Small office, big firm

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Small office, big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:43 pm

What are your thoughts on working for a big international firm (1,000+ attorneys), but in a smaller office (60-70 attorneys)? Advantages and disadvantages?

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Dr. Nefario

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby Dr. Nefario » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:46 pm

Depends on the firm and market. Its hard to say generally without that kind of info.

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:47 pm

+1 also interested in this. Particularly if it's a very small office of a big firm (~35-40). Does this put summers at a disadvantage because they don't get to meet as many people/there's a smaller summer class? Say DC market

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:52 pm

OP here. Chicago market. It's a V50 firm.

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:19 pm

How about MoFo/Cooley/OMM NYC? Trying decide between that and PW/Deb NYC and the headquarters of a firm in a secondary market (say Sidley in Chicago or Ropes in Boston).

RaceJudicata

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:23 pm

I summered at a small office of a huge firm. No experience as an actual associate (ugh, 1 month away). That said, my summer experience was great. Was able to get to know everyone in office, and worked on plenty of stuff for partners in other offices.

Pm w any specific questions if you want.

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UVA2B

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby UVA2B » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:33 pm

This doesn't particularly affect me, but it's something I've always wondered about in the big firm model: despite being a part of a huge international law firm, is an associate particularly siloed by the office they work in? Obviously work will be driven by the partners and the needs of the firm, but if someone works in a 40 person office of a 1400 attorney firm, will they be almost entirely type cast by the partners that run that satellite office? Or is the law student advertising at least somewhat true that you won't be involved in one exclusive practice area just because the partners in that office specialize in those areas?

I imagine the answer exists somewhere between what firms claim and some strict line in the sand for practice areas available at the firm. Take JD, for example. They have a ridiculous number of offices nationally and internationally, but some of the offices are in the 10-20 attorney range. A JD attorney isn't likely doing significant appellate work at the smaller office, but does that automatically mean they are doing exclusively the types of law practiced in that particular office?

ResIpsa21

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Re: Small office, big firm

Postby ResIpsa21 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:46 pm

This completely depends on the firm and office. Sometimes satellite offices exist to service firm clients in a particular region (like NYC firms with TX satellites doing energy law). These satellites often report to HQ and have similar culture, compensation, and expectations (but maybe not). Sometimes the work at these satellites dries up and the associates are pushed even harder to justify the continued existence of the office and stop HQ from shutting it down, in which case quality of life might be even worse. Sometimes satellites were originally different firms that merged with biglaw, in which case the satellite may have the culture and work of the pre-merger firm, for better or worse.

Long story short, there are just too many variables here to generalize across firms or even across different satellites of the same firm. You need to research and talk to current associates at the office you're considering to figure this out. Ask questions like: is it easy for associates to work for partners in other offices? To transfer between offices? Is the compensation structure the same? Billable requirements? Business development expectations? Are there shared clients firm-wide, or does the satellite focus on the region? Then you need to decide whether you're looking for an NYC/DC/SF/LA experience but in a regional market, or if you're looking for a regional firm experience with biglaw preftige.



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