Downtown Los Angeles
by Claudia Spielman, Esq.
Hiring season has not slowed in Los Angeles. The year started off with a bang and has kept going. In fact, more and more people are moving to Los Angeles as a result of the booming economy (having an effect on traffic). Candidates with 3-5 years of experience in their practice areas (no matter what they are) appear to be getting interviews and offers. The market has undoubtedly softened, but due to the number of applicants in Los Angeles, the competition remains fierce. Generally, if a candidate has at least one year of experience in his/her field and graduated from a top law school and/or works at a well-respected law firm, the chance this person will be interviewing is excellent. Despite new rules regarding admission to the state bar, applicants must take the California Bar. California does not have reciprocity with any state bar. Thus, candidates who are already members of the California Bar (or who are awaiting results of the exam) are more likely to get interviews and offers.
The demand for junior and mid-level general commercial litigators is absolutely incredible. Within one 24-hour period, three candidates with between 1-3 years of commercial litigation experience received and accepted offers from top law firms in the city. General commercial litigation candidates with more than 8 years of experience are not as sought after and should expect the search process to take at least 3-6 months unless the candidate is a "superstar" or has a developing book of business. Several firms seek partners with million-dollar books of business.
As a result of the amount of development in Los Angeles and neighboring regions (such as Las Vegas), construction litigation remains a busy practice area as well. Candidates having excellent experience in this area should have no problem finding a position here.
Another excellent litigation specialty is insurance coverage work. Insurance coverage is totally different from insurance defense. Attorneys with this experience at a well-regarded law firm should also have little trouble finding a position in Los Angeles. Many of the top firms have busy insurance coverage practices and are always looking for candidates dedicated to the practice area. The work is fairly sophisticated and quite lucrative.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
For some reason, we have noticed an increased need for labor and employment lawyers in the second quarter of the year. And this year is no exception. Several firms have come to us (some in a panic) seeking candidates with 1-5 years of experience and 5-7 years of experience. The Los Angeles market appears to be strong for labor and employment lawyers. Candidates with stellar academic credentials and solid experience should have no problems finding employment in Los Angeles.
Corporate opportunities continue to rise. Attorneys with 2-6 years of big-firm experience in mergers and acquisitions of public and private companies, securities, and general corporate matters are in extremely high demand. Once someone is a third-year, a top concern is the level of responsibility that attorney has had on his/her deals. Senior associates are expected to run large deals. The best way to show a firm you have the requisite experience is to prepare a deal sheet summarizing your significant transactions. Although the corporate job market is robust, competition remains fierce. There continues to be a lot of pent-up movement from attorneys in New York or abroad wanting to return home to Los Angeles. An attorney practicing at a big firm in New York is a superstar on the L.A. interview scene. Many firms have come to us in search of corporate partners with portable books of business. In fact, a number of law firms have indicated the search for corporate partners having an established client base is a primary need, as it is a practice area that spins off a tremendous amount of work to supplementary practice areas like tax and litigation.
Real Estate remains extremely strong. Nearly every single firm in Los Angeles and the state of California (probably even the United States) is on the lookout for experienced real estate attorneys at all levels. In particular, associates with broad experience in finance, leasing, and purchase and sale transactions are in demand. But firms will seriously consider any transactional attorney (corporate, tax, and in some cases bankruptcy) with strong credentials and a genuine desire to practice real estate law, even without being licensed in California. Candidates seeking to transition into this practice area must have excellent academic and professional pedigrees. I should note firms are willing to transition associates from other transactional practices only if they have fewer than 3 years of experience.
For the first time in a long time, there is demand for tax attorneys. The ideal attorney is someone with 2-4 years of solid tax experience. Candidates with LL.M.'s in Tax from New York University and Georgetown University should not have too much difficulty in finding a position.
In terms of stability, healthcare is probably the best practice area to be in. There is always a steady need for healthcare lawyers (mostly transactional). Even during the economic downturn, healthcare remained solid. Attorneys having 2-4 years of hands-on healthcare experience (California Bar not required) will easily obtain positions in Los Angeles.
Intellectual property litigation remains a steady practice area. Historically, law firms have strong preferences for candidates with electrical engineering, computer science, and chemistry backgrounds (in that order). Candidates do not necessarily have to have stellar academic credentials as long as they have solid experience from respected law firms. Although it helps, candidates do not need to be members of the California Bar. Candidates with at least 2 years of solid intellectual property litigation experience are always in demand. There is also a very strong preference for patent litigators who are members of the Patent Bar. Candidates with soft IP litigation experience-such as trademark, copyright, and trade secret infringement-are not as marketable as patent litigators because the work is not as lucrative as the patent work and anyone can become a soft IP litigator, whereas patent litigators typically need to have scientific backgrounds.
Patent prosecution is also a steady practice area, although it is nowhere near as busy as it was several years ago. Firms are always on the lookout for candidates coming from top law firms, or who have Ph.D.'s or M.S.'s, or who have excellent academic credentials. Candidates with backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and chemistry should be able to get interviews. Candidates with backgrounds in biochemistry, biology, or mechanical engineering will have more difficulty finding positions unless they have advanced degrees.
Trademark and copyright prosecution is finally making a comeback. Candidates with 3-5 years of experience in trademark and copyright law at top law firms will certainly get offers. However, the market for trademark lawyers has not fully recovered, and candidates with significant experience or very little will not find it easy to secure positions in Los Angeles. Of course, if you are an experienced lawyer with a book of business, then firms will probably have a lot of interest in your candidacy because few lawyers in Los Angeles have books of business in this area.
As the economy has improved and continues to improve, the need for bankruptcy attorneys diminishes. There are a few firms with extremely active bankruptcy practices that are always on the lookout for excellent lawyers, but their hiring standards are very high. Only superstar junior and mid-level associates (or partners with hefty books of business) are getting interviews.
The need for attorneys with environmental litigation and/or regulatory experience is steady. There are few openings in Los Angeles, and the competition is fierce. Top academic and professional credentials are necessary. Candidates must have at least 2 years of experience to even be considered. Candidates with at least 3-4 years of experience should have relatively little problem finding positions in Los Angeles.
The need for employee benefits/ERISA attorneys is slowly starting to rise. Only candidates with 3-5 years of experience at top law firms will be considered.
TRUSTS AND ESTATES
Few firms in downtown have trusts and estates practices, although we have been working on a search for a firm in Pasadena. Most of the trusts and estates activity is on the Westside, although there is a need for experienced candidates in other parts of California, like Bakersfield and Sacramento.
West Los Angeles
by Claudia Spielman, Esq.
