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Author Topic: What classes to take to prepare for Big Law?  (Read 1447 times)

USC313

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What classes to take to prepare for Big Law?
« on: October 07, 2009, 02:04:36 AM »
Not that many recent graduates or soon-to-be graduates will be breaking into big law anyways, so I should probably rephrase the question: What type of classes should a student take throughout law school if they hope to specialize in a practice typically handled by 'big law' firms. My law school has so many electives that are likely relevant to some sort of corporate/business practice its hard to know which should definitely be on a student's transcript once graduation rolls around. So, beyond the generic "Business Organizations" and "Securities Regulation"...what else should be included?

jacy85

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Re: What classes to take to prepare for Big Law?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 07:38:29 AM »
Obviously, take classes that deal with whatever area of law you want to specialize in.

And otherwise, I really don't think there are any beyond the "generic" classes you've discussed.  The only classes that I can honestly say have been very helpful during my first year of practice are evidence, civ pro, and business orgs.

One suggestion I'll make if you're heading into the transactional side - see if your school offers a drafting/writing class that centers on transactional documents.  Some do.  Talk to people who have taken it to see if its helpful/worth the time, and if so, take it.

Bottom line is really that law school really does not prepare you in any way for what you actually do in practice.  The most you'll get is a basic understanding of some topic.  Even with that basic understanding, you're going to have to double check everything, find sources, look for previous work product to use as a template, etc.  So don't sweat it, and take stuff you find interesting.

tacojohn

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Re: What classes to take to prepare for Big Law?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 10:04:23 AM »
Not that many recent graduates or soon-to-be graduates will be breaking into big law anyways, so I should probably rephrase the question: What type of classes should a student take throughout law school if they hope to specialize in a practice typically handled by 'big law' firms. My law school has so many electives that are likely relevant to some sort of corporate/business practice its hard to know which should definitely be on a student's transcript once graduation rolls around. So, beyond the generic "Business Organizations" and "Securities Regulation"...what else should be included?

Part of the problem is that a case "typically handled by a big law firm" could be almost anything. The only common thread is that the client will typically be a large corporation. The only time it might be appropriate to load up your schedule with courses for Biglaw is during 3L when you're holding an offer letter that includes the practice group you'll be working in.

big - fat - box

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Re: What classes to take to prepare for Big Law?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 11:48:03 AM »
Business Orgs/Agency/Partnership is one I'd recommend anyway even if you're not doing big law. Same thing with the drafting class, if it's taught well. Those classes are worthwhile no matter what you end up doing. I can't imagine going to law school and not taking Evidence and Corporations no matter what type of job you'll have after law school.

Another thing I'd recommend is doing a clinic your final year, for a couple reasons:

1) In the current climate, your biglaw offer could evaporate and it would be nice to have some practical experience for other types of employers

2) If you do go to biglaw, it can be useful for pro bono projects.

M_Cool

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Re: What classes to take to prepare for Big Law?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 01:58:56 PM »
obviously take the few core classes everyone finds helpful (business orgs, evidence) but if you are hard pressed for taking something else I recommend regulatory stuff like antitrust, securities reg, environmental, etc..  government is getting bigger, it only makes sense that more regulations will lead to more lit