Are You Cut Out for a Career in Big Law?

Considering a career in a prestigious Big Law firm? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of law students enter or graduate law school with their eyes on the biggest law firms and legal jobs in the country. Many paralegals and other legal professionals do the same. In this blog post, we help aspiring legal professionals determine whether a career in the high-pressure, demanding world of large law firms is a good fit for them. We’ll explore the skills, qualities, and work culture you’ll need in Big Law, so you can determine if it’s the right career path for you.

You’re comfortable crunching data or discussing theory.

Many Big Law firms work exclusively or primarily with corporations. In these cases, Big Law legal teams may deal with a corporation’s financial or organizational concerns far more often than they deal with individual people. If you’re content working with contracts, financials, or organizational matters, many Big Law firms may offer a good fit.
For those committed to Big Law and to working with individuals, consider looking at firms that handle criminal defense, adoption, immigration, and employment law matters.

You like long-term projects with complex issues.

Short, simple matters like drafting a will are rarely the purview of a Big Law practice. Smaller firms, solo attorneys, and even non-law companies now handle these issues. For Big Law, the view is both broader and longer. Clients turn to these firms because they have the deep expertise required to tackle complex issues that may require years to solve. If you’re willing to embrace the long view or want to work on complex issues in a team setting, Big Law may be the place for you.

Writing is your go-to form of communication.

In Big Law, nearly everything occurs in writing. Even when you have spoken conversations, you’ll need to make a written record in the form of contemporaneous notes, letters, or emails. More often, you’ll be writing to clients, opposing counsel, courts, and even colleagues. Especially for new professionals, writing is the most common form of communication in Big Law. If you find you organize your thoughts well in writing, Big Law may be the right fit.

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