Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Insurance Defense is nowhere near the worst area of law

Insurance defense in my opinion is no way near the worst are ambulancechaser201301/27/17
Umm okay??? Is this just a post to explain the joys of Insur cocolawyer01/27/17
My point is, you can lateral into another civil litigation j ambulancechaser201301/27/17
Workers' comp, Social Security and immigration are not what passportfan301/27/17
Prestige in the legal profession, to me anyway, is how much ginganinja01/27/17
Worker's Compensation is interesting insofar as you're deali parlance01/28/17
It really just depends. Some insurance defense practices are jj1001/28/17
I don't know how anyone could determine which practice area e36m301/28/17
Small business tax controversy is pretty horrific, the clien kansas02/11/17
I do ID and I don't really think its bad. I can actually see shikes02/11/17
That's the right mentality. The seminal moment for me was wh e36m302/12/17
Billable hours are a product of the firm, not the associate. shikes02/12/17
I'm a big fan of tort law, insurance law, and civil procedur ambulancechaser201302/12/17
Absolutely loathed ID. I love anti-money laundering, interpr mtobeinf02/12/17
I've always thought low level collections law has got to be zuma02/13/17
ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 27, 2017 - 6:06 pm)

Insurance defense in my opinion is no way near the worst area of law. I've seen a lot of posts on this topic and I just have to disagree.


I consider administrative law the worst. Workers' Compensation, social security, or immigration law.

You have no transferable skills if you do workers' comp or the other two and are stuck in that. On top of the fact that for many lawyers (not saying all, but many) your ego takes a huge hit. I understand if you are running a mill and making $500,000.00 a year pounding through comp claims, but no money and no ego. Tough sledding.

Insurance defense makes you a civil litigation pro. Less so on the plaintiffs' PI side as most of those cases settle at the claim level/pre-litigation.

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cocolawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 6:16 pm)

Umm okay??? Is this just a post to explain the joys of Insurance Defense? I don't get it.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 27, 2017 - 6:19 pm)

My point is, you can lateral into another civil litigation job if you market yourself well enough. Some people do not even have that option.

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passportfan3 (Jan 27, 2017 - 7:44 pm)

Workers' comp, Social Security and immigration are not what lawyers mean when they talk about "administrative law."

Yes, these fields require an understanding of administrative law principles, but they are usually referred to specifically as "workers' comp," "Social Security" and "immigration."

"Administrative law" usually refers to a tweedy and pointy-headed discipline practiced mainly by professors, government lawyers, and private practitioners who represent wealthy clients in front of government boards.

Why is a doctor defending his license "administrative law," while an injured roofer seeking workers comp not considered "administrative law"?

Because this is the legal profession: performing services for a wealthy client is prestigious, and performing the identical services for a working-class client is not prestigious.

So different labels have to be used to clearly demarcate everyone's rank.

That argument that law merely replicates existing social hierarchies? I kinda buy it.

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ginganinja (Jan 27, 2017 - 10:08 pm)

Prestige in the legal profession, to me anyway, is how much $ you're pulling. I'm more impressed with the "one call that's all" PI guy's yacht than I am with the big law partner's magazine cover in a periodical no-one reads.

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parlance (Jan 28, 2017 - 12:54 am)

Worker's Compensation is interesting insofar as you're dealing with a fairly automatic statutory process, but also a fact-finding system that is relatively inflexible. While I've dealt with some fairly ornery people in the Worker's Compensation process, it's not a job that anyone can do. For the record, a Worker's Compensation hearing is no joke when it comes to being fully prepared and knowing your case from soup to nuts. They ask detailed questions aimed at resolving the case down to the nitty gritty. It's that way because you're asking the state for money, and as such, the process requires a rigorous discovery mechanism, that all in all, does its job rather efficiently.

