State of the Market - 2007 Spring |

State of the Market - 2007 Spring


Print/Download PDF

Font Size

Rate this article

12 Reviews Average: 4.6 out of 5

State of the Market - 2007 spring
Southern California
Orange County
by Caroline Lee, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Within the past year, the legal market in Orange County has significantly grown. Many qualified candidates are seeking a change of pace from the "Los Angeles" lifestyle and are flocking to family-friendly neighborhoods such as Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Candidates interested in Orange County should know that they will need to convey a strong tie to this area, as firms in this market do not want to be seen as anyone's second choice.

Strong Practice Areas:

1. Litigation:
Litigation remains a very strong practice area, with a lot of job openings in Orange County. Specifically, general business and commercial litigation needs continue to grow. Most of the firms are seeking candidates in the "sweet spot" range of 2-5 years out of law school. For senior litigators, a book of business will definitely get them some attention. Advanced and practical litigation experience (e.g. first-chair trial, deposition-taking) is a must for any senior litigator who currently lacks a portable book of business.

2. Corporate:
Firms are aggressively looking for corporate candidates in Orange County. We have seen a great desire for those attorneys with merger and acquisition, corporate finance, and securities experience. Many firms will consider candidates who have not yet taken the California Bar, as long as they have solid transactional experience. Firms are also very flexible as to year level for this practice area. If you are a corporate candidate in the market for a new job, you are one of the lucky ones. Please do keep in mind however that most firms still require either top law schools or good grades/ranking from the remaining law schools, in this field.

3. Intellectual Property:
Intellectual Property is another hot practice area in Orange County. Firms are actively seeking intellectual property attorneys with a technical background, for their patent prosecution and patent litigation practices. Admission into the USPTO is sometimes required and always seen as very desirable. The technical backgrounds that will get the most buzz from firms include electrical engineering and computer science degrees. Degrees in biology and physics still hold weight, but come in as a distant second to the aforementioned technical backgrounds.

Steady Practice Areas:

1. Labor and Employment:
Labor and Employment continues to be a steady practice area for job openings in Orange County. The majority of open jobs in this field ask for attorneys who are 3-4 years out of law school and have strong litigation skills. Candidates who have substantial trial, deposition-taking, and writing experience will be given preferential treatment. Unfortunately, this market does not currently have many openings for those attorneys who mainly specialize in employment counseling.

2. Real Estate:
Orange County firms are still looking for great real estate attorneys, at all levels. Although the demand for real estate attorneys is not as great as the demand for corporate candidates, there are still some great jobs out there for attorneys who have finance experience and are admitted to the California Bar. Purchase and sale agreement experience is also considered a plus in this field.

Slowing Practice Areas:
The need for employee benefits/ERISA attorneys slowly continues to rise. Firms are interested in speaking with candidates who have 2 to 5 years of experience at a top law firm.

Conclusion :
Although this market is sometimes difficult to "break into", many attorneys have found Orange County to be a wonderful alternative to living in Los Angeles. Since the legal community is relatively small in Orange County, attorneys have the capability to really develop and grow their business contacts here. If you are interested in targeting Orange County, please make sure that you have made the commitment to grow your professional and personal life in this region. Candidates with a genuine love for this part of California generally tend to be the most successful.

San Diego
by Veronica Pawlowski, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

San Diego is one of the toughest markets in California. In addition to being a desirable place to live, the market is not quite as large as most other California cities. Thus, San Diego law firms are selective and demand the highest qualifications from lateral candidates. Another unique aspect to the San Diego market is that the same practice areas tend to remain in high demand. Again, this quarter, we see a strong demand for intellectual property and corporate attorneys.

As always, intellectual property remains the strongest practice area for the San Diego market. This is true for patent litigators and prosecution attorneys alike. Many attorneys know that San Diego is one of the only great markets for candidates with biotechnology backgrounds. In addition, patent prosecutors with electrical engineering, computer science, and physics backgrounds are very much in demand. If a candidate is a member of the USPTO and/or holds an advanced degree, the demand for such a candidate is that much stronger.

On the IP litigation side, the same credentials are highly sought after. San Diego's market for intellectual property litigators tends to be strongest for those who have a hard science background and whose practice focuses on patent litigation (as opposed to trademark and/or copyright). Again, USPTO membership and/or advanced degrees are highly sought after.

Finally, two points worth noting: 1) a recent trend is the opportunity to engage in both patent litigation and prosecution. Many candidates desire this aspect to a legal position and, unfortunately, it is not offered in many circumstances. But, San Diego does tend to have a greater number of opportunities for a hybrid practice and 2) within intellectual property, attorneys are in demand with as little as two years experience to as much as ten years experience. This too is a unique circumstance.

Another "hot" practice area for the San Diego market is corporate. All across the board, corporate attorneys are in demand. This includes attorneys with experience in M&A, venture capital, public/private financings, public offerings, etc. For corporate attorneys, the strongest demand is at the mid-level range of 2-5 years experience.

Since our last State of the Market Report, there has been a slight slow-down in the need for employment attorneys. This being said, if you have diverse experience that includes representation of labor unions, your experience will fit nicely into the current needs of San Diego law firms. In addition, this quarter has seen a surprising need for employee benefits/ERISA attorneys. Although the need for such attorneys is not overwhelming by any means, the fact remains that few people tend to have such an expertise-thus; the candidate pool for such positions is pretty small. Thus, an attorney with strong credentials and previous experience will fair well in the San Diego market.

Overall, the San Diego market is very steady and consistent. All across the board, positions are available for attorneys in most practice areas-especially for those with 2-5 years of experience. The most important things to remember for this particular market is that strong academic and professional qualifications are a must and ties to the San Diego market are highly desired by most law firms.

Los Angeles
by Gloria Noh Cannon, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

The beginning of 2007 has been hot, hot, hot! We have been getting requests, almost daily, from firms of all sizes to help them with their lateral hiring needs. Los Angeles firms, located downtown as well as on the Westside, are actively hiring lateral associates at all levels in almost all practice areas. While the beginning of the year is typically very busy, this year has been exceptionally busy due to the recent salary wars. In case you missed it, most of the big firms in Los Angeles have raised their salaries yet again, and first-year associates are now making $145,000 (and in some cases, $160,000). We fully expect the high level of lateral hiring that we have seen for the past three months to continue throughout the summer. So, if you are thinking about making a move, now's the time to contact BCG Attorney Search. This is true for attorneys currently in Los Angeles as well as those who are contemplating moving to sunny Southern California. Firms are somewhat flexible regarding the California bar, depending upon the practice area and the candidate's credentials and experience. Firms are especially receptive to attorneys who are admitted to the bar in other large markets such as New York.

Associates in the following practice areas are in the highest demand: corporate, real estate, litigation and labor and employment. There are also great opportunities for associates with at least one year of experience in the following practice areas: land use, environmental, patent litigation and prosecution, healthcare, bankruptcy, ERISA/employee benefits and tax.

Lastly, we have recently met with several firms who are looking to grow their Los Angeles offices by bringing aboard partners with significant portable books of business. In particular, we are working on searches for corporate partners, real estate partners and labor and employment partners with significant portable books of business. Please contact us to learn more.

As was the case throughout 2006, corporate attorneys continue to be very much in demand and we see no end to the need. It seems as if almost every firm in town - ranging from large, international firms to smaller, mid-sized firms - has a need for corporate attorneys at all levels. In particular, candidates with two to six years of solid experience in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate finance, capital markets, securities, structured finance, venture capital, and/or investment management ('40 Act) matters are a hot commodity. Because the demand is so great, many firms are very flexible regarding the California bar, especially if you currently practice or previously practiced in another large market such as New York. So, for all of you New Yorkers contemplating a move to Los Angeles, now's a great time to make that move!

The need for litigation associates has remained strong for candidates with two to five years of solid law firm experience in complex commercial litigation as well as securities litigation matters. There is also a solid need for litigators who have experience in insurance coverage, products liability, mass tort and environmental litigation matters. The competition, however, is fierce. The top firms continue to require outstanding academic credentials and major firm experience. In addition, California bar membership is definitely a must for many firms. However, there are still firms that are not as stringent regarding the California bar if you have stellar credentials and experience.

Real Estate
The market has softened a bit, but there is still a healthy demand for real estate attorneys with two to five years of law firm experience in traditional "dirt law" matters - i.e., commercial leasing, purchase-and-sale, and development transactions - as well as real estate finance matters. Candidates with two to six years of law firm experience in commercial real estate matters, especially if you have finance experience, should have no problems getting interviews and offers. The demand for real estate attorneys is still strong enough that admission to the California bar is not necessary at many firms, especially if you have strong law firm experience working on sophisticated real estate matters.

Labor and Employment
While not at the same levels as last fall, there are still plenty of firms looking for labor and employment associates with at least two years of experience in both litigation and counseling matters. In particular, firms have asked us to help them find associates with strong experience in employment counseling, wage and hour and class action matters. Firms are also open to candidates who have outstanding academic credentials and solid general litigation experience, but may require flexibility regarding class year. California bar membership continues to be preferred, but is not always required.

There are also a few firms focused on growing their L&E practice groups, and have asked us to assist them with their search for partners who are looking for better platforms to service and expand their practice. Thus, if you are a partner who is thinking about making a move, we would love to hear from you.

Entertainment and Media Finance
As can be expected in Los Angeles, there are many top-notch firms with exciting media/entertainment practices, most of whom are located on the Westside. However, because so many attorneys would like to be in this practice area, the competition is very strong and firms have very high standards with respect to this practice area. To be successful, you must have the exact experience law firms are seeking since they are less willing to transition associates from different practice groups. Firms have asked us to help them find candidates with three to six years of solid entertainment and media-finance experience in film production and/or finance, and outstanding academic credentials.

