Best approach to switch biglaw offices

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Anonymous User
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Best approach to switch biglaw offices

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:00 am

I lateraled to a new biglaw firm about 9-12 months ago. I generally enjoy working in the practice group. There are very few people that are hard to deal with and I don't deal with any of them on a regular basis. Everything is great except I don't like the city that I live in. The issue is that all my work comes from the office I am in.

What is the best way to try to transfer offices? I'm afraid that if I request to be transferred and it is denied that I may not get the same workflow. People may think that I am not committed for the long run. I was thinking about trying to go out and get another offer, but if I go to a new firm, it would be my 3rd job in 3 years.

Anyone have any ideas?


Anonymous User
Posts: 327342
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best approach to switch biglaw offices

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:39 am

I am at a V50 firm and did this. You should note that whatever anyone tells you (including me) is going to be anecdotal. Your success and the issues you're going to face depend on your practice group, your firm, the dynamic of the office, and if the person you're asking had a chance to eat breakfast that morning.

I was in a satellite office. I requested to move to the main office because I was in the IP group and the satellite office didn't have a strong IP group. My wife was also in the city where the main office was located. I spoke with a mentor of mine in my office who was in a different practice group, but with whom I was close. He said he would go to bat for me. He did, and my request was denied. After that, I was the black sheep in the satellite office. I started emailing partners and associates in the main office to try and source work (which was itself risky) By a stroke of luck, I got on a big case in the main office and a partner there pulled me up. I've now been there four years and everything is great.

The morals of the story are:

1. Fine a partner to go to bat for you. Ideally it would be a partner in the office to where you want to move. If not, find a partner to advocate for your move.
2. Have a legitimate reason (e.g. significant other, practice group preference, etc.)
3. Know the vibe of your current office. If you shoot and miss, you might be shooting yourself in the foot (sorry for the doubled up idioms).

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