Law School Discussion

More Useful Concentration: Litigation or International Law?

More Useful Concentration: Litigation or International Law?
« on: October 24, 2008, 08:29:02 AM »
At my law school we get to choose an elective to take during our 2nd semester... the deadline for a decision is fast approaching and I'm trying to figure out if I should start down the track towards a concentration in litigation or international law.  Obviously this depends on my goals for the future, which are:  to obtain employment in the litigation department of a firm (maybe eventually with a corporation).  I also have an interest in international law... my undergrad major was Int'l Affairs and I've spent some time abroad.  If I got into international law, I'd like to be on the litigation side of it. 

I guess my questions are:

-do firms really care about concentrations?
-if they do care, would they rather see someone interested in litigation or international law?

I guess I see litigation as winning the contest in terms of usefulness... hmmm, guess I'd just like people's opinions.  Thanks!

Re: More Useful Concentration: Litigation or International Law?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 08:30:31 AM »
No they don't care about concentrations.  Besides, taking one class isn't going to change anything.  Take classes that you are interested in, work it out from there.

Also, "litigation" is vague.  Evidence, procedure, etc.... those are all technically classes that are related to litigation.


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Re: More Useful Concentration: Litigation or International Law?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 08:52:55 AM »
I agree that one class does not a speclization make. However, I also think specializing your resume can help you land the type of job you are looking for over another applicant if your sure you want to practice that type of law and it won’t change. A good “litigation” resume would include lots of classes like trial practice, vor dire, appellant advocacy, and other “skills” based classes along with moot court activity and participating in as many moot court competitions as you can. Securing a summer clerkship with a judge or in the PD/DA office and joining your local bar associations trial lawyer section and attending NITA conferences your school might sponsor.

But be forwarded, most law students are generalists, specializing your resume will limit the types of jobs you can realistically apply for. It will limit your OCI choices to firms that have your focused practice area, elsewhere they won’t believe you’re interested in other types of transactional work. It will give you the benfit of being focused at the cost of limiting your possible interviews. Making contacts outside of school with trial lawyers will be key to using your tailored resume to best affect in finding the job you really want.