Answer: While I cover the entire West Coast as a recruiter, and have specific expertise in the Pacific Northwest from having grown up in Portland and the Seattle area, the majority of my work is focused on markets in California simply because California is, by far, the largest legal market in this half of the country. Most major national and international firms have at least one California office in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, San Diego, Sacramento, or a combination thereof, in addition to the myriad boutique, small, and mid-sized local and regional firms that may be attractive options for attorneys seeking a California-based job. In other words, there are a lot of potential legal employers, but the consequence of this is that there will be a lot of competition for every open position.
Due to the highly competitive nature of the California market, any discussion of a job search in California will have to deal with the California Bar exam. Almost universally, any California firm or local office will prefer a candidate licensed to practice in California, and a substantial number of the firms here will not even consider a candidate for prospective employment until they have passed the California Bar.