Home vs. Satellite Office

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Anonymous User
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Home vs. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:44 pm

Hi everyone,

In looking forward to OCI bidding, I have this question: how important is it to work for the home office of a firm (at least when you are starting out)?

I've heard conflicting advice on this. Some say it's necessary because you want to be as close to the decision makers as possible for political reasons (esp. in bad times when employment decisions are made). Others say it doesn't matter. Thoughts?

Is this question playing into any of your bidding decisions?

Thanks!

LurkerNoMore
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Home vs. Satellite Office

Postby LurkerNoMore » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:13 pm

There's no general answer to this. It will depend on the way the firm is structured and what practice area you want to be in.

Some firms share "power" among the offices. They rotate where the managing partner sits, have broad representation on comp and hiring committees, etc, etc. Some firms are much more hierarchical with the home office running the show and calling the shots.

What's really more important, though, is to figure out what practice areas you are interested in and see how it is staffed across offices. For example, non-DC firms have DC offices with appellate lit practices -- if you want to do appellate lit, you want to be in DC, not the home office. Likewise, if you are interested in oil and gas, you probably want to be in the TX office of a firm, even if that is a satellite and the home office has a few people doing it. These sorts of breakdowns are also found in practices that aren't so obviously geographically tied. For example, all the "real" tax work might be done out of a particular office, with the other offices only having a couple of partners.

As a junior associate, the home office/satellite office distinction usually isn't huge -- unless the satellite offices take a hit on comp (but if that's the case, they also usually have lower billables, so it's a trade-off that might be worthwhile). Figuring out the politics of the office you are in is important, but unless an entire office gets let go, you will be able to figure out who you need to impress no matter which location you are in.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Home vs. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:31 pm

I just discovered this thread, and I have some questions that are relevant so I will just post here instead of creating a new thread. How do you find out what individual offices are good at? I have been looking at Vault, Chambers, firms website etc. but for my particular research, I am not really finding what I need.

Basically: I want to know what strong white-collar firms in a given (not-NYC) market. So, for example, what are the top white collar firms in SF/Chicago/etc? I obviously know that W&C is best nationally, and there are a whole host of NYC firms that are great, but I am not particularly interested in either of those markets.

Chambers does not having a ranking based on white-collar, and Vault, while ranking white collar firms, appears to do this nationally. For Vault rankings, when it lists a location, is it listing the location of the home-office, or listing the office that pertains to the ranking? For example, Skadden NYC is listed as #2 for white-collar; how is Skadden SF or Skadden Chicago for white-collar?

The only approach that I can think of is going to the firm's website and seeing how many partners/associates it has listed on a particular office's practice area -- but this seems crude, and I don't really know how to evaluate between firms.

Omerta
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Re: Home vs. Satellite Office

Postby Omerta » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:58 pm

You can do that on chambers, though it's not intuitive. On the front page, click the state and choose "any" practice area (I did Illinois.) Then scroll down to general litigation and there will be a separate White Collar column under General litigation. That lists all the bands. I don't think you can do it by city and it may be problematic in states with more than one legal "hub" but it's better than nothing.
http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/36569

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Home vs. Satellite Office

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:35 pm

Oh wow. I am an idiot. Thanks Omerta.

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Cool Brees
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Re: Home vs. Satellite Office

Postby Cool Brees » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:00 pm

Omerta wrote:You can do that on chambers, though it's not intuitive. On the front page, click the state and choose "any" practice area (I did Illinois.) Then scroll down to general litigation and there will be a separate White Collar column under General litigation. That lists all the bands. I don't think you can do it by city and it may be problematic in states with more than one legal "hub" but it's better than nothing.
http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Editorial/36569


Thanks for this!




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