Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

(Deciding to leave, same firm different office, Reference requests)
Anonymous User
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Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:19 pm

Hello,

I am currently a junior associate at my firm's HQ office where most of my practice group is located. I am moving to another city where my significant other has recently matched for medical residency, so in essence we have to go there. My firm has an office in this other city, and I work with attorneys from my practice group in this other office pretty regularly. Therefore, I am going to ask for an office transfer.

Does anyone have any similar experiences seeking an intra-firm office transfer? Any advice on what to do or not do? I know it varies situation-to-situation and firm-to-firm, but I appreciate any anecdotes.

Anonymous User
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Re: Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:35 pm

If there is a more senior associate you really trust I would consider checking with them to see if they have thoughts on feasibility of a transfer. Ability to change offices is very firm/practice group specific, because offices range from full service offices with typical big law turnover to true satellites that are staffed based on very specific practice group needs.

Would also be cautious in current environment - worst situation would be hinting you need to move, them not having a need for you in other office, and then being an easy target if firm needs to “right-size”

I’ve done this before, and my approach was to secure another offer in target city before approaching my firm. I didn’t hold it over their heads, but was easier to have the conversation with a backup plan lined up.

Good luck

Anonymous User
Posts: 369334
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If there is a more senior associate you really trust I would consider checking with them to see if they have thoughts on feasibility of a transfer. Ability to change offices is very firm/practice group specific, because offices range from full service offices with typical big law turnover to true satellites that are staffed based on very specific practice group needs.

Would also be cautious in current environment - worst situation would be hinting you need to move, them not having a need for you in other office, and then being an easy target if firm needs to “right-size”

I’ve done this before, and my approach was to secure another offer in target city before approaching my firm. I didn’t hold it over their heads, but was easier to have the conversation with a backup plan lined up.

Good luck
Thank you. And yes we are considering a staggered move (SO first, me later) if necessary due to the current environment.

I was considering trying to interview and secure a back-up offer in the new city before approaching my current firm. When you did it, did the backup firm ask you why you are not just transferring to your current firm's office in that city?

Anonymous User
Posts: 369334
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If there is a more senior associate you really trust I would consider checking with them to see if they have thoughts on feasibility of a transfer. Ability to change offices is very firm/practice group specific, because offices range from full service offices with typical big law turnover to true satellites that are staffed based on very specific practice group needs.

Would also be cautious in current environment - worst situation would be hinting you need to move, them not having a need for you in other office, and then being an easy target if firm needs to “right-size”

I’ve done this before, and my approach was to secure another offer in target city before approaching my firm. I didn’t hold it over their heads, but was easier to have the conversation with a backup plan lined up.

Good luck
Thank you. And yes we are considering a staggered move (SO first, me later) if necessary due to the current environment.

I was considering trying to interview and secure a back-up offer in the new city before approaching my current firm. When you did it, did the backup firm ask you why you are not just transferring to your current firm's office in that city?
They asked. I just said that I recognized that joining a new office was similar to joining a new firm, so I wanted to find a place that was the right fit. That usually led to good vibes because it gave interviewers the chance to beat their chests a bit about their culture/practice and bash on my firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:46 am

I’m also a junior associate and I requested an intrafirm transfer for the same reason. I did so without having a backup offer in the new market, mostly because I am in a more niche group.

Partners told me they expected this day would come because they knew about my spouse’s career. Chances are if the partners you work with know your SO is a fourth year medical student, they are also prepared to have the intrafirm conversation.

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Anonymous User
Posts: 369334
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:18 pm

I completed an intra-office transfer from our firm HQ to a secondary office where I wanted to work after working extensively on a major matter with a team at the secondary office. I knew they were hiring externally and raised the issue with a senior associate, who was excited and then relayed my interest to the partner. I had a seamless process because I effectively had a sponsoring partner at the targeted office who wanted to bring me on board. I think that is by far the most ideal circumstance for a transfer, although I know it may not be available to everyone.

If at all possible, though, my advice is to find an attorney (preferably a partner) at the target office who is pulling for you to join instead of just trying to insert yourself administratively.

Anonymous User
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Re: Intra-Firm Office Transfer - Seeking Advice

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:42 pm

I had a similar issue due to my signficiant other's medical career. I interviewed with new firms. The question was asked and I relayed that the team I work with is really important and each office of my firm has a different culture. I was not confident I'd fit into the firm culture in the office located across the country and therefore looking for a better culture fit, a place at which I can grow and excel, etc.

P.S. everyone was understanding about why I'd be looking for a new job.

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