Job Title: Attorney - Partner
Type of Company: I work for a small, private law firm in Boston.
Education: BA in Economics, Cornell University JD, Harvard Law School
Previous Experience: I began my career at a large Boston law firm but after one year, I left and moved to my current small law firm, where I have been practicing law for more than 20 years.
Job Tasks: I am an attorney and work for a small Boston law firm that specialize in plaintiffs' side class action litigation. Our firm prosecutes many cases, on behalf of groups or individuals, known as classes, who usually have complaints against corporations. We typically represent investors who have been defrauded, consumers who have been deceived, employees who may not have received the pay or benefits to which they are entitled. Although we are a private law firm, our work serves the public interest by helping out people who may not have the resources to bring their grievances individually.
As an attorney, I spend a lot of time writing and making oral presentations to the courts. I also spend a lot of time in meetings and in telephone calls. On a typical day, I may spend time reviewing legal arguments presented by our opponents, conducting legal and factual research about the strengths and weaknesses of a claim we have asserted, writing detailed legal briefs or arguing in court. Having strong writing skills and communications skills is very important. I communicate with our clients. I also supervise more junior attorneys and provide them with feedback and instruction on the work they did. I work with outside consultants or experts who may be advising us on a case. I also handle administrative matters regarding the functioning of our law firm - which is like operating a small business. There are hiring decisions to make and decisions about upgrading office equipment and the like.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I feel like I am really helping people who may not otherwise have representation. The work I do is intellectually very challenging. I enjoy piecing together the facts and the law to make a persuasive argument. It is also fun to win a big case. However, some of the tasks can be time consuming and tedious. I enjoy being a lawyer, but not all the administrative duties that come with running a law firm.
1. Before deciding whether you want to go to law school, I would recommend that you spend some time working in a law firm to see if you like the work. Taking a job as a paralegal before starting law school is a good way to see if you like legal work.
2. It is important to work on your writing. While most people think of law from courtroom scenes, most legal arguments are presented in writing.
3. You can study anything as a undergraduate and become a lawyer. I know lawyers who were math majors, music majors, engineers, etc. So take undergraduate classes that you like.
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