Law School Discussion


I think I am interested in

8 (17.8%)
13 (28.9%)
Real Estate
3 (6.7%)
1 (2.2%)
Government/Policy Work
7 (15.6%)
Nonprofit Management
0 (0%)
Some combination of the above/below--please describe
3 (6.7%)
2 (4.4%)
2 (4.4%)
1 (2.2%)
Intellectual Property
5 (11.1%)

Total Members Voted: 35

2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2006, 03:16:11 PM »
Administrative Law

These attorneys represent companies before government agencies such as the FCC,
FTC, FDA, Consumer Product Safety Commission, etc. They aid clients who are
the subject of enforcement actions, ensure corporate compliance with regulation
and challenge regulation. Challenges are typically brought on constitutional

Federal practice is heavily concentrated in Washington, D.C. There are smaller state
practices in state capitals.

Attorneys in this practice typically focus on one agency, so there are FDA
attorneys, FTC attorneys, etc. The SEC is the most glamorous.

The day-to-day work involves drafting, negotiation, and client counseling. The
drafting includes a wide variety of documents, including everything from
constitutional briefs to license applications to disclosure documents.

People who like this profession enjoy being at the center of power, like working at
the intersection between government and business, and appreciate that this is a
recession-proof industry. Many partners in these practices come from agency

People who leave this practice typically do so because they are frustrated by
governmental bureaucracy, want to produce a more tangible benefit, or are tired of
the political hierarchy. There is an arcane, sometimes seemingly arbitrary,
hierarchy in politics.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2006, 03:17:54 PM »

This practice combines the representing and counseling of clients who are
considering or going through bankruptcy, or the representation of creditors of
such companies. The basic premise is that there is a limited pool of assets and all
the creditors are fighting to get the greatest amount possible. This practice is a
hybrid litigation/counseling/contract practice.

The day-to-day work includes standard litigation tasks plus drafting agreements
such as loans documents, licenses, etc. The trials, though, are not jury trials, and
there is only a limited right to appeal. There is a lot of negotiation involved in this

Bankruptcy is governed by a special set of rules and can take a while for new
attorneys to master.

This practice is great for people who like gamesmanship, who like deals and who
enjoy negotiation. Also, the lawyers tend to drive the terms and take much more
of a business role than most litigation attorneys.

People who don’t like this practice can be frustrated by the litigation process (the
judge has a lot of discretion so parties tend to raise arguments without much
merit), by the complexity of the practice, or by the lack of a predictable schedule.
The cases move quite quickly and demand a great deal of time.

This practice is counter-cyclical.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2006, 03:19:02 PM »
Asset Finance

Help companies finance the purchase of equipment (e.g., aircraft, trucks, etc.).

Parties are banks on the one hand and large companies on the other. Relatively
balanced negotiating power between sophisticated parties.

Like many finance practices, this practice is focused in New York but appears in
some other major markets to a lesser degree.

Demands logistical organization skills as there are often multiple people involved
(sometimes in many countries), each responsible for a portion of the transaction.
Requires excellent drafting skills as contracts tend to be fairly complicated.

Reward is helping businesses obtain a significant tangible asset. Attracts people
who like to be able to touch the results of their efforts.

Very detail-oriented practice, contracts must all align with each other so not the
most creative drafting in some cases.

It is primarily a project-based practice; deals take a couple months to close. There
are ongoing compliance and maintenance responsibilities because the assets may
need to be repossessed at the end of the lease or upon default.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2006, 03:20:07 PM »

Representing banks or companies with respect to lender agreements (lines of
credit, loans, restructurings).

Wide range in size of transactions, traditionally focuses on large series of loans.

Transaction, contract driven, restricted by banking/contract law.

Small firms may not have as a separate group.

New York is the geographical heart of this practice. New York attorneys represent
the major banks.

When operating in support of another practice, the deadlines can be tight.
Schedule can fluctuate dramatically between busy and quiet periods.

This practice tends to be a support or ancillary practice in many markets.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2006, 03:22:27 PM »

What constitutes a general corporate practice varies by geography. New York/East
Coast practice tends to focus more on finance; Silicon Valley/West Coast practice
tends to focus more on venture, securities, IPOs, start-up and high tech
counseling. New York attorneys tend to specialize more. There is more private

A corporate generalist deals with a number of different practice areas and can
often serve as an “outside general counsel” to a firm.

Client relationships tend to be positive. Companies are glad to have your help and
view you as part of the team seeking to get the deal done.

