Contents

  1. Northern California (San Francisco and Silicon Valley)
  2. Southern California (San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County)
  3. Northwest (Seattle and Portland)
  4. Southwest (Las Vegas, Phoenix and Colorado)
  5. Midwest (Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Utah, Chicago, Wisconsin and Michigan)
  6. Northeast (Philadelphia, New York, Boston/New England, and Washington DC)
  7. South (Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, Atlanta and Charlotte/North Carolina)




NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
 
State of the Market Report: San Francisco

by Claudia Barnes, Manager of BCG Attorney Search

Healthy Practice Areas:

Corporate

Corporate associates in San Francisco with solid academic and professional credentials continue to be in high demand in San Francisco, and the Bay Area in general. Candidates with experience at all levels are getting interviews. Firms tend to like candidates coming from the New York market. Those with experience in any of the following will likely get interviews: private equity, structured and debt finance, corporate finance, emerging company/venture capital, M&A, and securities. Candidates with hard science or life science degrees continue to get interviews. Firms generally do not require the CA Bar for corporate candidates.

Environmental

The need for environmental attorneys has turned around and many firms are actively seeking candidates with land use litigation, CEQA and NEPA experience. This pick up is likely the result of the real estate market boom.

Labor and Employment

Labor and employment hiring in San Francisco has remained busy throughout 2016. We continue to place employment attorneys at all levels (junior, mid and senior level) in a variety of law firms (small, mid-sized and large). In particular, firms seek associates with wage and hour, discrimination, and client counseling experience. Class action, deposition, and trial experience are highly valued. Firms typically require California experience and admission to CA bar.

Litigation

Litigation hiring in San Francisco has slowed down a little since the first of of the year, but remains strong and steady. The greatest need is at the mid-level (3-5 years), but we are seeing a need at all levels. Complex commercial, general and securities/white collar litigators are consistently in demand - particularly attorneys with securities litigation and/or white collar experience. Firms continue to have very high standards for litigation candidates. Those who have strong academic and professional credentials as well as clerkship experience will get interviews. Admission to the CA Bar is not always necessary, but most firms expect it. We expect the need for litigators to pick up in 2017.

Steady Practice Areas:

Data Privacy

For the last year we have a seen a consistent need for attorneys with privacy and data security experience - particularly at the junior and mid-levels. Ideal candidates will have experience working with technology clients on all matters of privacy and data security compliance. Counseling on foreign data privacy laws, especially laws of the European Union. Should you have an interest in this area and would like to transition from another transactional practice area (such as technology transactions or corporate), it would be possible since so few people have hands on experience in this area.

Healthcare

The need for healthcare transactional attorneys - particularly at the senior level (6-15 years, Partners with portable business) - has continued to stay strong throughout 2016. Candidates at all levels with a solid work history will be marketable in San Francisco.

Real Estate (Transactions & Finance)

Real estate hiring in San Francisco continues to be strong and steady throughout 2016. Real estate candidates at all levels with solid transactional experience are highly sought after. Transactional candidates need experience in at least one of the following: purchase & sales, leasing, joint ventures, and finance (including CMBS).

Technology Transactions

Firms are still hiring technology transactions attorneys despite the slowdown in patent prosecution and litigation (see below). Specifically, firms seek candidates with licensing, corporate/technology transactions experience, and/or IP support. Candidates with life sciences or hard science background will be snapped up!

Immigration

Immigration continues to be a strong and steady practice area. Experienced business immigration attorneys with 7-10 years of experience should get several interviews.

Patent Agent/Technical Specialist

As noted below, the need for patent prosecutors has slowed; however, the need for patent agents is strong. For these positions, typically a firm would like to see candidates with Ph.D.'s. The need is fairly even between life sciences and hard sciences backgrounds. One of the reasons we believe the need for patent agents is strong is because they can do the same work as a junior or mid-level prosecutor for a fraction of the cost.

Slow Practice Areas:

Energy

This practice area started to pick up toward the end of 2015 and kept going through the first half of 2016. The need has now slowed down dramatically. That being said, firms will always hire opportunistically. Candidates with experience in renewable energy, project finance, project development, M&A involving electric utilities or independent power producers will surely get interviews.

ERISA/Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation

As we reported in our last State of the Market report, hiring picked up in ERISA/Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation in 2014 and 2015. The need for experienced attorneys in this field remained solid in the first half of 2016. However, the need for such candidates has calmed down a bit. That being said, firms will seriously consider candidates at all levels that have experience in employee benefits, executive compensation, and to a lesser extent ERISA (and ERISA litigation).

Patent Litigation

As noted in our last market report, the need for patent litigators has declined. The decline continues throughout 2016. The most noticeable difference in patent hiring is that positions are evenly split between hard science and life science candidates. However, firms continue to hire opportunistically for very strong patent litigators.

