Law School Discussion

Law Students => Incoming 1Ls => Topic started by: Jhuen_the_bird on January 24, 2007, 06:43:44 AM

Title: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on January 24, 2007, 06:43:44 AM
I was kind of thinking about this ... I was wondering if there is some consensus about which areas of law are the really insanely difficult (difficult being - most hours put in, most real WORK at the job, etc.), and what areas of laws were known as more laid back (less hours worked, more 'slacking' perhaps?)  - or does it all depend on the particular atmosphere of the firm?

If I had to guess based on the very little I've heard, this elusive "Big Law" seems to be the most hell-ish, while the Real Estate attorneys seem to perhaps have it the easiest? (Well, maybe not - but I've heard of some that work for Sibsy Cline that make about 250,000/year and don't do much, but I also know a lady who works insanely hard as a real estate agent - but she has her own partnered firm).  What about tax attorneys?  They seem to be so looked down upon for some reason, but is it b/c their jobs are easy?  Or is it just easy if they are good at math?


Oh, and don't think I'm *looking* for an easy area of law in which to practice, I was just thinking about it since being "an attorney" can mean SO many things and is really a diverse job.  I also really don't know what area of law interests me yet ... family law seems somewhat interesting, but I won't pretend to know much about it right now :)  I also thinking teaching at a law school might be a great experience when I'm older after getting many years of experience under my belt!

Thanks everyone - I hope this is an interesting disucssion ;)
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: jer on January 24, 2007, 06:49:05 AM
those who can, do.
those who can't, teach.
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: //// on January 24, 2007, 09:15:24 AM
tag. definitely interested in areas of law (even Biglaw) with reputation for more reasonable (say <=60/week, or <2000 average billable hours)
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: Jhuen_the_bird on January 24, 2007, 01:23:43 PM
those who can, do.
those who can't, teach.

Fortunately, that is a misleading (and way overused) quote ... it's more "those who don't feel like it" or "don't feel like fighting for" the job in question.  (especially in areas of performance, I would say)

Bully for you for coming in with a hackneyed phrase trying to show how cool you are ::)
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: EEtoJD on January 24, 2007, 04:48:53 PM
those who can, do.
those who can't, teach.

Those who can't teach, counsel. Those who can't counsel, administrate. Those who can't administrate, enter data into the computer. Those who can't enter data into the computer, take dictation.  Those who can't take dictation, alphabetize files. Those who can't alphabetize files, answer the phone. Those who can't answer the phone, fry hamburgers. Those who can't fry hamburgers, run the cash register. Those who can't run the cash register, wait on tables. Those who can't wait on tables, carry dishes to the kitchen. Those who can't carry dirty dishes to the kitchen, wash the dirty dishes. Those who can't wash the dirty dishes, peel potatoes. Those who can't peel potatoes, buff the floor. Those who can't buff the floor, haul out the garbage. Those who can't haul out the garbage, write poetry.  Those who can't write poetry, write clever letters to the editor. Those who can't write clever letters to the editor, write angry letters to the editor. Those who can't write angry letters to the editor, spray paint graffiti. Those who can't spray paint graffiti, write screenplays. Those who can't write screenplays, write TV scripts. Those who can't write TV scripts, read scripts for the studios. Those who can't read scripts for the studios, act. Those who can't act, take acting classes.  Those who can't take acting classes, sing. Those who can't sing, sing Rock 'N' Roll. Those  who can't sing Rock 'N' Roll, sing it anyway. Those who can't sing it anyway, become depressed. Those who can't become depressed, get bitter.  Those who can't get bitter, get confused. Those who can't get confused, stay confused. Those who stay confused, find it difficult to complete unfinished sentences. Those who find it difficult to complete unfinished sentences...
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: Dr. Miles on January 25, 2007, 04:24:30 PM
easiest - plaintiff's securities class actions. wait for stock price to drop 10% or more. file suit. settle. collect $$. rinse, repeat.

hardest - tax
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: well eggy on January 26, 2007, 11:56:23 AM
If you want to work fewer hours, go government.

An attorney is an attorney is an attorney.  Tax attorneys don't sit around doing math and looking at tax returns all day.  That's an accountant.

