Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Legal "specialties" where you are in court 3-4 days a week

So this is probably a naive question but I'll ask it anyway: wolfman01/12/17
Being in court every day grows old really fast. But yes eith trollfeeder01/12/17
Family, criminal defense, Juvenile law, or prosecutors offic thirdtierlaw01/12/17
What are their transactional specialities? Real Estate, Trus isthisit01/12/17
Captive insurance and real estate. The only transactional fr thirdtierlaw01/13/17
Love captive insurance from the AML perspective. After previ mtobeinf01/14/17
Ha! Don't point that finger at me. I was talking about my fr thirdtierlaw01/14/17
Precisely. It is all one big shell game. A state regulated s mtobeinf01/14/17
Family and criminal defence i'm probably in court 2-3 times homerbluth01/12/17
Dude. Being in Court is awful wolfman. Awful. And family cou mtobeinf01/14/17
you could freelance, per diem. I haven't done it, but my un dingbat01/12/17
Low end/high volume ID. I was in court several times per wee mrtor01/12/17
I worked in high volume immigration and also high volume ban superttthero01/12/17
Thanks all, it's kind of what I thought; I might actually ge wolfman01/13/17
Wolfman. We re getting you into financial institution compli mtobeinf01/14/17
Fabio 2 can get you a job in Columbus in the morrow. At most mtobeinf01/14/17
I can be in court 5 days a week for multiple appearances If nazlaw01/27/17
Once upon a time, I did high volume PD work. In court 3~4 t shuiz01/28/17
Being in court, by and large, is probably the least efficien anothernjlawyer01/30/17
Why do young attorneys want to go to court so badly? I hate cocolawyer02/01/17
God I love trusts. Litigation was so damn stressful and you' mtobeinf02/01/17
I will also add your bosses are bigger d bags. They are stre cocolawyer02/01/17
Agreed 100%, tis' why I entered the Compliance world. Now t mtobeinf02/01/17

wolfman (Jan 12, 2017 - 9:10 am)

So this is probably a naive question but I'll ask it anyway:

As some on here know, I'm an unadmitted JD who works as a govt. paralegal; I'll likely never practice and am trying to escape law completely in some way.

However, I currently work in an office with a bunch of govt. attys who are in the courts (mostly state criminal, but sometimes state civil and rarely fed) at least once every couple of weeks or sometimes more. I sit on a..., do research and prepare papers for them, and that got me thinking: if I somehow got admitted and wanted/had to "do law" (unlikely, but stuff happens), I know I'd hate to sit on a... in an office and grow fat looking at legal papers. I feel like it's already giving me weight problems and prostate problems, and I'm not even forty yet. I know, why did I go to law school in the first place? No good answer there.

But I feel like I'd want to be in court, and probably criminal court or at least something other than commercial civil litigation, which is deadly boring, as often as I could.

Is that even possible? Especially working for the government (I have no interest in the horrors of private practice)? Does this mean I want to be an ADA like everyone else on the planet? Or are there other lawyer jobs/"specialties" when you go to court, like, nearly all the time?

Thanks in advance.

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trollfeeder (Jan 12, 2017 - 9:41 am)

Being in court every day grows old really fast. But yes either pd/da or family court will have you in court almost every day. You probably will make more as a para in the ag's office, just fair warning.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 12, 2017 - 9:53 am)

Family, criminal defense, Juvenile law, or prosecutors office. I do family and criminal defense. I am in court at least 2 times a week, every week.

It is more exciting than civil litigation, however, as trollfeeder said being in court can get old quickly. There is still a lot of time spent writing and researching though. Court can really mess up those parts of your practice. You will have blocked out an afternoon to draft a motion. You'll go to court that morning at 8:30, the court starts running behind, the judge goes to lunch, they finally call your case around 2:45. There goes your whole afternoon of drafting...

It is funny, the profession is filled with the "grass is always greener syndrome." My friends that are in a transactional practice are always saying that they are jealous that I have so much excitement in my practice. Whereas there are days that I am so stressed I'd give anything to be spending my days redlining contracts.

