Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

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Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:45 am

NY firm, satellite office in a good secondary market. The satellite has close to 30 lawyers. Salary is the same in all offices.

Prestige (or anything that matters) in being an associate in the main office v. being in the satellite (offer from both - trying to decide)?

Help appreciated!

Thanks!

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:51 am

You only mentioned the benefit of the main office. What, if any, pluses are there to the satellite?

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DallasCowboy
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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby DallasCowboy » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:02 pm

Space law?

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:10 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:You only mentioned the benefit of the main office. What, if any, pluses are there to the satellite?


Sure. Satellite has less lawyers so more partner interaction; I would be the only first year; there is also an increased probability of doing more substantive work.

I guess my main question was how is it looked at when an associate hails from a satellite office as opposed to the main office?

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:11 pm

DallasCowboy wrote:Space law?

I lol'ed. :-D

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:20 pm

Interested in this as well.

I have a CB next week at a satellite office a major mid-Atlantic firm. It's not too big in my market (30-40 attorneys). The office itself is the result of a merger with a lit boutique.

But since I don't have any other offers on the table (yet), having to make a "decision" is academic. They pay market, have great training and solid work from what I could tell. I'd take it in a heartbeat.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:56 pm

Are satellite offices less prestigious? I didn't know that...

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:59 pm

It's hard to say without knowing the firm, but one thing you might want to consider is the practice area mix. Some satellites concentrate heavily on one or two practice areas, or at least are known for one or two practice areas. This will not only limit what you do when you're there, but also your exit options, since you'll be perceived as coming from an office that does only [insert practice area here]. If you are fine with/like those practice areas, then great, but if not you may want to shy away from the satellite.

Also, needless to say that while it won't eliminate your exit options elsewhere, the main office will give you better exit options in NY, whereas the satellite will give you better exit options in the secondary market. Exit options from the NY office are also probably broader (i.e., easier to lateral to a third market).

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are satellite offices less prestigious? I didn't know that...


It really depends on the satellite. I don't think they're less prestigious simply because they're not the headquarters, but rather if they're smaller and therefore don't run/generate a lot of deals/cases.

So for instance Kirkland NY is no less prestigious than Kirkland Chicago (though the offices are different) since both are massive offices with good reputations that generate a lot of their own business. Same thing with Quinn LA vs. Quinn NY. But somewhere like GDC Denver or Skadden in Houston may be less high profile than the LA or NY offices.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby MrAnon » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:09 pm

I edited because I misread the question. I thought we were talking about NY satellite offices.
Last edited by MrAnon on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:14 pm

MrAnon wrote:NY Office of a DC firm, Boston firm, Chi firm, LA firm, and of Jones Day is fine. NY office of a Houston firm, Miami firm, Atlanta, Kansas City firm is very blah. The biggest problem you'll experience is that firm policy decisions are made from the home office, and things in NY work differently. The strain of this will be exasperated where the home office is an even smaller market like KC, but not as bad if the home office is DC, though still somewhat different. What you really need is a sense of how the office was formed in NY. Was it formed by 10 partners who split from Wachtell? If so they probably have their own way of doing things and are not very affected by the home office. Was it formed by three partners who left Phoenix to start an office in NY for the home firm? Well then the satellite office is very married to Phoenix, and your dinner allowance will be a few sheckles at best.


A lot of truth to this. You also have to look at (in addition to practice mix and what type of parters are there), how strong the satelite is and how established its business line appears.. Worst thing in the world would be to go to a satelite that closes in 2 years, when you could have gone to the main office and been safe.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby MrAnon » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:16 pm

I would say satellite office of a NY firm? Go for it. Can't think of many drawbacks. They won't expect NY hours from you, and you will get runoff of NY type work that you would not ordinarily get in the satellite town.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

This is relevant to my interests as well.

CBs at three satellite offices in secondary market. One is larger ~40 lawyers, one is ~25, other is ~10. All pay NYC rate, which is incredible, and have tight knit practice groups/opportunities to work directly with partners and actually shape direction of satellite office.