West L.A. remains a strong market for lateral attorneys, especially those with stellar academics and great work experience. The hot areas still are corporate, real estate, litigation, and labor and employment.
Most of the real estate boutiques are on the Westside, and the need for real estate attorneys is just as strong on the Westside as it is downtown. Candidates at all levels are in high demand, and firms are willing to retool junior transactional attorneys and train them in real estate law, assuming the candidate demonstrates a lot of potential in the interview process. For real estate lawyers out there, although the demand is great and you are likely to receive multiple interviews, do not take any interview for granted. I have seen perfectly good real estate lawyers get interviews, but not offers. Mid-level attorneys with experience in sales and dispositions, leasing, development, and finance are highly mobile.
There are numerous opportunities for corporate associates in the 1-5-year range with experience in capital markets, M&A, and public and private securities offerings. We are finding candidates with strong credentials are getting offers very quickly.
There are a number of commercial litigation opportunities on the Westside (although not as many as downtown). Even though there are many openings, the candidates absolutely must stand out. Candidates with strong academic credentials coming from highly regarded law firms and who also are members of the California Bar should have no trouble getting interviews. But do not take the interview for granted because there are a number of litigation candidates competing for the same jobs. Mid-level litigators with substantive experience in complex commercial litigation matters have many opportunities. This is especially true for litigators that have a stable firm history and superior writing skills. Fewer firms have insurance coverage or construction litigation practices on the Westside.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
Like downtown, the need for labor and employment lawyers is solid. Junior and Mid-level employment attorneys with solid academics and work experience can generally expect to have several firms to consider. Firms typically seek California-barred attorneys with California law experience in traditional counseling and litigation focused on labor and employment clients.
Intellectual property litigation remains a steady practice area on the Westside as well. Law firms have the same preferences for candidates as downtown law firms do; namely, candidates with electrical engineering, computer science, and chemistry backgrounds. Candidates do not necessarily have to have stellar academic credentials as long as they have solid experience from respected law firms. Although it helps, candidates do not need to be members of the California Bar. Candidates with at least 2 years of solid intellectual property litigation experience are always in demand. There is also a very strong preference for patent litigators who are members of the Patent Bar. Candidates with soft IP litigation experience-such as trademark, copyright, and trade-secret infringement-are not as marketable as patent litigators because the work is not as lucrative as the patent work and anyone can become a soft IP litigator, whereas patent litigators typically need to have scientific backgrounds.
Patent prosecution is also a steady practice area. Firms are on the lookout for candidates coming from top law firms or who have Ph.D.'s or M.S.'s or excellent academic credentials. Candidates with backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and chemistry should be able to get interviews. Candidates with backgrounds in biochemistry, biology, or mechanical engineering will have more difficulty finding positions unless they have advanced degrees.
Trademark and copyright prosecution is also making a comeback on the Westside. Candidates with 3-5 years of experience in trademark and copyright at a top law firm will certainly get offers. However, the market for trademark lawyers has not fully recovered, and candidates with significant experience or very little will not find it easy to secure positions on the Westside. Of course, if you are an experienced lawyer with a book of business, then firms will probably have a lot of interest in your candidacy because few lawyers on the Westside have books of business in this area.
TRUSTS AND ESTATES
For some reason, most of the trusts and estates work is done on the Westside. I am assuming this is because the area is far wealthier than downtown and law firms have set up practices closer to their clients. Several trusts and estates boutiques are on the Westside. Trusts and estates practices are seeking experienced candidates with strong academic credentials, and they have preferencesfor candidates with LL.M.'s in Taxation. Candidates with fewer than 2 years of experience should stay put, get more experience, and attempt to lateral in 1-2 years. Because the competition is incredible and so many attorneys want to get into this area of law, candidates must be members of the California Bar.
The need for tax lawyers is not as great on the Westside, but it is starting to pick up; and I imagine the need will just continue to grow. The ideal attorney is someone with 3-5 years of solid tax experience. Candidates with LL.M.'s in Tax from New York University and Georgetown Universities should not have too much difficulty in finding positions.
The need for bankruptcy lawyers on the Westside is much less than it is downtown. Off the top of my head, I can think of maybe one opening. Unless a candidate is a true superstar-top-10 law school and working at an AmLaw 100 law firm-finding a position on the Westside will be tough. You are better off looking downtown. Of course, anyone with a book of business is an exception to this rule (although that's true with any practice area).
Like downtown, the need for healthcare attorneys is steady. Attorneys having 2-4 years of hands on healthcare experience (California Bar not required) will easily obtain positions.
The need for attorneys with environmental litigation and/or regulatory experience is steady, but more pronounced in downtown. Candidates with strong academic and professional credentials will have better luck looking downtown than on the Westside.
The need for employee benefits/ERISA attorneys is slowly starting to rise, but the need for candidates in this practice is stronger downtown than it is on the Westside.
by Gloria Noh Cannon
The market in Orange County continues to be hot. In particular, the opportunities for corporate, real estate, litigation and intellectual property attorneys are enormous. In addition, the market is also seeking well-qualified attorneys with experience in energy, environmental law, government, tax, and estate planning. Partners with portable books of business-especially those practicing corporate, litigation, and intellectual property law-are also very popular. Because the market is so hot, California bar membership is almost always required.
Corporate associates at all levels continue to be in high demand, especially those with outstanding academic credentials and big-firm experience. Associates with strong backgrounds in M&A, securities, corporate finance, and corporate governance will find a wealth of opportunities. Several firms are also looking for partners with portable books of business in order to expand their practices.
As the Southern California real estate market continues to experience unprecedented growth, the demand for real estate attorneys has reached a fever pitch. Firms are looking for real estate lawyers at all levels. Attorneys with top credentials and strong real estate experience should have no problem finding jobs in this robust market.
Many firms are currently looking for mid-level intellectual property litigators and patent attorneys with electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or computer science degrees and/or backgrounds. Several firms are also looking for senior trademark associates with strong credentials. As always, membership in the Patent Bar is a plus.
While general litigation is always a strong practice area, we have seen a huge increase in the demand for litigators, particularly junior and mid-level associates. It seems like almost all firms-both large national firms as well as small litigation boutiques-are looking for litigation associates. There are numerous opportunities for associates with stellar academic credentials and substantive litigation skills. California bar membership is a definite requirement. In fact, some firms won't even consider a candidate, no matter how stellar, without it.