Intellectual Property - Litigation/Patent Prosecution
Several highly-regarded law firms are looking for mid-level intellectual property attorneys with patent litigation experience and technical or scientific degrees/backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, and chemistry (in that order). While solid firm experience will help overcome mediocre academics, it is imperative that you have a technical or scientific background. Candidates who are registered with the USPTO are also preferred by firms.

There is an even stronger need for strong patent prosecutors with technical/scientific backgrounds. Attorneys with degrees and/or backgrounds in electrical engineering and computer science are the most sought after by firms, and should have no problems getting multiple interviews and offers. Firms are also interested in candidates with degrees/backgrounds in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and chemistry. Candidates with backgrounds in biochemistry, biology, or mechanical engineering will have more difficulty finding positions unless they have advanced degrees. To really stand out, candidates should be registered with the USPTO, and have experience at well-regarded law firms in patent prosecution, counseling and/or opinion-related work and advanced technical degrees (either Ph.D. or master's degrees). In addition, there are several firms looking for registered patent agents as well.

We continue to see a steady demand for junior and mid-level bankruptcy/financial restructuring associates. The firms with openings have very sophisticated Chapter 11 practices representing debtors, secured lenders, ad hoc committees and/or official creditors committees. Thus, if you have strong Chapter 11 experience at a well-respected bankruptcy practice and solid academic credentials, you should be able to get interviews and offers.

Land Use
Several top-notch downtown LA firms are looking for land use attorneys with between two and six years of solid land use experience in CEQA, entitlements, zoning and permitting matters at both the federal and state levels. Most firms look for experienced attorneys, although a few will consider junior level associates. Outstanding academic credentials are typically required, although solid experience at a well-respected firm will make a difference.

There are several top-notch firms looking for environmental associates with at least two years of experience in environmental litigation and/or regulatory matters involving the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and/or RCRA. Firms continue to prefer candidates who are already members of the California bar and strong litigation experience.

There is a steady demand for top-notch healthcare attorneys with two to five years of solid experience in transactional, regulatory (particularly Medicare and Medicaid), and litigation matters.

Tax attorneys with two to five years of solid tax transactional experience at a well-regarded law firm are in demand at many top-notch downtown law firms. Specifically, firms are looking for associates with strong experience in broad transactional federal income tax, private equity, and/or partnership matters in a law firm context. If you have an LL.M in taxation from New York University and Georgetown University, you should have no problem getting interviews.

Employee Benefits/ERISA
There are a few large firms looking for attorneys with two to five years of experience in employee benefits and ERISA matters. Outstanding academic credentials are a must, as well as solid experience.

Northern California
Silicon Valley
by Deborah Acker, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

And we thought it was busy before! There is one word to describe the sizzling legal market in Silicon Valley. Corporate, corporate and more corporate. Job listings have increased more than 30% in the last three months from an already vibrant market in January. International, national, and regional firms are begging us for help. Every week, top firms invite me to attend presentations aimed at helping them bring in lateral partners, and every level of associate from junior to senior.

Other practice areas are hot as well. In addition to the bottomless market for corporate attorneys, other growing practice areas include employment, IP litigation, patent prosecution, IP transactions, securities and commercial litigation, tax, and real estate. Even the trust and estates groups are looking for new people. The bulk of these positions, as expected in the Silicon Valley area, relate to the technology sector.

Even with high demand, there is rigorous competition and the major law firms remain selective. In this environment, the successful candidate will usually come from a top tier school, have good grades, and some longevity (2 years) with a big name firm. Firms looking for IP litigators or prosecutors with strong tech backgrounds will often consider just one year of experience. Multi-lingual capabilities, especially within the Asian languages, are a definite plus. More than a few major firms are looking for senior attorneys but almost all require a significant book of business. Any of these requirements may be flexible if you have unique strengths in a particular technology, unique litigation experience, or a history of significant longevity with a good firm.

Even if your credentials are not quite up to these standards, good local and regional firms continue to seek candidates to serve clients in the high technology and real estate/land use/environmental sector. Not only are we able to help you get interviews at the "smaller" firms, we also can help you strategize your career development in your current position to build a resume that will get you where you want to go.

The corporate practice shows no signs of slowing down. A variety of corporate skills are sought after for both the public and emerging growth sectors. International experience in mergers and acquisitions is a major asset. Securities work, venture capital, private equity and fund experience all will get you in the door. Most positions require 2-5 years of experience. More than a few major national firms setting up new offices here are looking for lateral partners. Asian language skills are particularly valued in this sector.

Smaller firms are also looking for associates with broad experience in corporate governance and business transactions. Solid experience with good longevity will open doors, even without sterling grades and top 20 schools.

Executive compensation/ERISA practice has more openings than ever before. Again, you need top credentials for these positions.

California bar admission is a common requirement but not an absolute.

Intellectual Property
Junior and mid-level IP litigators remain one of the most sought after commodities in the Silicon Valley. Again, the demand for IP litigators has increased in the last three months. Laterals with IP litigation experience in a big firm, appropriate for your level, are nearly always guaranteed an interview. The firms with the big players handling the big cases are looking for associates. A background in electrical engineering, computer science or physics is your ticket to the top firms. Even without a technical background, if you can demonstrate strong litigation skills, experience in IP, and the ability to get up to speed on the technology at issue, you are sought after. A few firms that emphasize trial work are specifically looking for top-notch attorneys with significant time in court. Specific experience in patent litigation is a must for some firms. But, firms are also looking for litigators with experience in "soft IP," trade secrets, trademark, copyright, media, etc.

The demand for patent prosecutors has remained steady. Associates with a physics, EE or computer science background and 1-7 years of experience have a number of opportunities. Firms are begging for you. Other desired backgrounds include biotechnology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering, and medical devices. Those in bio fields are usually expected to have a PhD or Masters Degree at the minimum. Registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is nearly always a must. A steady demand for patent agents and technical specialists, primarily in the electrical and computer arts, also exists, but they should have some big firm experience with patent law.

The growing economy here has generated a steady demand for transactional IP positions at a number of major prestigious firms. Firms want experience with licensing and transactions related to emerging companies. Often a solid foundation in corporate practice is also desired for these positions. Openings exist for junior and mid-level associates. The candidate who also has a strong tech background in bio or electronic arts will be highly sought after.

Junior associate positions in trademark are starting to appear again. Growing trademark practices are accompanying the recovery of the technology sector. Trademark associates with big firm experience should give us a call.

Most of the major national firms in the valley would like to speak with senior IP attorneys with portable business in any IP practice area.

The need for litigators continued to grow in the last three months. Large national and international firms are looking for litigators with 2-6 years of experience, often requiring top pedigrees, and big law firm experience or a judicial clerkship. In the Silicon Valley, many firms value IP litigation experience, even if that is not the primary focus of the practice group. Experience with unfair competition, trademarks, and copyright will add value to the resume of any potential Silicon Valley litigator, no matter what their specialty. A number of openings exist in securities, general commercial, antitrust, complex class actions, and product liability litigation. A few firms are recruiting for appellate practices with the requirement of absolutely top-notch credentials. Litigation firms look for associates whose experience is appropriate for their level. If you want to be a top-notch litigator, appropriate professional development for your level and increasing independence is critical for success. A few top firms emphasize trial work and are actively recruiting. Top schools, law review and hands-on experience are a must for these "big firm" positions.

Smaller regional and local firms are also looking for litigators. These positions require "in the trenches" experience and some familiarity with the local legal landscape. Smaller firms are more willing to "think out of the box" when considering schools and academic records. They also will value a resume with mixed litigation practices in more than one area.

Real Estate
The market for real estate attorneys in Silicon Valley is heating up again. Firms seek transactional attorneys that can hit the ground running. Opportunities exist in both national and regional firms. A steady demand for attorneys with environmental and land use experience continues. Law firms are interviewing and hiring real estate attorneys NOW. Please contact us if you have an interest and fit the profile. For senior people, significant portable business is required. Specifically, expertise in the areas of general transactional work, acquisitions, construction, funding, and commercial leasing is sought.

Silicon Valley has an increasing demand for labor and/or employment attorneys at major firms. Many of these positions require a combination of transactional and litigation work. International experience is a plus. Most require 2-5 years of experience specifically related to employment matters. The smaller firms also have a need for employment attorneys, but this practice are is often packaged with business transactions expertise or commercial litigation expertise.

You can feel the buzz in the Silicon Valleys. The major firms have their eye on this market and if not present already, are considering new offices to join the local landscape. There are incredible opportunities for attorneys at all levels. Certain candidates are in the driver's seat. If you can boast solid credentials and corporate experience, let the bidding wars begin. If you have an EE, patent prosecution experience, and a JD from a top 50 law school, the question won't be whether you get an interview, but when to stop interviewing. The opportunities in Silicon Valley extend to nearly every major practice group. Let us help you explore the possibilities.

San Francisco
by Peter L. Smith, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Business Brisk in Corporate-Maxed Out in Litigation
Just as reported in my Fall 2006 report, SF and Bay Area firms are still growing, expanding, adding new practice areas, fleshing out their existing practices, and merging. Yet, we cannot call this a "hot" market now for two reasons, the nature of law firm hiring has fundamentally changed, and litigation practice has reached its apogee for the time being.

Despite the lack of lateral movement on the litigation front, firms are as bullish as ever. The new mind-set however affects the lateral hire of associates. Before the '' boom, firms saw needs, and hired-immediately. Now, needs are identified, discussed, pass through committee, are communicated (more or less) and then sit unfilled for months. This is because the new paradigm is caution, deliberation and still more caution. Firms are indeed looking to hire-their associates are over-burdened and their clients' needs are going unfulfilled, but firms absolutely refuse to be caught with their pants down this time. This means that firms will hire, but the candidate must be PERFECT fit. Rather than be afraid of distinguishing yourself, rather, candidates need to do everything they can to push 'meat on the bones' and communicate their particular, individual mission. In short, you must know what you want to do and be able to communicate it. (Note to self: that is what your recruiter is for.)

