They practice in large firms and in small offices, serve as in-house counsel, and handle all types of cases from corporate disputes to civil rights claims. Many have gone on to become highly respected judges.
One of the principal advantages of a litigation career is that it presents a rare opportunity in today's world to be a generalist. To handle your cases, in a short time you might have to master the intricacies of corporate finance, learn enough medicine to analyze the consequences of a traumatic brain injury, and become acquainted with enough physics to understand accident reconstruction. Your clients and their issues will provide you with a series of windows onto the world that most specialists will never have a chance to peer through.
The successful trial lawyer must have sufficient intellectual curiosity and a mind agile enough to move from one field to the next, as the demands of the cases require. A litigator must possess strong legal writing skills. But she must also have a strong affinity for other people, the sensitivity to understand their stories and their problems, the ability to communicate those stories to judges and jurors, and a desire to serve as her clients' champion in the courtroom. The life of a courtroom advocate is often highly stressful, but also exhilarating and rewarding. What should you do as a student to prepare for such a career?
Below we have listed a number of relevant courses for those with an interest in a litigation career.
It is also highly recommended that you participate in one of the clinics or participate in an externship in a litigation-related placement. The clinics provide an invaluable opportunity to learn hands-on legal skills working directly with clients under the supervision of experienced clinical professors.
Finally, Suffolk provides an abundance of opportunities, through the Moot Court Board and otherwise, to participate in mock trial competitions and appellate advocacy competitions, either as an individual or as a member of a team. Students interested in litigation practice should consider taking part in one of these extracurricular activities.