1. Southern California
2. Northern California
3. The Northwest
4. The Northeast
5. Washington DC Metro Region
6. The Southeast
7. The Southwest
8. The Midwest
9. International

State of the Market - 2004 Spring
 
Southern California

Downtown Los Angeles

by Lisa Orlandi, Esq.

The market in Los Angeles is hot, hot, hot. We are happy to report that firms' hiring needs have really picked up. In particular, real estate is still one of the hottest areas of law. If you have a true interest in real estate law and have some experience in the field, there are opportunities in LA for you. The need is so great that firms will consider attorneys relocating to LA that are not admitted to practice in California yet. Current openings for real estate are for both transactional and litigation jobs. Attorneys with sophisticated real estate finance experience are especially desirable. There are opportunities with large national firms and boutique practices.

Firms are currently hiring corporate associates to fill their corporate needs. These jobs are typically with large national firms and are looking for junior to mid-level associates with solid corporate experience and strong academics. The jobs are varied and include experience with securities, finance, banking, M&A, and debt offerings.

Litigation remains one of the strongest areas in LA. There are numerous opportunities for experienced litigators in the areas of complex commercial and business litigation. Jobs are available at all experience levels. The firms hiring litigators range from national firms to smaller boutique firms.

Another hot area is labor & employment. Firms are hiring attorneys that have strong L&E skills. The needs are typically 2-4 years of experience, but there are opportunities for stellar L&E attorneys of all year levels.

Associates with at least two years of solid environmental experience and excellent academics will have their pick of jobs. There are multiple opportunities for well-credentialed and experienced environmental attorneys.

The IP field is not as hot in LA as in other areas. However, there are still many opportunities for experienced IP litigators and patent attorneys. This is especially true of attorneys with a technical background and an EE or CS degree.

Other areas where there are current needs include bankruptcy, ERISA, health care, tax, reinsurance litigation, construction litigation, and trusts & estates.

 
West Los Angeles

by Karen Kupetz, Esq.

West Los Angeles firms are experiencing boom times again. Transactional practices at many major firms on the Westside are thriving like never before. These firms are looking for top corporate attorneys to do the big deals coming their way. We are hearing many stories of corporate attorneys boosting their billables from 100 hours per month to 300 hours per month. The hottest areas are banking, finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Candidates who are practicing in New York and want to relocate to Los Angeles are in highest demand. These firms do not require the California Bar. They are more interested in the level of sophistication of your practice. Demand is so high that one firm has asked us to help them find more than a dozen superstar transactional attorneys at all levels of practice, including senior associates and junior partners with no book of business! If you are a rising star at your firm and are looking for a dynamic, sophisticated practice, this may be the right opportunity for you.

Litigation also remains consistently strong. Attorneys with 1-5 years of big firm experience and a degree from a top tier law school remain the most marketable. Many firms have a strong preference for the California Bar, but it is generally not required, particularly if you have top-notch academic credentials and big law firm experience. If you have experience in securities, construction or intellectual property litigation, you are in high demand.

Real Estate continues to be a hot practice area as well. There are excellent opportunities for real estate attorneys at all experience levels. The Westside is home to some prestigious real estate niche firms that specialize in leasing, purchase and sale, and development transactions. Large law firms have a serious need for associates with experience representing lenders in real estate finance transactions. On the real estate litigation side, we have been contacted by several firms looking for associates and partners with land use experience.

 
Orange County

by Jennifer McKee, Esq.

The Orange County market is exceptionally strong right now. Opportunities exist across the board for stellar candidates, in a variety of practice areas. Interestingly, firms with whom we work in Orange County have greater needs for junior associates than do their counterparts in Los Angeles and San Diego. Litigation and real estate remain strong, and corporate work has picked up noticeably. Intellectual property attorneys with technical backgrounds-particularly degrees in electrical engineering-also are in demand.

While opportunities are fairly plentiful, competition remains stiff. Candidates need outstanding academic credentials and strong law firm experience to make the cut. Moreover, candidates applying for corporate positions should recognize that there are numerous highly qualified corporate attorneys who have been waiting for the market to turn around. Therefore, corporate candidates are advised to have a knowledgeable contact keep an eye on the market for them, so that they can jump on new positions as soon as they open.

 
San Diego

by Claudia Spielman, Esq.

San Diego has historically been a highly competitive market. People flock to the area for its year-round perfect weather - never too hot and never too cold, the beaches are among the best in the world, and the real estate market is more affordable than other parts of California. Many professionals move here and develop the "surfer lifestyle;" in fact, I know a number of attorneys who surf before going to work. Although San Diego is far from a cultural Mecca, the laid-back lifestyle can be a breath of fresh air. There are a number of top firms with San Diego outposts, making it a truly attractive location. If you are serious about moving to this area, it surely would be in your best interest to become a member of the California Bar.

The hottest practice areas are corporate, litigation and intellectual property litigation and prosecution.

Corporate law has come back in full force. We have a seen a continuous need in the last few months for corporate attorneys with 2-4 and 4-8 years of experience in general corporate, mergers & acquisitions, securities, venture capital, and emerging companies. Candidates with broad-based corporate experience will fit in well here. Unlike New York or Los Angeles, San Diego is not the hot spot for major deals and attorneys with less specialized practices will feel quite comfortable here.

Litigation is a strong practice area here. All areas of litigation are hot: general commercial, insurance defense, securities. Candidates at all levels can find a home here. Candidates with 1-5 years and partners with a book of business are always in demand.

Intellectual property litigation is a thriving practice area. Candidates with computer science and electrical engineering backgrounds are especially in demand.

Patent prosecution is always a strong practice area in San Diego. This area is an outpost for top biotech companies. Candidates with a background in biology, chemistry and biochemistry are needed. Candidates with electrical engineering or computer science degrees are equally in demand. Candidates at all levels should consider San Diego.

Real estate is a sought-after practice area throughout California; however, it is not as hot in San Diego. There are, however, a handful of firms seeking mid-level candidates.

Tax and executive compensation appear to have started to make a comeback since 2001. Candidates with 2-5 years of experience and partners with books of business are in demand.

Labor and employment candidates are less in demand; however, there are several firms always on the look out for top candidates. California Bar membership is essential.

Bankruptcy has slowed down a bit (as is usually the case when corporate law is a strong practice area), but there are a few firms on the lookout for exceptional candidates.

Healthcare and public law are not typically strong practice areas; however, there is a always a steady need of talent in these areas.

 
Northern California

San Francisco

by Eamonn Markham, Esq.

The big news in beautiful sunny San Francisco - where the draw of playing outdoors comes second only to the high quality of the work available here - is that the legal market has regained its footing like a drunken boxer. Although some attorneys have seen a robust market, it is time for all of you transactional attorneys to dust off your resumes and start thinking about your career instead of praying that you will have a new job. San Francisco is enjoying Spring and the sudden surge in demands for all kinds of attorneys is like the heavenly scent of apple blossoms in the Spring after this multi-quarter recession.