With respect to lateral partner movement, things could not be healthier. While the paradigm of "the perfect fit" still reigns supreme, as in associate hiring. There is, with some caveat, no limit on the ability of successful partners with health books of business to move to more appropriate platforms.

Below is a blow-by-blow with respect to the condition of the micro-markets within the SF global market:

General Corporate, M&A, & Securities
Condition: Hot
Candidate pool: Medium.

Details: Unchanged since the Fall. Firms are looking to hire, but they want the best. As usual in this market, a corporate candidate must be a generalist, but with a few niche-specialties under his or her belt to bring to the table. Resumes must emphasize the broad-based nature of the candidate's experience, and what value-added they can bring to client, now.

Project Finance
Condition: Warm
Candidate pool: Small.

Details: This work is generally done in DC, NY and London. However, numerous well-respected firms have told me that they want to expand this practice in SF. The key is finding someone with stellar credentials, a DC/NY and perhaps London pedigree, with a willingness to build a practice. If that is so, I can place you quickly.

Labor & Employment
Condition: Warm
Candidate Pool: Large (with caveats!)

Details: While strong, the market has weakened somewhat from the frenzy of the Fall. There are still a great number of opportunities, however. As in the corporate realm, generalists are welcome to apply. The best candidates are well-versed in all aspects of disability, wage & hour, wrongful discharge, etc., and have their share of client-presentations and general education seminars under their belt. Also good, write an article. There are so many new developments in this dynamic area that one could spend their entire career writing. Thus, demonstrate that you are up on the latest by volunteering now to give your best clients a free presentation on late-breaking topics. Because the candidate pool is sufficiently large, you must distinguish yourself to get noticed.

ERISA; Corporate Benefits
Condition: Cool
Candidate Pool: Small

Details: If you understand supply and demand, you have this one figured out. The needs are there; they are constant; candidates do get placed. However, this is a fairly unremarkable market with little movement throughout the year.

Energy; Environment
Condition: Warm
Candidate Pool: Small

Details: Attorneys in this area are slightly more in demand than in the Fall. There has been some notable partner movement and some firms are short on associates. Take advantage now. In this practice area especially a candidate needs to communicate clearly their particular experience. There are a number of quality niche practices in these areas all over the Bay Area, and one may very well fit your credentials. There is a constant need to re-fleshing out of these ranks; there seems to have been a higher-than-usual attrition in this area of late.

Condition: Lukewarm
Candidate Pool: Small

Details: No movement. The needs here do not seem to have changed much. Positions are out there for the right person, but the market is thin in this area as usual.

Condition: Cool
Candidate Pool: Small

Details: Somewhat better than last quarter. However, there are still few needs as SF is not a larger bankruptcy market, especially now as the overall economy seems bullish. You must bring top credentials to such a search. However, I have seen associate with great credentials with too many years under their belts landing respectable positions laterally.

Trusts & Estates
Condition: Cool
Candidate Pool: Small

Details: Unchanged from last quarter. The needs are few and not-well communicated. However, on balance, needs slightly outweigh available talent, so the diligent find positions.

Intellectual Property Litigation
Condition: Warm
Candidate Pool: Medium

Details: Somewhat cooler than in the Fall. However, a full two-thirds of all litigation needs in the city still involve IP at least tangentially. The need is high and the pool of qualified candidates is not as large as one might otherwise think. As always, the key is to identify clearly one's particular experiences and the industry that one's clients have served to date.

Intellectual Property Transactions
Condition: Hot
Candidate Pool: Medium

Details: Unchanged. This area is humming along quite well, but I haven't seen any continued growth since my last report. Candidates that have corporate governance and other transactional experience combined with some litigation and other IP experience may find such positions a good fit. The practice area calls upon a fair number of disciplines.

Patent Prosecution and Litigation
Condition: Warm
Candidate Pool: Medium

Details: This area I have downgraded from "hot" to "warm". As usual, technical degrees-especially BSEEs and MSEEs—are coveted. If you have one, call me! The needs are constant and varied, and there is a perceived lack of adequate talent. As one would expect, with respect to patent prosecution, the higher degree of technical expertise you have, the looser the standards will be on the legal experience and credentials side. Obviously, strong performance in science as well as in law is desired. If you are interested in patent litigation, the same is largely true, but make sure you that you have solid experience. General commercial litigators need not apply, generally speaking, unless academic and firm credentials are of the highest order.

Real Estate
Condition: Warm
Candidate Pool: Medium

Details: I have downgraded this area fro "hot" to "warm". The needs are still strong, but movement has been sluggish. Still, there are numerous positions available to qualified candidates. If a particular candidate's credentials are not stellar, but there is solid, broad, and well-documented experience, that may suffice.

Commercial Litigation
Condition: Lukewarm
Candidate Pool: Large

Details: This area has also cooled noticeably in the last quarter. There is a goodly amount of work, but firms are generally sufficiently bulked up-a body-builder can only put on so much extra protoplasm once reaching gargantuan proportions. Also, as the economy has been strong, client demands have stayed at a constant, albeit high, level. Some are predicting a recession that will cause litigation needs to soar. I personally don't agree, but, at any rate, if you have no immediate need to change platforms, think twice.

And now a word about business:
As stated at the outset of my report, firms are growing. If you have a book of business, now is an excellent time to consider finding a more appropriate platform. This means that firms are not only looking to expand the depth of existing practice areas, but many are seeking to add as many niche practices as they can. The new paradigm is full service. Partners looking to change platforms need to think more about the existing (and nascent) culture of target firms and a firm's recent and anticipated business moves with respect to geography, client base and practice group, ahead of the existing depth or quality of a current practice.

Firms are nearly universally in a growth mode for a variety of reasons. Basically, the relatively strong economy, combined with the implacable advance of globalization, and economic principals that I am not qualified to expound upon, mean that the nature of what a "market" is has changed. Namely: they are broader in geographic and subject-matter scope. That means mergers, mergers and more mergers. This means huge opportunities for lateral movement. Beware, however. While I am currently in discussions with more than one firm trying to literally double geographic scope and size, each individual attorney is scrutinized carefully. To 'get in the chair', you must have a crystal clear understanding of your own personal strengths and weaknesses, and be able to demonstrate a high level of understanding about how your particular credentials and experience can add value to a particular firm's practice group.

The Northwest
by Peter L. Smith, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Seattle continues to draw attorneys; however, attorneys are not drawn there because of the legal market. It must be the rain. In all seriousness, the Northwest in general and Seattle specifically has been in a chronic state of relatively flat growth for quite some time, with no indication of a reversal of fortunes. Thus, while strong candidates can find opportunities, they spend a long time searching. Many candidates come to this market because of the lifestyle in the region, educational opportunities for spouses, and the area's natural beauty. In short, supply outweighs demand. The successful candidates are those that start looking early. Nevertheless, firms continue a steady but low-volume approach to hiring. They are looking for the perfect candidates at the perfect moments. The market is simply not deep enough to allow for any other approach.

Land Use:
Demand for land use attorneys remains strong. Firms are in need of a constant flow of talent to service this niche practice. Furthermore, smaller markets outside the major metropolitan centers of Seattle and Portland may offer opportunities. Firms are aggressively marketing satellite offices devoted to land use in areas such as Bend, OR. Candidates willing to work outside the major markets may have great opportunities to get involved with a growing industry.

Litigation demand seems relatively consistent. Junior- to mid-level associates of a high caliber are finding firms willing to talk. However, be prepared to demonstrate a high level of interest in the particular firm to which you apply. The laid-back style, low levels of turnover, and shallow market mean firms take second and third looks at candidates.

Corporate associates are also getting traction. However, candidates must be prepared for firms to sift very carefully through resumes to find the exact mixes of skills they seek.

Overall, to be successful in this market, candidates need to take the time to articulate with as much specificity as possible what their experience levels are and where their interests and temperaments are leading them. Although this is a market where a top-20 law school education is no guarantee of employment, it is also a market where solid attorneys with the right mixes of skills can practice at the highest levels.

by Deborah Acker, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

The Northwest continues to draw attorneys; however, attorneys are not drawn there because of the legal market. It must be the rain. In all seriousness, the Northwest has been in a chronic state of relatively flat growth for quite some time, with no indication of a reversal of fortunes. Thus, while strong candidates can find opportunities, they spend a long time searching. Many candidates come to this market because of the lifestyle in the region, educational opportunities for spouses, and the area's natural beauty. In short, supply outweighs demand. The successful candidates are those that start looking early. Nevertheless, firms continue a steady but low-volume approach to hiring. They are looking for the perfect candidates at the perfect moments. The market is simply not deep enough to allow for any other approach.

Although listings in Oregon picked up in January, they are back to a relatively sluggish pace, with most of the open positions clumping in a few specific practice areas. Given the size of the market, many of the newly-listed positions in Portland get snagged by the locals who have their ear to the ground. Unless you have incredibly strong credentials and a unique skill set that is sought after, coming into Oregon from out of state without admission to the Oregon Bar may be a challenge. The current listings include:

Demand for corporate positions has waned but a few open listings remain with top firms. Midlevel associates are sought and your experience must fit what these firms need. They can afford to be picky and will wait until they have a good match. Corporate work in Portland may also include a broader practice that includes a variety of "business" transactions in addition to the standard corporate tasks.

Intellectual Property:
Firms are looking for IP patent prosecutors in both the life sciences and electrical/computer arts. You need to be registered with the USPTO. Rare openings also come up for IP litigators, IP transactional work, and trademark work. Senior attorneys that have broad skills in these areas are sought after if you have a reasonable book of business.

