Law School Discussion

Choosing a practice area?

Choosing a practice area?
« on: October 21, 2008, 09:10:29 AM »
Hey, I just thought I'd see if anyone else was in the same boat and how you are addressing this:

I've got offers from two separate practice groups in the same firm: Corporate and Oil & Gas. I like the firm itself but I have no idea how to pick what may end up being my practice area for the next 30 years.    Oil and Gas seems like it's more of a specialty, which I like, and it might provide a good segue into other natural resources areas. On the other hand it seems that a corporate practice would be substantially easier to move to other cities/regions (outside of Texas) if I one day decide to do that. Then again, given the events of the last month I'm not sure how strong the job market is going to be for corporate lawyers for some time.

Anyway, there's remarkably little written on this for such an important decision, so if anyone's dealt with a similar situation let me know.


Re: Choosing a practice area?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 09:19:32 AM »
It's really going to be a personal decision.  I'm also surprised to see a firm lock you in so early, usually they want you to try different things to make sure that is what you want.

I know nothing about Oil & Gas, but Corporate is a variety of things.  What particularly do they plan on having you doing?  I mean "corporate" is rather vague.  Are we talking M&A, financing, venture funds?  It can be a million things.  Saying you are going to be "corporate" is like saying you are going to be a trial lawyer lol.


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Re: Choosing a practice area?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 09:23:19 AM »
Oil and gas is big business right now, and depending on who gets elected, it will likely be well into the future. But there have been boom/bust in the oil gas industry before, but with the price of oil being what it is I’m guessing we won’t see a bust until we have some cheaper future tech that becomes mainstream. As to moving around, a law degree is not very portable from state to state, as your career progresses you will be getting clients on your own, unless those clients move with you to a new state, you don’t really have much to offer a new firm. There are lots of experienced lawyers out there, but portable business is what matters. Have you taken an oil and gas class, it can get pretty technical some people don't like that side of it? If its something you think you would enjoy then it might be more recession proof industry, but its certainly more of specialty practice area than “corporate.”