Monday, June 4, 2007

Corporate Practice Areas

I know that I don't want to be a litigator. I enjoyed the research memos as a summer associate last year, but the thought of managing a case makes me cringe. I don't think it's wise to go into an area where you would prefer to stay at the bottom of the career ladder. I adored my corporations and securities regulation classes- the subject is fascinating to me and those were also my best grades. So basically I know that I want to be on the corporate/transactional side of things. What I don't know is what specific type of corporate law I'd like to practice. I feel like I should be interviewing all the associates at the firm. My Chicago firm doesn't have a corporate practice in their Chicago office, so my few weeks remaining in Austin are my only chance to really "try out" each practice area. It seems like there's several niche practices that could be really interesting- we just don't hear anything about them in law school or during career panel lunches. The lifestyle issues matter a lot to me, as do the exit options should I want to go in-house later. I know that my yearly hours will be roughly the same regardless of what practice I pursue, but it seems that some are more predictable or flexible than others. It fascinates me to hear how individual attorneys chose their specialty- so much of it seems by accident or circumstances not really in their control. Do they ever wonder what another area is like? Will I? How much do people move around? Do you think I can get all the corporate attorneys at my firm to fill out a detailed survey on these issues? Probably not, but perhaps I can interview some of them at the next happy hour. I'll be sober, they'll be enjoying the margaritas, and I can hear what they really think of their practice!


  1. I don't think it's wise to go into an area where you would prefer to stay at the bottom of the career ladder.

    You're smart -- I learned this the hard way!

  2. Tax is one of those areas, and you can do something like benefits & compensation, which involves a lot of similar issues to securities regulation.