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
While labor and employment has always been a steady practice area, there has been a recent marked increase in the demand for associates with at least two to three years of strong labor and employment and litigation experience. If you have strong academic credentials and California bar membership, you should have no problem finding a fantastic job opportunity.
by Gloria Noh Cannon
Beautiful and sunny San Diego continues to be a very popular draw for attorneys who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, as well as those who have, or wish to start, a family. Over the last five years, there has been a tremendous movement to San Diego due to its beautiful surroundings, good school systems, and thriving economy. This increased popularity, however, means competition in the legal market can be extremely tough. The market for experienced and talented attorneys continues to be strong. California bar membership and strong ties to the area are definitely required. The busiest practice areas are corporate, litigation, and intellectual property. In addition, firms are seeking well-qualified attorneys in other areas, including real estate, labor and employment, ERISA, insurance, tax, and trusts and estates.
This is a super-hot market for corporate associates of all levels. In particular, associates with broad corporate experience with public and private companies, securities, venture financing, M&A, and public offerings are very popular right now.
This is an extremely strong market for litigators, as firms of all sizes are currently looking for litigation associates at all levels. Candidates who are admitted to the California bar, with strong academic credentials and/or large-firm experience, should have no problems getting interviews. Particularly popular areas of expertise include business commercial litigation, insurance litigation, and securities litigation.
Qualified patent attorneys at all levels who are admitted to the patent bar continue to be extremely popular. Firms have strong preferences for candidates with backgrounds in electrical engineering, biotech, computer science, and chemistry. Several firms are also looking for mid-level intellectual property litigation associates right now.
by James Fant
The Bay Area's legal economy has continued its positive trajectory of growth and recovery. Since the start of the year, the lateral market has been strong for both litigators and transactional attorneys at all levels. Partners with substantial portables-particularly corporate partners-remain the most sought after hires.
One of the biggest drivers of this incipient growth has been new market entrants-chiefly national firms looking at the Bay Area as a strategic area-who have recently established a toehold here or did so within the last few years. Some of these nascent offices have managed to grow with remarkable speed (without compromising hiring standards). They have done this by providing lateral candidates with a better value proposition than their competitors have (often in both "hard" factors like compensation and "soft" factors like growth and opportunity).
Because so many law firm mergers have already occurred locally, individual lateral candidates and small groups are the "final frontiers" of firm expansion. As a result, partners and small groups are moving around more than ever before, in some cases changing firms twice within a single year. While this is a departure at one level-no doubt much lamented by attorneys attracted by the stability and loyalty of the legal profession in years past-in fact, it is merely a convergence towards the corporate norm, where the competition for talent is as fierce and unrelenting as ever. Law is becoming "corporatized" to a greater degree than ever before.
The Bay Area's legal market resembles a chess board at an early stage in the game. There will be winners and there will be losers-indeed, some pieces have already disappeared from the board, while others have established dominating positions-and there are plentiful opportunities and threats for the attorney looking to position his/her career and practice accordingly. In fact, there has never been a better time to be a lateral candidate: while the froth of the dot-com boom is gone, the solidity of a recovery built on solid economics is here to stay. Arbitrage opportunities abound; call us today to learn more.
The hottest practice area right now in terms of hiring needs at the associate level is transactional real estate. The chronic shortage of qualified associates with "Big Law"-type resumes has not only continued, but it has worsened. As a potential or actual lateral candidate, shortage spells opportunity.
Unlike the boom in Silicon Valley during the late nineties, the real estate practice opportunity is largely unknown by graduating law students. So the shortage is likely to continue. This means years of opportunity that will continue well into the senior-associate level and ultimately into partnership. Real estate partners with business are also highly sought after.
Massive verdicts and bet-the-company cases have dominated the headlines of late, and with good reason: the Bay Area economy revolves around intellectual property the way it once revolved around mining in the Nineteenth Century. As long as it does so-and there is no indication that intellectual property will decline in importance, no matter how the economy changes in the future-patent attorneys will remain highly sought after.
While other practice areas are being hit by rate pressure, patent litigation remains immune. A comparative handful of well-known personalities dominate the business, and the smartest move for a savvy associate is to hitch his/her wagon to one of these individuals because the next generation of stars will be just as sought after the present set.
Attorneys with a background in electrical engineering remain the favorites among hiring firms, but even English majors who have been trained and supervised by a well-known patent litigator will find the prospect of finding a new job relatively easy.
Patent prosecution has also made a recovery, but certainly not as pronounced. One of the reasons is that companies have increasingly begun viewing prosecution work as a bulk commodity that can be farmed out to other geographic areas or to in-house attorneys, who are often saddled with huge numbers of patents to write. Given the propensity of poorly written patents to end up in costly litigation, this lack of foresight is paradoxical to say the least. Nevertheless, talented patent prosecutors at the partner and associate levels will continue to be sought after to complement the full-service behemoths.
Firms that are looking to establish or grow their presences in the Bay Area-and they are legion-look to lateral corporate partners as the yeast with which to grow their operations. San Francisco and the Peninsula are full of sharp attorneys, but relatively few meet the strict economic criteria called for by AmLaw 200 firms.
This is the Pareto Principle with a vengeance-fewer than 80% of corporate partners generate greater than 80% of revenues and profits. If you are one of them, count yourself lucky; if you are not, figure out how to become one or work for one. While "trickle down" economics was roundly condemned in the 1980s as fantasy, there is no doubt it operates in law firms. Simply stated, business partners with substantial portables beget opportunities-not only for themselves, but for others as well.
At the associate level, opportunities abound for those with great experience and academic credentials.
Litigation has not slowed with the growth of the economy. Traditionally counter-cyclical, commercial litigation remains a lucrative field, seemingly immune from recession. There are literally dozens of opportunities at high-profile firms. Call us today to find out more.
Securities litigators are in particularly high demand because of the many scandals that have plagued corporate America, and this practice area shows no signs of slowing.
Bankruptcy litigation remains somewhat slow; with the Fed hiking rates every time it meets, there will no doubt come a day of reckoning for companies in debt spirals. Bankruptcy will return-with a vengeance.
Environmental litigation is also underperforming relative to the strength of other practice areas.
by Gloria Noh Cannon
Las Vegas' booming economy continues to grow, resulting in a very healthy job market, especially in the areas of real estate, litigation, and construction-related work. Several well-respected law firms are based in Las Vegas, and regional and national firms have started to make their marks here as well. In fact, a few well-known law firms are expected to open new offices in Las Vegas in the near future. While attorneys who are admitted to the Nevada Bar are preferred, bar admission is not always required, particularly in transactional practice areas.
This is a super-hot market for real estate attorneys. Mid-level and more seasoned, senior associates are in particularly high demand because several firms are looking to grow their practices as the real estate market continues its strong growth. Of special interest are attorneys experienced in handling leasing matters, as well as purchase and sale transactions, for commercial real estate developers.