Lateral placement opportunities are budding everywhere, and it's not just transaction attorneys who are in demand, litigation associates are also needed as the improving economy removes transaction attorneys from assisting with non transaction tasks.

However, firms still have the ability to be picky, and hiring decisions are often taking a while because of robust competition. Working with a recruiter who is able to give you strategic guidance and help "get you noticed" is one of the best ways to land the job that you want.

Transaction Attorneys

There is significant interest in transaction attorneys of all levels as firms that have decreased the size of certain classes now have to ramp up for the steady improvement in the market. Within the past three weeks I have spoken to partners who are engaged in multiple initial public offerings, have a large pipeline of M&A deals, and have plenty of securities work and general corporate transactions. I was recently approached by a partner who was looking for an attorney with venture capital experience. Attorneys of all levels of seniority are interviewing at a wide spectrum of law firms.

However, some firms remain picky while others are panicky. One partner at a major firm in the valley recently went on record as saying that there wasn't a midlevel or junior associate worth their salt in the Bay Area and many Bay Area firms will consider attorneys with excellent New York deal experience. A surprising source of opportunity arises from attorneys leaving their current firm because they are dissatisfied with how their management treated them and their peers.

With all of this movement, we anticipate that there will continue to be a robust legal market well into Fall. If you've been waiting for the market to improve, now is the time to contact us and move -- let us help you develop a suitable strategy.

One area that has recently jumped from obscurity is "soft IP" - licensing, trademark and copyright attorneys - who are suddenly in demand.

Litigation

Litigation continues to be very busy in terms of the volume of opportunities in the Bay Area. We're finding that our clients are interested in junior and midlevel litigators. As usual most firms seek strong academics, a clerkship, and big firm experience, however, we're seeing those standards relax slightly. Many firms are also looking for seasoned litigators, with or without a book of business. General commercial litigators are in highest demand.

In the niche IP litigation market, it will be your technical degree that determines your prospects. Many of our clients want us to find them EE, CompSci and Biotech associates. Grade requirements are more relaxed for these positions, provided that you have other qualifications. Excellent experience at a firm will also get you through the door even if you don't have the technical background.

The employment litigation market has slowed somewhat, but there are still opportunities available for candidates.

Patent Prosecution

The market for patent prosecutors has improved as the improved economy means that there are higher demands on technology. As the economy picks up, we expect that this area will become very robust at the end of the summer. Since intellectual property plays such a vital role in the economy, this practice area has excellent long term prospects, and solid medium term prospects.

Real Estate

Bona fide real estate attorneys are in such short supply that firms are interested in chatting with attorneys from a variety of backgrounds. Many of the real estate positions are transactional, but land use is one area that is perennially available. Real estate in general remains moderate, but there is movement and positions are available.


 
Silicon Valley

by James Fant

While there are allegations that the national economic recovery is a "jobless" one, the same cannot be said of Silicon Valley's recovery. In fact, this is probably the best climate to land a lateral position in several years. While in recent quarters, job opportunities abounded for litigators, now transactional job opportunities are also blooming like proverbial May flowers.

One of the most unusual features of the recovery to date has been the unprecedented willingness of firms of the first rank to consider even very junior lateral candidates. Evidently, last year's summer classes were too small at a number of large firms, and as a result, they are looking to hire talent away sooner than ever before. Work has picked up faster than anyone dared hope in a broad variety of practice areas, and that has created a crunch that may represent an attractive opportunity for you. For instance, a number of 2003 class year associates have been hired as laterals. Although this trend has abated somewhat, there is clearly a continuing hunger for more laterals in nearly every practice area, as my previous forecast ("strong signs of incipient recovery," "Bay Area bounce," "this year will be far stronger than anyone expects") had indicated, a view that is now vindicated.

One note of caution: the summer is nearly upon us. Summer months are traditionally languid, in more than one sense. If you are considering a lateral move, it is important to get the process rolling before all the summer associates arrive and partners take off on extended holidays in July and August. These events tend to put a damper on things, so unless you want to wait until Autumn, and are then tempted to wait around for next year's bonus, now is the time to act. Legal job opportunities cleave to three trends, which are rarely in perfect alignment: the law firm hiring calendar, the health of the overall economy (and therefore of clients' willingness to spend), and the microeconomics of the various practices at any given firm. With at least two of these stars currently in line, it is a propitious time to consider a lateral move.

Corporate

The most astonishing turnaround has been in corporate law. If you are a young corporate attorney, chances are that you fall into one of three parts: you survived the recent meltdown; you did not; you survived but your opinion of your own firm did not.

This third category is a hangover from the market fallout, and it has created a potentially explosive situation in terms of the sheer number of folks waiting for just the right opportunity to leave their present firm. Many corporate associates, after watching their friends laid off, the promise of a stable career seemingly forever sundered, and "star" senior associates "unfairly" denied elevation to partnership, have been stung into action, or contemplated action. The perceived disloyalty of certain firms to their associates is now being repaid in spades by associates, many of whom were quietly waiting for the tables to turn once again. They now have. Prediction: expect unprecedented associate turnover in the year ahead. Result: if you join a firm that has experienced turnover, you could paradoxically gain, since the way up is comparatively clearer.

Besides the burgeoning economic recovery, there has been another tectonic shift that has created opportunities for stellar corporate attorneys: the invasion of leading New York firms, the subject of a separate article. While this invasion has been going on for some time - and it is entering a consolidation phase for a number of the firms, having won initial client coups already - the fact is that some of these practices have developed from mere satellite operations into fully operational death stars (with apologies to George Lucas).

In previous years, some associates were wary about joining leading New York firms' Bay Area outposts for two reasons - uncertain partnership politics, and uncertain work flow from partners on the other side of the Continental Divide. For instance, securities attorneys were concerned that the sexy work would continue to be done in New York, and they would be left with table scraps. Yet the truth is that a number of these firms have been able to eat what they kill locally, and it is becoming increasingly clear that they are a permanent force to be reckoned with. Prediction: New York firms will go from strength to strength in the Bay Area.

Real Estate

As noted in previous market reports, there is a chronic deficit of qualified real estate attorneys on the Peninsula (and in the city). With one or two exceptions (Miami, New York), the Bay Area is one of the hottest markets nationally for real estate attorneys to build their careers. This is also true at the partner level. In fact, a number of excellent firms have been willing to relax their economic criteria (read: the size of your book) for partnership consideration in this practice area, despite the unprecedented pressure on firms to shore up their numbers for the annual rankings. The reason is that this is a strategic area, and nowhere is the old real estate saw that no one is "making any more [land] of it" true than in the Bay Area, where land is at a premium, bounded by water on three sides, and limited by draconian zoning laws.

Litigation

The inverse cyclicality of litigation and corporate work has not had undue impact on the market for litigators. In plain English, there are plenty of opportunities for litigators of all stripes in Silicon Valley. There were last year, there are this year, and there will be next year. It does not particularly matter what practice area you are in: securities, IP, employment, insurance coverage, real estate, general commercial. The bottom line is that you are wanted, particularly if you have big firm experience and are from a top law school.

