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How Suited Are You to the Practice of Law in a Large Law Firm?

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A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
How suited are you to the practice of law in a large law firm? Consider the three short statements below, and circle your answer true or false. The answer will be in the description that follows.

Are you more drawn to issues involving people and human behavior than to data, theory and numbers?



In 1980, corporations first surpassed individuals as the primary consumers of legal services. Those entities overwhelming turn to large law firms for their legal help. As a result, most work handled by large law firms today involves the transfer of money, not the personal concerns of people. (There are, of course, some exceptions, especially in adoption, immigration, criminal, elder, marital, professional licensing and employment law matters.)

Do you prefer to work on concrete, relatively short-term projects, rather than to analyze complicated issues that can take years to understand fully and resolve?

The democratization of information caused by advances in technology has lessened the public's need to pay lawyers for advice on routine matters. Competition from non-lawyers-escrow companies, independent paralegals, accounting firms, even funeral homes-has further eroded dependence on lawyers for help in matters that require interpretation of the law. Lawyers in big firms now earn most of their fees by analyzing complex fact situations or those without black-and-white legal conclusions. This type of problem solving requires a foundation of in-depth analysis, accumulated through many hours of review and research.

Would you rather gather information and communicate with others orally than use written methods?

Oral communication in large law firm practice is limited to depositions, telephone calls, client conferences, negotiation, mediation and court appearances, rare assignments for new lawyers in all but a few practice areas. Even for experienced lawyers, the need to keep records of conversations and to report to clients, opposing counsel, the court and colleagues make writing a big part of every day.

Therefore, those who'd feel most comfortable in a big firm environment would have answered no to all three questions.


About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.


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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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