Opportunities for corporate attorneys continue to steadily rise, especially for highly qualified attorneys with sophisticated experience in securities and general corporate work. Several firms are looking for, or have recently hired, corporate partners to expand their corporate practices. Thus, we believe that traditional corporate work will become more plentiful in the future.
Litigation is an especially hot practice area right now. The demand for litigation attorneys at all levels is very high. In particular, mid-level litigators who have a strong background in construction defect, products liability, toxic tort, insurance defense, or general and complex commercial litigation are very much in demand. As can be expected, membership in the Nevada Bar generally is required. However, a few firms will make exceptions for those truly exceptional attorneys.
The demand for tax attorneys continues to be slow. However, attorneys with strong experience in real estate-related matters, particularly 1031 exchanges, are desired. Also, having an LL.M in Tax from a top-50 law school is always a helpful plus.
As the economy improves, the demand for bankruptcy attorneys continues to be slow. However, a few firms are looking to grow their practices. In addition, opportunities occasionally arise for attorneys with strong experience in restructurings, workouts, and other sophisticated bankruptcy matters.
There has been a noticeable increase in the demand for intellectual property attorneys, particularly those with solid experience in both litigation and prosecution. While the market is certainly not robust, attorneys with technical degrees and solid experience in patent prosecution or patent litigation may find a receptive market. The most highly coveted degrees here are in electrical engineering and computer science. Admission to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office is also a definite plus.
by Jamie Bailey
We are enthusiastic about the recent surge of deal flow on Wall Street and its direct impact on Chicago's legal market. With increased mergers and acquisitions activity nationwide, firms in Chicago are experiencing a marked increase in the need for strong transactional attorneys with particular expertise in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, securities, and finance transactions.
Chicago firms are geared up and hiring, both at the entry level and laterally. With significant partner acquisitions, firms like Greenberg Traurig and Arnstein & Lehr continue to dramatically expand their representation in Chicago, while Michael Best & Friedrich-dealing with the recent departures of more than a dozen partners to Sachnoff & Weaver, Vedder Price, Neal Gerber, Arnstein & Lehr, and Ungaretti & Harris-has decided to refocus its efforts in four core practice areas: healthcare, intellectual property, litigation, and labor and employment. Significantly increasing its presence in complex employment litigation in Chicago, Philadelphia-based Morgan Lewis was successful in wooing three labor and employment partners from Seyfarth Shaw's Chicago office and two labor and employment partners from Ungaretti & Harris.
We have also seen a number of firms open new offices in Chicago this past quarter. Philadelphia-based Drinker, Biddle & Reath opened its office here in Chicago with seven lawyers from the Chicago office of Kelley, Drye & Warren, focusing in products liability, commercial litigation, and class-action and toxic tort litigation. New York-based LeBoeuf, Lamb Greene & MacRae recently set up shop in Chicago with four partners from McGuireWoods to service LeBoeuf's bankruptcy practice. Los Angeles based Lewis, Brisbois, Bigaard & Smith opened an office here concentrating in insurance and commercial litigation.
We have also seen marked expansion into the international markets. Keeping in line with other major law firms expanding into the Chinese market, Latham & Watkins recently opened an office in Shanghai, DLA Piper expanded in Brussels with eight attorneys from Stanbrook & Hooper.
Continued Surge in Real Estate-Associates at All Levels Needed in Chicago! As we reported last quarter, the increase in real estate transactions has resulted in more financial work and more legal work, and there continues to be a real shortage of qualified real estate attorneys in Chicago. Large and mid-sized law firms continue to seek out real estate attorneys in Chicago for their busy real estate practices.
We are seeing the most significant need in real estate at the 2-5-year level, but have received requests from firms seeking to supplement their practices at the senior associate levels as well. Several firms have requested exposure to real estate finance transactions, including joint venture financings, leasing and structured lease transactions, as well as exposure to acquisition and disposition transactions. Because there is such a shortage of highly qualified real estate attorneys, firms have also requested that we send to them associates who may be interested in reduced-hour schedules or staff attorney positions-very attractive options for attorneys interested in non-partnership track positions calling for fewer billable hours.
Continued Increase in Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Securities, Private Equity, and Investment Management Opportunities
Last quarter, we reported a slight increase in the number of corporate positions we were receiving. We're happy to report that this activity has remained constant and we are hopeful that the strength in the corporate transactional area will continue.
We are receiving a large number of requests for corporate finance attorneys with anywhere from 2-6 years of experience. Associates with backgrounds in fairly specialized areas, such as fund formation, investment services, private equity, asset securitization, securities, secured-lending transactions, and equipment finance are also sought at the 2-5-year level. Candidates with significant exposure to the Investment Company Act and the Investment Advisors Acts should call us to discuss exciting positions at some of the most prestigious firms in the city. Firms are also seeking out highly qualified corporate associates with significant experience in mergers and acquisitions transactions and banking transactions.
Large Firms Continue to Supplement Their Litigation Departments
International and national firms continue to contact us to supplement their busy litigation departments. Although we are seeing the most significant need at the junior and middle levels, we would also be interested in speaking with candidates with anywhere from 5-7 years of experience in general commercial litigation matters, as well as securities litigation and products liability. Clerkship experience, as well as excellent litigation skills, including deposition, extensive motion practice, and first-/second-chair trial experience is highly desirable. Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, as well as top-notch academics are absolutely necessary.
Intellectual Property-Demand is High for Biotech, Biology, ME, EE, CS, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Ph.D.'s
Firms have continued to supplement their IP practices, both in the litigation and prosecution areas. IP attorneys with anywhere from 1-8 years of experience in patent prosecution and degrees in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, chemical engineering, biotech, and computer science should contact us immediately. We are also seeking patent litigators with anywhere from 3-6 years of experience. As always, candidates with Ph.D.'s will be given priority consideration.
Tax Associates with Federal and International Corporate Tax Experience - Top Credentials Required; Employee Benefits
If you are a tax attorney with excellent credentials and experience with federal and international corporate tax structures, we would be interested in speaking with you. Associates with 2-6 years of experience, large law firm training, and superior academics should contact us. Those with LL.M.'s in Tax will be given top consideration. We have also received a number of requests for employee benefits associates with 3-5 years of experience
Partners with Business
As always, firms in Chicago continue to contact us regarding supplementing their practices with partners with portable business. If you are a partner in the early stages of your search and investigating your options, please call our Chicago office at 312/321-9411 to discuss our approach to the partner-placement process, your goals for the growth of your practice, and how we can assist you to strategically transition your practice to a new firm.
In Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor, firms are seeking associates with 2-5 years of experience in a variety of areas, including business and finance, litigation, real estate, corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions, and state and local tax. We have also received requests for labor and employment, trusts and estates, and intellectual property associates with both litigation and prosecution skills and technical backgrounds in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering.
Partners with Business
Firms seeking to expand strategically in key practice areas are seeking partners with portable business in corporate transactions/finance, trusts and estates, labor and employment, real estate, and environmental. If you are a partner practicing in Detroit, Grand Rapids, or Ann Arbor and you are seeking to transition to a new firm, please contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We will be happy to speak with you regarding BCG's partner-level services and assist you in transitioning your practice to a new firm.
As in the past, intellectual property boutiques and large general practice firms in Minneapolis with busy IP practices continue to contact us for highly qualified IP attorneys with both prosecution and litigation experience. We are seeing continued demand from firms that are seeking to expand their life sciences practices. In particular demand are associates with 2-8 years of experience in patent prosecution experience, with advanced degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, biology, biotechnology, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. Senior-level patent litigators should contact us immediately. Admission to the USPTO is required for most of these positions.
We also continue to receive requests for corporate associates with 2-5 years of experience in finance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions transactions. Firms are also seeking real estate and labor and employment associates with anywhere between 3-5 years of experience.
Partners with Business
Firms in Minneapolis are seeking to expand strategically in key practice areas are seeking partners with portable business in corporate transactions/finance, labor and employment, IP litigation, real estate, and environmental. If you are a partner with a portable book seeking to transition to a Minneapolis firm, please contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We will be happy to speak with you regarding BCG's partner-level services and assist you in transitioning your practice to a new firm.
Litigation remains strong in Cincinnati, and associates with anywhere from 2-7 years of experience and strong trial and deposition experience are in high demand. Like other firms across the nation, firms in Cincinnati are expressing a need for corporate finance and real estate finance associates with anywhere from 2-5 years of experience. We are also receiving requests for immigration attorneys with 2-5 years of experience.
Similar to law firms in other cities with strong legal markets, Cleveland law firms are in high need of real estate associates with anywhere from 2-5 years of experience. Cleveland firms are also contacting us requesting junior to mid-level associates with corporate finance and securities experience.
Intellectual property associates with at least one year of exposure to patent prosecution matters and USPTO admittance should contact us immediately. In particular, we would be interested in speaking with patent prosecution associates with mechanical engineering backgrounds. We would also like to speak with commercial litigators with anywhere from 2-7 years of experience and those who might have significant exposure to products liability matters.
Toledo, Dayton, and Columbus
The need for litigators in Toledo and Dayton seems to have slowed a bit, and we are seeing the most significant need for associates with 2-5 years of experience in corporate transactional, real estate, tax, and trusts and estates. In Columbus, firms are seeking associates with anywhere from 2-7 years of experience in healthcare, corporate, construction litigation, and labor and employment.
Partners with Business
We continue to receive requests from firms of all sizes in Ohio for partners with business. Partners with portable business seeking to make changes in corporate finance, litigation, tax, trusts and estates, intellectual property, labor and employment, real estate, and ERISA should contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We will be happy to speak with you regarding BCG's partner-level services and assist you in transitioning your practice to a new firm.
Mirroring other legal markets nationwide, we are seeing significant needs in Milwaukee for highly qualified real estate associates with anywhere from 2-5 years of expertise. Associates with particular skills in zoning, real estate litigation, real estate finance, acquisition and development, leasing, construction, and/or real estate tax work will be given immediate consideration.
We are seeing a significant need for associates with 2-5 years of experience in a number of other practice areas, including healthcare, corporate finance, trusts and estates, and litigation, with particular attention given to litigation associates with products liability and/or securities litigation exposure.
Intellectual property associates with 2-5 years of experience in patent prosecution or patent litigation and degrees in chemical engineering, chemistry, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science and candidates with Ph.D.'s will be given immediate consideration. Admittance to the USPTO is generally required for all patent positions.
The Madison market remains strong, and we continue to work with candidates at all levels looking to transition within the market or moving back to Madison for family reasons. We currently have openings for associates with 2-5 years of experience in a variety of practice areas, including healthcare (with particular focus on advising healthcare systems, hospitals, or physicians on federal and state regulatory issues), trusts and estates, labor and employment, intellectual property litigation (with technical degrees in chemistry, biology, or biochemistry and USPTO admittance), general corporate, and real estate.
Partners with Business
Partners with portable business in corporate transactions, tax, real estate (finance, leasing or development) or intellectual property are in high demand. Firms are also open to partners with business in other key areas. If you are a partner with a portable book seeking to transition to a Wisconsin firm, please contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We will be happy to speak with you regarding BCG's partner-level services and assist you in transitioning your practice to a new firm.
In keeping with the rest of the nation, Denver firms are experiencing heavy demand for corporate transactional, finance, and real estate attorneys. With law firms in this region predicting an increase in entry-level hiring and perhaps the highest growth in the legal profession, we believe based on past trends that this is a strong indicator that lateral hiring is already on an upswing.
During this past quarter, we have witnessed the expansion of McKenna Long & Aldridge's practice in Denver, with eight attorneys in the corporate transactional, real estate, finance, and state and local public policy areas from Friedlob Sanderson Paulson & Tourtillot, doubling its size in Denver. LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae closed its 10-attorney Denver office, and Moye Giles expanded its Denver practice with the addition of four litigators and one entertainment attorney, who formerly practiced at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter.
Denver and Boulder
The most significant needs we are seeing in Denver law firms are in the areas of real estate and corporate mergers and acquisitions and securities. Experienced real estate associates with 2-5 years of experience and exposure to leasing, acquisition and development, and financing transactions are in high demand.
Likewise, firms are actively pursuing corporate transactional associates with 2-5 years of experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities, and finance. Denver firms are particularly interested in seeing associates with large-firm experience transitioning from other major legal markets, such as New York and Chicago.
Not surprisingly, we continue to see a need at Denver firms with strong energy/environmental practices for associates with oil and gas experience at the 2-5-year level. Firms are also requesting that we send them litigators with 2-4 years of experience and patent prosecutors with 1-3 years of experience (and technical degrees in electrical engineering or computer science). A few firms with prestigious healthcare practices would be interested in meeting with healthcare associates with a minimum of two years of experience in joint venture, anti-kickback, and managed-care-contracting matters. We would also like to speak with associates with 2-5 years of experience in labor and employment and those with significant exposure to employee-benefit-welfare plans.