That being said, specialize primarily in transactional work for emerging companies. All claim to be highly profitable/solvent on their own, which I actually do believe. Seems like great work environment, individuals there rave about big firm resources/prestige, but small firm feel, e.g., less strenuous hours, better work/life balance and flexibility, especially because this is a very 'relaxed' market. All three are growing fairly rapidly and there is a long term plan in place where they will grow to a certain size and then likely slow down/stop, but still small <50 lawyers.

Thoughts? Warning signs? More difficult to make partner?

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is relevant to my interests as well.

CBs at three satellite offices in secondary market. One is larger ~40 lawyers, one is ~25, other is ~10. All pay NYC rate, which is incredible, and have tight knit practice groups/opportunities to work directly with partners and actually shape direction of satellite office.

That being said, specialize primarily in transactional work for emerging companies. All claim to be highly profitable/solvent on their own, which I actually do believe. Seems like great work environment, individuals there rave about big firm resources/prestige, but small firm feel, e.g., less strenuous hours, better work/life balance and flexibility, especially because this is a very 'relaxed' market. All three are growing fairly rapidly and there is a long term plan in place where they will grow to a certain size and then likely slow down/stop, but still small <50 lawyers.

Thoughts? Warning signs? More difficult to make partner?


Wouldn't it be easier to make partner at a place like this?

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:14 pm

Sorry for thread jacking: poster of 3 satellite.

I would think it would be easier to make partner. The smallest firm brings in only one person with intent of training them up to partner, so they are really invested. Other two firms bring in two summers, but again, I think the resources they are investing in you at that point is much more critical for their long-term picture. And the massively increased client contact/interaction with managing partner/and getting involved in the business of the firm itself early (because that opportuntity will be there if there are <10 of you in that practice group and you're good at working with people) seems great.

But, you're at a satellite office, hiring committee I am guessing would not be focusing on your office, possibility that the satellite goes under (doubtful, but) being tied to a national office that goes under and drags satellite with you...

Then again, you're a small tight knit, highly profitable group that would likely stick together and be adopted by another firm.

I'm just looking for drawbacks.

EDIT: one other thing for OP as well. The satellite firms that I've met with, especially the really small one, seem to take a fierce pride in their actual summer associates. They want them to suceed and be better than their peers at the main/larger offices, because it's an indication of the strength of their growing satellite office. You are their representative, and they want you, when you head to firm-wide gatherings, to be the shining star. Accordingly, the faster you advance, the better off they are, because of how that reflects on them. In that situation, you are a huge winner, unless you blow it. Also raises your profile significantly to be the one getting all the training and default growth/responsibility.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby SleekFire » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:22 pm

^ (anon above)

Please PM me. I would like to talk with you about this issue also; just not so publicly. :-)

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:02 am

Does anyone have any thoughts about some of the satellite offices in Boston? Firms like Skadden, Weil, Latham, Dechert, Jones Day, Cooley? I know what kind of practice areas they do, I'm more interested in how much sense it makes to start a career at any of these from a lateral or partnership perspective, etc. I know, for example, Latham's office is very new and probably too much of a black box, but some of these have been around long enough people might have some info.

(I interviewed with one or two of them, but don't want to specify because they're small offices, and I figure others on here might be interested in the rest, so any info of any of them would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.)

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:39 pm

I would also like to know more about the above...particularly Skadden Boston.

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Re: Main v. Satellite Office (Help Me Decide)

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:32 pm

At a lot of satellite offices, theres virtually no chance at making partner. If their work orignates in a different city and gets farmed out to the satellite, good luck making a name for yourself. The partners often lateral over to the satellite offices or get poached from other local places.

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts about some of the satellite offices in Boston? Firms like Skadden, Weil, Latham, Dechert, Jones Day, Cooley?


Well, Cooley and Weil are super concentrated on certain types of business, so theres really not a lot of career latitude. JD is extremely new in Boston and who knows how long that will last - same with Latham. Dechert has been in Boston for a bit, but its again tiny, and the diversity of cases you'll get is very, very limited. Skadden Boston is actually a decent place in terms of local ties, except I have heard terrible things about the lifestyle of the firm. I know a few people that lateraled out to other Boston places - supposedly its a very cut-throat environment, and more NYC culture than Boston.

With offers from these places, you probbaly have offers from RG/WH/GP or CH/FH. I would take one of those.




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