When Is the Best Time of Year for Attorneys to Look for New Positions?

Attorneys end leases, sell homes, wait for bonuses, forgo bonuses and make all sorts of other decisions based on the timing of when they will find and land a new position. On the other hand, you may want to time your job search so that you can have the best chance of finding a job. There are a couple of ways to answer this question, so I will provide you the information you are seeking first - but then will provide you some important caveats to make you think about how to time your job search.

  1. The Busiest Hiring Time for Large Law Firms Is February to Mid-April.

For as long as I have been doing this—and I have been doing this a long time, I have consistently seen that these are the busiest hiring months. In fact, they tend to be the most active hiring months for law firms and always have been. There tends to be about twice as much hiring in these months than in other months of the year. If you are looking for a position, you should certainly be aware that there is going to be more hiring in these months than at other times. While I have no way of knowing exactly why this is so, I believe that hiring is busiest during these months for the following reasons.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

First, law firms get new hiring budgets in the month of January, and a lot of their planning for hiring and firing takes place in November through December, and they start soliciting for new attorneys in January. Also, due to the timing of Christmas bonuses, many lawyers start leaving their firms and looking for new positions in early January.

Hiring is never a fast process, and law firms start interviewing people in the first few weeks of January and start extending offers and having them accepted from February to the middle of April. The "peak" of offers and acceptances is typically in the month of February and then it slows down significantly in the middle of April.