Litigation is not only a recession-proof practice area; it also offers a dizzying array of firms in which you can practice it, with disparate billing requirements, firm cultures, and, of course, case work. Even relatively small firms can have top shelf clientele and exceptionally sophisticated practices. The trend towards general practice firms gobbling up clients (and entire firms) has not been nearly as pronounced in litigation as it has with corporate work, with some exceptions (such as IP).

Patent Law

Patent practices are nearly in full swing again. It's not as hectic as during the salad days, but relatively speaking, good times are here again. Given that much of the Bay Area's economic future is dependent on the monetization of intellectual capital, there was never any doubt this area would recover - it was just a question of when.

Well, that time is now. There are numerous opportunities for patent litigators, patent prosecutors, and patent counselors - or even trifectas (that wonderful rarity), in virtually ever art. After the mass extinction of startups during the lean years (2000-2003), venture capitalists are busy again and so the companies they fund are busily disbursing funds. Biotech firms (of all sizes) are another driver of this growth.

An additional factor heating up this market has been the large number of elite firms that have made IP litigation a centerpiece of their West Coast expansion strategy. Chances are that there's a firm, and a practice, that offers just the mix you want. Call today and we will discuss those opportunities with you.

 
The Northwest

Seattle

by Claudia Spielman, Esq.

The beloved city of Seattle is slowly making a comeback. The city was hit hard in the bad economy and is slowly recovering. Candidates who are already in Seattle and are already members of the Washington Bar (or who can waive into it) are at a tremendous advantage. The market is still very competitive as Seattle offers top restaurants, nightlife, culture, a friendly environment, and relatively affordable housing while also being a beautiful city. Litigation, patent prosecution and real estate are Seattle's busiest practice areas.

Litigation is Seattle's strongest practice area, with a particular emphasis on products liability and general commercial litigation. Candidates at all levels who possess outstanding academic and professional credentials will likely get multiple interviews, if not offers. There is a strong preference for candidates who were law clerks for the Washington State Supreme Court, or for the Federal District or Circuit Courts. Partner level candidates with a book of business (even a small one) will be looked at closely.

Patent prosecution, next to commercial litigation, is Seattle's strong practice area. Many national and international IP boutiques have offices in Seattle and are interested in adding to their prosecution practice. Candidates with electrical engineering, computer science, math and physics backgrounds are most marketable, but there are a couple of positions out there for candidates with biology, biochemistry, and chemistry degrees. Candidates with 2-5 years of prosecution experience will likely get multiple offers.

Real estate is just as busy as patent prosecution. Firms are desperately seeking candidates at all levels with experience in commercial lending, real estate purchase and sales, commercial leasing and/or project development. Real estate partner-level candidates with even small books of business are highly sought after.

Corporate is very slowly becoming a sought-after practice area. Candidates with 2-4 and 4-7 years of experience in M&A, securities, and/or project finance with excellent academic and professional credentials are likely to get several interviews.

Labor & employment attorneys with 3-6 years of experience and membership to the Washington Bar (or the ability to waive into it) are wanted at several firms in Seattle. A number of firms are also on the lookout for senior associates and partner-level candidates with books of business (even small ones).

Trademark/copyright/licensing ("soft IP") are still not highly marketable practice areas, but candidates with outstanding academic and professional credentials and 3 years of experience in the field are likely to get interviews. Additionally, partner-level candidates with small books of business are encouraged to apply here.

Intellectual property litigation is not a very hot practice area, unlike California. If you are an IP litigator with some prosecution experience and really want to move to Seattle, you should market yourself as a prosecutor only.

Construction litigation is a relatively good practice area. Candidates with 3-6 years of experience are wanted.

Health care, tax, executive compensation/employee benefits and trusts & estates are not very strong practice areas, although firms are always on the lookout for outstanding candidates with 3-5 years of experience. Of course, partners with books of business (even small ones) will likely get interviews.

Bankruptcy, energy, environmental are dead practice areas. Unless you are a superstar, there's really no point in looking.

 
Oregon

by James Fant

After a period of virtual somnolence, Oregonian firms (and satellite offices) are sharing in the wealth of this recovery. One thing has not changed, however: there is always a fairly large number of people who would like to live in the Pacific Northwest. As a result, firms there are often spoiled for choice - egregiously so during the recession, but also today. In short, their fax machines are inundated by would-be transplants and laterals.

Nevertheless, big firm experience and top credentials are always in demand. There is a steady stream of Bay Area attorneys who head north, and there is also an annual migration of associates who depart New York for Portland. Understandably, Oregonian firms are often partial to candidates who have some kind of connection to the state, however tenuous. If you are interested in relocating to Portland, the time has never been better (at least during the last four years). Because firms and practices are typically smaller, it is important to take advantage of opportunities when they do arise, such as now.

 
The Northeast

New York

by Carey Bertolet, Esq.

The New York City market is best described as in an across the board gentle upswing. What does that mean? It means that no one practice area is dominating the market, as is often true in either a dramatic upswing or downturn in the economy. Instead, we are seeing a steady level of movement and demand in virtually every practice area and at many different experience levels.

In the corporate world, the initial indicators of a healing economy have certainly made the headlines: several large mergers, a well-publicized IPO. That increase in corporate activity is being reflected in the hiring needs of firms. However, it would be too simple to say "corporate is heating up," although that is a fairly accurate generalization. Those firms that are primed to take on the large scale deals are looking, and others may conservatively join their ranks as their business increases as well. Not every firm survived the recession with similar aplomb, however, and knowing who to avoid is just as important as knowing when to enter the job market.

Thus, especially in the corporate transactional realm, we talk not in blanket terms for the state of the market, but the state of individual firms, and which firms are the target firms (in terms of profitability, vibrancy, and deal volume) for a corporate lawyer. Happily, we are able to report that more and more firms are good targets for the job-seeking corporate associate or partner.

Litigation remains extremely vibrant. The two hottest subspecialties are securities litigation (sometimes including white collar criminal defense) and patent litigation. Because firms often require their patent litigators to have a technical or scientific undergraduate or graduate degree, the appropriate candidate is highly coveted. We have also seen that firms are increasingly interested in meeting lawyers who have extensive experience, including but not limited to taking depositions and handling hearings. Thus, an associate with large law firm experience who has been given a good deal of responsibility is much more likely to do well interviewing for lateral opportunities.

Intellectual property work is picking up after a distinct lull in hiring, particularly in patent prosecution and some activity in technology transactions. Although always extremely competitive, several trademark opportunities exist. Here, law firm experience is highly valued, especially law firm experience from an intellectual property firm.

If you were to simply pick a practice area, it would most certainly be represented in some respect in a firm's list of hiring needs. That is to say, there is movement across the board. Whether it's real estate, antitrust, or bankruptcy work, there are firms who are busy, and oftentimes, looking to expand. In fact, we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for certain niche practices, such as ERISA or labor and employment defense work.