EDIT:
You won't find out what's hardest until you take a class that you hate.  That will be the hardest... for you.

A finer point.  Accountants don't do 'math,' either.  They do arithmetic, at best. 

Tax attorneys are busy (or perceived as such) because tax law is, in and of itself, demanding, technical, and difficult.  They must understand the Internal Revenue Code and understand laws regulating (most frequently) real estate, corporate txns, and estates.   And then put them together.  Kind of a lot to know, eh?
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: EEtoJD on January 26, 2007, 12:36:39 PM
If you want to work fewer hours, go government.

An attorney is an attorney is an attorney.  Tax attorneys don't sit around doing math and looking at tax returns all day.  That's an accountant.

EDIT:
You won't find out what's hardest until you take a class that you hate.  That will be the hardest... for you.

A finer point.  Accountants don't do 'math,' either.  They do arithmetic, at best. 

TrueZing!
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: challandler on January 26, 2007, 12:45:43 PM
I also thinking teaching at a law school might be a great experience when I'm older after getting many years of experience under my belt!

That's nearly impossible in today's academic market unless you come back to teach clinics or legal writing.  More than a few years of experince actually hurts your chances, and, to be honest, most academic positions are taken by students from a few elite schools.
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: Harmonium on January 26, 2007, 12:50:46 PM
Speaking of which, I know the teaching market is dominated almost entirely by HYS, with Chicago also taking a sizable chunk, with Mich and UvA also producing plenty of teachers but not nearly on the same level. In your experience with Michigan so far, do you think teaching is actually a viable option for top students there, or do the chances already seem too dismal?
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: well eggy on January 26, 2007, 12:53:09 PM
If you want to work fewer hours, go government.

An attorney is an attorney is an attorney.  Tax attorneys don't sit around doing math and looking at tax returns all day.  That's an accountant.

EDIT:
You won't find out what's hardest until you take a class that you hate.  That will be the hardest... for you.

A finer point.  Accountants don't do 'math,' either.  They do arithmetic, at best. 

TrueZing!

True, yes.  A zing?  No, not really.  I am (er, was) an accountant.

Just dispelling the myths. 
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: EEtoJD on January 26, 2007, 12:56:01 PM
If you want to work fewer hours, go government.

An attorney is an attorney is an attorney.  Tax attorneys don't sit around doing math and looking at tax returns all day.  That's an accountant.

EDIT:
You won't find out what's hardest until you take a class that you hate.  That will be the hardest... for you.

A finer point.  Accountants don't do 'math,' either.  They do arithmetic, at best. 

TrueZing!

True, yes.  A zing?  No, not really.  I am (er, was) an accountant.

Just dispelling the myths. 

Well, I pictured you saying it in a snarky manner.  ;)
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: vap on January 26, 2007, 01:18:53 PM

A finer point.  Accountants don't do 'math,' either.  They do arithmetic, at best. 

TrueZing!

True, yes.  A zing?  No, not really.  I am (er, was) an accountant.

Just dispelling the myths. 

Ha! Yes, I stand corrected - arithmetic.  Although, I honestly never pictured accountants plugging numbers into the quadratic formula...  ;)
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: challandler on January 26, 2007, 01:38:36 PM
Speaking of which, I know the teaching market is dominated almost entirely by HYS, with Chicago also taking a sizable chunk, with Mich and UvA also producing plenty of teachers but not nearly on the same level. In your experience with Michigan so far, do you think teaching is actually a viable option for top students there, or do the chances already seem too dismal?

My impressions so far are that (1) teaching is more viable and supported than I had imagined, and that (2) teaching is less grade-dependant than I had imagined.  That isn't to say that teaching is easy or that grades aren't important, but a student who is in the top 40% of the class with good writing skills and the appropriate intellectual curiosity is completely capable of getting on law review, getting an editorial position, showcasing his/her abilities, obtaining a clerkship, and landing an academic job. 
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: well eggy on January 26, 2007, 01:39:06 PM
Ha! Yes, I stand corrected - arithmetic.  Although, I honestly never pictured accountants plugging numbers into the quadratic formula...  ;)

I think they mostly plug numbers into spreadsheets.