Litigation demand remains relatively consistent. Junior- to mid-level associates of a high caliber are in demand in a variety of litigation practice areas. Firms are seeking associates with experience in commercial, construction, business, products liability, personal and catastrophic injury, and labor and employment matters.

Real Estate:
One or two listings are currently active for midlevel to senior associates with transactional real estate or land use experience. Given the intensity of state statutory issues in this practice area, coming in from out of state is a major challenge.

Overall, candidates aiming at a position in Oregon need to be patient and persistent. If you know the practice area and potential firms that might be hiring, you need to do your homework. Find out as much as possible about the specific experiences and the skill set required. Work to gain those bullet points on your resume in your current position. Team up with your recruiter to craft a cover letter that demonstrates your understanding of the region, the practice styles, and the salary scales. Successful candidates in the Oregon market need to show they are serious about their desires for a long term commitment to the location. If you are ready to approach your job transition with these things in mind, you may be eventually rewarded with a balanced lifestyle, a beautiful geographic setting, and a long-term position with colleagues you enjoy.

The Northeast
New York
by Carey Bertolet, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Having gotten through the first quarter of the New Year, it is clear that the market for lawyers at large firms continues to change, and continues to flourish. We have seen significant advances in marketability for certain practice areas that had previously been lagging behind, while a bevy of corporate and finance transactional practices continue to thrive.

One of the more significant changes we have seen just over the last few months is an increase in need for ERISA/Employee Benefits associates. While many New York practices focus their ERISA practices on corporate and deal work, lawyers with a more plan oriented background are also highly marketable.

The other area in which there are significant strides is in the patent litigation area. There seems to be a trend towards general practice firms-several of whom are incredibly busy. What is interesting about these positions is that they undoubtedly favor associates with a scientific or technical background, but they are generally open to what type of background might fit in with their litigators. This is good news for the pharmaceutical/biotech litigators who may feel that the market had previously been a little flat for them.

Of course, the practice area that continues to ride the wave is anything and everything corporate and finance. There are fantastic positions for corporate (mergers and acquisitions, securities) lawyers who speak and write Mandarin. Even without language skills, a practioner with several years of solid large scale corporate transactional work is going to be highly marketable.

Law firms are funneling their efforts into capital markets. Obviously, as Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa continue to dominate the emerging markets, lawyers with an interest in these areas and have the relevant language and cultural background will likely do very well in the corporate market. Beware, however. A truly international practice necessarily involves international travel-and a lawyer looking to be home for dinner every night may not be the best suited for the reach of the international capital markets. High yield securities practices are expanding, as are structured finance practices of every variety-from CMBS (which continues to thrive despite some negative forecasting) to derivatives to entertainment finance.
One way to look at the corporate market is to track who a law firm's competition is for associate talent. The January 2007 pay raises started at Simpson Thacher were designed, in part, to keep associates from taking positions with banks or hedge funds. Not surprisingly, many firms are devoting a great deal of time on their banking and fund clients, and as such, expertise in these areas is highly valued. Private equity associates are definitely on the A list.

Practices that flow from a thriving corporate market are also riding today's pro-corporate wave. Tax lawyers, especially lawyers with a great deal of deal work under their belt will do quite well in the market. A tax lawyer with structured finance expertise is certainly in the driver's seat. As already mentioned, ERISA lawyers are extremely sought after.

It will be interesting to watch the real estate market in the coming months. In the last two years, real estate lawyers have been highly courted by large firms. Indeed, we continue to handle fairly urgent real estate needs. Although the traditional transactional real estate background has not been as interesting to firms as more finance based expertise, we are still seeing a fairly good amount of interest in this practice area. Whether the gloomy forecasts in the residential market (and national rise in foreclosures) will have an adverse effect on these more sophisticated commercial practices, time will tell.

The intellectual property markets biggest change is in the marked increase in demand for patent litigators. The patent prosecution market remains fairly static, with Electrical Engineers being the most highly in demand. Intellectual property transactional continues to seek out highly qualified associates, particularly those accustomed to dealing with sophisticated licensing issues as well as experience with outsourcing arrangements. There is a need for trademark lawyers, but it is not particularly remarkable. On the litigation front, the market has been a bit sleepy. Business litigators with experience in securities matters are interesting to a lot of firms. However, general commercial litigation spots are not terribly abundant, and there is a flood of good talent and competition for these opportunities in the marketplace. Antitrust litigation has been quite soft.

We are seeing more and more employment litigation opportunities and anticipate a busy spring in that field. Trusts & Estates, however, remains fairly quiet.

New Jersey
by Carey Bertolet, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

It would be a mistake to think of the New Jersey market as a microcosm of the New York market. Large New Jersey firms have their own character, business models, and areas of expertise that creates some very significant differences depending on which side of the Hudson River your practice is on.

In the beginning of this year, however, the New Jersey market is starting to look a lot like its neighbor to the East. Several corporate opportunities at major New Jersey firms are topping the list of the most urgent searches. In New Jersey, there is less demand for a corporate lawyer with international or other niche experience. A corporate generalist with very good securities and mergers & acquisitions experience is the most in demand in both North New Jersey and the Princeton area. In second is venture capital work, which remains a solid practice for several very good New Jersey firms. While the recent pay raises in New York is widening the compensation gap between New Jersey and New York, several of our favorite firms are being highly aggressive and responsive to salary matters when its necessary to get the best talent.

While the real estate market in New York is highly finance oriented, a more 'traditional' real estate background will do well in New Jersey, with commercial leasing being the most frequently sought skill set. Unlike New York, the litigation market in New Jersey is quite healthy. Most litigation opportunities are for a more generalized practice, although there are a good number of employment litigation opportunities as well. Employee benefits is also sought after.

by Carey Bertolet, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Connecticut firms are generally most interested in corporate candidates and litigators. On the corporate side, the needs tend to general corporate background, so the associate with a broad corporate foundation will likely make an easier transition than someone super specialized. The corporate transactional needs tend to be focused more on Hartford than some of the other Connecticut legal markets.

Litigation, however, appears to be an in-demand practice area from Stamford to New Haven to Hartford. Employment litigation in particular is doing quite well.

Some of Connecticut's major firms continue to beef up their intellectual property practices, so prosecutors, litigators, and IP transactional lawyers may each have some opportunities for lateral positions throughout Connecticut.

by Danice Kowalczyk, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

When ranking stellar legal markets on the East Coast, one cannot forget Philadelphia—which boasts one of the busiest and tightest legal markets in the U.S. A certain legal hub, Philly employs countless New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania practitioners yearly granting such practitioners experience in not only the Pennsylvania court system but also the New Jersey court system on account of its close proximity to Princeton.

For spring 2007, Philly has been exceptionally active in litigation, intellectual property and real estate.

Litigation: Carrying on the trend seen at the end of 2006, torts and products liability attorneys remain in high demand. However, general litigators with exceptional credentials are also favored.

Intellectual Property: Recently, patent prosecutors and litigators from all disciplines are being sought. Of course, admission to the patent bar is the usual pre-requisite; however, do not let that deter you from applying. IP practice is a very hot area in Philly right now and should not be overlooked if you are seeking an alternative market with opportunities for advancement and sophisticated patent work.

Real Estate: As per 2006, real estate practitioners with experience in acquisition, disposition and finance remain popular.

Because Philly is a hot bed of legal practice, Philly firms undertake a rather careful screening of candidates. Those with a connection to the Philly area (through school, family, or otherwise, are always desired).

by Stephen Seckler, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

The Boston legal landscape continues to change through mergers and new branch offices but the pace seems to have slowed (for the time being.) Day, Berry & Howard, a regional firm based in Connecticut, completed it's merger with Pitney Hardin of New Jersey. Boston is now home to a branch office of the new firm, Day Pitney. Pepper Hamilton did open a branch office in Boston; but so far, the office has remained very small, suggesting that it may be getting harder for other firms to recruit talent in the Boston market.

The salary wars that began in New York quickly spread to Boston; but most firms opted to choose $145K as the new starting salary. Several New York firms, Skadden Arps, Weil Gotshall and Proskauer Rose, in particular, elected to pay their Boston associates $160K as they have done in their other offices. Fish and Richardson, a large national IP firm based in Boston, also elected to go to the top of the market. So did another national IP firm, Finnegan Henderson. But so far, the rest of the pack is resisting the pressure to follow New York's lead.

Lateral hiring continues to be strong in Boston particularly in corporate. Significant deal flow drives the demand for corporate associates with private equity experience. Attorneys with LBO experience or fund formation experience will find many opportunities available at single office Boston based firms, multi-office Boston based firms and branch offices of national firms. Associates with sophisticated M&A experience and securities experience will also find opportunities at larger firms and at branch offices. Venture capital deals are also happening with greater frequency which is again, fueling a heavy demand for corporate associates with deal experience.

Associates with experience in investment management (40 Act, etc.) also continue to be in demand, particularly at some of the branch offices of national firms.

Litigation departments report that they are busy with commercial litigation of all types. IP related litigation is on the rise and lawyers with patent litigation experience are in greatest demand. Associates with securities litigation experience will also find opportunities in Boston. Nonetheless, litigation remains a weaker area of hiring.

Many firms are still looking for patent attorneys with top credentials. Lawyers with a background in electrical engineering are particularly in demand; but there are also opportunities for lawyers with backgrounds in the life sciences (particularly associates who have Ph.D. credentials) and in chemistry. Software and biotechnology continue to play an important role in the Massachusetts economy and this is 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 finance experience. While the overall number of opportunities for real estate associates is smaller than the opportunities in corporate, this is a good time to be looking if you have 3 to 5 years of experience in real estate finance.