Patent Prosecution

Patent Prosecution is still not a hot practice area in San Francisco, but some firms remain quite busy. The split is fairly even between openings requiring hard science or life science backgrounds. USPTO registration is always a necessity and firms strongly prefer candidates who have the CA Bar already.

Tax

Tax hiring is still on the slower side. There are firms actively hiring, however, and they have very specific requirements. Candidates should have an LLM in Tax and ideally work (or have worked) in a law firm setting. On occasion, firms will hire attorneys from a Big 4 accounting firm, but normally if the candidate has outstanding academic professional credentials and is no more than 5 years out of law school they will be considered.

Trademark

The need for trademark attorneys has slowed. The work is there, but most firms hired earlier this year. We anticipate the need will pick up again in early 2017. Firms will always hire opportunistically in the meantime if a solid candidates does decide to look now.

Dead Practice Areas:

The following practices have shown little to no activity: bankruptcy, construction, project finance, and trusts & estates.
 
State of the Market Report: Silicon Valley
by Claudia Barnes, Manager of BCG Attorney Search


Hot Practice Areas:

Corporate and Corporate Finance

As noted in the Winter Market Report, the need for corporate and/or corporate finance attorneys in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area in general continues, and it has not slowed down a bit. Candidates with 2-15 years of experience will get a number of interviews. Partners with books of business are highly sought out. The ideal candidate will have experience in one of the following: M&A, securities, venture capital, emerging companies, private equity, or corporate finance. Life sciences hiring continues to be strong. Associates who have experience with tech companies are highly sought after.

Labor & Employment

Firms in California continue to hire employment attorneys at all levels, and this need has not slowed down in Silicon Valley. Firms continue to seek attorneys at all levels, particularly the mid and senior levels, which also have strong academic or professional credentials and experience in employment counseling, discrimination, and wage and hour experience.

Patent Prosecution

Patent prosecution seems to be slowing down in other areas of the country, but this practice area is vibrant in Silicon Valley. Firms are seeking patent agents and attorneys in both life sciences and hard sciences disciplines (slightly more of a need in the hard sciences, but we anticipate this to even out in 2017). Candidates with strong academic and/or professional credentials who have backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, and to a lesser extent mechanical engineering will get interviews. Most firms are seeking candidates with 2-8 years of experience. Registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is a must, but candidates need not be admitted to the California bar.

Patent Litigation

Unlike San Francisco, the need for patent litigators has not declined as much in Silicon Valley. There are a number of firms looking to hire. That being said, firms are picky and willing to wait for the right candidate. Attorneys must have strong academic and/or professional credentials to get interviews. The ideal candidate will also have a scientific background, such as computer science, electrical engineering, physics, chemistry or biology. Firms have a strong preference for in-state attorneys admitted to the USPTO and who have experience in Hatch Waxman. The focus is on partners with business and junior and mid-level associates.

Technology Transactions

There is a tremendous and ever-growing need for attorneys with true technology transactional backgrounds. The candidate pool for this practice (particularly in-state) is especially small, so candidates with any corporate transactional experience have been considered (more so if they possess technology or life sciences degrees/experience). Firms will consider candidates coming from in-house backgrounds at the junior to mid-levels.

Steady Areas:

Data Privacy

The need for data privacy attorneys is steadily growing. For the last year we have seen a consistent need for attorneys with privacy and data security experience - particularly at the junior and mid-levels. Ideal candidates will have experience working with technology clients on all matters of privacy and data security compliance. They will also have experience counseling on foreign data privacy laws, especially laws of the European Union. Should you have an interest in this area and would like to transition from another transactional practice area (such technology transactions or corporate), it would be possible since so few people have hands on experience in this area. Firms are happy to consider candidates who are coming from in house backgrounds.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation / ERISA

The need for experienced executive compensation/employee benefits/ERISA attorneys remains steady in Silicon Valley. Firms will seriously consider candidates at all levels (with a focus on those with 7-10 years of experience). Firms will definitely consider out-of-state candidates with solid experience from a major market.

Healthcare

The need for healthcare attorneys remains steady in Silicon Valley. Candidates with at least 5 years of health care transactional experience are getting interviews and offers. Membership to the CA bar is certainly the preference, but not an absolute requirement. Firms will seriously consider candidates coming from the government and in-house.

Litigation (General, Complex Commercial, Securities)

Unlike the first half of the year, litigation has certainly slowed down - although it is not "slow." Litigation is the most competitive practice, so firms are very selective. Candidates with exceptional academic and professional credentials will get multiple interviews. The greatest need is for commercial, securities, antitrust and white collar litigators.

Real Estate (Transactions & Finance)

The need for real estate attorneys is steady in Silicon Valley. Candidates at all levels with experience in acquisitions, leasing, joint ventures, and sales are getting interviews. Firms prefer candidates who have California experience.