True.  It's really about where to plug them, and whether the plugholes themselves make sense.  Simple, really.
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: Denny Crane on January 26, 2007, 02:10:03 PM
Hardest: International Law.  There isn't even a body of international law, so your bullsh!tting skills need to be tops, which, in the field of law, says a lot.

Easiest: personal injury.  Hire some quack to say what you want them to say, and boom, you just "earned" enough to buy a fourth house and third mercedes.


Of course, these are all my cynical impressions.  Take them lightly, with a grain of salt and a splash of pepper.
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: dgrt on August 26, 2013, 02:35:39 PM
Are you lawyers or comics?  With all your question/answer experience in the classroom, interesting how many can't give a straight answer.
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: jimwass on August 29, 2013, 09:37:10 AM
My wife had a consult with an ophthalmologist several years ago.  The woman admitted that she had become enchanted with the "toys" of that specialty and the use of that equipment during internship rotations.

That physician's choice and ours may have something to do with hard or easy, but it has been said by many that when doing what you love you will never work a day in your life.

I have a notion of what I want to do, greatly affected by the news of the day and causes I might want to pursue.  The coursework will tell me more.
Title: Re: "Easiest" vs. "Hardest" areas of law in which to practice ...
Post by: livinglegend on September 06, 2013, 11:55:10 PM
I was kind of thinking about this ... I was wondering if there is some consensus about which areas of law are the really insanely difficult (difficult being - most hours put in, most real WORK at the job, etc.), and what areas of laws were known as more laid back (less hours worked, more 'slacking' perhaps?)  - or does it all depend on the particular atmosphere of the firm?

If I had to guess based on the very little I've heard, this elusive "Big Law" seems to be the most hell-ish, while the Real Estate attorneys seem to perhaps have it the easiest? (Well, maybe not - but I've heard of some that work for Sibsy Cline that make about 250,000/year and don't do much, but I also know a lady who works insanely hard as a real estate agent - but she has her own partnered firm).  What about tax attorneys?  They seem to be so looked down upon for some reason, but is it b/c their jobs are easy?  Or is it just easy if they are good at math?


Oh, and don't think I'm *looking* for an easy area of law in which to practice, I was just thinking about it since being "an attorney" can mean SO many things and is really a diverse job.  I also really don't know what area of law interests me yet ... family law seems somewhat interesting, but I won't pretend to know much about it right now :)  I also thinking teaching at a law school might be a great experience when I'm older after getting many years of experience under my belt!

Thanks everyone - I hope this is an interesting disucssion ;)

I think certain areas of the law are easy, but dealing with the people is difficult. Family law is a perfect example of that the law in almost every state is either community property explained here http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/community-property-state-divorce.html or marital property explained here http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/marital-property-states.html

The essence of either is that anything accumulated during the marriage through work is split 50/50 between the couples, but anything obtained as inheritance or as a gift is separate property and not split. The law is quite easy to follow, but Family Court gets crazy the emotions run very high and people will spend endless time fighting about inconsequential things to get back at the other spouse.

When children are involved it is even more difficult the standard in almost every state is what is in the best interest of the Child. That is the legal standard what does that mean? Who the hell knows and again parents will fight endlessly over it., which can be very hard to deal with.

So you can see the law in Family Law is fairly straight forward, but the emotional toll and navigating the personalities of your client is extremely difficult.

Tax Law on the other hand is very technical and the law is more difficult and the goal is quite clear save your client as much money as possible so the human element is not very difficult.

If your a litigator handling the pressure of a trial is something certain people can do and others can't. Being able to withstand objections and present a clear case to a jury comes naturally to some and not to others. That can be a difficult route as well and again emotions run high and there is a very subjective human element to litigation.

Since this is a law school discussion board the reality is law school does not really allow you to specialize in any area of law. Technically you can take some courses, but the vast majority of your three years will be spent taking bar related subjects Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property, Evidence, Corporations, Family Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Con Law, Wills & Trusts, and Remedies will be classes you will take at every law school and that makes up the first two years of law school.