At the partner level, there are a few exciting developments. While many large firms require at least $1.5 million in portable business for partnership consideration, BCG is working with several firms who are profitable and progressive enough to consider candidates with $300-500K in portable business. What this presents is the opportunity for a starting business developer to be instantly rewarded for his or her book of business, as well as the platform to expand it. Also unbelievably, many of these firms are quite lifestyle-conscious, and are able to offer a more sane existence on top of the rest.

Several larger national and international firms have more lofty partnership and practice area acquisitions in mind, and have tapped BCG to identify the talent. Here, potential new firms offer the successful business developer new and unusual options. From increased cross-selling to compensation to more direct support for a client base, there are several different options to explore.

Outside of New York City, the New York suburban market is best for litigators and partners with portable business who are looking to make a move to a new firm. Although the pay scale is generally not on par with Manhattan offices, lawyers who have created successful situations in these firms report a high level of personal and professional satisfaction.

 
New Jersey

by Dan Binstock, Esq.

New Jersey continues to offer a diverse range of opportunities, but associates with litigation experience are having the most success making transitions. Following in second are attorneys with corporate experience, and we are also seeing more opportunities for real estate attorneys. Firms are looking for, although to a lesser extent, attorneys with experience in insurance, trusts and estates, tax, and employment. The most active market is Newark, followed by Princeton. However, attorneys with good experience are finding attractive opportunities throughout the state in smaller towns such as Cherry Hill, Morristown, and Roseland.
 
Philadelphia

by Dan Binstock, Esq.

The Philadelphia market continues to have a strong need for commercial litigators. Other attorneys in high demand are those with corporate experience, and a number of firms have been asking us to bring them patent prosecutors that are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). We are also seeing some action in the field of real estate and, to a lesser extent, tax and trusts and estates. It is interesting to note that we are noticing more and more attorneys throughout the tri-state area (as well as New York City and Washington, D.C.) becoming interested in moving to and settling down in Philadelphia due to not only its legal opportunities, but its livability and attractive housing costs.
 
Pittsburgh

by Dan Binstock, Esq.

The market in Pittsburgh is still in somewhat of a quiet state, but we've seen some good opportunities for litigators, as well as attorneys with experience in labor and employment matters.
 
Boston

by Dan Binstock, Esq.

We are pleased to see an overall "cautious optimism" in the Boston market. Patent prosecutors, listen up: numerous firms are asking us for attorneys experienced with patent prosecution in all sciences, but especially life sciences. If you aren't a science person, but have good litigation experience and credentials, you will be pleased to find a number of attractive opportunities, especially if you are a junior to mid-year associate. Although the corporate market is still recovering from the downturn over the past few years, we are noticing that some corporate practices are experiencing a surge in work and looking for corporate candidates once again. Thus, if you have corporate experience and good credentials, don't rule out Boston based on its corporate downturn over the past several years. Lastly, we've seen some interest for employment and real estate attorneys as well, but to a much lesser extent than those practice areas mentioned above.
 
Connecticut

by Helen Kim, Esq.

Litigation, real estate and corporate remain the busiest areas for lateral hiring in Connecticut.

Junior and mid-level litigation associate positions persist in the CT market. Most firms are looking for associates with a general commercial litigation background. However, business litigation positions for associates with a securities background are gaining popularity.

Real estate positions for associates at all levels are abundant.

Corporate opportunities are plentiful, probably because of CT's proximity to New York City. Firms are most interested in associates with securities and M&A experience. Mid-level associates are most popular, although some firms are looking for associates as junior as the class of 2002.

We've seen a decrease in available bankruptcy positions.

Partner-level hiring is on the rise. Firms are looking for partners in all disciplines with at least $300K-500K in business.

 
Washington DC Metro Region


The Washington DC region legal market has improved considerably as the illusive corporate law positions are returning. The fact that Washington DC Metro has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States is translating to more demand than the recent past for lawyers. Of course, certain practice areas are experiencing stronger demands than others.

The practice areas that are in highest demand are general commercial litigation, securities enforcement and real estate. Those with strong academic records, solid law firm experience and federal clerkships under their belt will get multiple job offers. Because of controversies - from the mutual fund fee scandal to the Enron and WorldCom fiascos - demand for those with experience in securities law is strong. Alan Greenspan tells us that real estate has been the engine of the US economy as a result of the historic low interest rates, and, as expected, real estate lawyers have benefited.

There are several firms looking to add insurance coverage litigators. IP litigators with electrical engineering backgrounds are still sought after. The fervor for bankruptcy lawyers has abated, but someone with solid credentials could still get a job relatively easily. But DC has the federal government, meaning that it is unique as compared to other regions and that the practice areas are much more diverse. For example, we are seeing a definite upswing for healthcare and energy lawyers. There also is some interest for employee benefits lawyers. International trade lawyers with experience in representing foreign entities will find their services are, again, in demand. Recently, we have seen that firms are asking us to find government contracts lawyers with strong academic backgrounds.

Of course, partners with significant books of business are always in demand. Partners with at least $1,000,000 in business will find a firm of their choice. In fact, in some practice areas that are currently experiencing difficulty attracting work - such as corporate, M&A, capital markets, project finance, and telecommunications - the required book of business is quite modest. Because the trend in the law firm marketplace is consolidation, we would suggest that now is the right time for those partners inclined to move to do so.

In sum, the region's legal market has significantly improved from last year. We were hopeful that 2003 was an improvement from 2002, and 2004 has turned out to be an even bigger improvement than last year. So the trend is encouraging, and we hope to be able to help you join the "perfect" firm for you in the near future.

 
The Southeast

Atlanta

by Raffaele Murdocca, Esq.

Commercial Real Estate is by far still the busiest area of lateral hiring throughout the city. From small to very large, it seems that every law firm in Atlanta needs one and in some cases two commercial real estate associates. If you are a lending or finance associate with some real estate experience and are interested in making a switch to the real estate area, now is the time to make your move. Firms in Atlanta are looking for associates to have anywhere between 2-6 years of experience in this practice area, and we can definitely get you multiple job offers if you have 2-4 years of experience. Firms are looking for experience with acquisition & disposition of property, leasing, lending or affordable housing work.

Corporate M&A and Securities work is picking up. We are starting to see more and more positions open up in Atlanta. We believe that this trend will continue throughout the year.

Litigation is still seeing tremendous activity. The areas of complex commercial, employment, product liability, bankruptcy, construction and securities litigation are all areas where lateral placements are being made every day. Most of the firms are interested in candidates that have 2-5 years of experience.

Patent Prosecution attorneys are once again in demand. Specifically, we have a need for a number of attorneys with electrical engineering or chemical engineering degrees. Also patent litigation work continues to increase as well.