Partners in search of a better platform are finding the marketplace to be very receptive. Corporate partners with over $750,000 in portable billings are in particular demand; but there are many opportunities for partners in other practice areas and some willingness to speak with partners with smaller practices (i.e. where there is good evidence of marketing potential.) This is particularly true at branch offices of national firms that are trying to grow or expand into the Boston market.

Hiring in the bankruptcy, tax and environmental practice areas remains weak in Boston; though firms looking for high caliber tax associates are finding these candidates very difficult to find.

The Mid-Atlantic Region
Washington, DC
by Dan Binstock, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search (202) 955-5585 (x1)

Spring is here. The rush of the New Year hiring frenzy has started to subside, but the market is still very active. If you are contemplating making a move within the next five months, and are able to move quickly, you should seriously consider getting the process started during April or May. After June, lateral hiring slows down considerably as a result of summer vacations and the summer associate programs. If you are a junior litigation candidate contemplating a move within the next 6 to 8 months, you-in particular-will likely benefit from starting the process very quickly. Aside from the slowdown in hiring of junior litigators due to the summer associate program (where lots of the research projects go to the summer associates), lateral junior litigation associates are rarely hired during the fall. This is because firms are welcoming their new first-year litigation associates and the priority is keeping them busy.

Below is an overview of the current Washington, D.C. region legal market, arranged by practice areas in alphabetical order.

As you will see below, we have used the terms Hot, Warm, and Cool to indicate the hiring demand in the area. However, understand that hiring demand alone can be somewhat misleading, since there may be a high demand but also a very large pool of very qualified candidates, which in turn lowers your odds of being able to land a position. Thus, we have also used the terms Large, Medium, and Small to indicate the size of the qualified candidate pool, which gives you an idea of the level of competition for these positions. Therefore, if you are thinking of making a lateral move and the hiring demand is hot in your area but the candidate pool is small, the odds are in your favor.

If you have any questions about your prospects in any of these practice areas, please feel free to contact us directly at 202-955-5585 for a confidential market assessment based on your background.

Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool Size: MEDIUM
This area remains hot for both litigation and merger-related investigations and counseling. There are a few firms that are looking to recruit solely antitrust litigators, but a larger number of firms are looking for lateral candidates who have experience in both antitrust litigation and merger-related investigations and counseling. While there is a high overall demand for strong antitrust candidates, those with experience in HSR (Hart Scott Rodino) filings (and who don't mind working on them) will be in high demand.

Hiring Demand: COOL
Candidate Pool: SMALL
This continues to be a slow area, but if the market slows down (as some are predicting) and interest rates continue to rise, there will be a significant increase in activity in this area.

Hiring Demand: COOL TO WARM
Candidate Pool: SMALL
Even though there are very few active opportunities in this area, if you have relevant experience (such as a background in the construction industry or an architecture degree) and relatively good credentials, you will have several very good firms who will want to speak with you.

Hiring Demand: VERY HOT
Candidate Pool: SMALL
Corporate and finance continue to remain very hot. Due to the fact that the corporate market tanked from 2002 to 2004, there is still a shortage of strong mid-level corporate associates. Firms are anxious to hire in this area, which is illustrated by the high number of searches we have for corporate and finance attorneys in a wide range of areas, such as financial services (structured finance, banking, lending, project finance) and securities ('33, '34, and'40 Acts). The most interesting upswing has been in the area of project finance, where several of our clients are desperately searching for junior to mid-level associates (including those with general transactional experience). If you have foreign language skills, even better.

Are you interested in transitioning from general corporate into structured finance and securitization or '40 Act work? If you have demonstrated interest in this sophisticated and sought-after area as well as a strong pedigree, numerous firms will speak with you.

Lastly, our junior to mid-level candidates with corporate experience from markets outside of D.C. have experienced a very high level of success in the D.C. market. Recently, one of our candidates (from a smaller geographic market) received five offers from corporate departments in very strong D.C. firms.

ERISA/Employee Benefits
Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: SMALL
As always, ERISA and employee benefits are a highly specialized and in-demand area right now with a number of firms seeking associates. If you have relevant experience and good credentials, you will have several very good firms to choose from and little competition from other interviewers.

Employment/Labor Law
Hiring Demand: COOLING
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM
We have continued to notice a bit of a slowdown in lateral hiring in this area in the large firms. Most of the need in the larger firms is employment litigation, not employment counseling, as litigation is generally much more profitable for firms.

Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: SMALL
If you have experience (regulatory or litigation), there are numerous firms looking to hire junior to mid-level associates. Several firms remain open to considering attorneys with corporate or litigation backgrounds who are interested in transitioning into this area. Candidates with prior experience in energy-related fields will have a substantial advantage, even if their grades are not as high as the firm's usual cutoff.

Hiring Demand: WARM/HOT
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM
In the past few months, we have seen a rise in positions. Some firms that were not looking for associates in the second-half of last year have become very busy and are looking to hire several environmental associates (particularly those with environmental litigation experience).

Food and Drug, FDA
Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: SMALL
Again, this constitutes a very in-demand and specialized area. If you are coming from the FDA and have experience with pre-market and post-market regulatory requirements for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, you are likely going to have several offers from which to choose.

Government Contracts
Hiring Demand: WARM
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM/SMALL
This area remains "warm" since there simply are not as many active searches as there were last year at this time.

Health Care
Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: SMALL
This area has remained hot, especially for those with experience in Medicare and Medicaid, fraud and abuse, regulatory and compliance matters, and reimbursement issues.

Insurance Coverage
Hiring Demand: WARM
Candidate Pool: SMALL
As always, there is an ongoing specialized need for litigators with insurance coverage experience or those who are willing to transition into this area from general litigation.

Intellectual Property, Patent Law
Hiring Demand:
For Electrical Engineering/Computer Science: HOT
For Mechanical Engineering: WARM
For Biology/Chemistry: WARM
Candidate Pool:
For Electrical Engineering/Computer Science: SMALL
For Mechanical Engineering: MEDIUM
For Biology/Chemistry: MEDIUM
The state of the market is essentially the same in this area. We are continuing to see a widening gap between the demand for electrical engineering- or computer science-degreed patent attorneys vs. those with degrees in life sciences (biology and chemistry). We are still receiving calls from law firms pleading for electrical engineering- or computer science-degreed patent attorneys, while our biology and chemistry patent attorneys are finding it much more challenging to get interviews. This is an especially difficult market for those without advanced degrees or substantial litigation experience. The above information applies to both patent prosecution and litigation, with one exception: Firms focusing on hiring patent litigators with electrical engineering or computer science degrees are open to considering patent litigators with degrees in mechanical engineering.

Intellectual Property, Trademark and Copyright Law
Hiring Demand: WARM/COOL
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM/SMALL
With respect to trademark attorneys, the number of opportunities has leveled off. Because the trademark field was slow from 2001 to 2004, firms are still having a tougher time finding strong mid-level associates. If you have between two and four years of experience in both trademark prosecution and litigation from a mid-sized or large firm, you will likely have several interviews. If you are interested in exclusively trademark prosecution, keep in mind that trademark prosecution work for U.S. firms appears to be slowing down due to the Madrid Protocol, which makes it easier for foreigners to file trademark applications in the U.S. (which, in turn, reduces the need for U.S. counsel).

For those of you who are interested in practicing exclusively copyright law in a D.C. firm, the market is virtually nonexistent; and you would be better off either focusing on trademark law or moving to a market where this field is more active, such as New York or Los Angeles.

Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: LARGE
Litigation continues to occupy the most positions, but there is also a tremendous candidate pool for litigators in D.C. Thus, firms can afford to be selective and are very selective for these positions. If you check our website, you will see litigation positions in virtually all fields. Moreover, if your litigation practice focuses on a particular field of law or you have experience litigating matters that are based in regulatory issues, you will have an advantage in the D.C. market.

If you are a junior litigation associate and are interested in making a move, you should do so as soon as possible. Once the summer associate program starts, large firms are generally less focused on lateral junior litigation hiring since they have to keep the summer associates busy with projects. And when the Fall starts, the firms are focused on making sure the first-year litigation associates are busy. Thus, the best times to look for lateral litigation positions are during the winter and spring.

Real Estate
Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: SMALL
Second to perhaps only patent lawyers with electrical engineering or computer science backgrounds, real estate attorneys are still in very high demand. Because of this, firms are considerably more flexible regarding grades requirements and are often willing to consider candidates who are interested in making a practice area switch and don't have prior experience but have strong credentials. We are seeing a greater need for candidates with real estate finance experience.

Hiring Demand: HOT
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM
There is a continuing demand for tax attorneys with strong academic credentials who have either transactional or litigation experience. If you are a tax attorney at a large firm, you have probably been receiving calls on a regular basis.

Hiring Demand: WARM
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM
Telecommunications is keeping steady. Almost all of the firms are looking for associates with two to five years of relevant experience (e.g., wireless and common carrier issues, wireline, VOIP, satellite, etc.). Candidates from the FCC and candidates with a mix of transactional and litigation experience are experiencing the most success.

International Trade
Hiring Demand: WARM/COOLING
Candidate Pool: MEDIUM
The lateral market for international trade is continuing to slow. We still have some opportunities, but the need is much less than it was in 2005 and 2006, which is the result of fewer filings at the ITC. To the extent there are lateral hiring needs, they are mostly to replace associates that are leaving as opposed to bringing on associates to hire increased workload.

Partners and Practice Groups
Lastly, we are working on a number of partner-level searches. Partners with significant books of business remain in demand, as they always have been. Partners in all practice areas with at least $1.5 million in portable business will find the firms of their choice. We are also getting very good offers for partners with much less in portables, depending on the practice area. We are working on a number of partner searches, including practice group searches; so if you are interested in confidentially discussing these opportunities, please feel free to contact us at 202-955-5585.

