How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

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rsox5000
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How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby rsox5000 » Sun May 07, 2017 7:44 pm

Philadelphia is where I would love to work after graduating law school, but Boston is my second choice. I recently submitted deposits at Boston College, however, and I doubt I would be able to get a job at a big firm in Philly right out of school. My question is as follows: If I begin at a firm in Boston (Morgan Lewis for example) would I likely be able to transfer to their Philadelphia office within a few years?

ballouttacontrol
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby ballouttacontrol » Sun May 07, 2017 8:07 pm

usually possible as long as they have your practice area in the office youre trying to go to

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buckiguy_sucks
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Sun May 07, 2017 8:11 pm

specific firm gunning is pretty difficult and it sounds like you would be doing this. idk how many firms have both philly and boston offices but being this narrow seems like a bad plan

foregetaboutdre
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Sun May 07, 2017 10:55 pm

rsox5000 wrote:Philadelphia is where I would love to work after graduating law school, but Boston is my second choice. I recently submitted deposits at Boston College, however, and I doubt I would be able to get a job at a big firm in Philly right out of school. My question is as follows: If I begin at a firm in Boston (Morgan Lewis for example) would I likely be able to transfer to their Philadelphia office within a few years?


Probably not a good idea to biglaw gun at a regional/t20 to transfer markets. Also the logistics of two bars would also be a pain in the ass. If you go to BC - I think it is plausible to get back to Philly tbh. Just network your ass off while you're home. Work 1L summer in Philly etc... Demonstrate your ties.

Of course it's not an ideal situation vs. Penn or another T14, but I think BC would possibly be a wash vs. drexel and villanova.

Npret
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby Npret » Sun May 07, 2017 11:00 pm

rsox5000 wrote:Philadelphia is where I would love to work after graduating law school, but Boston is my second choice. I recently submitted deposits at Boston College, however, and I doubt I would be able to get a job at a big firm in Philly right out of school. My question is as follows: If I begin at a firm in Boston (Morgan Lewis for example) would I likely be able to transfer to their Philadelphia office within a few years?

Do not go down this path. You are putting yourself in a bad situation. This is worse than going to a law school planning to transfer after 1L. I understand that you only see employment numbers and haven't been introduced to actual hiring, but you absolutely can't go to law school with the plan of getting a job at a specific biglaw firm and then moving.
Just find a more realistic goal. Even your chances at biglaw anywhere are uncertain from Boston College.

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Mon May 08, 2017 8:01 am

BU (and probably also BC) has an OCI specifically for Philly, so that might be something to consider.

tomwatts
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 08, 2017 8:37 am

I think people may have misunderstood the question by missing the "for example" in front of Morgan Lewis. As I understand it, the question was in the nature of, "I'm going to a regional school in Boston and would like to work in biglaw in Philly. Should I try to get into biglaw in Boston first and then transfer?" That's not just one firm; in addition to Morgan Lewis, Dechert has offices in both places, for example. There are probably others, the limit being that Philly's biglaw market is not deep at all, so gunning for biglaw in Philly is inherently rather limited.

I am always an advocate of trying to do whatever it is that you want to do as soon as you can do it. So if you want biglaw in Philly, apply to biglaw in Philly. You should also apply to nearby markets (NYC, Boston) as a backup plan in case you don't get biglaw in Philly, and then you may be able to transfer after a few years. Inter-office transfer within a firm is probably usually easier than lateraling to a new firm, but it varies a lot depending on the firm. Regardless, lateraling may also be possible, so don't panic overly much if you end up at a firm without a Philly office. Just make sure that what you're learning is transferable to things that people actually do in Philly.

rsox5000
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby rsox5000 » Mon May 08, 2017 11:30 am

Sorry for the ambiguous wording; I am not gunning for Morgan Lewis in particular. I merely brought the name up as an example of a firm that has offices in both cities. I would like some input on another matter, however.
I previously turned down both Duke and Georgetown in favor of BC because those schools did not give me much money. I am waitlisted at Penn Law and, if I were to be accepted, I will almost certainly not get much money. My question is as follows: Are the job prospects in Philly that much better coming out of Penn (as opposed to BC) to justify taking on hundreds of thousands of $$$ in debt? I believe I can be near the top of my class at Boston College, and I will definitely focus on finding internships in Philadelphia.

rsox5000
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby rsox5000 » Mon May 08, 2017 11:33 am

Also, I would be perfectly happy working in Boston. I merely prefer Philadelphia slightly more because I have more family there.

tomwatts
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 08, 2017 12:13 pm

rsox5000 wrote:Are the job prospects in Philly that much better coming out of Penn (as opposed to BC) to justify taking on hundreds of thousands of $$$ in debt?

My relatively uninformed guess is probably the job prospects are noticeably better from Penn into Philly than from BC into Philly. You're comparing the top-ranked school in the city to a respected but not-as-highly-ranked school on the opposite end of the region (and the school is the third-highest ranked school in its city). As a general rule, I think the former looks a fair amount better to employers than the latter. There are other little benefits to being in the right city, such as that you stand a decent chance of being able to do some term-time internships with local employers, too.

Is the difference worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, though? Probably not. Especially since you're apparently okay ending up in Boston anyway.

rsox5000 wrote:I believe I can be near the top of my class at Boston College

As a rule of thumb, it's probably true that about 90% of any incoming law school class thinks they'll be in the top half, and about half of any incoming law school class thinks they'll be in the top 10%. Just be careful — it's safest to guess that you'll be somewhere within a standard deviation of median and then work as hard as you can to do better than that.

ballouttacontrol
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Re: How easy is it to transfer offices within a firm?

Postby ballouttacontrol » Mon May 08, 2017 12:40 pm

tomwatts wrote:
rsox5000 wrote:Are the job prospects in Philly that much better coming out of Penn (as opposed to BC) to justify taking on hundreds of thousands of $$$ in debt?

My relatively uninformed guess is probably the job prospects are noticeably better from Penn into Philly than from BC into Philly. You're comparing the top-ranked school in the city to a respected but not-as-highly-ranked school on the opposite end of the region (and the school is the third-highest ranked school in its city). As a general rule, I think the former looks a fair amount better to employers than the latter. There are other little benefits to being in the right city, such as that you stand a decent chance of being able to do some term-time internships with local employers, too.

Is the difference worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, though? Probably not. Especially since you're apparently okay ending up in Boston anyway.

rsox5000 wrote:I believe I can be near the top of my class at Boston College

As a rule of thumb, it's probably true that about 90% of any incoming law school class thinks they'll be in the top half, and about half of any incoming law school class thinks they'll be in the top 10%. Just be careful — it's safest to guess that you'll be somewhere within a standard deviation of median and then work as hard as you can to do better than that.


Penn law alum here. this sounds about right.

Penn law's employment is second to none, virtually everyone gets desirable employment. BUT, would I pay $200k more to go there over BC? ehh.... probably not, but maybe. I personally would be very unhappy if I graduated working long hours in a small firm for $60k, but a lot of people are fine with that.

Penn places very well into Philly though, if you have connections. Solid ties to Philly means you can get most philly firms with virtually any grades

I'd bet total COA now though, including interest, is probably around $300k... tough pill to swallow




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