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It’s not often that Silicon Valley lawyers get to debate the true meaning of the big O. But thanks to dueling law firm signs on Marsh Road in Menlo Park, Calif., the big O is all the rage in the legal community. That’s O as in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe or as in O’Melveny & Myers, depending on which side of the street you fancy. On one side of Marsh Road near Bohannon Drive is O’Melveny & Myers’ 6-month-old Silicon Valley office. Orrick’s expanded Valley digs are across the street. Each of the firms has a big polished rock adorned in one way or another with a big O. O’Melveny’s O is followed by “O’Melveny & Meyers LLP,” while underneath Orrick’s is the word “Orrick.” That’s nothing new for O’Melveny. But Orrick dropped its longtime logo, a boxed O, a year ago after determining through exhaustive study that the O all by itself is quite memorable, said Norm Rubenstein, Orrick’s chief marketing officer. “The entire firm was invited to opine about their preferences, and the one that resonated was the O all by itself,” said Rubenstein. Meanwhile, Orrick has incorporated the O into all of its advertisements, using the same approach as Absolut vodka. In magazines, for example, the firm uses rolled bills and a coiled phone cord to illustrate the O. Orrick wants people to think of Orrick whenever they see the circular shape, Rubenstein said. Signs outside the firm’s offices took longer to get displayed, Rubenstein said. The Silicon Valley office didn’t get its outdoor sign until last summer, while O’Melveny’s sign was installed last month. For marketers, a logo is serious business, but the Orrick and O’Melveny lawyers in Silicon Valley simply find the dueling O’s entertaining. “We looked at it and said, ‘that’s our logo,’ ” said David Krinsky, an O’Melveny partner who manages the firm’s Valley office. Those weren’t fighting words. Krinsky hastily added that it was an informal opinion. “I don’t mean that in a strict legal sense,” he said. For his part, Krinsky is tickled that the big O’s are raising eyebrows in the Valley. “It’s not such a bad thing if people know we’re here,” he said. Gary Weiss, Orrick’s managing partner in Menlo Park, said he isn’t worried that his O will be lost on people, especially clients. “Ours is nice and big, and it’s on our building,” said Weiss. “I’m not worried about people driving up to O’Melveny and looking for us.”

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