Ever since I began looking at law school I knew I wanted to be a trial lawyer. A litigator. Sure, teaching would be nice, mergers and acquisitions are interesting and challenging  There are many areas of the law that are rewarding, but for those of us who want to be trial lawyers there is no other fix.

So where do you go when you want to be a trial lawyer? Apparently not the most prestigious schools in the county.  According to Empirical Legal Studies, more top trial attorneys came from “non-elite schools.”

Using the educational backgrounds of members of the Inner Circle 100, which lists the 100 best plaintiffs’ attorneys in the nation and a sample of five Am Law 200 law firms, ELS determined that the “best” trial attorneys didn’t necessarily go to the best schools.


It makes sense if you look at the business model of the BigLaw firms (churn and burn hours) versus the smaller law firms which tend to focus on associate development and hands on experience.

For my money there is not better experience than hands on practical experience. I’d rather learn by doing, than be billing hours endlessly for a big bonus. But hey, I wanted to be a trial attorney.


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