New offices for large firms

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Dr. Nefario

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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:07 pm

New offices for large firms

Post by Dr. Nefario » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:49 pm

How do new offices of large firms typically compare in relation to hiring of SA's and pay grade for laterals/new attorneys? Do large firms tend to want to grow these offices fairly quickly or do they essentially operate like highly-specialized boutique branches for a while? I'm just curious about the operations and more inner workings than anything with firms seeming to spread new offices lately. Any information/articles/links to threads I seem to have missed are welcome. I guess this doesn't have much to do with employment, but its a topic I was curious about.

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Re: New offices for large firms

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:57 pm

I work in a new office of a large firm. I think it varies depending on the purpose of the office. Sometimes, the firm needs a presence near a particular industry. Other times, an office opens because a partner moves. In those instances, it is unlikely that the firm would want to grow beyond 10 or so lawyers.

In other instances, a firm will target a city where they don't have a location, and lure a practice group to start an office. When that happens, it is more likely the firm will want to grow to as many as 30-40. Bigger than that brings it to another level because they have to start thinking about dedicated support departments like mail, print, recruiting, HR, etc. instead of piggybacking off the closest established office.

There are obviously infinite variations on this, like if an important partner chooses to move to a city where the firm doesn't have a presence but would like to build one. I guess what I am getting at is that situations at such firms tend to be fairly intuitive - if you notice a two person office opening in Boca Raton with a single older partner and one counsel, it's probably a rainmaker working out an arrangement to semi-retire. If you notice the entire hedge fund group of Firm A in Houston leaving and opening under the masthead of Firm B, who had not been in Houston prior, it is safe to assume they will eventually have at least a few litigators and regulatory people, and that Firm A is not doing too great. If a firm opens an office with two securities litigators in Wilmington, you should not expect them to add an energy group over the next few months.

My particular new office is in a major metro area where the firm happened to not have a presence until recently. The office pays NY market and expresses the intent to grow.

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