Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Summer, Second Half 

I spent the second half of my summer working in sports law with one of the professional leagues. I've always wanted to eventually be a lawyer somewhere in Major League Baseball, so being offered this experience in sports law was incredibly exciting.

I have to say that it's not exactly what I expected. An attorney I met at The Firm told me that there are two types of people: those who want to be a jack of all trades and those who would rather master just one. Accordingly, there are practice groups for both these types of people. There are some where you get to do lots of different types of cases, or where you get to do a little transactional and a little litigation. Then there are some where you master one small niche of the law. Well, after this summer, I think I'm the latter. I'd rather be the best at one area of the law than know just a little about lots of different areas. Luckily, there are people who feel the other way around, so we all balance each other out, and together we can all work in one law firm and be spectacular.

Well, being in-house counsel requires you to be a jack of all trades. I've spanned many areas of the law this summer as an intern in the General Counsel's office: intellectual property law, contract law, property law, business law, liability issues, etc. I found that switching gears every day is frustrating for me. I'm sure some people love this atmosphere and thrive in it - these are people who would get bored doing the same thing everyday and would love this environment. However, I am a creature of routine. And like I said, I'd like to master one area. So, this hasn't exactly fit my personality. (This is also the reason that one of the three practice areas I was in at The Firm didn't fit my personality. Luckily, the other two were perfect for this!)

At The Firm most people had a niche area of practice once they got in their later associate and into their partner years. This fits my preference for being a master in my area.

However, being in-house counsel is completely different. You have to span nearly every area of the law and also have to be quite the business person. Answering to the Board is not always a fun task. And I've always heard that in-house counsel have it easy, that they work far less hours than their law firm counterparts. Not true! At least not at this office. They work long hours, travel quite a bit and are constantly dealing with the Board.

I've had a great time at this job for the summer, I've had terrific sports law exposure, and I've learned quite a bit. However, I don't think it's somewhere I would want to work permanently.

It's caused me to rethink my goals and I'm not sure I want to work in baseball anymore...but that's a post for another day.


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