 
Charlotte

by Jenny Wallace
 

The Charlotte market is continuing the trend of beefing up transactional practices. Firms continue to look for capital markets, asset securitization, M&A, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, tax, debt finance and, like most major markets, real estate associates. This banking center is extremely active. More and more attorneys from areas such as Washington, DC and New York City are drawn to the area since it offers the conveniences of a smaller metropolis as well as highly sophisticated work. Most firms are welcoming inquiries from talented attorneys who can add value to their practice and are anxious to talk to potential partners with portable business.


 
South Carolina

by Jenny Wallace

Keep an eye on this expanding market. South Carolina has been fortunate to have continued economic growth despite difficult times. Local firms are opening more offices to accommodate client needs. National firms are opening satellite offices because they anticipate a high volume of business in the area and these offices are here to stay. Known for keeping their practices close to home, firms are now expanding beyond the Southeast. Once a market with a reputation for being difficult to break into, it seems more and more firms are opening their doors in an effort to diversify and attract talent. Hot spots continue to be real estate, labor and employment, business and corporate. Unfortunately, it's still tough to know what positions firms are looking for, as it seems heavy advertising and marketing isn't necessary to bring in good attorneys. Again, as firms open more offices and continue to expand, watch for this to change.
 
Florida

by Evan Jowers, Esq.

Corporate:

During the national economic downturn of the past few years, there was relatively little significant transactional work occurring in Florida. Therefore, today's 2nd and 3rd year corporate associates in Florida do not have as much experience as their firms would prefer on purely corporate matters. These junior corporate associates have been working in a variety of different legal fields within their firms in order to keep billable hours normal.

Due to the above, there is a real need now at a number of firms for 2nd and 3rd year corporate associates from markets such as New York who have been busy during the last few years and are ready to assume the role of a corporate associate at their class year in Florida.

Notwithstanding the above, however, the corporate legal market is still weak in Florida for laterals.

Lateral needs are still low regarding: Health Care; mid level to senior Corporate associates

Even though there is a need for junior corporate associates at several top firms, the competition for these relatively few spots is fierce and only the most stellar candidates are receiving consideration.

Banking:

I am seeing a need at a few firms for mid-level attorneys with asset-based financing experience.

Real Estate:

As has been the case for a number of years, the RE market in Florida is extremely strong. This is especially the case on the development side, rather than the lending side. Due to the heavy development in both South and Central Florida, there is no foreseeable downturn coming in the market for real estate attorneys in Florida. It seems as if any real estate associate from a top national firm at the junior or mid level can lateral into a top FL firm fairly easily.

Litigation:

The large FL firms have a real need for junior litigators now, including attorneys from 1 to 3 years out. There is also a need at a few firms for multiple securities litigators.

Bankruptcy:

While this area is not as "hot" as it was one year ago, a few NY-based satellite offices of top national firms have needs at both the junior and senior associate levels.

Labor & Employment:

A number of large FL law firms are considering expanding their L&E practice for the first time in years. A few of these firms would be establishing a formal L&E practice area for the first time. Two prestigious firms are looking for multiple L&E associates at present.

Salaries:

Associate base pay in Miami has recently increased by 5-10% at most top Miami firms. These unexpected pay increases were spurred on by White & Case announcing its new very generous base pay packages a couple of months ago. While no firm has matched White & Case, especially at the mid-level associate range, most top firms have formally raised salaries substantially to keep up with the market.

Type of attorneys Florida firms are looking for:Even though the market is picking up, the FL firms have not at all lowered their standards. The top FL firms, for the most part, only consider laterals who have solid academic records from top 50 law schools and who have successfully performed at a high level at large national firms.

 
The Southwest

Texas

by Jennifer McKee, Esq.


Austin/San Antonio

The market in these two cities traditionally is tight, and now is no exception. Both cities represent relatively small legal markets, and lateral movement is not very active. Both cities tend to fill their hiring needs at the summer associate level from law schools in the area; often, firms end up with few lateral positions to fill. In those instances where firms in Austin or San Antonio do have lateral needs, they are most interested in candidates with direct connections to their cities.

That being said, there is a fairly strong need in Austin for intellectual property attorneys with technical degrees. Candidates with degrees in electrical engineering or computer science are especially valued for both litigation and patent prosecution. Trademark work is picking up a bit as well. Well-credentialed litigators from top law schools with three to four years of large firm experience may also find opportunities in these markets.

Dallas

The Dallas market is more open to out-of-state and out-of-town attorneys than Austin and San Antonio. Real estate traditionally is a strong practice area here. Overall, the Dallas market has remained fairly strong recently, although some large firm attorneys, in a variety of practice areas, have faced layoffs.

Litigation and labor & employment are particularly strong in Dallas; candidates with three to four years of solid experience in complex litigation at top firms are most in demand. Transactional practice areas have also picked up considerably. We are seeing a need for mid-level real estate, lending, and employee benefits attorneys. Firms remain highly selective, however; competition for open positions is stiff, and stellar credentials remain a top priority. In addition, the market for junior attorneys remains tight.

Houston

Houston is the largest legal market in Texas. It also offers a wide variety of types of work, and the market is fairly open to out-of-state and out-of-town attorneys.

Intellectual property attorneys with technical degrees are in demand lately, for both litigation and patent prosecution work. Strong, midlevel litigators with large firm experience and excellent academic credentials can also find opportunities here. In addition, we have seen a surge in activity in the transactional markets in Dallas; several firms with whom we work are seeking corporate, securities, real estate and bankruptcy associates. In the corporate arena, there has been an uptick in mergers and acquisitions activity, and candidates with significant experience in that area are likely to see their opportunities increase.

 
Phoenix

by Claudia Spielman, Esq.

Phoenix is a highly desirable location - the climate is predictable and warm, the restaurants are great and the cost of living can't be beat. There are not many firms in Phoenix, but the ones there seem to have no shortage of work in the litigation area. That said, firms are still being very selective. As always in this market, the Arizona bar exam should be behind you or you should have firm plans for taking the next bar exam. There is no reciprocity between Arizona and other jurisdictions, so taking the Arizona Bar is key. The top practice areas are litigation, real estate, corporate, intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution.

Litigation is by far the primary practice area in Phoenix. General and complex commercial litigators and products/mass tort litigators with as little as one year and as many as six years of experience are sought after. Partners with books of business are always in demand here. If you are serious about moving to Phoenix, you must consider taking the Arizona Bar.

Corporate is a strong practice area. Candidates with 3-6 years of experience in M&A, securities, finance, and/or general corporate experience who also possess strong academic and professional credentials are sought after here. Having the Arizona Bar under your belt will help you greatly.

Real estate is a very strong practice area in Phoenix. Candidates at all levels with as little as one year of experience to as many as ten years are being courted. Candidates with commercial real estate, mortgage financing, and/or global real estate experience are needed. Partner level candidates with books of business are in demand.

Patent prosecution is a very strong practice area in Phoenix. Firms are seeking candidates at all levels (including senior associates) with electrical engineering or computer science degrees. Candidates with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, etc. are not as sought after, but should not be discouraged from applying. Patent prosecutors who also have some experience in soft IP (trademark, copyright, licensing) are sought after as well.

