Litigation and Restructuring Lawyers

Practicing law is very different than attending law school

As a student, I actually despised law school. I did not care much for my classmates and thought that if these were the people with whom I was going to spend the rest of my career, I was going to be miserable. Luckily for me, the practice of law bore little resemblance to going to law school, and I really took to it. Every day was a new intellectual adventure. I think the biggest difference between now and then, for me anyway, is how segmented my practice area has become.

I practice in the area of restructuring, bankruptcy and creditor’s rights, and in my first 5 to 7 years of practice I did it all: I represented bankruptcy trustees, I represented consumer debtors in Chapter 7s and 13s, I represented Chapter 11 debtors, I represented statutory committees, secured lenders and purchased of assets. That is virtually impossible to do today, at least in my market. You’re either a consumer lawyer or business lawyer, and if you are a business lawyer then you are pigeon-holed into a variety of other subspecialties.

I am a business lawyer, but I have somewhat resisted over-specialization in any one area, and I am wondering if that is because of the diverse representational background I had as a young lawyer first coming out of law school. I also believe the world got a lot more complicated in the last 30 years, requiring a much deeper knowledge of narrower subject matter areas.

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