Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

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Which firm?

Best in Current Market, Satellite in CA
2
29%
Satellite in Current Market, Among Top in CA
5
71%
 
Total votes: 7

Anonymous User
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Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:38 pm

I'm dedicated to being in an east coast market for the next 3-5 years (SO is finishing school), but eventually we want to move to CA, where both of our families are. I'm currently choosing between

1) The absolute top firm in the current market, HQ, good reputation nationwide [V15-V25]. They have a CA satellite office, and have expressed a willingness to let me transfer out there in a few years.

2) Small satellite office in the current market, less strong reputation nationwide, but among the best+HQ in CA [V30-V60]. Probably does more of the type of work I think I want to focus on, again in CA Also expressed willingness to transfer me to CA in a few years.

Really liked the people at both, though obviously they would be very different experiences. Think I could do work in my practice area of choice at both places, though the small satellite has a stronger focus firm wide in that practice.

Should I go with HQ now and satellite later, or satellite now and HQ later?

Ease of lateraling to a different CA firm at some point is also a serious consideration -- would that be easier from a the satellite with a strong name in CA, or from a firm that has a bigger name nationwide (but less CA presence)?

I also have offers from a few CA offices that are highly regarded, but will be turning them down because they are not located near my SO. Is it easier to lateral into a firm that you had an SA offer from?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:45 pm

I would think you should start in the office that is a satellite now if they have expressed an interest in letting you transfer to CA. In 5 years when you move, I would think you'll have a better chance of making partner or lateraling to another CA firm if the firm you're at is top-notch in CA.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:01 am

Re: Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:46 pm

That said, your vault rankings are potentially misleading (15-25 vs 30-60). Maybe I overrate vault, but choosing #60 over #15 seems like a bigger deal to me than choosing #30 over #25.

Anonymous User
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Re: Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:33 pm

Lieut Kaffee wrote:That said, your vault rankings are potentially misleading (15-25 vs 30-60). Maybe I overrate vault, but choosing #60 over #15 seems like a bigger deal to me than choosing #30 over #25.


OP here. The difference is closer to #60 over #15, though not quite that drastic.

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GeePee
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Re: Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

Postby GeePee » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:05 pm

I think I know which firms these are (without being too explicit, the lower bounds of the sets you cited seem to be far better descriptors of the firms than the upper bounds). My inclination is toward the headquarters in case your plans change in the meantime. Your other options will likely be stronger at the headquarters of the highly recognized nationwide firm than the satellite office of the lesser recognized firm.

Also, if I'm guessing correctly, the CA satellite is fairly well-regarded as well, and I'm not so sure about the East Coast satellite. Both firms seem to be widely regarded as having good QOL in general, so I don't think that's a major concern.

However, this depends on your degree of certainty. If you're sure you're going to be moving there without question, certain CA headquarters have practices that are fairly unique and idiosyncratic because of the nature of the work in those areas. If you really want that work, I would try to see if any other attorneys have made the move you're looking for. It would suck if they told you it's a possibility, but it turns out to be a pipedream.

azntwice
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Re: Best Firm in Current Market v. Best Firm in Future Market

Postby azntwice » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:19 pm

To me, it would play out like this:
1) what practice group do I want, and is there a market for this practice group in CA? and how certain am i that i will stay in it?
2) if you are certain about practice group preferences: if the HQ firm has the practice group, and it is a well-ranked group, go there, as you can always lateral to the CA firm eventually. if only the CA firm has the group, go there.
3) if you are not certain about practice group preferences, i would go with the firm that has a broader span of practice group options, as you can then find a group that you are happy with and will be good at, and can lateral to any firm in CA that has that group.




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