How to bring up proposed office transfer Forum

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 382168
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How to bring up proposed office transfer

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:58 am

So, I've been wanting to move offices within my firm for a few years now (rising third year here). Actually from the start. I got this office through OCI and accepted it because it's better than no job. And the office has actually been really good to me (lower COL, people are really nice, work load has not been terrible, etc.) however, it has always been my goal to move to a different office, due to my personal relationships there.

However, how do I bring this up to the partnership? Since COVID it has become impossible to just wander in somebody's office and discuss this, so I'm confined to setting up calls and sending e-mails. I figured my annual review might be a good time, but I've heard here that that is the worst time to bring it up (that that is basically, a "thank you for the feedback, I'll do it!" moment, and not a dialogue). I'm also a bit worried it to bring it up these days as everybody seems so busy. So how should I go about bringing this up? Do I send an e-mail to the partner I have the best rapport with if we could have quick chat over Zoom about some personal matters?

fmrez

New
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:17 pm

Re: How to bring up proposed office transfer

Post by fmrez » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:58 am
So how should I go about bringing this up? Do I send an e-mail to the partner I have the best rapport with if we could have quick chat over Zoom about some personal matters?
As a general matter and in my experience it is always best to do things this way. A lot of this of course is firm/relationship dependent. What is actually the reason for the move? You said "personal relationships," but does that mean you just have some law school friends in the other city and it seems fun? Or do you actually have family ties? I know people who have moved offices, but I think there was always a solid family related reason for doing so (spouse's job, closer to aging parents). I know firms are desperate to retain associates right now, so they might be more accommodating, but I know partners can feel possessive over associates they like, and some perceive different offices almost like different firms. I don't know of anyone who was fired for asking a question like this, but given how hot the lateral market is, that could be a fall back option.

Anonymous User
Posts: 382168
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to bring up proposed office transfer

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:15 am

Does your firm have an associates committee? At my firm, the committee will handle the process for you so when I transferred, I emailed the committee in the office I wanted to go to and they ran it up the pole and got sign off from the partners in my group. Once they confirmed the new office would take me, I emailed the associates committee in the office I was leaving and they informed the partners. Then I also emailed people I had deals with and others I was close with. I found it helpful to be able to make sure the new office would approve the transfer before telling my old office I wanted to leave but this may depend on your circumstances.

Anonymous User
Posts: 382168
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to bring up proposed office transfer

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:28 am

I recently switched offices at my firm. I emailed the partner that I had the best relationship with and asked if he had a few minutes to talk. We had a pretty quick call where I said that I really liked the firm and the people that I work with, but I’ve been talking with my spouse and for personal reasons we’ve decided we’d like to move to city X. Partner was honestly relieved that I wasn’t just calling to let him know that I was leaving the firm and was very helpful in facilitating the move. There does need to be buy-in at the new office as well, but as long as you are well regarded and aren’t trying to move to a tiny office where your practice group doesn’t have a presence it should be doable since they want to keep good associates especially during these times. I think it also helped that I communicated that I wanted to keep working with the old office as well but you have to decide if that’s what you want to do.

Also, you should be ready to explain why you want to move, but it doesn’t have to be that you’re moving back to your ancestral home where all your extended family lives or anything. Mine was along the lines of “My spouse thinks it will be easier to find a job in her field there and the CoL is lower so we’ll be able to buy a house now instead of renting a couple more years.”

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”