Law School Discussion

I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2009, 06:41:26 AM »
As for big firms not handling family law, they do, and you'll need to back up your conflict rationale. You might not find divorce or custody on a mega firms website, but there are a lot of practice areas that they delve into that they don't advertise. If a client is involved in a divorce, his lawyer will find a way to take care of it and to bill for it.


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Not at my big firm, not at the big firm I worked for before LS, and not at the firms my friends work at.  JSIA.

Agreed.  Even my family law professor flat out said you won't see it at large firms.  It's a conflict issue. They aren't going to waste their time making a lil here and there on a divorce when they have mega corporations paying millions.

While I respect family law practitioners (some of them anyway), it's simply not a lucrative, Biglaw practice.  Nothing wrong with that, but that's the truth.

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2009, 12:22:39 PM »
In my experience with firms before law school (a few years in midlaw, few years in BigLaw).  I never once ran across a family law case.  I worked in Litigation too, not Corporate or Real Estate. 

The only mention of family law was when a partner would send out a mass email to the effect of "I have a good friend in need of a referral to a family law attorney."  Associates wouldn't dare send out an email like that, lest some grumpy partner reply to them to not waste firm resources for personal matters.

Everything firms do is profit-motivated, which is why almost all the pro bono work they take on has some sort of strategic alliance tied into it.  In my Biglaw experience, a big client usually has its pet charity that they will "ask" the firm to support if the firm wants to stay in good graces.  The partners are all board members of the same big public interest law organizations that all the other partners from the other Biglaw firms in town are in.  These big public interest groups are usually the creme de la creme of public interest law, with heavy connections, some level of bureaucracy and usually their own counsel on staff.

I once had a student in one of the open houses tell the visitors she was going to go work in law firms so she could practice in the field (IP) that she wanted YET still do the pro bono work that got her interested in law school in the first place.  Good luck trying to sell that angle into a Biglaw interview.

My rambling point is, if you want Biglaw (which it seems you do), stick to the formula that works for them.  Work for a judge, work for a regulatory agency, heck even work in small/mid law if its relevant if you can't get Biglaw right away. 

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2009, 12:27:17 PM »
Woops, meant to add:  Family Law and Biglaw don't mix well.  I am getting the sense that your gut tells you the same.  Trust your instincts.


Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2009, 06:40:18 PM »
If you want to do Biglaw when you graduate DO NOT do family law. It will freeze you out of the market and you will be labeled "that public interest person". I did this my 2L year, big mistake. Although I had the credentials to land a biglaw gig, but that was the main contention that came up at interviews. My family law work was really rewarding, and I would practice it if I can ever find a firm that is hiring. Maybe a few years ago doing family law wouldn't hurt you, but nowadays, I wouldn't risk it. So figure out which you would rather do, and do it.

I agree that doing DA work may not hurt you as badly because many students do this to get litigation experience. Family law is a completely different animal, and you will actually be at a disadvantage when applying to non-family law gig because you learn a lot about a system that is different than traditional civil litigation. Just my two cents.

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2009, 07:46:22 PM »
If you want to do Biglaw when you graduate DO NOT do family law. It will freeze you out of the market and you will be labeled "that public interest person". I did this my 2L year, big mistake. Although I had the credentials to land a biglaw gig, but that was the main contention that came up at interviews. My family law work was really rewarding, and I would practice it if I can ever find a firm that is hiring. Maybe a few years ago doing family law wouldn't hurt you, but nowadays, I wouldn't risk it. So figure out which you would rather do, and do it.

I agree that doing DA work may not hurt you as badly because many students do this to get litigation experience. Family law is a completely different animal, and you will actually be at a disadvantage when applying to non-family law gig because you learn a lot about a system that is different than traditional civil litigation. Just my two cents.

What about jobs that are well-paying but NOT biglaw?  Will it freeze you out of the market?  What about if it is a judicial clerkship in family law?

I'd think that it wouldn't be a bad thing at many firms, especially with the economy making it tough to find anything out there.

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2009, 12:35:37 PM »
That's a really good idea.  Where should I start looking?

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2009, 06:57:06 AM »
That's a really good idea.  Where should I start looking?

Dude. Martindale. NALP. You name it.

This late, looking at NALP firms is a waste.  Those are all large firms and they are definitely done recruiting.

Martindale for smaller firms maybe, but at this point it's definitely not going to be easy.  Talk to your career office.

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Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2009, 07:01:32 PM »
I don't get it - a spammer bumps a 5 month old thread, and you kids re-argue everything that was already said on the first page?

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2009, 06:46:00 PM »
This thread scares me.  I accepted a PI position doing public interest immigration work this summer (1L). While I'm not certain I want to go down the big law route. I certainly want to keep it as an option. Will this summer scar me for big law interviews? I don't want to close any doors.

Re: I Read About Family Law and It Really Inspired Me. What Now?
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2009, 08:31:07 PM »
This thread scares me.  I accepted a PI position doing public interest immigration work this summer (1L). While I'm not certain I want to go down the biglaw route. I certainly want to keep it as an option. Will this summer scar me for biglaw interviews? I don't want to close any doors.

I'm in a similar position, and I hope it doesn't close doors for me.