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You need at least four years of basic college education to send you on your path into the litigation career. I may need to learn the details of a specific accident or transaction, or how a particular machine or process works, or events or strategy behind a particular decision, in order to be able to explain it later to a judge or jury. Work in HR or Marketing? Setting a precedent that you aren’t a pushover or will not be coerced into rolling over in a spurious dispute may be the most important reason for you to choose litigation. Litigators can focus on civil or criminal law, and they can further specialize in a particular area like employment law, securities regulation, real estate, or patents. In mid-size and larger firms, the path is often a bit more regimented, as junior attorneys develop general litigation skills and specific substantive expertise before being considered for partnership. Sometimes you may have to resort to litigation to make your public policy point. We hope law students will find their answers beneficial before they prepare to take their bar exams. Some were accurate. Add Tags. 4. Our judicial system is designed to give people a chance to tell their story and be treated with respect and dignity. I’m really happy with the direction I chose.”. If you have an emotionally appealing story to tell, you may want a jury deciding your case. However, litigating a patent can also be a double-edged sword if a patent is found to be invalid. Answer. People and companies end up in litigation for many reasons. You are right (or at least you think you are right) and you need to set a precedent the will preempt or discourage similar future claims, or send a particular message to others about you. Litigation can be a great legal career for the service-minded as well, because it allows you to help people in moments of great need. Anyone who is willing to dive deeply into the facts of a case and willing to take the time to master the procedural rules can succeed in a litigation career. In some ways, it’s like staying in school...but being paid for it. Close. “I like working on difficult problems. “I was hooked,” he says. 3. Part is confidence. Each situation requires the lawyer to think carefully about the best next step. Faculty: Vincent Chirico. Broadly, litigators represent a party in a dispute, working to achieve the best possible outcome for their client. Issues of public policy are often impractical to address through legislation or other authoritative policy-setting methods, as both can move at a glacial pace or require huge budgets and expertise that is out of reach for most individuals and businesses. If you don’t mind—or even relish—the spotlight, litigation might be the right legal specialty for you. Add to cart $ 75 $ 50. The presence to which I refer, however, does not include arrogance or haughtiness. Set a precedent Require a Jury Decision Litigation is the riskiest, most demanding, and most thankless practice area there is. Many litigators also take detours in their careers, alternating between the world of civil litigation and criminal law (as prosecutors or defenders), or working in-house at a company or government agency. Other real-world litigation experiences for law students might include judicial internships, clinical courses with government agencies, or moot court/mock trial teams, all of which can offer invaluable courtroom exposure. Interviewer: “Why do you want to become a lawyer?” This is one question that all law students who aspire to become lawyers have to face in an interview. Get a free employer account. Litigation may be the only avenue to obtain protection that others will see and respect. Small firm and solo practitioners can often dive right into litigation work after law school, representing lower-stakes contract and tort claims early in their careers. It doesn't matter so much what you majored in, though, so long as your GPA is good enough to get through to the next step, which is law school. Outline of two peoples' heads. Why would you want to litigate? Although, if you really want This is one of the most common strategic reasons to use litigation, often employed in personal injury or product liability or toxic/hazardous exposure and waste cases where illnesses and other medical problems are a result of company or industry behavior. We hope you enjoy their opinions. Part of being in charge is attitude. Summary: Find out why it is so hard to be a good litigator and why there are so many unsuccessful litigators in this article. A litigator may be a trial lawyer, and a trial lawyer may be a litigator. 