Law School Discussion

Cooley has a JINGLE

Thistle

  • *****
  • 6324
    • View Profile
Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2008, 04:29:02 PM »
this thread used to be funny.  now i rue the day i added it to my unreads.

fie on you all.

Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2008, 05:29:12 AM »
Skilled litigators don't necessarily become partners at such firms because, in most cases, neither side wants their case litigated.

If I were a client and I didn't want to go to court, I'd hire the best courtroom attorney I could find so that the other side would be under more pressure to settle.  So why exactly would skilled litigators be less in demand at firms with clients that didn't want to go to court?

Every firm needs a group of experienced attorneys. Most big firm attorneys are not experienced in the courtroom, say to the degree of a seasoned prosecutor or civil litigator. The hierarchy of a big firm allows for large groups of attorneys to work on one case. Only a few at the top of a case need to be skilled courtroom attorneys. The rest do research and clerk type work. There are varying degrees of responsibility for sure. I can't speak from experience since I only have second hand info. So, if anyone feels I am wrong, feel free to correct me. I'm only speaking in a very broad and general sense.

I think it's analogous to the military, in that, only the officers at the top need to understand the overall strategy. The NCOs and junior officers are only given small tasks in the overall accomplishment of the big mission (guard the flank, take an enemy supply depot, although neither objective win the campaign by itself). In the same way, in a big law suit, a senior partner may task a seasoned associate with handling a case (he/she may be a junior partner). That individual will develop the strategy and depose witnesses and so forth. Most of the trial work will be handle by the this experienced attorney or group of attorneys. The rest of the staff on the case research relevant legal issues to the case, review documents, draft motions, ect. Yet, someone far above them in the chain tells them what to research what motions to right. Much of this is hypothetical arguments because the cases usually settle. Hence, the firm either keeps the litigation from ever going to court, or puts enough pressure on the other side to settle. Either way, the firm bills a ton of hours and makes money.

Not all matters at a large firm are on a scale such that there are large groups of attorneys working on them.  There are some matters where it'll be a relatively small group, and so a junior associate will have an opportunity to take on a greater level of responsibility than they would otherwise.  There's also pro bono work, which often provides associates the chance to appear in court.  Of course different firms vary in terms of how good they are at providing certain opportunities, but the best ones understand that they need to get their associates experience in order to help them develop professionally.  I know associates who were in court representing clients in their first year in a firm.

Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« Reply #72 on: July 02, 2008, 09:59:20 AM »
I can't speak for every firm, so, you may be right. This has not been the experience of any of my friends or colleagues. In what capacity have you seen first year associates serve in court? Were they leads in a jury trial or a bench trial? I could see some first year associates getting some court room experience in pro bono cases in firms that practice criminal defense.

The daughter of one of my professors in undergrad attended law school at UC Berkeley. She is in her third year at one of the largest firms in Las Vegas and is just starting to depose witnesses and get some minor client contact. Vegas is nothing like the NYC or LA markets. From what I have been told, this is the norm at larger firms. Does anyone know of people who have had different experiences?

Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« Reply #73 on: July 13, 2008, 07:44:38 PM »
One thing that is particularly notable in the case of Cooley is that, in devising its own rankings, it highlights the complete irrelevance of the rankings, in general. US New picks its own ranking methodology (which can mostly be tied back to money spent by the university, in one form or another; in another sense, largely focuses on inputs in general); Cooley has set up another rankings methodology (conspicuously one that highlights all of its strengths while downplaying all of its weaknesses). In this sense, any school can set up a self-serving methodology to boost its rankings.

I would like to see a rankings system that focuses on the final product rather than the inputs. There has to be a way for schools to be ranked by quality of graduates or the ability of graduates to gain the most coveted jobs, clerkships, ect. Another useful metric might be regional rankings. Obviously, many schools that are strong in the West or Mountain regions may not render great prospects on the East Coast. I think this type of rankings system might prove more useful. As it stands, US News is little more than an annual cock-measuring contest for law school deans. Maybe this is why the rankings methodology is so stilted towards the aspects that they have control over... i.e. spending by the law school on various programs and projects.

Speedzie

  • ****
  • 293
  • Illinois College of Law - 11
    • View Profile
Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« Reply #74 on: July 13, 2008, 08:43:17 PM »
this may now be the most boring thread ever.

Thistle

  • *****
  • 6324
    • View Profile
Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« Reply #75 on: July 13, 2008, 08:47:03 PM »
this may now be the most boring thread ever.


agreed.  i hate it when people turn perfectly good snarky, mocking threads in academic discussions.  whats next, the "usnwr thread" or "yale v harvard?" 

show some respect, geez.