Does anyone here litigate AND do transactional work? I’m a commercial RE attorney but want to learn how to practice personal injury. Not sure if that’s feasible. Thoughts?

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🙋🏽‍♀️. I left personal injury defense and currently handle business, real estate, and employment matters. Personal injury was awful. I got great litigation and arbitration experience but I don’t miss it at all.

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I worked at an insurance defense firm in the general liability group, and I tried to get work in other practice areas when possible, e.g. employment, habitability, professional liability.

When I found the ad for my current job, I emphasized my litigation/negotiation skills and experience in multiple practice areas during the interview. I didn’t know anything about real estate or business transactions and still got the job.

I never understood how people practice law without actually learning it for a bunch of years underneath a partner. I guess I’m too beholden to the way I was trained as an attorney.

But like, how are you going to even know whether you did a good job?

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I've been in house my whole career, and while I've had great mentors, there's always been too much work to do for any real training or hand-holding from above. I just learned by doing. Particularly contract negotiation, that just takes practice. You become a better negotiator by doing it, trying out new arguments and tactics and learning from your own mistakes.

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I do - I practice as a corporate, tax and securities attorney and I litigate in those arenas

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I did bankruptcy litigation for 12 years then co-founded a real estate private equity firm, where I’m also the GC. It’s not a normal path, but you certainly can do both. I regularly appear in court for my firm and also do most (or at least oversee) all of the transactional work, such as Letters of intent, commercial leasing, purchase and sale agreements, the host of PE fund documents, etc. I enjoy it, but do miss (sometimes) going to court and depositions that I used to do more often. Not all that much, however!

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As a construction litigator I do a fair amount of transactional work.

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I know quite a few attorneys that do real estate and family law. So it can’t be that uncommon

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I do both too! Litigating is a whole other ball game though. I’m more familiar with litigation than transactional work. But I’ve liked incorporating transactional work in my practice because it’s a quicker turn around as far as the results and payment than it is for litigated files. You can definitely do both. Maybe get a PI lawyer in town to co-counsel with you on your first few and share fees if your state allows it to get yourself familiar with the ins/outs.

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I do. I do some regulatory advisement and SEC/FINRA work. I also do some litigation on the side if a case interests me.

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Personal Injury isn't rocket science. Especially if you pick a simple area to begin with- like trip and falls or car accidents as opposed to construction accidents or medical malpractice. It's difficult to screw up the former classes of cases. Assuming you can get cases, the biggest learning curve IMO will be figuring out how to conduct and defend depositions and manage documentary discovery so you can win/survive summary judgment and so that you're not in a malpractice scenario at trial (which, if you're being prudent, you'd farm out to someone experienced). But CLEs will help with that.

How you'd get clients in such a competitive space with uniform fee arrangements and that is filled with bona fide litigators is what really comes to mind as the biggest challenge here.

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Mixed lit/transactional practices work best within industry verticals. For example, I do commercial real estate financing and construction, so I also do fin services and construction lit. For you, best options would be real estate litigation or something in that vein. Doing PI is just so different from RE transactional that sophisticated clients will assume you’re bad at both and need it to keep the lights on. Not that it would be true, but still.

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Yep, when you have a general practice you do both on a daily basis. Completely do able. PI is relatively straightforward.

I work for a local government and do transactional and litigation. I have attorneys in my office that do personal injury and real property work.

I do L&E Litigation and also do due diligence work on M&A transactions

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