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jj10 (Jan 28, 2017 - 10:08 am)

It really just depends. Some insurance defense practices are highly specialized and the clients are solid. Others, the clients nickle and dime you about everything and you are basically doing high volume car wrecks, slip and falls, etc. I do a combination of insurance defense and comp. I don't think I know any ID attorneys who have an ego because they ended up doing this line of work. There are more lucrative areas of law where more specialization is needed. I have spoken to recruiters who have said that most firms don't even need to use a recruiter to find an insurance defense attorney because the market is so saturated. With ID you need to get a book of business or you become a career associate or a partner in name only. Not the worst way to make a living but more often than not you're not going to become rich and you're always going to be grinding out hours.

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e36m3 (Jan 28, 2017 - 2:53 pm)

I don't know how anyone could determine which practice area is the absolute worst, but in my experience, insurance defense can be a horrible existence. I'd light my law degree and license on fire before going back to my old ID firm.

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kansas (Feb 11, 2017 - 10:28 pm)

Small business tax controversy is pretty horrific, the clients are the worst. They are experienced with not paying, and that's a very bad client. Also, the government is stuck into them, making you way down on the list of creditors.

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shikes (Feb 11, 2017 - 11:34 pm)

I do ID and I don't really think its bad. I can actually see staying in it long term.

What are the main problems with ID people run into?

I get its boring and repetitive, but I like 90k to work 50 hours a week without too difficult of issues. Hard to beat.

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e36m3 (Feb 12, 2017 - 9:47 am)

That's the right mentality. The seminal moment for me was when I looked at the lives of senior associates/partners at my firm and decided I didn't want it. I also hated every moment of trying to generate the required 180 hours a month when there wasn't even close to that much legitimate work to do . It might have just been the firm, but I'll never sign up to bill 2000+ hours a year again unless I'm making $200k+. That ain't happening at an ID firm unless I'm a business generating partner.

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shikes (Feb 12, 2017 - 11:17 am)

Billable hours are a product of the firm, not the associate. I always ask for more work if I am low on hours and always get it. I don't think its the best job in the world, and clearly a well run plaintiff's firm with no billables and constant clients is probably preferable, but I also think the environment you work in contributes. I like all the people I work with, have a 1950 billable requirement and so far have never worked a weekend in my life. Idk, my family thinks I'm not "ambitious" enough, but I really just want a job that pays low 6 figures for under 60 hours of work and a good work environment. I'll probably get bumped to 100k next year as I'm at 90k now and have already had a bunch of very positive outcomes for my cases this year that saved tens of thousands, and at that point I'm not sure if I will leave. My only real worry is that if I work in ID for 6-7 years and dont have a single insurance company to my name in terms of a book of business, I either get canned or become a career "of counsel".

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ambulancechaser2013 (Feb 12, 2017 - 1:33 am)

I'm a big fan of tort law, insurance law, and civil procedure. That is why I like P.I.

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mtobeinf (Feb 12, 2017 - 3:44 pm)

Absolutely loathed ID. I love anti-money laundering, interpreting various regulations, analyzing trusts for administrative purposes, fiduciary law as applied to trustees, ensuring ERISA is followed for institutional trusts, and doing all this solely from a compliance, internal control and policy and procedure perspective to ensure all laws, rules, and regs are appropriately followed with tailored risk controls. Also, investigation complex trust based money laundering. Fckng love it. Never did any of that at ID but for some odd reason bc trusts are contractual with tort aspects in re fiduciary and all insurance claims are a blend of contract and tort depending upon extent of claim just a really well matched transferable skill set. But I also did heavy crim and family law from enforcement aspect and Civil Rights along with employment matters on both sides throughout my relatively brief practicing career. Regardless, I hate firm life, other attorneys, and billables along with insurance inside counsel so I'd never ever go back to that life. Maintain my license to help counsel those in need to a limited extent. Tho I do not represent anyone. I more so direct them to the right place. And give my two cents on matters upon which I am able. Free of charge of course. And always emphasize I am not ones attorney.

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zuma (Feb 13, 2017 - 12:55 am)

I've always thought low level collections law has got to be the worst. I assume a pretty low salary and you are just trying to squeeze a few bucks out of confused, sad, poor people all day.

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