The Southeast
Overall, we continue to see an increase in activity for M&A, Finance, Real Estate, Life Science, and Patent work. However, there is a significant slow down in the litigation arena.

by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Corporate - still hot. We have so many positions ranging from small to mid-sized to large firms for all corporate transactional positions. If you are a class of 2004or older with any experience in M&A, Securities, Capital Markets, or Private Placement work, we can find the right fit for what you are looking for in a firm

Finance - We have several positions for associates with at least 1 year of finance experience. Real Estate Finance, Mortgage-Backed Securities, Bank Lending, & Bond work are all very busy.

IP - IP busy again in Atlanta. We have several patent prosecution position for those with an EE & ME background. We are also seeing an increase in positions in IP litigation (2 - 6 years of experience).

Commercial Real Estate - Firms in Atlanta are still looking for associates with 2 to 5 years of experience in this practice area. Firms are looking for experience with acquisition & disposition of property, leasing, or lending work. This work have slowed down a bit, but we are still have several openings.

Litigation is still slow - We are hoping litigation turns around soon. It seems like the market is flooded with great commercial litigation and product liability candidates and very limited positions. However, we still have opportunities in commercial litigation, just not as many as usual. If you are specialized in construction or reinsurance we have several opportunities for you.

by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Banking, Lending, Structured Finance, Asset Securitization, & Capital Markets - All continue to be the busiest practice areas in this market. In most cases, the associate pay & bonus structure is MUCH MORE than all the other markets in the Southeast, while the cost of living is still less than larger markets. We have a number of positions in all of these areas of practice with top firms. At some firms, the pay is on par with Large NY/Chicago/DC firms.

Real Estate - Continues to be a great practice area in Charlotte. We have many positions in commercial real estate with great firms. You will have a work/life balance and get paid at the top of the market. The real estate market continues to thrive here. As the city continues to develop, we will see more and more positions.

Corporate M&A - We are seeing a steady increase in positions for corporate M&A and Securities associates with at least 1 year of experience. We believe this trend will continue for the next several months.

ERISA/Employee Benefits - We still have several ERISA/Employee Benefits positions with our top clients. They are looking for associates with at least 2 years of the experience.

Tax - Has picked up in the Charlotte market. We have a few positions and expect a few more to open up. If you have a tax background with 2-15 years of experience, we have a few opportunities for you.

by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

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 to grow your practice.

Corporate - Corporate M&A has picked up in the Raleigh market. If you have 2 -5 years' of experience we have several positions available.

Life Science - Partners or associates with a background in this area are encouraged to give us a call. We know several firms who would be interested in continuing to develop this practice.

Employee Benefits/ERISA - This area is very busy right now. We believe it will continue for the next several months. We predict a few tax positions in the near future.

Miami and South Florida
by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Corporate M&A - This continues to be a very busy area. We have several positions with mid-sized and large firms looking for top corporate M&A associates. We expect this trend to continue for the next few months.

Real Estate - Things are finally starting to cool off for real estate associates in South Florida. However, we still have great positions. If you are thinking about a move, you should do it know before it is difficult to find an opportunity. Firms are looking for candidates with acquisition & disposition of property, leasing, and lending work. We have several firms who are also looking for associates with condo/homeowner experience. Our clients are looking for associates with at least 2 years of experience.

Litigation - Things are starting to pick up for litigation associates in South Florida. However, firms are still focused on candidates who already are signed up or a member of the Florida bar.

Trust & Estates - We are seeing a few needs for T&E attorneys with at least 3 years of experience. We expect this trend to continue, especially with so many baby boomers moving to Florida. Our clients prefer attorneys with an LL.M. in tax or estate planning.

Environmental - This area has picked up over the last 6 months. We have a number of needs in this area of law.

Orlando and Tampa
by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Corporate - Corporate is pretty hot in central and north Florida. If you have 2+ years of experience, you should consider a move today.

Real Estate - Is starting to cool off, although we still have positions, just not as many as a year ago. We believe that things will still this way for a while, especially considering the dip in the housing market. Our clients are also looking for attorneys with land use experience.

Litigation - Is starting to pick up in Central Florida. You still must have great experience and good credentials and the Florida Bar.

by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Environmental - We have several environmental opportunities. We believe this area will remain hot for the next several months.

by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Most firms in Nashville are looking for Corporate M&A associates and Commercial Real Estate associates.

South Carolina
by Jenny Van Veen, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

It's typically busy this time of year in all major markets. The South Carolina region is no different. Firms are hiring! Tax, banking and real estate lawyers are in demand. We're also seeing the need for general corporate and some litigation. The legal market continues to grow in the state and there's a need for experienced (3-6 years) attorneys. Partners with portables - come one, come all! Firms are open to developing new practice areas and will welcome your business. Unfortunately, not many are competing in the salary wars at this time, so it is a transition that will be driven by lifestyle - but that's a good reason! There is still a lot of buzz about offices in larger markets making a move to the area. Firms are looking for language skills and experience in prestigious firms, particularly in larger markets. Unfortunately, you still have to take the bar to make a move to SC, no reciprocity here. Without a doubt, the people we move to this area are HAPPY. We've always been excited about the potential for this market and nothing has changed - the next time you are close by, it's worth the time to check it out!

The Southwest
by Suzanne Dupree Howe, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

The Texas legal market continues to be strong, particularly in transactional areas such as corporate and energy. Firms continue to want to see candidates with two to five years of solid law firm experience in these areas. Real Estate continues to be strong in Dallas, but has markedly cooled in Houston. Energy and project finance candidates are particularly in demand in Houston. Litigation continues to be slow in all Texas markets, but for those with Intellectual Property experience, the market is more favorable. The wake of tort reform in Texas has resulted in decidedly fewer litigation positions in the last three years, with minimal recovery as yet.

Corporate attorneys are in heavy demand right now, particularly those with Mergers & Acquisitions experience. The strong economic climate in Texas continues to create a higher than average demand for attorneys with at least one solid year of transactional experience. Corporate attorneys are in even higher demand in the Houston legal market currently, making it a notably ripe time to make that jump for those wishing to make a lateral move.

Real Estate
Real Estate attorneys continue to be sought, especially in Dallas, but they are in much less demand in Houston and other markets throughout the state. Those with finance experience may have an easier time looking to make a transition.

Litigation remains remarkably slow in Texas, due to tort reform. Several small to mid-sized firms have sought attorneys in this area recently, but litigation positions with large firms in Texas are few and far between. Lay-offs and firm closures abound in the toxic tort realm. Even litigation candidates with high grades and top tier law schools may experience frustration and difficulty in making a lateral move. Those with commercial litigation experience may have an easier time, as this is more in demand.

Intellectual Property
Patent prosecution attorneys remain in demand state-wide in Texas. However, these attorneys are in much greater demand in Dallas and Austin, where a great deal of the state's technology companies are based. Particularly attractive to firms are those attorneys with a background in Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics or Computer Science. Intellectual Property Litigation associates are also needed in the Dallas and Austin markets, but the firms are more selective with these candidates. Strong firm experience and a technical background make litigation candidates that much more attractive to a firm when they are conducting their initial candidate evaluation.

As always, partners with a portable book of business are sought at many firms in the major metropolitan markets in Texas.

by Gloria Noh Cannon, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Phoenix remains a steady market for lateral associates, but the competition remains strong. Firms typically look for candidates with outstanding academic credentials and experience at a well-respected law firm. In addition, admission to the Arizona Bar is very important as most firms prefer candidates who have already been admitted or are preparing on taking the upcoming bar exam.

The hottest practice areas in Phoenix are corporate, real estate and litigation. There are also opportunities for attorneys specializing in labor and employment, environmental, health care, intellectual property litigation, patent prosecution, and tax.

Real Estate
As was previously reported, there is a very strong demand for real estate associates at firms of all sizes. In particular, firms are looking for associates with solid law firm experience in commercial real estate matters, including purchase and sale agreements, commercial leasing, development, and real estate finance. Exposure to hospitality matters is preferred at a few firms. Firms still require strong academic credentials, but are less stringent about their requirements for candidates with stellar law firm experience.

There are several firms looking for corporate attorneys with two to six years of solid experience in securities, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters. These top-notch firms require outstanding academic credentials and experience at a firm with a well-respected corporate practice.

There are several openings for litigation associates with at least two years of experience and training at a solid law firm. Excellent academic credentials and membership to the Arizona bar are essential.

Intellectual Property - Litigation/Patent Prosecution
Firms continue to need well-qualified for patent litigators and patent prosecutors with strong technical or scientific backgrounds in electrical, mechanical or chemical engineering, or computer science. In addition, candidates who are already registered with the USPTO (or qualified to take the patent bar) are generally preferred.

by Melanie Francis, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Utah is still a tough market for out-of-state attorneys seeking to make lateral moves. Attorneys seeking positions in Utah are most likely to be successful if they can demonstrate that they have strong reasons for being in the area and are likely to stay for the long haul.

The demand has increased for junior- to mid-level corporate associates in Salt Lake City. The increase is due to positive shifts in mergers and acquisitions that have resulted from a good economic climate.

Real Estate:
There has also been increased demand for real estate attorneys in Salt Lake City. Again, the good economic climate is the reason for the increase in demand. Salt Lake City has seen an increase in real estate development. As such, there is a corresponding need for legal services in the real estate area. Firms are looking for candidates with solid real estate experience.

Utah continues to be a tough market for litigators. Firms have decreased their needs for litigators. As such, we generally find it difficult to place litigators at this time. The reason for this downturn is that more and more clients are mediating and arbitrating their claims rather than going to trial.

Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property practice in Utah remains steady. Patent prosecution attorneys with anywhere from one to six years of experience are in demand, as are associates with technical degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and biotech. Most firms require admittance to the USPTO.

by Melanie Francis, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

The leaves are changing colors here, and the ski season is fast approaching. Colorado is an amazing place to live, and during this time of year, associates in other regions think about moving here. Colorado firms are open to hiring out-of-state attorneys making lateral moves. It is helpful to have a connection to the area, but it is not required. Denver's economy has been doing extremely well recently, and firms have been in a hiring mode. Many of our clients particularly like candidates with New York City large firm experience.

The demand continues to increase for junior- and mid-level corporate attorneys in Denver. The number of lateral corporate positions we have received in this quarter has also increased. One reason for the increase is that there has been a positive shift in mergers and acquisitions, largely a result of the favorable economic climate in Denver. As such, we see high demand for junior- to mid-level corporate associates with anywhere from two to five years of experience.

Real Estate:
The demand continues to increase for junior- to senior-level real estate attorneys in Denver. The number of lateral real estate positions we have received in this quarter continues to go up. The increase is due to a variety of factors, one of which is increased real estate development in Colorado, including hospitality and resort development. There has also been an increase in commercial real estate leasing. Our clients seek real estate associates and partners who have had exposure to leasing, lending, construction, acquisitions and dispositions, and finance.

We are still seeing low demand for litigation associates. This has largely been attributed to the fact that clients are leaning more and more toward mediation and arbitration and less toward more traditional forms of litigation. At this time, only a couple of Denver firms are looking for litigation associates. The few firms seeking litigation associates require federal or state supreme court clerkship experience, as well as excellent litigation skills, including deposition, extensive motion practice, and first/second chair trial expertise. Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, as well as top-notch academics, are absolutely necessary.

Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property practice in Denver remains steady. Patent prosecution attorneys with anywhere from one to eight years of experience are in demand at both general practice firms and intellectual property boutiques; firms and boutiques are seeking associates with technical degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and biotech.

Energy and Environmental:
There is also an increased demand for energy and environmental attorneys. This is an interesting dynamic for these types of lawyers, as they are finding there are more opportunities in a very narrow practice area. These positions usually require Clean Water Act and NEPA experience. Most of these positions have interesting mixes of both litigation and transactional environmental work. We are also seeing more positions related to the oil and gas industry. Firms are obtaining work from oil and gas companies in Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming, so they are looking for attorneys with oil and gas experience.

Las Vegas
by Veronica Pawlowski, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Once viewed as just a fun place to spend a long weekend, the residential and business community of Las Vegas beyond "The Strip" has continued to flourish. With respect to the legal community, past State of the Market reports have predicted that firms based in other parts of the country would soon be moving to Las Vegas. In this quarter, that became a reality. Thus, if growth continues as it has, more law firms are expected to expand into the Las Vegas market. Equally important is the fact that attorneys who have moved to the Las Vegas community from other parts of the country have been pleased with the move and are enjoying the opportunity to be an integral part of such a rapidly growing legal community.

While the demand for litigators remains strong, one noticeable difference this quarter is that the competition for litigation positions is incredibly tight. Thus, candidates considering a move within this practice area should present top-notch resumes that set forth their experience in a detailed, yet succinct manner. While setting oneself apart from the competition is essential, it is equally important to clearly set forth the day-to-day responsibilities that are the foundation of every litigator's skill set. Thus, in addition to having strong academic and professional qualifications, proper presentation of those qualifications to the prospective employer can make a huge difference for a job-hunting litigation.

Real Estate/Finance
Continuing on into this quarter, Las Vegas remains a great market for real estate attorneys with transactional experience that includes purchase and sale transactions, commercial leasing, title and survey review, and land development. In addition to the skilled "dirt" lawyer, this quarter we have seen a rising need for attorneys who have sophisticated real estate finance experience. Within this particular practice area, opportunities exist for attorneys at all levels.

As a sub-group of real estate, many firms are starting to develop practices devoted to Homeowners' Association Law. This particular practice area tends to be a blend between general corporate governance, real estate, and litigation work. This trend is in its very early stages however we expect that the next year or so will bring plenty of opportunities for attorneys with this type of experience.

Las Vegas is a great market for transactional attorneys because many firms have very broad transactional practices that include corporate work, such as securities and M&A, as well as general business and finance work. It is also worth noting that for many law firms; even their corporate work is tied into their real estate-based clients. Thus, an attorney searching for the opportunity to engage in a broad transactional practice should have great success in finding such opportunities in Las Vegas.

It seems natural that the Las Vegas market would be abundant with opportunities for attorneys who have gaming experience. Strangely, this has not been so in the past. In 2007, however, we've received numerous calls from law firms requesting attorneys who have gaming experience. In some instances, this simply means the firm is looking for attorneys who have experience representing clients in the gaming and casino industries. In other instances, this has meant a law firm is searching for an intellectual property attorney who has experience litigating and/or prosecuting gaming patents. In either case, this is an early trend that we expect to see more of in the coming months.

Overall, the Las Vegas market remains a very promising and busy market for lateral candidates. And, because of the continuing growth, there are opportunities in just about every practice area for candidates who possess strong professional and academic qualifications. For candidates who are already practicing in Las Vegas, new firms are contributing toward an active job market. For candidates interested in relocating to Las Vegas, the constant growth is a plus as well. As always, membership in the Nevada State Bar is always preferred but is often flexible for candidates with stellar credentials.

The Midwest

First quarter 2007 lateral hiring in Midwest law firms started out with a bang and continues to be encouraging, despite the overall feeling that the Fed will soon be cutting interest rates as the slump in housing brings a level of tentative reserve on the part of investors in the marketplace. However, there is a good chance the economy will absorb the downturn in the home market and that, as a result, the economy will remain strong throughout 2007. At the writing of this report, we have just experienced the best two-day gain in the stock market since August 2007.

We are also encouraged by the level of merger activity and growth in Chicago firms, and particularly the number of new firms entering the Chicago market and others here which have merged with out-of-state players. This time last year we reported that firms were bumping entry level salaries to $135,000. This past quarter, firms initiated yet another bump to $145,000, with some firms going to $160,000.

We reiterate our sentiments from last quarter - the economy is performing very well, and we anticipate continued expansion and hiring in law firms across the Midwest region.

by Jamie Bailey, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

General Corporate; Private Equity; Finance; Mergers and Acquisitions; Securities; Banking
Firms continue to call us with significant requests for attorneys with anywhere from 2-8 years of experience in key transactional areas. The most significant needs in Chicago are for attorneys with finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities, banking, and private equity exposure. We also see a need for attorneys with fairly specialized experience in such areas as fund formation, investment management services (including the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Securities Act of 1933), hedge fund transactions and secured lending and asset securitization transactions. We have a few firms seeking specific experience in technology, software licensing and outsourcing transactions.

Intellectual Property and Information Technology — Litigation and Patent Prosecution; Litigation Patent; Technology; Outsourcing; Compliance/Regulatory; Trademark and Licensing
We have seen a marked increase over the past month in the need for highly qualified associates with 2-6 years of experience in technology, outsourcing and compliance/regulatory transactions, particularly those relating to life science and data/content transactions. Firms are also seeking associates with exposure to information technology contracts, software development agreements, and software distribution agreements.

On the intellectual property litigation side, firms are looking at the 2-5 year level and prefer motion practice, deposition experience and in some cases trial experience. We also have a need for trademark litigators at this level.

Patent prosecutors with anywhere from 2-7 years of experience and technical degrees in any one of the following areas should definitely get in touch with us: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemical engineering, immunology, pharmacology, organic chemistry. Ph.D.'s are highly sought after and USPTO is preferred.

Real Estate — Finance; Leasing; Acquisitions and Dispositions
We continue to see a need in the top commercial real estate departments in the City. Firms are particularly interested in seeing candidates with between 2-5 years of experience in finance, acquisitions and dispositions, and retail and industrial leasing matters.

As we reported last quarter, litigation remains steady. Not faced with overwhelming demand, firms are being particularly selective. We have some really great opportunities at top tier general practice firms, as well as sophisticated litigation boutiques.

Labor & Employment — IL Bar generally required
Labor and employment continues to be strong in Chicago, perhaps because of the anticipated surge in wage and hour cases and because the economy, at least for now, continues to be strong and companies are still in hiring mode. Attorneys with 2-5 years of experience are in demand. Generally, Chicago firms like to see the Illinois Bar.

Health Care - Finance; Compliance; Mergers and Acquisitions; Joint Ventures
We have seen an increased need over the past few months for junior to mid-level associates with 2-5 years of experience in health care transactions. Specifically, firms are seeking out those with exposure to finance, mergers and acquisitions, and joint venture experience. We have also been asked by top tier firms to send them attorneys who have particular experience in fraud and abuse, antitrust, HIPPA, managed care organizations and health information technology initiatives. Advanced degrees in health care are highly valued and Illinois Bar admission is preferred.

Employee Benefits - Executive Compensation, Qualified Plans, Welfare Plans
Although not an area in which we see significant need, since attorneys with specialization in this area are so difficult to find, we thought the few openings we have are worth mentioning. Not surprising is the fact that the few select firms which are looking have highly regarded labor and employment practices. If you are an attorney with 4-5 years of experience in employee benefits and have gained exposure to executive compensation, welfare and qualified plans, get in touch with us for great opportunities at top firms!

Tax - Transactional; Corporate and International
Because of the strong flow of corporate work and the need for experienced tax practitioners to service the tax aspects of those transactions, Chicago firms are seeking tax associates at the 2-6 year level with exposure to corporate and international tax transactions, including reorganizations and joint ventures. We also have openings for tax attorneys with specialization in public finance tax.

