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The following is an excerpt from Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas.

Lauren M. Rosenberg is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. She focuses her practice on a broad range of litigation, including securities, antitrust, and general commercial matters; she also devotes significant time to pro bono work. Within Cravath, she works to enhance the firm’s D&I efforts, both through recruiting and as an active participant in the Women’s Initiative.

Lauren was born in Miami, Florida. She received a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2011, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the Managing Editor of the Journal of Transnational Law.

Lauren joined Cravath in 2011. In 2014, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She rejoined Cravath in 2015 and was elected a partner in 2019.

Describe your practice area and what it entails.

I practice within Cravath’s Litigation Department, where we train and provide generalist litigators with the tools to tackle complex cases in different industries and subject matters from every angle. While our Litigation Department does not have formal practice groups, I focus on securities litigation, antitrust litigation, and general commercial matters. In securities litigation matters, I represent companies and individuals in class action lawsuits for alleged violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. I also handle shareholder derivative actions and help clients navigate the important strategic issues that arise from them.

What types of clients do you represent?

Our clients represent a wide range of companies in different industries all over the world. A few examples of the diverse companies in securities class action litigation I have represented include an international organization developing blockchain technology, an American solar technology company, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop cancer immunotherapy drugs, a U.K.-based software technology company, and an Australian banking and financial services company. The one common thread between them is that clients come to and trust Cravath to help them resolve their most challenging legal issues.

I also devote significant time to pro bono clients, who receive the full resources of the firm when we take on their matters. I am currently representing a proposed class of inmates at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama who are exposed to shocking levels of violence and excessive use of force at the prison, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

What types of cases/deals do you work on?

Some examples of recent securities litigation matters I have worked on include: representing Micro Focus International and certain individual defendants in securities fraud class action litigation in federal and state court regarding Micro Focus’s $8.8 billion acquisition of certain of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software assets; and representing First Solar and certain of its senior executives in putative class action securities litigation and related shareholder derivative litigation in federal court regarding the company’s solar modules and project development business.

How did you choose this practice area?

I decided to become a litigator because I enjoy the challenge of finding the best solution to our clients’ complex legal issues when they may have to go to trial. That process requires that I partner closely with clients to develop and execute a litigation strategy at every stage of a case, whether it is analysis of the complaint, forum and jurisdiction issues, motions to dismiss, class certification (if applicable), fact and expert discovery, dispositive motion practice, and trial. Often, we are able to win or resolve cases for our clients in advance of trial, though we also try our cases where appropriate. I enjoy the complexity and high-stakes nature of securities litigation. My clients are often facing considerable exposure, and it is rewarding to achieve successful resolutions for them.

What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?

Other than regular meetings with the associates on my team—where we collaborate on the strategy of our cases—most days are incredibly varied. On any given day, I might be writing or editing a brief; taking or defending a deposition; meeting with my partners, clients, and/or opposing counsel; attending a court appearance; and more. I tend to work on several different matters at once, so each day typically includes a combination of many different tasks, all of which I am able to accomplish with the assistance of our amazing associates.

What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

I would recommend that law students take key procedural classes, such as Federal Courts and Evidence. Litigators utilize these foundational procedural aspects all the time, and they are critical to know in assessing the best strategy for our clients.
I also recommend that students take small seminars in areas of interest. Unlike a large lecture, seminars allow you to really get to know the other students as well as your professor, and to collaborate openly. While substantive areas of the law can be learned later, it may be difficult to replicate the environment of a collaborative seminar in any other way. Additionally, seminars often lead to incredible mentorship from professors.
Finally, I highly recommend clerkship opportunities for those who are interested in litigation. Clerkships are a rare opportunity to obtain a behind-the-scenes understanding of how judges evaluate legal issues. I learned so much during my clerkship and feel incredibly grateful for that once-in-a-career opportunity.

What do you like best about your practice area?

What I enjoy most is working with clients to create a strategy from start to finish. Securities litigation poses large exposure to public companies, so our strategy begins at the very outset. We partner with our clients to learn the specifics of their businesses and industries so that we can truly understand the facts and present the strongest case. I enjoy the deep collaboration with our clients and digging into the ever-evolving knowledge of different industries, as well as the complexities of securities litigation. It also helps that I work with amazing clients who are incredibly appreciative of our tireless efforts when they come to Cravath seeking a solution.

What misconceptions exist about your practice area?

Conventional wisdom is that class actions—especially securities class actions—never go to trial. But while the vast majority of securities class actions are resolved in advance of trial, our teams at Cravath always prepare each case with this possibility in mind, and we are one of the few firms to have tried a securities class action for clients. We formulate a strategy for all stages of the litigation and develop our record with trial in mind. And because we are trained as general litigators when we come up through the firm’s rotation system as associates, each one of us has the foundations of an experienced trial lawyer capable of handling the unique aspects of a jury trial.

What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?

Junior lawyers receive meaningful and substantive experience, training, and feedback from the moment they walk in the door here; I experienced this firsthand when I joined the firm as an associate. Within my first two years at Cravath, I was given the opportunity to take depositions, conduct calls with opposing counsel, and examine witnesses at trial, among many other tasks. The firm’s rotation system meant that I received incredible guidance from the partners to whom I was assigned—each one of them encouraged and trusted me to contribute to our overall strategy and to take ownership of the cases I worked on.

Now, as a partner, I try to do the same with every one of my associates. Our unique training system encourages a natural mentorship relationship in which we can guide and encourage associates so that they can excel in complex work at an early stage in their professional development and careers.

What kinds of experience can summer associates gain at this practice area at your firm?

We pride ourselves on providing our summer associates with hands-on experience so that they obtain a real sense of what it is like to work at Cravath. Summer associates are staffed the same way as our full-time associates, and they participate in the same work—such as brief writing, client meetings, and preparing for depositions—while working closely with and learning from the partner to whom they are assigned and other associates on their team.

This past year, for example, the summer associate on my team participated in a mock jury exercise to evaluate the best way to present our case to a jury, presented to our client regarding our factual development and strategy, and drafted a motion to dismiss brief.