Small Office of Big Law Firm

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Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:29 pm

I have a callback with a large firm (roughly 1000 attorneys). however the office I am interviewing at is in a smaller Midwest market and there are only 8 attorneys at that office. How would other biglaw firms view that if I attempted to lateral at any point down the line? Is that not really considered biglaw?

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:19 pm

Can anyone provide any feedback on this?

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baal hadad

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby baal hadad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:41 pm

what do these 8 attys do?

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:12 am

i wouldn't do it.

you're almost guaranteed to get cornered into some niche market (assuming these 8 people are not a full service branch) and you will not get a chance to develop a broad practice. there will be less opportunities to try different things and work with different people. there's also a risk that you'll get stuck working with someone over and over again who you don't click with.

if these 8 people all specialize in exactly what you want to practice, then go for it. otherwise, take a less prestigious firm that does a wider range of things.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:05 am

Don't do it. I have a friend who got no-offered at one because he said one "wrong" thing at a lunch during the summer. He represented a view that one of the associates didn't like and the associate made sure that he didn't get an offer.

Office politics reign supreme in a small office.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Don't do it. I have a friend who got no-offered at one because he said one "wrong" thing at a lunch during the summer. He represented a view that one of the associates didn't like and the associate made sure that he didn't get an offer.

Office politics reign supreme in a small office.


This. The partner that I worked for last summer told me to avoid these small satellite offices. They are basically small fiefdoms run by the person in charge.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:20 am

8 is way too small, but I think 25-50 is a great size and would take that (and did take that) over a large office in a heartbeat.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:23 am

Yeah it depends how small. 8 is way too small, IMO. I'm at a ~40 attorney office of a major law firm, and that is a great size though, IMO. The hours are better than at the bigger offices, and it's still big enough to where i am getting a variety of work and experience.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:59 am

Op here. It sounds like the general consensus is that it's not a good idea. My fear is that I've struck out at oci. It's been a week and no call backs. I'm still mass mailing. If this is what I end up with, is it better than the alternative of working at a small firm for 2L summer? Would it be possible to take that summer associate position and parlay it into an offer from another biglaw firm?

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:32 pm

I work at a 25ish attorney office, with ~8 lawyers in my practice area, and I love it...but I really like the work that we do and I also really like all of my coworkers. Of course what works for me really wouldn't work for everyone. If you don't get along with someone in a small office I think life would be hell.

ETA we are a satellite of a large (900 lawyers) international firm.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:36 pm

I did 1L summer in a small office of big law firm. The politics was intense. Married partner and married associate had previous affair that she broke off. All of the attorneys except one extremely conservative (ex oppose abortion even when incest/rape). The attorneys asked me multiple questions trying to figure out which I attended (I am agnostic do not attend church). I got offer to return 2L summer but realized it would not be a good fit.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:18 pm

Have an offer in a similar situation, about a dozen attorneys in a small, very new satellite office of a big firm. The work doesn't seem very narrow as I think they work on assignments with other offices often. The firm has plans to continue expanding a lot over th next few years. Everyone seemed friendly and like the kind of people I could work with. Same consensus?

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:45 pm

You can do it if you want, but it is a huge gamble. All it takes is one person to decide that they don't want you in that small group and they can easily make sure you won't be there any longer. They might be all friendly and still one decides you don't belong.

I am sure you will be fine, but do realize it is a gamble.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:07 pm

don't want to hijack this, but would an ~80 attorney branch office of a large firm have the same kind of problems?

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:don't want to hijack this, but would an ~80 attorney branch office of a large firm have the same kind of problems?

No. But make sure they do the kind of work you want to do. Unlike an 8 attorney satellite one with 80 should have some practice area diversity, but it likely won't be as broad as the mothership.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:07 pm

Not at all. This thread is talking about offices small enough to be nuclear families.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:46 pm

Is lateralling out of a situation like that a long shot? The office does only have one focus area but its a practice area that is very broad (Business Lit, Employment/Labor, Corporate Finance, something along those lines).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Small Office of Big Law Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:51 pm

Also have a question about this. V50, 100% offer rate last year, but this office is small and brand new. They apparently have a number of laterals they expect to bring in early next year and hope to grow it to 20-30 in the next several years. They specialize in a pretty narrow area in decently large market.

All seemed nice. Bad idea if I don't have any other options?



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