Intellectual property litigation is a strong practice area in Phoenix. Most firms are seeking candidates with an electrical engineering or computer science degree and who possess at least 2 years of experience in the area. The most sought after candidates are those in the 4-6 year range. Of course, partners with books of business are sought after by nearly every firm.

Health care is a great niche to be in. There are very few quality candidates and there is always a need for them. If you have 2-6 years of experience in the field, you will have a good chance of getting a position with a top firm in Phoenix. If you are a strong candidate, it may not be necessary to have already taken the Arizona Bar.

Labor and employment is not a thriving practice area right now, but there are a few firms seeking outstanding candidates with 4-6 years of experience in the field. Firms seek litigators with federal and state court experience, and not just those who want to counsel clients.

Environmental law is not a thriving practice area, although strong candidates with 3-5 years of experience and membership to the Arizona Bar are sought after by a couple firms. Experience with air quality regulation is a plus.

Construction litigation candidates are sought after by a handful of firms. Candidates need to have experience in this practice or at least a very strong desire to work in this practice area. Attorneys with 2-4 years of construction litigation experience who are also members of the Arizona Bar should not have too much trouble in finding a position here.

Tax and employee benefits/executive compensation are fairly dead practice areas here; however, as the economy continues to improve, there will become more and more of a need for candidates with experience in these areas. Of course, partners with books of business are highly sought after.

Bankruptcy is pretty dead right now - as it is nearly everywhere else in the country.

 
Utah

by Lisa Orlandi, Esq.

For attorneys looking to enter the Utah market, it is imperative that they have a tie to the area. The primary geographical location for the legal market in Utah is Salt Lake City. A candidate who is relocating to Salt Lake City typically has family in the area or this is the area where he or she were raised. Firms in this area want to hire associates that will be there for the long haul. Accordingly, the firms look for signs that the associate is committed to practicing in Salt Lake City and that the attorney will be there long term. One important consideration is that the associate be admitted to the Utah bar.

The market in Utah is not as active as it is in other parts of the country. That said, the firms in Utah are currently hiring experienced attorneys. In particular, there is a need for attorneys with experience in commercial finance and litigation. In addition, firms are looking for qualified corporate associates, especially attorneys with experience in corporate securities and M&A. Firms are also looking for litigators with experience in product liability matters. And partners with business and experience in the areas of employment, IP litigation, and patent are sought after by several firms in Salt Lake City.



 
Las Vegas

by Claudia Spielman, Esq.

Las Vegas is growing at a steady pace. More and more people are moving to the city because it offers an excellent cost of living, top restaurants and of course the best casinos and hotels in the world! As we head toward 2005, I anticipate there will be more activity in this lively city. The hottest practice areas are general commercial litigation, with an emphasis in medical malpractice and insurance; real estate; and patent prosecution. There is not as much of a need for bankruptcy, corporate, intellectual property litigation or labor & employment candidates. However, I highly encourage anyone with outstanding academic and professional credentials who is a member of the Nevada Bar to contact us if they are thinking of moving.

 
The Midwest

Chicago

by Jamie Bailey

During the first quarter 2004, Chicago law firms of all sizes have experienced growth through lateral acquisitions in a variety of practice areas, including private equity, banking and finance, litigation, corporate governance and compliance, trusts and estates, labor and employment, real estate, health care and intellectual property. Despite market reports of "no real change" in the corporate M&A arena, three Chicago mainstays, Sidley, Skadden and Latham tied for the top three dealmakers and in the fourth quarter of 2003 were the busiest firms for corporate deals and IPO's.
A recent report from the National Association for Law Placement ("NALP") indicates increased on-campus interviews scheduled by over 450 firms across the country may be one sign that the legal market is picking up. NALP also reported a decrease in lateral hiring for 2001 and 2002 and, unlike the increase in lateral hiring witnessed in the Southeastern region, there was a 32% decline in lateral hiring at larger firms in other regions and an approximate 20% decline at smaller firms. In Chicago, lateral hiring fell by about 8% for the years 2001 to 2002. These figures reflect the generally accepted belief that the legal market generally lags behind the overall job market.

However, we believe the lateral movement we have witnessed in Chicago and in the Midwest region generally through group acquisitions and mergers during the first quarter is indicative of better conditions ahead and bodes well for the remainder of this year into 2005. During the first quarter 2004, we welcomed Blake Cassels & Graydon to Chicago, the first Canadian firm to open an office here and the highest ranking Canadian law firm for U.S. mergers in 2003. Gardner Carton expanded by opening an office in Milwaukee and McGuire Woods opened its Detroit office. The preeminent Detroit based firm Dykema Gossett's merger with litigation powerhouse Rooks Pitts positions it as a leader in regional expansion in the Midwest. Firms are continuing to expand and, as outlined below, opportunities exist for highly qualified and motivated lateral attorneys at all levels.

Partners with Business

Firms consistently rely on us to send them highly skilled partners with business. BCG understands the common factors that give rise to a partner's decision to leave a firm, and since the firms with which we work are very diverse, we are able to effectively and efficiently service partners and groups of partners who are motivated to transition to a new firm.

Most recently, we have been receiving calls from mid-size to large firms seeking partners in a wide range of areas, including corporate, tax, health care, commercial litigation, intellectual property, real estate, environmental, labor and employment and trusts and estates. Generally, depending on the practice, larger national and international firms are requiring well over $1 million in portables. However, we have seen a number of smaller to mid-size, and even some large firms, consider service partners (particularly in the transactional area) from prestigious international firms with portables ranging between $250,000 and $500,000.

If you are a partner in the early stages of your search and investigating your options, please call our Chicago office at 312/321-9411 to discuss our approach to the partner placement process, your goals for the growth of your practice, and how we can assist you in strategically transitioning your practice to a new firm.

Highest Demand for Outstanding Litigators

We reiterate our report from the first quarter 2004. The most prestigious firms in the country, as well as top litigation boutiques in Chicago continue to ask us for highly skilled commercial litigators. Associates with anywhere from 2-6 years of experience and excellent litigation skills, including deposition, motion practice and first/second chair trial experience should contact our office. Evidence of excellent research, writing and analytical skills is absolutely necessary.

Corporate - Finance and Secured Lending Strong

Most reports indicate we are experiencing economic recovery and that an increase in mergers and acquisitions activity can be expected throughout this year into next. Although we have seen some evidence of an increase in mergers and acquisitions activity, during this second quarter we have seen more of a growing need by a number of the most prominent firms in the City for corporate finance, secured lending and banking expertise at the 2-5 year level. Additionally, we continue to move corporate partners with portable books at all levels.

Real Estate Still Strong - Interest Rates are Low - the Need is High

There is a shortage of highly qualified real estate associates in Chicago and while interest rates remain low and the need high, we expect to continue to receive earnest calls from partners at firms of all sizes seeking out real estate associates. Exposure to sophisticated commercial real estate transactions involving lending, leasing, acquisitions and dispositions is preferred. Many of these prestigious law firms as well as smaller firms and real estate boutiques we work with on a regular basis are anxious to hire associates with anywhere between 2-5 years of experience. Although most firms are requiring stellar academics and large law firm experience, some firms are willing to consider candidates who have received excellent training and have been given a high level of responsibility at smaller, highly regarded firms. Senior associate level candidates will also be given serious consideration.