Slow Practice Areas:

Trademark

This practice area has picked up a bit and firms are seeking partners, junior and mid-level associates with true trademark prosecution experience.

Tax

Tax is not quite as busy as executive compensation, but there are certainly openings in Silicon Valley. Ideal candidates will have an LL.M. in Taxation and excellent academic and professional credentials.

Trusts & Estates

Like tax, there are a few firms seeking experienced trusts and estates attorneys experienced in all aspects of estate planning and wealth transfer planning for high and ultra-high net worth individuals. Most firms like to hire candidates with an LL.M. in Taxation.

Dead Practice Areas:

There is currently no activity in bankruptcy, energy, and environmental. However, firms will always also consider partners in any area who have at least $1 million in portable business.
 
State of the Market Report: Washington, D.C.
by Nadeen Weybrecht, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Demand in the D.C. area is strongest for the following three practice areas: corporate; litigation; and, patent prosecution.

Most Active Practice Areas:

Corporate

Corporate associates are in very high demand in DC with the majority of the demand being for associates in the 2-5 year range. Firms are seeking candidates with traditional corporate experience in the areas of M&A, private equity, securities and / or capital markets experience. There is also high demand for associates who specialize in the areas of investment management; fund formation; and banking. We also continue to receive requests for traditionally "New York practices" such as structured finance, leveraged finance, and acquisition finance. The highest demand is for junior-to-mid-level associates. However, since the demand for corporate associates is so high, some firms are willing to be somewhat flexible when it comes to seniority if an attorney has strong academic and firm credentials.

Litigation

There is a fairly healthy demand for litigation associates in the 2-5 year range. While about half of the positions are for commercial litigators, half are for those with specializations in the following areas: white collar and government investigations; international arbitration (typically, at least one foreign language is required here); financial services; health care; and, in the growing hot area of privacy and data protection. Firms are interested in top tier law firm experience and stellar academics, and they place a high priority on candidates with federal clerkship and/or law review experience.

Intellectual Property - Patent Prosecution

We have noticed a seemingly renewed interest in patent prosecution and counseling associates (particularly those at the junior to mid-level range), with technical backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, physics, and mechanical engineering.

Patent Litigation

The demand for patent litigators in DC continues to be less than their prosecuting counterparts. When openings come up, they are usually for mid-level associates with life sciences backgrounds, particularly in the areas of biotechnology/biology and chemistry, and preference for advanced degrees - usually at the PhD level - remains.

Less Busy Practice Areas

Though they are not as busy as the above practice areas, we are continuing to see regular demand for mid-level associates in health care, ERISA/employee benefits, tax (an LLM almost always being required), anti-trust, government contracts, energy, international trade, trusts and estate (with tax LLM), and real estate. We are also seeing very low hiring demand in the area of labor and employment.

Conclusion

The DC market is strong in several practice areas such as corporate law, litigation, and patent prosecution. We do expect to see some increase in demand in transactional support practices like tax and ERISA as deal work remains strong, in addition to increases in areas that have been traditionally strong in DC such as project finance, energy and international trade.

 
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
 
State of the Market Report: San Diego
by Paul Danielson, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

It would be wrong to call San Diego a sleepy beach town, yet there is no denying it is not nearly as large of a legal market as Los Angeles to the north. Consequently, competition for jobs in San Diego is intense, and would-be lateral attorneys should bring extremely solid credentials and/or a significant book of portable business if they expect to make any headway into the San Diego market. Those who find success in landing a job with a firm will also find an excellent quality of life thanks to the perpetual sunshine, perfect beaches, and cultural amenities San Diego has to offer.

Hot Practice Areas:

Litigation

Similar to our summer report, litigation openings continue to come online at a record pace for the past 5 years. Firms are still being very selective, however, so even though openings are frequent, the hiring process can still take some time, and applicants will need to cast their net wide in the hopes of finding the right position. San Diego firms will not consider litigators who are not already licensed in California, and given that the market is extremely competitive, firms will have a strong preference for candidates with top credentials and solid litigation experience. Sub-practice experience that is particularly in demand includes insurance coverage, products liability, and construction litigation experience.

Corporate

Just like the rest of the West Coast (and pretty much the entire country), corporate hiring in San Diego remains very strong, although not quite as strong as the earlier half of the year. Most in demand are mid-level associates with top law firm and large deal experience, particularly in M&A, securities, corporate finance, public & private company and venture capital, with less demand for capital markets experience. Firms prefer candidates who already have the California Bar, but this is less important in corporate than in other practice areas.

Employment

The demand for candidates who practice labor & employment (as well as ERISA, executive compensation and employee benefits work), remains strong in California generally and definitely in San Diego. Firms have a continuing need for labor & employment litigation experience, especially class action and wage & hour experience. There is less of a need for employment advisory and traditional labor experience.

