Swapping Offices After SA

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Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 11:43 am

Just wondering if anyone has any experience or input about the process of switching offices within the same firm after your SA. I'm at a v50 in a major market, looking to make the switch to another specific major market office because of a change in circumstances over the last year since OCI. I'm assuming the proper time to ask about this after I have an offer in hand. Are firms generally receptive of this? I should mention that it's a large firm--250-300 per office, 20-30 in each summer class. I realize the answer will probably vary between firms.

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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 12:51 pm

+1. In the same boat due to a change in family circumstances, and would really prefer to not have to 3LOCI/mass mail it this fall.

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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 9:26 pm

I did this last year. I summered in Office 1 and then I swapped to Office 2 for the full-time gig. I waited until I had my offer in hand from the firm, Office 1 and then I asked if I could switch offices for family reasons. The firm had me visit Office 2 and interview with the people there (similar to a callback interview). It all went very smoothly and I received from Office 2 in a week or two. I generally felt that when I was interviewing at Office 2 that it was largely a matter of formality rather than a real interview. I didn't know that beforehand though so I prepped like it was a real interview.

It's hard to avoid the 3L OCI/Mass Mail because of the timeline of everything. It took my firm a couple weeks to get back to me. Because I was unsure of everything and lacking any precedent, I went ahead and was already applying for other positions once I had the offer in hand (just in case that things didn't work out with Office 2). I definitely recommend doing 3L OCI/Mass Mail just in case because who knows how they'll actually respond.

Before I did all this, I asked my career services office about making the switch and they told me the following:
(1) it's easier if you're going from a SMALL office to a LARGE office (as they're better able to absorb more people)
(2) it's good if you're involved/interested in a practice in demand for the firm
(3) policies will vary a lot depending on the firm (my career services office thought that my firm had a reputation for trying to be accommodating ...)

All in all, it's probably doable but you'll get a better feel for things after working in the offices for a summer. One of the things I regret is that I should have considered doing a split instead of concentrating at one office. That way, I could have gotten to know some of the people in Office 2.

Hope that helps!

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Wed May 01, 2013 11:12 pm

Anon above who switched offices: what would have happened if your "interview" at Office 2 didn't go well? Would Office 1 just take you back and you'd be working there? Or would you be shunned from the firm (and that is why you were doing 3L OCI/mass mail)?

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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 01, 2013 11:15 pm

Very curious about this. I'd be surprised to see my firm take a strong stance against it, but I'd never have the guts to try it. Good luck, and please report back.

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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 02, 2013 8:59 am

Judge Philip Banks wrote:Anon above who switched offices: what would have happened if your "interview" at Office 2 didn't go well? Would Office 1 just take you back and you'd be working there? Or would you be shunned from the firm (and that is why you were doing 3L OCI/mass mail)?


Previous anon here. I have no idea what would have happened if my "interview" at Office 2 didn't go well. I think I could have gone back to Office 1, but it would have been awkward if I ever had to work with people in Office 2 (especially someone I interviewed with ...). Going into the "interview" with Office 2, I thought about it from the firm perspective and I didn't see how they could reject me on competence grounds, given that I had already worked in Office 1. I figured that the most that could happen is that they'd tell me that there is no room in Office 2. In other words, they couldn't accommodate another entry-level attorney.

Re: 3L-OCI/Mass Mail, I did that simply because there seemed to be so many unknowns in the process. I had no idea how things would work out and I thought I should be proactive about my situation rather than just sitting and waiting for my firm to get back to me. I even tossed applications to McKinsey/BCG/etc. I was fully aware that 3L-OCI/Mass Mail is a difficult situation and I didn't want to be left without a job.

For 3L-OCI/Mass Mail, the handful of firms to which I applied were pretty receptive. I did only 4-5 screeners, but I got 2-3 callbacks (only 1 of which I actually went on). It definitely helped to have a job offer in hand as well as a plausible explanation for why I was applying again. That being said, the timeline is MUCH SLOWER than 2L-OCI. Many of these firms are trying to fill gaps and so they won't tell you anything until after November 1 (the NALP deadline). I found about Office 2 in late September/early October sometime (after getting my Office 1 offer in August), so I didn't bother to wait around to see how 3L-OCI would have turned out.

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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 02, 2013 9:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:I did this last year. I summered in Office 1 and then I swapped to Office 2 for the full-time gig. I waited until I had my offer in hand from the firm, Office 1 and then I asked if I could switch offices for family reasons. The firm had me visit Office 2 and interview with the people there (similar to a callback interview). It all went very smoothly and I received from Office 2 in a week or two. I generally felt that when I was interviewing at Office 2 that it was largely a matter of formality rather than a real interview. I didn't know that beforehand though so I prepped like it was a real interview.

It's hard to avoid the 3L OCI/Mass Mail because of the timeline of everything. It took my firm a couple weeks to get back to me. Because I was unsure of everything and lacking any precedent, I went ahead and was already applying for other positions once I had the offer in hand (just in case that things didn't work out with Office 2). I definitely recommend doing 3L OCI/Mass Mail just in case because who knows how they'll actually respond.

Before I did all this, I asked my career services office about making the switch and they told me the following:
(1) it's easier if you're going from a SMALL office to a LARGE office (as they're better able to absorb more people)
(2) it's good if you're involved/interested in a practice in demand for the firm
(3) policies will vary a lot depending on the firm (my career services office thought that my firm had a reputation for trying to be accommodating ...)

All in all, it's probably doable but you'll get a better feel for things after working in the offices for a summer. One of the things I regret is that I should have considered doing a split instead of concentrating at one office. That way, I could have gotten to know some of the people in Office 2.

Hope that helps!


I did this too. Went from smaller office SA and starting in larger market / office.

+1 to everything said. Except I don't think all that many firms are really that accommodating unless you have a really truly compelling reason.

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IAFG
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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby IAFG » Thu May 02, 2013 9:20 am

Not that I have a massive sample size (4-5 people), but everyone I know who requested an office transfer either after their 3L or once they'd started got it.

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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 02, 2013 9:58 am

I know someone who due to visa reasons couldn't do a paid summer in the US so they did their summer a a foreign office knowing that a full time offer would be in NYC... Not quite the same situation I guess.

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: Swapping Offices After SA

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Thu May 02, 2013 10:29 am

What reasons are the people getting transfers giving for wanting to transfer?




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