Working from one office primarily for another?

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Anonymous User
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Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:46 pm

Offer is for the firm's largest office. Geographic/family restraints tie me, at least for now, to a location that is about a short plane ride away from said office, but I am right next to the firm's second/third largest (not 100% sure which) office. I've requested to work from this office, at least for now, with the understanding that I'll be working for the partners in the largest office and going there whenever needed (I think I said at least once a week).

What do people think of this kind of arrangement? Am I just shooting myself in the foot even if they say yes? Am I basically sentencing myself to being pushed out in 3 years for sure because a lack of face-to-face interaction?

I have a local offer at a 100ish attorney boutique firm in my practice area, paying a little under market, so I have a real choice to make.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've requested to work from this office, at least for now, with the understanding that I'll be working for the partners in the largest office and going there whenever needed (I think I said at least once a week).

Huh? So you got an offer for a firm's head office, and then you told the firm that you'll work in a secondary office, but for partners in the head office, and that you want to visit the head office once a week. Did you also ask for a pony?

I'm only a 2L, but I've heard numerous stories about people who said they wanted to work in X practice area, maybe accepted a summer position on that understanding, but ended up in Y practice area -- simply because the firm needed someone in Y. My concern would be that even if they seem to accept this prima donna arrangement, what you actually do when you start will be a different story.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:03 pm

bump

Anonymous User
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:24 pm

You provided enough info where I can guess what firm and offices you're speaking of. I'd get rid of some of that info and stick to the main issue.

And no, I don't think it is a suitable arrangement. You're at a significant disadvantage. The common sense answer is to work for the office you are nearest.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:12 pm

I don't know why they would say yes to that... I mean, would you, if you were them? Are you that unique of a candidate? But yes, if for some reason they did, that arrangement would be a huge pain in the ass for you as well as them. It's a crazy idea. Go to the local boutique.

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IAFG
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:52 pm

My husband did this, but only for a few months. Still, I don't think it's crazy at all. At a big international law firm you may be working with attorneys from distant offices anyway.

KidStuddi
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby KidStuddi » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:52 am

Is the offer practice group specific or something? Or is there some other reason why you can't simply work in the office near you?
Asking the firm to fly you to the home office once a week seems a bit ridiculous.

That being said, cross office staffing is common at my firm. Working for partners in other cities and with associates in other cities occurs on a daily basis.
But working exclusively for partners in a different city? That just seems stupid.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:54 am

KidStuddi wrote:Is the offer practice group specific or something? Or is there some other reason why you can't simply work in the office near you?
Asking the firm to fly you to the home office once a week seems a bit ridiculous.

That being said, cross office staffing is common at my firm. Working for partners in other cities and with associates in other cities occurs on a daily basis.
But working exclusively for partners in a different city? That just seems stupid.


It is practice group specific.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:02 am

Not a good move. It's not career enhancing.

This is something you can pull without repercussions once you've put in some good time.

Liam
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Liam » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:11 pm

I imagine this would turn in degree on how integrated the offices are.

The firm where I worked after undergrad staffed cases across offices reasonably often: for the largest case I was working on, the lead partner was in my office, but most of the associates I worked under on a day-to-day basis were in Boston. If your firm is one where this kind of cross-office staffing is going to happen a lot anyway, it doesn't seem like it would be too detrimental to your career to go in with the understanding that you need to emphasize that.

On the other hand, if the offices operate largely independently of one another, it will probably peeve your local partners to see you constantly working on cases for Bob Loblaw when they've never even met the guy.

fxb
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby fxb » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:56 pm

I mean, I guess it can't hurt to ask.
Last edited by fxb on Thu May 08, 2014 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working from one office primarily for another?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:55 pm

OP Here. Thank you everyone for all the helpful advice. Just FYI I've already requested the arrangement and am waiting to hear back. I just want to know to what extent I'm shooting myself in the foot with this kind of arrangement. I really love this firm, love this specialty, and love the practice group. It really is my dream firm/job. I've been haggling with my wife literally for a year about this and she will not promise to move and we cannot live apart for an indefinite period of time.

This practice group has senior associates in far-flung offices (truly far-flung, like Atlanta to NYC or Houston to Boston) work on their matters regularly. At least I would not be that far, I could drive between the two offices in a few hours. Otoh I'm not a senior associate.

With respect to the bar exam, I will be admitted in both jurisdictions. Yes I have investigated this and can (will) make it work.

With respect to moving in the future, I intend to make every effort to do so. My wife has no aversion to moving, she just refuses to promise she'll follow me no matter what. She has a career too and if the timing isn't right for her she isn't going to just throw that away. But when she's ready to make her move we are going to be pointed right at the main office I'm working for.

I know there is some risk of just losing out on good opportunities. I understand that. I will be traveling very frequently and working very hard to make up for it as much as possible. I know I need to compensate.

I hope they say yes. Even with the additional burdens this is my dream.

Thank you again everyone.




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