Should You Quit BigLaw and Just Become an Antitrust Lawyer?
Antitrust enforcement has been one of the Obama Administration's priorities since the start, with both the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission delving deeper into small and big deals alike.
As a result, firms are increasingly seeking attorneys with upper-level government experience, looking to bring them on as partners and "of counsel."
But as we all know, every new partner needs a few good associates to do their bidding.
Should you fill that void and become an antitrust lawyer?
To be frank, if you want to spend your days in court, antitrust law probably isn't for you.
On the regulatory side, antitrust lawyers spend much of their time digging through documents, responding to government inquiries, and trying to strike a deal.
The Microsoft antitrust cases were a rare breed, as most government investigations don't get to trial.
And neither do private class actions and individual allegations, such as the ongoing fight between Intel and AMD.
Again, these cases are document-heavy, with the courtroom often only coming into play when there are fights over those documents.
This isn't to say that becoming an antitrust lawyer will be boring; only that it requires a certain kind of personality.
Do you like economics? Do you find regulatory law fascinating? Are you intrigued by the inner workings of companies? Do you like to negotiate? Would you be okay with a motion practice? Could you handle working the same case for two years?
If you answered "yes" to most of those questions, you might want to consider becoming an antitrust lawyer. It's a growing a field ripe with opportunity.
- Antitrust Chief to Step Down (Wall Street Journal)
- How to Start a Law Firm: Picking a Practice Area (FindLaw)
- Five Ways to Change Legal Careers (FindLaw's Strategist)
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