Health Care- Unique Opportunities for Partners to Transition

The increased activity we witnessed during the first quarter in the health care area continues into the second quarter. We are speaking with firms on a regular basis who contact us inquiring about partners with portable books ranging anywhere from $500,000 to $1-$2 million. Health care partners who are seeking out an alternative firm environment should call our Chicago office at 312/321-9411.

Employment -Outstanding Opportunities for Traditional Labor and Employment Litigation Partners with Business

We are seeing little if any need at the associate level in labor and employment. However, there is a significant need at the partner level and we would be very interested in speaking with partners with business who have expertise in traditional labor and employment and employment litigation matters. Partners with a minimum book of $500,000 should contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We look forward to speaking with you regarding unique opportunities at firms we are assisting in building and/or supplementing their labor and employment practices in Chicago, and to assisting you throughout the hiring process to effectively transition your practice.

Intellectual Property - EE's; CS; Ph.D.'s; Chemists; Biochemists

IP practices across the city continue to expand and are extremely busy. Patent prosecution attorneys with anywhere from 1-7 years of experience are in high demand and associates with technical degrees in EE, chemistry, and computer science should apply immediately. Increased activity can be seen for associates with backgrounds in chemistry, organic synthesis, chemical engineering, biochemistry and biology.

Patent litigators with 1-7 years of experience and backgrounds in CS, EE, chemistry, pharmacology or toxicology should call us for immediate consideration. Admission to the Patent Bar and excellent technical and law school academics are required.

As always, candidates with Ph.D.'s will be given priority consideration, as most firms covet skilled attorneys with this high level of training.

Slowdown in Bankruptcy

As reported in the first quarter of this year, the most prestigious international firms in Chicago handling massive bankruptcies continue to contact us looking for star associates with 2-5 years of experience to supplement their thriving bankruptcy practices. Although activity in this area has slowed dramatically, we would like to speak with associates in Chicago or other prominent legal markets who are well-schooled in bankruptcy matters and are seeking to transition to a new firm.

Trusts and Estates

During the past few quarters, we have reported little if any activity in the trusts and estates area. Although not an area where we have seen an overwhelming increase in need this quarter, we have received a number of openings over the past month from both small and large firms for highly trained trusts and estates associates with anywhere from 2-7 years of experience.



 
Denver

by Jamie Bailey


Partners with Business

As reported last quarter, we are currently working with some of the most prestigious firms in Denver to supplement their practices with partners who have established clients in the community and minimum books of business of $200,000 in intellectual property, litigation, employee benefits, L&E, corporate environmental, real estate, tax litigation, labor and employment, corporate transactions, real estate, tax, employee benefits and environmental law. If you are a partner living in Denver, Boulder or Colorado Springs looking for a new home, please contact our Chicago office at 312/321-9411. We will be happy to speak with you regarding BCG's partner level services and assist you in transitioning your practice to a new firm.

Corporate - M&A, Finance and Securitization

We have seen a significant increase from last quarter in the need for transactional associates with 2-6 years of experience and exposure to M&A, finance, asset-backed securitization, corporate governance and securities in select firms in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs. We hope this is the prerequisite to an overall increased need over the next few months in the corporate area in Denver. Corporate associates with large firm experience, particularly those moving from major markets like New York and California, should contact our Chicago office regarding excellent opportunities in a terrific legal market offering an alternative geographic environment and top notch firms.

Litigation - General Commercial; Products Liability/Tort

Like the majority of firms across the country, Denver firms continue to have a need for litigation associates at all levels, with many firms looking for associates with 2-6 years of experience. Despite the small size of Denver's legal market, it houses a large number of very prestigious firms which provide excellent litigation practices and wonderful opportunities for associates looking for interesting work. We see a significant need for associates with exposure to general commercial litigation, with a few firms focused on products liability/tort experience. At a minimum, these prestigious firms require some trial experience, excellent research and writing skills, deposition experience and strong case management skills. Of course, excellent academics are a must.

Real Estate - Finance and Lending

Although we reported very little need for real estate associates in Denver last quarter, similar to reports regarding firms nationwide, Denver firms have had an increased need for real estate associates at the 2-6 year level with exposure to real estate finance, lending and complex commercial transactions.

Intellectual Property - CS, EE's Needed

Associates with patent prosecution and patent litigation experience are encouraged to apply. Those with EE or CS technical backgrounds are in the highest demand. USPTO admission, excellent research and writing skills and stellar academics are a must.

 
Minneapolis

by Vanessa Alvarez, Esq.


Lateral hiring is still going strong in Minneapolis, particularly in the areas of finance, litigation, and real estate. We expect further activity in this market through the end of the calendar year for highly qualified attorneys, as well as for partners with portable business.

Finance and Banking Are Hot Again!

Commercial/Structured Finance and Banking are by far the busiest areas of lateral hiring throughout the city. Prominent national law firms in Minneapolis continue to contact our office with requests for highly skilled finance and banking associates with anywhere from 2-5 years of experience. As the economy continues to improve and more deals are done out of the East and West Coast, the Midwest is likely to follow close behind and grow the ranks of a practice that was depleted during the economic downturn.

Firms are looking for associates with experience in a wide range of finance and banking matters including securitization, commercial lending transactions, problem loan analysis and restructuring, equipment leasing, asset-backed securities, public and private securities offerings, leveraged buyouts, and corporate reorganizations and recapitalizations. If you've been contemplating a move, now is the time to act; please contact our Chicago office.

Real Estate is Back with a Vengeance.

Commercial real estate is in the midst of a boom. After a nearly three-year hiatus, real estate developers and investors have been taking advantage of attractive interest rates and strong returns on real estate investments to jump start the real estate market. As a result, many prestigious national and regional law firms in Minneapolis are seeking commercial real estate associates with 2 to 6 years of experience in this practice area. Firms are looking for experience with acquisition & disposition of property, leasing, lending, and development. We are inundated with phone calls from firms calling our office to assist them with their real estate needs. If you are looking for exciting real estate opportunities, you should call our Chicago office immediately!

Litigation Remains Very Strong.

Litigation in Minneapolis remains very strong and continues to see a tremendous amount of activity. Several prestigious national and regional law firms are seeking associates with 2-4 of experience in complex commercial litigation, medical malpractice, insurance, environmental and trademark experience. Firms are looking for associates with a strong motions practice who have argued motions before the court, taken and defended depositions, conducted document reviews and production, and ideally had second or first-chair trial experience. Associates with less than two years of experience will find few positions available; however, if you have large law firm experience and excellent academic credentials, there are opportunities available to you - you just have to know where to look. If you are interested in making a lateral transition, please call our Chicago office.

