Main Office v. Satellite Office

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Anonymous User
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Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:17 am

From reading a lot of the "Which firm x or y -- help me pick" threads, it seems that common wisdom suggests working in a firm's main office rather than a satellite office. I like the idea of working in "biglaw," but in a smaller office (substantive work experience earlier on/easier to stand out/less leveraged etc.). Is there something obvious that I'm missing here? Is this notion firm-specific? For reference, I'm debating between a TX firm's NY office, and a NY firm's NY office. Thanks.

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paratactical
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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby paratactical » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:From reading a lot of the "Which firm x or y -- help me pick" threads, it seems that common wisdom suggests working in a firm's main office rather than a satellite office. I like the idea of working in "biglaw," but in a smaller office (substantive work experience earlier on/easier to stand out/less leveraged etc.). Is there something obvious that I'm missing here? Is this notion firm-specific? For reference, I'm debating between a TX firm's NY office, and a NY firm's NY office. Thanks.


In my limited experience, NY offices are NY offices and even if a firm's main office is somewhere else, NY hours are pretty crazy and expectations and demands are high. That being said, why not be in a main office that could get you more presitge and recognition down the line when you're looking to move out of biglaw?

/$.02

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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:27 am

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:33 am

pros
- smaller group, more opportunity to develop professional relationships
- more responsibility, local cases get firmed very leanly, you might get great early responsibility if witnesses in a non-critical case are in your locale and the firm doesn't want to fly out their associates from the main office.
- firmwide resources available to a much smaller group

cons
- working remotely with the NY/Chicago office blows (you don't get to establish great relations with the main office superstars)
- lack of respect within the firm, this could sound like a Rodney Dangerfield thing but it is totally valid
- WORSE EXIT OPTIONS (dude at a Kirkland satellite office attested to this during one of my callbacks at that office)
- this may not matter to you - but worse partnership prospects (this is a political decision, involves more than just being a good lawyer, hard to "know the people" from satellite)

Anon bec. of kirkland reference.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:34 am

paratactical wrote:In my limited experience, NY offices are NY offices and even if a firm's main office is somewhere else, NY hours are pretty crazy and expectations and demands are high. That being said, why not be in a main office that could get you more presitge and recognition down the line when you're looking to move out of biglaw?

/$.02

To provide a counterpoint... I did a CB at a large firm's satellite NY office, and got the impression it made a huge difference in the relationship between employees. They take a much smaller new class every year (less than ten, where the big NY "main offices" take dozens), and the structure is less regimented because they're smaller. Also, as a junior associate you get to work with partners directly much sooner, because they don't have the huge staffing to put a full layer of senior associates between you and the partners. You'll still be doing crap your first year or two but I got the impression you climb out of that much more quickly there, and it's more dependent on your ability to prove yourself and not just passing time until you put in enough years to not be "junior" anymore.

You'll still have to work your ass off, but with less rigidity to the office structure than the big firms, which need that rigidity to manage their huge numbers.

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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:To provide a counterpoint... I did a CB at a large firm's satellite NY office, and got the impression it made a huge difference in the relationship between employees. They take a much smaller new class every year (less than ten, where the big NY "main offices" take dozens), and the structure is less regimented because they're smaller. Also, as a junior associate you get to work with partners directly much sooner, because they don't have the huge staffing to put a full layer of senior associates between you and the partners. You'll still be doing crap your first year or two but I got the impression you climb out of that much more quickly there, and it's more dependent on your ability to prove yourself and not just passing time until you put in enough years to not be "junior" anymore.

You'll still have to work your ass off, but with less rigidity to the office structure than the big firms, which need that rigidity to manage their huge numbers.


This was my thinking exactly.

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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:05 pm

This is why you check chambers. Regarding Kirkland, there are plenty of local superstars. Established office. Never got the sense that my exit options are worse.

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paratactical
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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby paratactical » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
paratactical wrote:In my limited experience, NY offices are NY offices and even if a firm's main office is somewhere else, NY hours are pretty crazy and expectations and demands are high. That being said, why not be in a main office that could get you more presitge and recognition down the line when you're looking to move out of biglaw?

/$.02

To provide a counterpoint... I did a CB at a large firm's satellite NY office, and got the impression it made a huge difference in the relationship between employees. They take a much smaller new class every year (less than ten, where the big NY "main offices" take dozens), and the structure is less regimented because they're smaller. Also, as a junior associate you get to work with partners directly much sooner, because they don't have the huge staffing to put a full layer of senior associates between you and the partners. You'll still be doing crap your first year or two but I got the impression you climb out of that much more quickly there, and it's more dependent on your ability to prove yourself and not just passing time until you put in enough years to not be "junior" anymore.

You'll still have to work your ass off, but with less rigidity to the office structure than the big firms, which need that rigidity to manage their huge numbers.


So I guess maybe it depends on the size of the TX firm's NY office, or the size of your particular practice area within that office.

NYAssociate
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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:16 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby rayiner » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:16 pm

NYAssociate wrote:Firm-specific.


And office/market specific. NY secondary offices tend to be higher profile in at least some practice areas. DC offices tend to be pretty high profile too. Eg: Sidley DC, Jenner DC, etc.

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Re: Main Office v. Satellite Office

Postby NYAssociate » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:17 pm

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