Magic Circle vs. London Office of US Firm

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Magic Circle vs. London Office of US Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:03 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Magic Circle vs. London Office of US Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey guys,

I'm having a really tough time choosing between my 2 top choice offers. One is a magic circle firm and the other is the London office of a US-based firm. I've been trying to analyze them based on things like: training, exit options, range of work, type of work, prestige etc but I'm not really sure what's more important and would love to hear from some associates on what I should be looking for.

Prestige:

MC Firm- Top in London, OK in NY. One of the other main issues is that the London position is not guaranteed, you rank your starting area and if it fits with your abilities/need they place you there.

US Firm Mid ranked biglaw firm in the US, ranked well in the UK but nowhere near the Magic Circle.

I don't necessarily care about prestige for its own sake but it carries weight in the sense that people equate your ability/desirability with the firm's, and I'm not sure how important this is to have on your resume especially as I begin my career and in terms of exit options.

Work/Training/Partner Contact

MC Firm - by virtue of being a bigger firm I think there's a level of "cog in the machine" type situation where I'm not going to be given lots of responsibility and partner contact from the get-go, or at least not as much as I would at the smaller firm. The range of work is also limited exclusively to capital markets. On the other hand being part of a massive MC firm means that I could go between offices and make contacts with attorneys in different offices more easily/have more options for lateralling into different

US Firm - basically the opposite, much smaller US corporate team means I'd be given lots of responsibility/travel/client contact and be working together with the UK corporate team and it also seems like the partners would provide better training via one on one work on deals etc. The range of work is largely capital markets but they do some M&A and other miscellaneous corporate work out of their London office (i.e. I wouldn't be doing purely capital markets).

So I guess my main questions are:

Is the Magic Circle Prestige in London worth both the risk of potentially not being placed in London and thus being at a magic circle firm in NY (I have V5 options in NY, but don't want to do domestic work), and the lesser work experience and training?
I'm particularly not sure if I'll be shooting myself in the foot career wise if I start at a "less-prestigious" firm in terms of breadth of exit options.

Any help or info you guys could provide would be immensely appreciated.


Just FYI talk to the current associates at the Magic Circle firm to determine the extent and breadth of their experience because from what I can tell the US groups at the MC firms are small and intimate so there is a good amount of partner contact (despite being at a huge office) and US associates get taxed with prospectus drafting etc and basically having a solid amount of responsibility early on
(Though couldn't the V5 options lead to international opportunities too?)

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Re: Magic Circle vs. London Office of US Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:22 pm

Yeah after speaking to some of the people there it doesn't seem as "cog in the machine" as I initially thought. I guess it just boils down to prestige for exit options vs. work experience....

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Re: Magic Circle vs. London Office of US Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:56 pm

Shameless self-bump, would really appreciate any input from anyone currently working at an MC firm abroad or the UK office of a US firm.

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Re: Magic Circle vs. London Office of US Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:49 am

Summered at the London office of a major U.S. firm and will return post-grad. The main question you want to ask, tbh, is whether you like capital markets/securities work. Magic Circle for U.S. attorneys is almost strictly capital markets/securities, whereas American firms might have slightly more diversity in their corporate group. This is important for exit options; you might have fewer if you start at MC because you'll only have a very niche corporate practice experience, whereas in a slightly more diverse corporate setting, you might have broader opportunities.

That said, mid-range U.S. in London is probably not that great, i.e. might get closed by NYC headquarters if markets take a hit and business isn't great. Careful there.

My 2 cents.




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