So buyer beware.

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isthisit (Jan 12, 2017 - 12:41 pm)

What are their transactional specialities? Real Estate, Trusts and Estates, etc?

I'm just curious.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 13, 2017 - 7:36 pm)

Captive insurance and real estate. The only transactional friends I have that don't seem to ever complain are trust and Estates attorneys.

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mtobeinf (Jan 14, 2017 - 11:00 am)

Love captive insurance from the AML perspective. After previously being an insurance defense litigator, captive and reinsurance AML are on of my specialty areas. Stop laundering money third tier.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 14, 2017 - 10:47 pm)

Ha! Don't point that finger at me. I was talking about my friends. I'm just a lowly crim defense and family law litigator.

Though captive does seem like it could be interesting. I still don't understand how it isn't one big shell game.

I have 2 friends working in captive insurance. They both like it most of the time and say it is pretty easy to meet their billables and it lacks a lot of the stress that comes from other transactional practice groups. But they claim that after you've done it for 2 years, it quickly turns into rote cutting and pasting. You've seen most of the interesting stuff already so very little extra thinking is involved.

But I'm not sure I can say litigation is all that different.

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mtobeinf (Jan 14, 2017 - 11:28 pm)

Precisely. It is all one big shell game. A state regulated shell game which has mitigated domestic AML risk via state regulation and audits but any captive and reinsurer worth a damn is located off shore with scant and inconsistent regulation which renders them high risk along with related entities in a mutitude of secrecy havens. Have a series of 10-15 ceding reinsurance companies. All goes back to the primary to pay out claims. Bout 10-2O percent of your premium for any insurance you have remains with your primary insurer at most. So much is going on it's catching a a dope needle in a stack of canine manure at a hoarders home. But shell game is the layering phase of ML. The most difficult which I deal with most often is integration where the dirty money is cleaned via investments and the returns generated therefrom in securities real estate closely held business with shell corps and trusts intermixed in re actual ownership FIs hold cos patents captives foundations luxury goods art antiques. Anything that can generate profit and legitimize earnings along with other legitimate earnings through legal businesses.

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homerbluth (Jan 12, 2017 - 10:15 am)

Family and criminal defence i'm probably in court 2-3 times a week.

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mtobeinf (Jan 14, 2017 - 11:01 am)

Dude. Being in Court is awful wolfman. Awful. And family court is the worst. Criminal court makes u believe every defendant is guilty bc they literally all say the same shyte. Yea right ok boss heard that a dozen times this week. Surrounded by low lives, regardless of income, in both fields. And justice is a laughable concept. Doesn't exist. Or rarely exists.

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dingbat (Jan 12, 2017 - 10:52 am)

you could freelance, per diem. I haven't done it, but my understanding is you're basically just there for quick court appearances, approximately an hour each time (total time of about 2 hours per case). Sign up with several companies so you can do a few of those back-to-back each day, and you could earn $60k-$100k per year (no benefits)

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mrtor (Jan 12, 2017 - 11:01 am)

Low end/high volume ID. I was in court several times per week. Anything high volume will get you more action (e.g. criminal, family). Unfortunately, high volume practices also generally equate with lower pay.

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superttthero (Jan 12, 2017 - 11:05 am)

I worked in high volume immigration and also high volume bankruptcy practices for a while. Private side gigs that have you in court that much are terrible for your health. Stress aside, when your driving in traffic from one place to the next (court, then jail to see clients, then office, then trustee meetings or to USCIS, then to office, etc) it really cuts into working out time AND eating fast food on the road is almost the only way to eat.

Government side I guess is probably better in that respect since it's more on a set schedule.

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wolfman (Jan 13, 2017 - 5:52 pm)

Thanks all, it's kind of what I thought; I might actually get to be in criminal court some over the next few weeks, so I will see how I like it.