Corporate law is a substantive field and you can become expert in it (most people
say it takes 10 years).

The practice is collaborative in general, although direct negotiation can sometimes
be adversarial.

People who like corporate practice tend to get satisfaction from helping companies
grow and protect themselves. In the grand scheme, corporate practice is a practice
that deals with money.

People who don’t like corporate practice complain that they always have to think
negatively (e.g., what could go wrong here?) and do not to get satisfaction from
the nebulous nature of the work or from helping corporations.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2006, 03:23:53 PM »

Help companies acquire, be acquired by or merge with other companies.

This practice can allow an attorney to work on big deals that make headlines and
are significant events for the client.

Day-to-day work involves a lot of drafting and revision of documents, negotiation,
due diligence and overseeing compliance with applicable law. At senior levels,
there is significant client contact. Also, these attorneys often supervise or organize
the service contributing attorneys (tax attorneys, etc.) on the deal.

The general feeling of the transaction and the client relationship is win/win. All
parties and attorneys are working to get the deal done. This is not to say there
won’t be acrimony, just that the overall practice is constructive as opposed to

Intellectual challenges from rules changing/different geographic rules. There is
more of an emphasis of business issues as opposed to strictly legal ones.

Project-based work, can be slow at times and hectic at other times. Attorneys have
very little control over their schedule.

Deals often take place over holidays to lower risk of press.

There is a stereotype of “M&A jocks.” This practice can attract very macho,
alpha-male types. It is a male dominated practice.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2006, 03:25:01 PM »
Private Equity/LBO

This is a subset of an M&A practice. These attorneys work with banks, companies
& funds who want to invest in companies or perform leveraged buyouts or
management buyouts to obtain control of a company.

This practice is centered geographically in New York, though it can appear in
other major markets. It is not as common in Silicon Valley.

These deals break into two parts: the M&A part of the transaction and the finance
part of the transaction. The M&A part is similar to a public M&A, except there
are continuing covenants and warranties between the parties. The debt finance
piece involves getting a loan against the assets of the acquired entity and is
typically done by finance attorneys.

Private equity attorneys tend to be extremely similar to M&A attorneys: alphamale
types. Debt attorneys can be treated like second-class citizens in this

This is a deal-based practice so the schedule can fluctuate some, but not as much
as the debt finance attorneys’ schedule.

People who don’t like this practice are often frustrated by its narrowness.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2006, 03:25:32 PM »

The primary division is between ’33 Act (issuance of securities) and ’34 Act
(reporting and compliance, mostly public companies) and practices differ
geographically. The “White Shoe” corporate work is still centered on the East
Coast, particularly in New York. On the East Coast, most junior associates start
by working almost exclusively on due diligence. On the West Coast, attorneys
represent more private companies and junior associates get more responsibility
earlier. West Coast attorneys often act as “outside general counsel” to companies.

Day-to-day work involves due diligence, drafting documents, interfacing with
SEC, negotiating the offerings and/or financing documents, writing memos, etc.
On the West Coast, attorneys can also handle stock plans, option plans,
employment matters, and the entire gamut of corporate issues.

Good for people who like to be experts, like gamesmanship, and enjoy rule-driven
practices. Attorneys handle strategy questions when dealing with the SEC. You
are helping corporations to run smoothly and obtain capital.

People who leave this practice don’t like that the practice can be repetitive,
especially with public company reporting, and that it is very deadline-driven,
particularly under Sarbanes-Oxley.

Private company work is great for someone who wants to be a general advisor but
can be frustrating to others because there’s a lot of hand-holding involved.


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2006, 03:27:24 PM »


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Re: 2L/3L Fall Campus Interview Thread
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2006, 05:33:32 PM »
I actually think its the opposite.  SF is ridiculously hard to crack from the East Coast.  DC is only difficult if you want appellate lit or are very selective about the "caliber" of firm you'd want.

OK, well if you're willing to take anything, no market is difficult.  I think the relative dearth of people from Harvard wanting to go to SF (vs. NYC and DC) will make breaking into the market easier.  Firms in SF want a few people from Harvard.  Being black adds to the appeal.  Black Harvard grads are a dime a dozen in DC...not so in SF.

SF is a lot smaller market and rather incestuous.  they want Harvard people, but they want the ones that have some ties to the area.  California is not hurting for qualified attorneys so they can be very selective.  I don't think rbg will have trouble getting an offer, but it won't be as easy as DC

If you say so.  Let's just see how this plays out.  Our usual wager? ;)