Partners with Portable Business
We are interested in speaking with partners with significant portable business in any of the following areas: employee benefits and executive compensation, real estate finance, corporate transactions, products liability, private equity, labor and employment, healthcare, patent prosecution, intellectual property litigation, and trusts and estates. Typically, Chicago firms are looking for a minimum of $1 million in portable business, but some smaller and mid-sized firms will consider books starting at $500,000.

by Jamie Bailey, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Intellectual Property - Trademark and Copyright
Known for its firms with excellent intellectual property practices, Minneapolis continues to provide significant opportunities for attorneys with patent prosecution and litigation skills, as well as exposure to trademark and copyright matters. Associates with 2-5 years of experience in patent prosecution and litigation matters with degrees in biotechnology, biochemistry, or chemical engineering and patent prosecutors with electrical or computer science degrees should get in touch with our Chicago office to discuss great opportunities at top firms in Minneapolis.

In addition to the strong need in intellectual property practices in Minneapolis firms, we are receiving calls for real estate associates with 2+ years of experience in development, acquisition and sales and leasing transactions.

Corporate - Mergers and Acquisitions; Securities; Cross-border Transactions
We've seen a slight decline in the need for transactional associates in Minneapolis to service finance, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate transactions. However, we have a few select openings at firms with thriving practices for associates with 2-5 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, securities, general corporate transactions and cross-border transactional exposure.

by Jamie Bailey, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Detroit - Intellectual Property
Michigan firms continue to be adversely affected by the downturn in the economy due to the effects of the auto industry lay offs. However, there are definitely firms still looking to supplement their ranks with attorneys in particular practice areas. Patent prosecution practices are definitely in hiring mode and patent prosecutors with 2-5 years of experience in counseling and/or opinion work and possessing electrical or mechanical engineering degrees. USPTO is required in most cases. We also have senior associate/junior partner positions for patent prosecutors with opinion experience in biotechnology, biomedical or life sciences.

Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Troy, and Birmingham - Intellectual Property; Real Estate
Mirroring Detroit, firms with offices in other outlying cities have great opportunities in their intellectual property practices. In particular, we are seeing a strong need for associates with anywhere from 2-5 years of experience in patent prosecution in the biotechnology biomedical, chemistry or life sciences areas. We would also like to speak to associates with 1-2 years of combined experience in both patent litigation and prosecution matters and with technical degrees in electrical engineering or physics. We would also be interested in speaking with real estate attorneys who have 2-5 years of experience in acquisitions, finance, development and leasing transactions.

Partners with Business
We are interested in speaking with partners practicing in Michigan who are seeking opportunities in Detroit or the surrounding legal markets, including Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids. In particular, we would like to speak with partners with a minimum of $300,000 in portable business in corporate transactional, real estate (acquisitions and development), private equity, securities and banking, patent or labor and employment matters. We would also be interested in speaking with business transactional attorneys with international/cross-border exposure.

by Jamie Bailey, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Milwaukee and Madison - Intellectual Property; Corporate and Securities; Real Estate; Labor and Employment; Employee Benefits; Trusts and Estates:
Both Milwaukee and Madison present unique opportunities for associates with anywhere from 2-8 years of experience in key practice areas, including corporate and securities real estate transactional, labor and employment, employee benefits, and trusts and estates. Wisconsin is the hotbed for intellectual property work and intellectual property attorneys with patent prosecution and/or patent litigation experience and trademark and copyright matters are highly sought after by prominent Wisconsin firms. Firms are particularly interested in speaking with attorneys with technical degrees in electrical engineering or mechanical engineering.

Partners with Portable Business
Wisconsin firms are actively seeking partners with portable business in a variety of areas, including ERISA, trusts and estates, healthcare, employment relations, patent litigation, and real estate land and resources.

by Jamie Bailey, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Indianapolis firms continue to seek corporate finance, venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions attorneys at the 2-4 year level, real estate and land use attorneys at the 2-5 year level, and intellectual property attorneys with 3-5 years of experience who possess electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering or chemistry backgrounds. Those with exposure to business method patents will be given top consideration. Litigators with products liability experience and 2-5 years of experience and construction and/or environmental litigators with 2-5 years of experience should definitely contact us.

by Danice Kowalczyk, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

As a rule of thumb, the busiest time of the year to look for a job is January through May which tends to be an extremely active hiring season for both U.S. and European law firms. It is important to note, however, that as quickly as it begins, such hiring season rapidly comes to a close. When the calendar turns to May, firms will begin preparing for their summer associate classes and turn their attention away from lateral hiring. Thus, if you are looking to move, you should endeavor to get yourself on the playing field quickly.


There are certain things which do not change with regard to London-EVER-and they are as follows: (i) You should currently be working (or recently worked) for a U.S. Wall Street or Magic Circle firm; (ii) you should possess an exemplary academic history from a notable U.S. or international educational institution; and (iii) you should possess a tangible connection to London (e.g., through family, past work history, past study history, practice flow) in some way. Of equal importance, is bar admission. Some firms look for U.S. J.D.s; others look for UK-qualified practitioners. As has been seen over the past six months, dual qualified candidates are the most marketable. Hence, if you aren't admitted in England and Wales yet, and you wish to work in London, go take the bar. Institutions in the U.S. on both the East and West Coasts offer programs designed to fulfill such goal.

Currently, London practices are busy hiring in the following areas:

The most marketable practice in which to possess experience if you are interested in London is corporate practice. Traditionally, corporate finance and M&A lawyers do best as firms perceive such candidates as possessing the tools necessary to easily transition into any corporate practice area. Not surprisingly, then, both corporate finance and M&A remains a hot hiring area for spring 2007. On the finance side, we are seeing requests for candidates with experience in the following sub-areas: acquisition finance; ship, rail and aircraft finance; trade and structured finance; and general corporate finance. On the M&A side, straight M&A is ideal with both private company and public company experience being considered. Aside from the above areas, capital markets has been very active this past spring in addition to searches for associates with hedge fund experience. In particular, UK firms have been seeking associates with experience in the areas of hedge fund formation, promotion and regulation of hedge funds. Those with fund raising experience as well as venture capital experience have also been sought under the private equity heading.

Tax also remains active for spring 2007. Knowledge of the following areas is useful: share options, stamp duty, SDLT, SDRT, VAT, and offshore funds.

Intellectual Property Transactional:
Like New York, London is very enamored of IP transactional associates, particularly those with experience in outsourcing and technology. Most often such practices are looking for folks with deal support experience (due diligence, review of SPAs, APAs, reps and warranties, etc.) and those with stand-alone client experience (technology licensing, outsourcing, hyperlinking, datasharing, and similar agreements).

It is rare that we see a large number of litigation openings in London. This past spring, however, we did see a few firms looking for international arbitration associates. This is extremely rare as the international arbitration practices in London are very often considered "closed" to outsiders, and it usually takes a "who do you know" type of connection to gain access.


The typical checkpoints for a lateral move to Paris are: (i) fluency in the French language; (ii) a U.S. LL.M. or MBA from a top U.S. educational institutional (and top grades) as well as a French legal degree; and (iii) experience from a top U.S. Wall Street firm. (Note: It is immensely important that any candidates applying for employment in Paris are fluent in French (both reading and writing as well as business/legalese). A comfort level in conversational French is not enough.

As with other areas within Europe, corporate candidate are the most marketable - with capital markets/securities and M&A associates faring quite well. As noted above in London, corporate finance candidates remain popular where they possess shipping or asset finance experience.


Those cities in Germany which maintain the most active legal hubs are Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, and Munich. In terms of beauty and culture (and beer), Düsseldorf and Munich reign supreme; in terms of corporate/legal activity, Frankfurt claims the prize.

Once you determine your city of choice, candidates need to consider the "pre-requisites" for hiring. Germany, like all other international markets, has demands relative to those seeking to secure a legal position on its shores, namely: (1) fluency in the German language (particularly, understanding the nuances in business and/or legal terms) and (2) a strong corporate background from a top U.S., German or International firm. In order to secure your success in Germany, you need to be comfortable handling all manner of international, EU and German legal matters with ease.

Spring 2007 finds German firms focusing on corporate practitioners in the following areas: international finance, capital markets, M&A, private equity, and corporate restructuring.

We are also seeing a few firms looking for associates with German legal degrees under their belts. This is unusual, as Germany is typically fairly open-minded when it comes to candidate selection as they know they are competing with London and Paris for candidates. Hence, some German firms' recent focus on German-qualified candidates is surprising. Even more surprising is their dual request for UK-qualified folks. The lesson we can take away from this is that the European marketplace is a very small world of cross-border deal flow. Thus, the most marketable candidates will be those that cross-over easily and fluidly based on language skills, admissions and experience base.

Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Singapore
by Danice Kowalczyk, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

If you wish to work in Asia (Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and/or Singapore), you must possess the following attributes: (i) you must have experience from a U.S. Wall Street or Magic Circle firm; (ii) you must have a corporate background; (iii) you must possess stellar academics from a recognizable U.S. or Asia institution; and (iv) you must be fluent in English and Mandarin (and, very often, Cantonese). If you have extensive work experience in the Asia region or significant work experience in the U.S. on cross-border matters involving Asia, that is also a plus. In terms of language skills, Mandarin is the most sought after talent; however, Asia firms are also interested in speaking with those who are fluent or native in Cantonese, Japanese or Korean.

Hong Kong remains the most active hirer of U.S. candidates, with Shanghai gaining ground on Beijing for second runner up. All of the above areas (as well as Singapore) focus on corporate candidates with extensive cross-border practice.

For spring 2007, candidates with experience in M&A, capital markets, private equity, joint ventures or project finance are the most sought after.

About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog,, and, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

AGREE/DISAGREE? SHARE COMMENTS ANONYMOUSLY! We Want to Hear Your Thoughts! Tell Us What You Think!!

Related Articles

We've changed thousands of lives over the past 20 years, and yours could be next.

When you use BCG Attorney Search you will get an unfair advantage because you will use the best legal placement company in the world for finding permanent law firm positions.