2. If that’s the kind of lawyer you’d like to be, keep reading for a closer look at what it takes to become a litigator in law school and after. Usually, someone – or, more likely, both parties – think they are right or they don’t see any other choice. Why anyone would want this job, I don’t know… But in any event, it’s just – I don’t know whether you stay up nights trying to think of clever phrases, but trust me, no judge that I’ve ever spoken to has ever. Litigation is intellectually stimulating and it’s rewarding. It will bring you future business, provide a strong base of colleagues, and help keep you emotionally healthy. The most successful litigators are not always the loudest or the most boisterous; they are the most curious, the most detail-oriented, the best prepared, and the most willing to outwork the opposing side. Each case takes on a life of its own, and the litigator must constantly evaluate next steps in light of what the judge or opposing counsel have done. The more you know, the more empowered you will be to think about creative solutions and responses. Tags: See More, See Less 8. A company’s intellectual property can be its most important asset, and protecting it can be an essential part of your business. Heck, many litigators do not even go to trial because most cases settle. 5. Like many law students, Justin Kesselman came to law school not knowing where, exactly, his JD was going to take him. This article was first published 11/3/2015 and has been updated. They will write and argue a motion before the court, prepare an expert witness for deposition, and prepare an opening statement for a jury trial. Why do you want to be a litigator? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below. And sometimes it’s best for everyone to settle the case quickly and privately. Although this may be true, it does not offer any strategic insight into why a party might choose litigation to resolve a dispute. Of course, the judge and the opposition will have something to say about that, but you can certainly be in charge when you have the floor. Add to cart. One cynical, but often-real reason to litigate may be to put a resource-strained competitor out of business. Indeed, there are many types of cases in which a jury may be desireable. Go to law firm events, and join bar associations as a student member. As one detailed example, students in my Intellectual Property Litigation course will work through a realistic case involving allegations of trademark infringement. In order to properly represent a client, I need to understand his or her business, family dynamics, and/or financial situation. Litigation rewards creativity and attention to detail. What do you think about this article? Flag as Inappropriate Flag as Inappropriate. Of course, the judge and the opposition will have something to say about that, but you can certainly be in charge when you have the floor. People often come to lawyers at times when they feel the most vulnerable; a good litigator can help them through the legal process, advocate on their behalf, and help ensure they sleep a little better at night. Previously, I wrote an article on reasons why you should avoid litigation. As a litigator, you want to be in charge. If the stakes don’t warrant litigation, then consider alternatives like neutral-driven dispute resolution (NDR). We asked five attorneys the following question: "After graduating from law school, why do many students choose a career as a litigator?" In my view, litigation may be the most strategic choice if you want to: 1. Most were not. On a personal level, I love litigation because it involves lifelong learning. While in law school, train yourself to read materials carefully and keep an eye out for the little details that make a big difference to the outcome. Date: Online . Matters involving wills, trusts, probate estates and guardianships sometimes, unexpectedly, end up in court. “Being a litigator, part of your expertise is in the process and being exposed to different areas of the law,” Kesselman says. Today, as an associate in the Complex Litigation and Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring groups for Arent Fox, Kesselman works on everything from IP disputes to insolvency issues to commercial contracts. As is often the case for legal professionals, a litigator’s skills are readily transferable across different types of legal jobs. For many litigators, the daily grind involves working mindlessly on matters about as interesting as watching dew form on sand overnight in the middle of the desert. To comment on this, Sign In or Sign Up. I’m really, really busy. When that happens, it is especially important that the right lawyer is representing you. These are a few of the reasons why litigation may be an appropriate choice to resolve a dispute. You’ll also learn the practical business side of being a litigator: when to take a case (or not), how to get paid for your services, and how to ethically represent a client. Becoming a litigator Like many law students, Justin Kesselman came to law school not knowing where, exactly, his JD was going to take him. Practical Business Considerations of a Legal Practice - 20104. Litigators are usually involved with cases from start to finish, through all phases of the litigation process, as described above. But there is room in litigation for every personality type. Why would you want to litigate? Credits: 2 $ 75 $ 50. ... A litigator is a trial lawyer who negotiates disputes that go to court. “The process of it, the constitutional aspects of it, the due process issues: all of that sparked my interest,” Kesselman says. And because litigation can arise in any type of law, from criminal to tax, success in litigation is not limited to a specific background or educational profile. 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