10 law school. I've been working at a smaller firm in a market adjacent to the major market. My interest is in litigation. I also wish to move to larger firm in New York city. However, I'm seeing, the opportunities are primarily corporate. I am far, far more interested in a career in litigation, but I'm trying to sell myself... Is it necessary for me to make the switch to get into a large New York City firm?
That's a good question. And, a very common question. You have a couple of different things going on.
So, New York is primarily corporate market. Not to say that it's all corporate, but it's primarily a corporate market. If you look at the resumes of people in New York law firms and the people that work there, it tends to be mostly corporate with not a lot of litigation. You might see, 75% corporate, maybe 5% litigation. So, that's just how it works.
There's certain markets that are heavier one way or the other. But, litigation is an interesting market. It's a much harder market to get into in New York than it is than a lot of other areas.
You shouldn't be doing corporate if you really like litigation. Corporate is a much [00:01:00] different practice area than litigation. And, what you're seeing here, you want to work in New York City.
I think that you need to be location-agnostic and get the experience that you want. You need to get a certain type of experience. So, the experience you want is litigation. And, if you're drawn to litigation, you should do litigation.
It shouldn't be dependent upon you working in New York City. It should be dependent on, where you get that experience from? Where you get the training?
Corporate is a very good practice area to be in, but, it's very complex, clerical, administrative work, that requires a lot of specialized knowledge.
I'm oversimplifying here. There are all sorts of tests and other things that you could take that would show you what you should do.
You have to decide, do you like complex clerical administrative work, that require a lot of specialized knowledge? A lot of people do. For me, it's not something I like, but I've done it. And, I think parts of it are fun.
When you're in school, if you'd like litigation, you probably gravitated towards English, philosophy, history, things along those lines, anything to do with [00:02:00] writing.
And so, that's just kinda how it works. It's not always that way. But that's pretty much the people that are good at those types of things like that.
You should think along these lines, like what appeals to you, you shouldn't go into something that you don't like, and you're going to fail at. You shouldn't go into something where you don't have natural skills. That that's not a smart use of your career.
You're also not going to work in a market where you're not going to get the type of jobs you want. Now, there's plenty of litigation in New York. Some of the largest cases in the world are happening in New York. I'm not being critical of New York as a market, but, you need to be very careful about going into a market where most of the opportunity is in corporate, not litigation. Though, there are lots of smaller litigation firms, and there's all sorts of opportunities in New York city.
The point is that, it's maybe not the best market. And, if you want to do litigation, and this is what you're good at, which is English and philosophy, history, writing, and so forth. You're not more of a math science and accounting MBA type, then you really should stick with what you're naturally going to be good at because otherwise you're just [00:03:00] asking for trouble. I'm not trying to talk you out of something here but, your allegiance needs to be to the work and not to the market.
Just because you think it would be fun to work in New York, and go out, and be part of that, when you're young and coming out of school. Which admittedly, it is. There are a lot of fun things about New York. But, at the same time, it's not it's not worth it, if it's not something that is going to work for you.