Intellectual Property Remains Steady: Attorneys with EE, ME, and CS Are Needed.

Intellectual Property has remained steady, although there has been a noticeable decline in biology, not surprisingly the market remains strong for patent attorneys with degrees in EE, ME, and CS with 2-5 years of experience. Patent litigators with 4-6 years of experience and a technical degree should call the Chicago office for immediate consideration.

Corporate and Securities Are Making a Comeback.

Corporate is still trying to make a comeback. As a result, there are a few corporate associate positions at the 2-4 year level. If you are one of the few who were able to stay in the corporate group, we are predicting that there will be more opportunities available to you within the coming months. Right now, Commercial Finance and Banking seem to be the strongest areas in Minneapolis' relatively small corporate sector.

Other Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Health Care, Labor & Employment, Estates & Trusts, Telecommunication, and Franchise.

We have several openings from national and regional law firms in a variety of other practice areas that have typically remained under the radar until now. Minneapolis has seen one of its first trusts and estates opening in quite some time; if you are a Class of 1999 estates and trusts associate, please call us immediately. We also have had a request for a telecommunication associate with 1-4 years of experience, something we had not seen in quite some time. If you are a franchise attorney with 10-15 years of experience, we have an excellent opportunity available for you with a prominent national law firm, please contact our Chicago office for further details.

 
Detroit and Grand Rapids

by Jamie Bailey


Experienced patent litigators and prosecutors should call our Chicago office. EE's with USPTO admission are in high demand. Detroit firms are also seeking qualified associates in a number of other areas, including junior litigators at the 2-4 year level, trusts and estates and environmental associates. Real estate associates at the 2-5 year level and corporate associates with M&A, finance and securities backgrounds should also apply.
 
Milwaukee

by Vanessa Alvarez, Esq.

Lateral hiring is definitely on the rise in Milwaukee, with a strong hiring trend in the area of litigation. We expect further activity in this market through the end of the calendar year for highly qualified attorneys, as well as for partners with portable business.

Litigation is Sizzling!

Some of the most prominent law firms in Milwaukee continue to contact us for highly skilled litigators with 2-5 years of experience in general commercial litigation, products liability, bankruptcy, and environmental law. Firms are looking for associates with substantive litigation experience that includes deposition experience, a strong motion practice, excellent research, writing and analytical skills, and preferably first or second-chair trial experience. Large law firm experience and excellent academics are preferred, and clerkship experience is a definite plus.

If you are interested in pursuing a highly rewarding litigation practice in Milwaukee, please contact our Chicago office at (312) 321-9411. Environmental litigation associates with 2-3 years of experience should definitely contact us!

Intellectual Property Is Still Going Strong.

The intellectual property practices at larger general practice firms remain very active. In the area of patent prosecution, firms are specifically looking for associates at the 2-5 year level with a background in EE, ME, Biotech, and CE. Perhaps the greatest increase can be seen in the need for associates with Ph.D.'s.

Patent associates with an EE, ME, or CE degree, and those with Ph.D.'s in biotech should contact us immediately. IP litigators with technical backgrounds should also contact our Chicago office.

Estates & Trusts Temporarily Soars.

A few highly regarded regional firms have experienced a temporary surge of activity in the trusts and estates practice area. These are exceptional opportunities in a practice area which generally does not generate much of a hiring buzz. If you are an estates and trusts associate with 2-5 years of experience, or a senior level associate with 10-12 years of experience, please contact us immediately, these opportunities will not last very long!

Health Care: New Signs of Life.

We have seen a recent surge of activity in the health care area, particularly for midlevel associates with 3-5 years of experience. As companies navigate through renewed activity in the health care sector, they need more regulatory and legal support, which has prompted firms to create new positions. If you are a midlevel associate or a health care partner with a portable book of business looking to make a move, we would be interested in speaking with you about the exciting opportunities available in Milwaukee.

Partners with Business: Great Opportunities to Grow and Establish Practices.

The market for partners with portable business abounds with opportunities in Milwaukee. Firms have been seeking our assistance in recruiting partners in a wide range of areas, including land use, corporate, health care, commercial litigation, intellectual property, and real estate. Generally, depending on the practice, national and regional firms are requiring portables ranging between $250,000 and $500,000. If you are a partner in the early stages of your search and investigating your options, please call our Chicago office at 312/321-9411 to discuss our approach to the partner placement process.

 
Cincinnati & Cleveland

by Jamie Bailey

Partners with business are highly sought after by select Cincinnati firms seeking to expand in litigation, commercial finance, health care, real estate, labor and employment, tax and ERISA.

We have seen a marked increase in the need for bankruptcy associates with anywhere from 2-7 years of experience at some of the most prestigious firms with outstanding bankruptcy practices. In the transactional sector, we see the greatest need for associates with corporate securities, M&A and finance backgrounds at the 2-5 year range. Litigation associates at the 2-3 year level are highly sought after, as well as ERISA associates with 1-5 years of experience. Junior to mid-level immigration, environmental and labor and employment associates are also sought after at select firms in this market.

 
International

Europe

by Dan Binstock, Esq.

Europe is continuing to see a rise in US law firms. The hottest market for US lawyers is London, which houses the offices of nearly 100 large US law firms, and presents many opportunities for US attorneys that do not speak any languages other than English. Like Asia, most of the available positions are for US attorneys with corporate, finance, and/or securities experience.

Other large markets with opportunities are Paris, Frankfurt (the financial capital of Europe and home of the European Central Bank), and Brussels (center of European Union regulatory activity). Smaller markets with more city-specific niche practices are Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, and Warsaw. For positions in countries other than the United Kingdom, many firms require fluency in the local language, and some also require that attorneys be licensed in the particular country. This being said, there are many opportunities for attorneys with strong academic credentials and good experience.

 
Asia

by Dan Binstock, Esq.

We have seen a dramatic increase in US firms opening offices in Asia, particularly in China. As more and more US firms are granted permission to open offices in China, firms are quickly seizing the opportunity to take advantage of this tremendous and growing market. In fact, US-based firms seem to be opening offices in this market every few weeks. Some even speculate that China will be to the world economy in the 21st Century what the US was in the 20th. Firms in China seem to be searching almost exclusively for attorneys with corporate experience (particularly in project finance, private equity, capital markets, securities, and mergers and acquisitions), as well as attorneys with patent experience. The most openings are, by far, in Hong Kong firms, followed by Beijing and Shanghai firms.

Tokyo has seen less growth due in part to the very high cost of doing business in this city. But with the reversal of a long-standing policy barring foreign firms from directly hiring Japanese lawyers, as well as some optimism that the market may heat up once again, we may see more and more U.S. firms popping up in Tokyo. Although not as hot as Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, there are still numerous opportunities for attorneys interested in Tokyo, especially those with corporate experience in securities, M&A, and project finance. On the other hand, we have not seen much demand for attorneys in Singapore.

Firms in Asia have a strong preference for attorneys that are familiar with or fluent in the local language.