In Boulder, the most significant needs are at firms seeking to expand their intellectual property practices with patent and trademark prosecutors and litigators with anywhere from 1-8 years of experience. Particularly attractive to Boulder firms would be those with chemistry or biochemistry backgrounds.
Partners with Business
Firms in Denver and Boulder are seeking to supplement their practices with partners with business in key practice areas, including public finance/corporate finance and securities, litigation, intellectual property litigation and licensing, real estate, and corporate and international commerce. Partners seeking to make moves within the Denver or Boulder area should contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We will be happy to speak with you regarding BCG's partner-level services and assist you in transitioning your practice to a new firm.
by Deirdre Sullivan, Esq.
Philadelphia firms continue to seek associates with top academic and work credentials and are very receptive to attorneys from New York, New Jersey, and Boston with mid-sized- to large-firm experience.
There is a large demand for mid-level corporate associates. Firms are particularly focused on associates with finance experience in capital markets, securitization, and fund formation and regulation.
Litigation associates, both junior and mid-level, continue to be in demand. There are opportunities for general commercial litigators as well as those with more specialized practices. As in other markets, white-collar-crime work has continued to grow; and there are opportunities for associates who have experience in this area or are willing to focus their practices in this area.
There are a growing number of opportunities for real estate associates at all levels, but experienced real estate associates are particularly in demand.
The demand for intellectual property associates continues to be strong. Specialized academic backgrounds continue to be important, with electrical engineering and computer science being especially in demand at the moment.
Trusts and estates associate positions tend to be filled very quickly. Philadelphia firms prefer trusts and estates associates with LL.M.'s in tax and mid-sized- to large-firm experience.
by Carey Bertolet
Trading up? With the range of opportunities available today, lawyers who have specific ideas of what their practices should look like are more likely to find success in the current market than they would have one year ago. What this means is that the big-law firm lawyer looking for a smaller environment with just as much sophisticated work can find it. The finance lawyer who wants to handle only real estate transactions can do it. And in some instances, lawyers who are interested in working for larger firms with stronger presences are presented with those opportunities.
In anticipation of an explosion of mergers and acquisitions, law firms are target lawyers with that experience to build out their corporate groups. Because firms have not seen large-scale corporate transactions in this abundance since the late '90s, more junior associates found it difficult to get involved in these types of marquee transactions. As such, it is difficult to pinpoint those young lawyers who have sufficient experience to join mergers and acquisitions teams. Therefore, for the attorney with the right experience, it is a wide-open market in which the candidate can be quite choosy.
In other corporate news, the market for lawyers looking now offers a great deal of diversity, especially for young attorneys. There are myriad opportunities both for the corporate generalist and the specialist. Securities, capital markets, bank finance, and securitization and derivatives experience are all highly in demand, whether a lawyer has experience in one area or exposure to all.
Some of the best private equity and investment-management practices are looking for associates who are interested in the field and possess exceptional backgrounds.
Litigators have unusually good options right now. Many of the firms that are well known (in a good way) for the personalities of their litigators are actively searching for litigators. We are seeing both firms and lawyers quite focused on creating a positive culture and environment with their hires, which is to say personality matters. This is a good time for the extrovert litigator to evaluate whether he/she is in the right firm environment from a cultural standpoint. The litigation associate who isn't firing on all cylinders with respect to responsibility and training issues would do well to look now.
Several of our clients have developed extremely vibrant white-collar-criminal practices over the past several years. This notoriously sexy work is an interesting option for the commercial litigator who wants some additional diversity in his/her practice.
While intellectual property patent prosecution and litigation work is not as vibrant as we usually see, patent lawyers with electrical engineering backgrounds are highly in demand. We have seen an increased demand for trademark attorneys of late, although typically at the more junior levels.
Other significant activity is occurring in the antitrust, tax, and ERISA fields. In these searches, it is the most sophisticated of firms looking for extremely bright attorneys. Specifically, the firms are targeting associates who want to make names for themselves in their practice areas. In particular, some of the antitrust opportunities offer high-profile work with unique opportunities for promotion.
There are several firms actively growing their offices that are really hitting their strides with respect to supplementing and aiding lawyers who already have healthy books of business. Partner-level candidates should evaluate the current platform for their clients. There are firms in the active market that can articulate how they can supplement that business and bring a partner's business and compensation to a new level.
Moreover, some New York branch offices are taking center stage with increasingly high profits per partner and attractive opportunities to lead practice groups. Bigger fish looking for smaller ponds can now do so without compromising compensation or client services
by Carey Bertolet
Several New Jersey firms have emerged as market leaders, competing for clients (and lateral candidates). Although there is not one city that reigns supreme within the New Jersey marketplace, there are thriving firms in Northern New Jersey as well as the Princeton area.
A New York-trained securities or mergers and acquisitions lawyer may not have to compromise the level of sophistication of his/her practice to move to the suburbs. Several firms have landed headline-making transactions, and the opportunities for associates to participate in meaningful ways, even at a very junior level, certainly exist. Particularly in Princeton, we are looking for corporate associates with experience representing financial institutions.
Several New Jersey firms have cornered the pharmaceutical products liability and patent market, so there are several good fits for litigation associates with relevant experience in those areas. Some Southern New Jersey firms are desperate for employment litigators, and general litigation continues to be an active hiring market.
Similar to New Jersey, Connecticut corporate practices are also experiencing a surge in work and are seeking stellar junior corporate attorneys as well as partner-level individuals with books of business. Again, M&A associates and those with general corporate backgrounds are most desired. As expected, a familiarity with securities is sought after-especially with the recent interest in compliance, a la Sarbanes Oxley style.
It would be hard to imagine a market in which real estate-associate candidates are less in demand. From the more traditional "dirt lawyering" to real estate finance, firms are poised to move quickly and generously for the right candidate. In addition to these major areas, there are several extraordinary opportunities with New Jersey's most thriving firms for tax, ERISA, and trusts and estates lawyers.
by Stephen E. Seckler
The demand for lateral hires continues to be strong in Boston. Partners in search of better platforms are finding the marketplace to be very receptive. Corporate partners with more than $600,000 in portable billings are in particular demand; but there are many opportunities for partners in other practice areas.
Corporate and intellectual property are the two most active areas for lateral-associate hiring. Many firms are looking for associates with experience in private equity, fund formation, mergers and acquisitions, and '40 Act. Firms are also interested in associates with public company experience. Corporate departments all over the city are reporting busy practices and a shortage of experienced associates to do the work. This is a natural consequence of the dramatic slowdown in corporate activity in 2001.
