Benefits for working at HQ over other branches?

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Benefits for working at HQ over other branches?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:57 pm

Interning at a BigLaw firm's Headquarters this summer. It is not in a big city (but still a city), but I want to know if there are any advantages for working in a BigLaw firm's HQ over its other branches? What are the disadvantages? Are there any benefits/detriments at all, or is it all personal preference?

lolwat

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Re: Benefits for working at HQ over other branches?

Postby lolwat » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interning at a BigLaw firm's Headquarters this summer. It is not in a big city (but still a city), but I want to know if there are any advantages for working in a BigLaw firm's HQ over its other branches? What are the disadvantages? Are there any benefits/detriments at all, or is it all personal preference?


At least at some firms, working at the "HQ" means you get face time with the people who actually make decisions about stuff. For a summer internship it may or may not matter much depending on the firm.

ThisLawyerLife

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Re: Benefits for working at HQ over other branches?

Postby ThisLawyerLife » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:53 pm

This really varies by firm. But generally speaking, as a summer, most of the differences you will notice are similar to those you would find working in a smaller vs. bigger office generally, like an imbalance in services (copy center open longer at HQ, there's a cafeteria at HQ but not in satellite offices, etc.). More people often means bigger cases, more cases, and more practice groups.

You start to notice other differences when you have been at a firm fulltime for a while - decisions get made at HQ, not satellite offices, so sometimes smaller offices feel less connected to the firm as a whole. You have less access to the decision-makers in a satellite office. At the same time, you have an opportunity to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. And sometimes the culture is different. in my experience, satellite offices tend to have a more relaxed feel. Certain facets of the HQ culture, like face-time requirements, don't necessarily apply in smaller offices.

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rpupkin

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Re: Benefits for working at HQ over other branches?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interning at a BigLaw firm's Headquarters this summer. It is not in a big city (but still a city), but I want to know if there are any advantages for working in a BigLaw firm's HQ over its other branches? What are the disadvantages? Are there any benefits/detriments at all, or is it all personal preference?

It depends on the firm. Some firms have one big HQ office, with small satellite offices distributed throughout the country. Other firms have an official headquarters in a given city, but also have multiple offices in other cities of roughly similar size and autonomy--at those firms, being at the headquarters doesn't matter as much.

You also have to think about this kind of thing in terms of practice groups. There are plenty of NYC-centered firms that have various practices focused in other cities. For example, a firm with headquarters in NYC might have an antitrust practice where all the key antitrust partners are in the DC office, or a patent practice where most of the key partners are in a Dallas or SV office. If you're at that firm and interested in antitrust or patent law, it would be silly to work in NYC just so you could be at the headquarters of the firm.



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