dcsimg

Career Story: Litigation Attorney With A Small Law Firm

Litigation Attorney With A Small Law Firm

Job Title: Litigation Attorney

Type of Company: I work at a small law firm specializing in business, real estate and probate law.

Education: BS, Broadcast Journalism, Bradley University (Peoria, IL) •• JD, Suffolk University Law School (Boston, MA)

Previous Experience: During law school I worked as an intern and later a volunteer in a district attorney's office. After passing the bar exam I worked as an independent contractor for a small law firm and also ran my own office on the side. I've been in my current job since 1994.

Job Tasks: I represent people and businesses in civil legal matters (not criminal). My cases include litigation arising from business, real estate or construction disputes, personal injuries, will contests, and divorce or other domestic relations matters. I also represent several condominium associations, mostly regarding the collection of monthly condominium fees from unit owners. Although other attorneys in my office specialize in helping people or businesses make plans or deals, I usually become involved only when something goes wrong.

I enjoy the variety that I get from handling so many different types of cases. Many of my cases are lawsuits filed in a court, but often I resolve a matter some other way, through arbitration (where a neutral third party that both sides agree on decides a case instead of a court), mediation (where a neutral third party helps us reach an agreement), or simply through settlement negotiations before filing a lawsuit. Once a suit is filed, there is a period of "discovery" where each side finds out about the other's case through depositions, document requests, or written questions called "interrogatories," that get answered back in writing. There might also be motions for the judge to decide before we get to trial. Most of my cases get resolved before trial one way or another, but I have about ten trials per year, either before a jury or a judge. Sometimes I am also involved in an appeal.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is meeting all kinds of people and learning new things. I often have to learn about the subject of the case. It might be termite damage to sills of a house, or a certain medical condition, or how to calculate the value of an in-home videography business for a divorce case. The worst part is when I am unable to get a client what he thinks he deserves, but there is no way to predict or completely control what could happen.

Job Tips: When in law school, remember to have a life. Unless you insist on having the kind of career that requires a stint on Law Review and the highest grades, etc., just relax. I was active in arts groups and my church throughout law school, but still graduated, passed the bar, and eventually found a job, as did everyone I went to school with. I think it's better to have a well-rounded life, and resume.

Popular Schools offering Law School Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Hofstra University is a private institution whose primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures and supports learning through the free and open exchange of ideas for the betterment of humankind.

  • Programs: Online Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy
  • Degrees: Master

The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law is a regionally accredited nonprofit law school. Our school is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Senior College and University Commission and the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

  • Programs: Juris Doctor
  • Degrees: Doctorate
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Paralegal Studies
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: CERT: Paralegal Studies
  • Degrees: Certificate

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Paralegal Studies (AS)
  • Degrees: Associate

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Legal Studies - Law & Public Policy (Master of Science) - Online, Legal Studies - Homeland Security (Master of Science) - Online, Legal Studies - Criminal Justice (Master of Science) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Lawyers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Lawyers, including:

SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104