Many firms are also looking for patent attorneys with backgrounds in electrical engineering or life sciences. Software and biotechnology continue to play important roles in the Massachusetts economy, and they are generating significant work for IP boutiques, as well as general practice firms that have expanded into patent work.
Firms with good real estate practices are finding it very difficult to hire mid-level real estate associates who have strong deal experience. While the number of opportunities for real estate associates is smaller than the number of opportunities in corporate, this is a good time to be looking if you have 3 to 5 years of experience in real estate finance.
Other areas of practice are not as busy (at least when it comes to lateral hiring.) While litigation is still a strong practice area at many firms, firms have remained well staffed in their litigation departments. Stellar candidates with specialized expertise in securities, patent, and insurance coverage litigation are in the best positions to make lateral moves in this marketplace.
by Danice M. Kowalczyk
Connecticut is commonly divided into two legal geographic areas: Hartford and "Everywhere Else," which includes Stamford, Greenwich, and New Haven. Strange but true, both of these regions operate as separate microcosms with legal rhythms all their own.
Litigation: General litigators remain very, very popular in the Hartford area. Those with insurance backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Employment, intellectual property, and environmental practitioners have also been in high demand over the past several weeks. Per usual, litigators coming from Manhattan firms appear to have somewhat of an advantage over their Connecticut counterparts-if they have a solid connection to the Connecticut area.
Corporate: Not unlike New York, corporate practices are experiencing a surge in work this season and are, once again, beginning to seek stellar corporate candidates as well as partner-level individuals with books of business. We are seeing a resurgence in the M&A area, as well as IT-related practices focusing on the Internet and/or new media law.
Health: Some interest exists for candidates in the healthcare field-especially mid-level associates with 3-5 years of regulatory experience.
Surprise Contenders: New contenders to the Connecticut market include trusts and estates spots. This is a crazy rarity; so jump on board quickly.
Litigation: Similar to Hartford, litigation is very active.
Corporate: Even more than litigation, corporate is getting a good deal of play lately. M&A, securities, private equity, banking, and secured lending practitioners are all in demand.
Life Sciences: Not to be outdone, life sciences practitioners are also becoming very popular with firms in the Connecticut area. In other words, corporate practitioners with life sciences backgrounds and/or undertaking life sciences-related transactional work are in high demand.
by Dan Binstock, Esq.
We are pleased to see that the D.C. market is still operating on all cylinders. We have never received so many specific search requests from law firms. We believe this is based on two things: (1) a continued increase in work due to the healthy economy and (2) more lateral candidates have been in the market given the many opportunities, and therefore, more firms are looking to replace people that have decided to finally move (geographically), go in-house, or move to other firms. While firms are traditionally somewhat occupied with summer-associate programs at this time of the year, we have not seen a slowdown in lateral-hiring activity so far.
The most opportunities remain in corporate and litigation. In terms of corporate, there is still a heavy demand for attorneys with '40 Act/Registered Funds experience. Attorneys with '40 Act experience are still highly sought after; however, even if you only have '33 or '34 Act experience, but are interested in transitioning into '40 Act work, numerous firms will talk to you. While the '40 Act work seems to be the most in demand, we are working on a number of opportunities for structured finance/financial services attorneys with 2-5 years of experience. If you have securitization experience, banking/banking regulatory experience, or hedge fund/private equity experience, there are a few firms actively looking as well. We have received a number of searches for tax and real estate associates as well.
In terms of litigation, there is a wide range of opportunities. There is a particularly great need right now for attorneys with securities enforcement and/or NASD experience. If you have enforcement experience with the SEC or the Department of Justice, you will likely be in high demand at a number of firms. We have also received a few white-collar (but note that these are often highly competitive positions and preference is often given to former U.S. Attorney's Office/DOJ attorneys) and antitrust litigation searches, and more firms are looking to bring on more general commercial litigators with very strong credentials.
IP deserves a special section, especially because all of our recruiters in the D.C. office are former IP attorneys from large firms and have built very strong relationships in this area. There are numerous opportunities for IP/patent litigators, especially those with backgrounds in electrical engineering or computer science. IP litigators with mechanical and bio backgrounds are also in demand, but to a lesser extent. As for IP/patent prosecutors, we have so many opportunities for attorneys with EE or computer science backgrounds. If you have this type of background, you have probably had a tough time working due to all the calls you must be receiving from headhunters. Firms are still looking for biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, mechanical, and chemical attorneys, although to a lesser degree. Numerous firms are also looking for patent agents with prior law firm and/or PTO experience. If you are in the trademark/copyright field, we are seeing steady opportunities, and the PTO is rehiring trademark examiners again.
Other fields that have a healthy number of job opportunities are ERISA/employee benefits (very much in demand, and firms are eager to interview people with relevant experience), healthcare (healthcare fraud, FDA work), antitrust, international trade, tax (including tax litigators), labor and employment (counseling and litigation), insurance coverage, energy, and telecom.
Lastly, partners with significant books of business are always in demand. Partners with at least $1,000,000 in business will find the firms of their choice. In fact, for some practice areas that are currently experiencing difficulty attracting work, the required book of business is quite modest, sometimes around the $300,000 to $600,000 level. Because the trend in the law firm marketplace is consolidation, and in light of all the recent mergers, many firms are aggressively looking to build practices and stay competitive in terms of size.
In sum, we are pleased that the D.C. market has continued to remain active and are hopeful that it will continue throughout this summer and fall.
by Carrie Leonard
We are encouraged to see a gradual increase in the number of opportunities for attorneys in the Northern Virginia market, especially for associates in the junior to mid-level range. As more Northern Virginia technology and communications companies consolidate and grow, there is a particular need for corporate associates with expertise in mergers and acquisitions and securities matters, as well as for technology transactions attorneys. In addition, patent prosecutors and litigators with EE or computer science degrees remain in very high demand.
The improvement of the business climate in Northern Virginia has also resulted in an increased need for junior to mid-level associates in the commercial real estate and land use and zoning practice areas.
Similarly, Richmond firms are seeking to build their corporate and commercial real estate practices through the addition of partners and associates. There is also a need in Richmond for mid-level tax and employee benefits attorneys.
by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq.
Corporate/Securities/M&A - Now is the time to relocate or make a lateral move to Atlanta. It's not just the hard-to-find, mid-level attorney positions. Junior attorneys with 1-3 years of experience are needed.
Lending/Finance - As predicted this winter, it's a hot area; and we don't see a slowdown.
