Recently I have received many requests for advice from individuals at or near the start of their legal careers who believe that being an appellate lawyer would be much more enjoyable and rewarding than what they are currently doing, which usually involves the practice of general commercial litigation.
I can certainly sympathize with these advice-seekers, because reviewing box after box of a document production, preparing mind-numbing answers and objections to written discovery, or rushing off to court, after staying up working through the preceding night, to seek or defend against an emergency injunction does not tend to be a recipe for job satisfaction for newly-minted lawyers.
The article continues with a story explaining how Bashman became an appellate lawyer that should serve as an example for all young lawyers hoping to escape the drudgery of document review. My recommendation? Read it.
Meanwhile, here's my own tip for those who want to become appellate lawyers: if you let others in your firm know that you can write well, it won't be long before you get the attention of your firm's appellate lawyers.
When I worked at a large defense firm, I broadcast my writing skills by volunteering to hold writing seminars for the brand-spanking-new associates (mandatory seminars, to the displeasure of my audience). I can't remember if this was before or after I began writing appellate briefs, but I ended up writing a lot of them. It also happened that I didn't like appellate work as much as Bashman did, and I eventually wriggled free of it to do more admiralty, railroad, and med-mal defense.
It's why lawyers like me are thankful for lawyers like Bashman, who can be found at the Law Offices of Howard Bashman.