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mtobeinf (Jan 14, 2017 - 11:04 am)

Wolfman. We re getting you into financial institution compliance. Or even better if you want to stay govt, civil asset forfeiture. It's so damn simple. AF. Compliance. Not so much but I can teach you my ways. I hate unreached potential. Tho this is no fault of ur own at present time. I got u. Just don't eat me when it's a full moon. Remember when you change into the wolf we are friends.

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mtobeinf (Jan 14, 2017 - 11:35 pm)

Fabio 2 can get you a job in Columbus in the morrow. At most a fortnight.

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nazlaw (Jan 27, 2017 - 7:13 pm)

I can be in court 5 days a week for multiple appearances If I'm not careful.

The issue is getting paid vs getting by. Court gets old fast and assigned / panel work will keep you busy but the money isn't there and quickly begins to feel like a middle management Job. Also Billing is atrocious.

"If you leave your office you are losing money." smartest words I have ever heard. If I somehow managed to bring enough billable office work to keep me busy for 5 hours a day every day I would happily waive goodbye to the courts and not look back.

Also Judges get predictable. No matter the county and likely even the court (though I only have experience in Family and Supreme) Its the same chatter about how this or that judge always does XYZ. Different cases same outcomes. Regular cases also become interchangeable too, and the interesting ones are usually a Huge PITA. I haven't even been doing this for two years and some days are just Deja Vu. The repeat flyers don't help either, new petition on same nonsense colored differently ever one to two months smh.

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shuiz (Jan 28, 2017 - 5:08 pm)

Once upon a time, I did high volume PD work. In court 3~4 times per week. As time goes by I tend to remember it more fondly than it actually was.

As others have mentioned, it gets fairly predictable. Mostly the same thing over and over, with the same judges, same idiot clients, making the same crappy arguments and getting the same crappy results.

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anothernjlawyer (Jan 30, 2017 - 12:36 pm)

Being in court, by and large, is probably the least efficient use of any lawyer's time. You've got to drive there, park, get into the building, wait your turn, which can take 20 minutes or 6 hours, argue / have your case heard, and then travel back to the office. It's easy to spend 4-5 hours of time doing 10-20 minutes of actual work. Your schedule is controlled by the various courts you have to appear in: scheduling conflicts arise and you waste a lot of time talking to unsympathetic clerks to resolve them.

In NJ, municipal court lawyers regularly cycle through multiple town courts each day, listening to the same opening speeches by the judges, haggling over the same tickets with prosecutors, explaining the same issues and walking clients through the same plea bargains over and over. It's not exciting: it's basically as boring as office work without the relative comfort and predictability of office work. The only upside is that it is relatively low-paperwork and low stress.

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cocolawyer (Feb 1, 2017 - 12:22 pm)

Why do young attorneys want to go to court so badly? I hate going to court. Regardless of preparation, the outcome is uncertain, and the chance of surprise is always present. Its stressful and time consuming. You never hear of a transactional attorney drop dead from a heart attack or stroke due to stress and anxiety from work. I see litigation attorneys have massive heart attacks fairly regularly. Just think about it. What is less stressful and more enjoyable, working on a trust or dealing with a contested custody trial? Nothing is less fun then having your butt reamed for making a fruitless argument to protect the baseless position of your insane client.

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mtobeinf (Feb 1, 2017 - 1:32 pm)

God I love trusts. Litigation was so damn stressful and you're right now amount of prep can prepare for certain surprises. Constantly on egg shells. Constantly. Never ending pressure to perform. Go young lads have at it. For the birds for this guy.

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cocolawyer (Feb 1, 2017 - 2:02 pm)

I will also add your bosses are bigger d bags. They are stressed out of their mind and will ream you for any minor mistake. It's something that doesn't occur really in the transactional world because they are in essence just draft writers. I would give anything to be a transactional attorney. Who cares if its boring. At least I will not die by 50.

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mtobeinf (Feb 1, 2017 - 2:14 pm)

Agreed 100%, tis' why I entered the Compliance world. Now the shyte does hit the fan from time to time, but it's manageable. There's no daily, multiple fires to put out every single day.

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