ERISA - We went six months without hearing from the ERISA groups, but now is the time to make a lateral move because we have several large firms looking for associates with 2-5 years of experience.
Bankruptcy - As we predicted several months ago, the need for bankruptcy attorneys is on the rise. Firms are looking for 2-5 years of experience on both the transactional and litigation sides.
Commercial Real Estate - These positions still linger, and firms haven't given up hope trying to fill them! Firms need attorneys with significant experience in the acquisition and disposition of property, leasing, lending, or affordable-housing work. If you're a real estate attorney with an impressive transaction sheet, opportunities abound.
Litigation - Litigation needs continue to surface daily, particularly in employment, construction, product liability, and general commercial. Attorneys with 2-5 years of experience are most in demand.
Banking, Lending, Structured Finance, and Capital Markets all continue to be the busiest practice areas in Charlotte - If you have experience in any of these areas, please call us today. We have many positions with top regional and national firms that are looking for top associates with 1-6 years of experience in any of these areas.
Commercial Real Estate - There is a lot of development in Charlotte, and we believe this trend will continue. Firms are looking for associates with 1-4 years of experience in the acquisition and disposition of property and lending work.
Corporate M&A - Several regional firms are looking for corporate M&A associates with 1-4 years of experience.
Litigation - We are seeing a bunch of activity in the commercial litigation area in Charlotte. It's the first time in a while that many firms are looking for top-notch associates with 1-5 years of experience. You should call a recruiter today if interested, because these positions will go fast.
Tax/ERISA - As corporate M&A work continues to develop, we are seeing a small increase in Tax and ERISA positions for both partners and associates with outstanding credentials.
Intellectual Property - It seems there is always a need for top patent associate in the Raleigh/Durham area. Most firms are looking for associates with computer science or electrical engineering undergraduate degrees.
Corporate M&A and Real Estate - Corporate and real estate are still picking up in the Raleigh market.
Partners - There are several firms looking to grow their Raleigh offices. If you are a partner with some portable business, you should contact us. We have many opportunities that would offer you more offices/reach for your existing client base or grow your practice.
Miami & South Florida
Real Estate is by far the busiest practice area throughout South Florida. Firms are looking for candidates with acquisition and disposition of property, leasing, and lending work. We also have several firms who are also looking for associates with condo/homeowner experience. There is a tremendous amount of development going on all throughout South Florida, with hotels, office buildings, and luxury condos. We expect this trend to continue for the rest of the year.
Corporate M&A - We expect this area to continue its expansion, and it is just the beginning, with many more positions to come down the pipeline.
Trusts & Estates - There is a lot of trusts and estates work all throughout Florida. Most of our clients are looking for associates with 2-5 years of experience.
Litigation is very busy as well. There are many needs for commercial litigation and securities litigation associates all throughout South Florida. Most firms are looking for associates with 2-6 years of experience and membership in the Florida Bar.
Orlando & Tampa
Top practice areas in these two regions include corporate and real estate, including land use and zoning, tax, and commercial litigation.
by Deirdre Sullivan, Esq.
London continues to attract attorneys seeking to broaden their professional and personal experiences. Associates are expected to have excellent academic credentials and work experience. The majority of associate-level positions are filled by U.K.-qualified attorneys, with fewer positions being filled by U.S.-qualified attorneys at both U.K.- and U.S.-based firms. Those attorneys with qualifications other than from the U.K. or the U.S. will have more difficulty finding positions. Typically, London firms are looking for attorneys with 2-5 years of post-qualification experience. Partners with books of business (minimum £500,000 to £1,000,000) are always in demand in virtually any area of practice.
The demand for finance associates of all levels is high. The areas of capital markets, M&A, securitization, derivatives, private equity, hedge funds, and structured finance continue to grow. Banking remains strong. Finance continues to be an area that welcomes U.S.-qualified attorneys.
IP and IT remain strong, as do insurance and reinsurance. There is also continuing demand for construction (contentious and non-contentious).
by Deirdre Sullivan, Esq.
European firms are seeking associates with 2-5 years of post-qualification experience, excellent academic credentials and work experience, fluency in the local language (and oftentimes fluency in another language, such as English), and a personal connection to the city or region. Locally qualified attorneys fill the majority of the positions because in many regions the practice is locally focused. There is a demand for U.K.- and U.S.-qualified attorneys in markets with cross-border practices, such as Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, and Moscow. Again, local language skills are crucial.
Litigation and international arbitration are strong in both Paris and Germany. Finance, banking, and capital markets are also strong throughout Europe and particularly in Frankfurt. Tax attorneys are in demand in Germany. Energy, project finance, and infrastructure continue to be strong in Russia. The Brussels market continues to be strong for competition and regulatory attorneys.
by Danice M. Kowalczyk
The Asia-Pacific region is commonly divided into a number of popular sub-sections: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, and Dubai.
Hong Kong is very much the golden child in Asia. Offering sophisticated firm practices, Hong Kong can afford to be a bit picky-and is. Currently, open corporate positions in this region are capital markets, securities, project finance, private equity, and M&A. Due to the nature of the market-which is highly sophisticated-Hong Kong only focuses on experienced laterals. Hence, mid-level candidates from top New York or China firms fare best-if they come from a top law school, possess stellar academics, and have extensive language skills. You must be fluent in English and Mandarin. Cantonese would be an added bonus.
Second only to Hong Kong is Beijing. Again, Beijing is gaining ground on Hong Kong with its sophisticated practice base; hence, it too requires top credentials; namely, U.S. or U.K. law firm experience (must be from a Wall Street or Magic Circle firm), Chinese law experience, New York admission (preferable), and an English/Mandarin fluency. You will find the language requirements to be somewhat relaxed here as compared to Hong Kong-which sometimes requires Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese (in one candidate). Recently, the popular practice areas in Beijing have included M&A, securities, and project finance. In both Hong Kong and Beijing, project finance has, in particular, become very, very popular.
The quiet younger brother to Hong Kong and Beijing is Shanghai. Shanghai is consistently looking for corporate practitioners; however, its requirements are relaxed in that you will find openings for "transactional specialists" and "corporate generalists." Again, project finance is popular in Shanghai. As expected, U.S. and/or U.K.-qualified candidates rule the roost as long as they have previous PRC experience. English and Mandarin are again necessary requirements, with an occasional firm seeking Putonghua.
Tokyo is currently seeking M&A, project finance (surprise!), securities, and finance practitioners. Japanese/English language skills are, obviously, required.
Other Asia Players
Singapore and Dubai should not be overlooked in this market. Both regions are consistently seeking finance, banking, and project finance practitioners. This need never goes away.