Patent Prosecution

While we have seen a dramatic drop-off in demand for patent prosecutors on the West Coast in the second half of 2016 (and patent litigation is essentially a dead lateral market at the moment), San Diego remains a bright spot for patent prosecutors seeking to lateral. In adding to this good news, there have been openings in both hard and life sciences, although life sciences candidates should have a Ph.D. and at least 2-3 years of solid prosecution experience if they hope to be considered by the major firms who have work in this practice area.

Steady Practice Areas:

Real Estate

Real estate has slowed down after being one of the hottest, if not the hottest, practice areas in San Diego in the past couple years. Demand and hiring still remains steady, however the demand tends to be concentrated in top Am Law firms. Lateral candidates must have stellar credentials in addition to at least 2+ years of solid large deal experience.

Slow to Dead Practice Areas:

Hiring in the second half of 2016 has been slow to dead in the following practice areas: tax, trusts & estates, patent litigation, bankruptcy (we expect this to pick up in early 2017), environmental & energy, trademark, healthcare, immigration, and any other practice areas not mentioned above.
 
State of the Market Report: Los Angeles
by Valerie Ross, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Known for its clichéd sunny skies, beautiful beaches, and laid back disposition, Los Angeles might top everyone's wish list as a place to live and work—and attorneys are no exception. But laterals seeking to relocate to the second largest city in the nation should plan ahead. Having the California Bar is essential—just about all firms will require it to be considered. The cost of housing is astronomical. The phrase "sticker shock" can certainly describe house-hunting in Los Angeles. If you think you'll just live further out of the city in a slightly more affordable area, you'll join several million others on the freeways each day doing the same thing.

Laterals already working in Los Angeles should keep in mind that although the opportunities seem as vast and diverse as the beach, top credentials and solid work history remain essential. Also, Los Angeles REALLY loves its own law schools. There is a strong UCLA and USC law school presence in Los Angeles, and being an alum from one of these two schools could help you edge out the competition.

Associates looking to lateral to a Los Angeles firm should heed "years of experience" limitations. These hiring requirements are usually settled upon with compensation packages in mind, and firms don't like to upset the balance of seniority among their associates. Partners having a transactional practice or looking to join a small to mid-sized Los Angeles firm should have at least $500,000 in portable business. Partners having a litigation practice or looking to join a large Los Angeles firm should have at least $1,000,000 in portable business.

Hot Practice Areas:

Litigation

Litigation openings in Los Angeles are ubiquitous and competition is fierce. For most firms, a stellar academic pedigree (top schools, top grades) is a must, along with solid work history at a top firm with maybe one or two moves at most, and prior litigation experience. Laterals without the California Bar just won't be considered. Recently, we've been seeing circumstances where stellar credentials and litigation experience aren't enough to lateral into a boutique litigation firm. Many litigation boutiques in Los Angeles seem to be passing on highly credentialed candidates in favor of those who have spent a lot of time in the courtroom—not just drafting pleadings or taking depositions. Such trial experience is hard to come by at big law firms, where the stakes are often too high for an associate to first-chair a case.

Employment/ERISA/Benefits

Class action, wage and hour, and discrimination work continues to be in demand, with much less demand for traditional labor and collective bargaining experience. Although we haven't seen many ERISA/Employee benefits openings, when they are available they tend to fill very quickly. This is one practice area where firms are not requiring significant portable business to consider senior attorneys with relevant experience.

Health Care

Like employment, healthcare is a niche practice area with few openings that fill quickly. Due to the specialized nature of this field, firms have been more receptive to candidates having the requisite experience rather than a general but strong academic and professional pedigree.

Corporate

Much like litigation, Los Angeles firms seeking to fill corporate positions place a premium on top law schools and large deal experience from major Am Law firms. Given that there are a lot of opportunities in Los Angeles for corporate associates to move in-house or join a start-up, the strongest corporate candidates will have law firm loyalty on their resumes. Los Angeles firms are weary about taking a chance on corporate attorneys who are no longer used to law firm culture or who have strayed from billing their hours.

Patent Prosecution

While at one time patent attorneys were a rare breed, today Los Angeles is flooded with attorneys having a variety of scientific and technical degrees. Los Angeles firms are specifying the type of technical background they are looking for. Electrical engineering remains the most desired, followed by chemistry. We are also seeing a surge in demand for experience with wireless technologies. Patent prosecution attorneys with advanced technical degrees (M.S. or even Ph.D.) from good schools will have an edge over their competition.

Steady Practice Areas:

Trusts & Estates

Trusts and Estates is a practice area where senior attorneys are in steady demand. The majority of recent openings for trusts & estates attorneys in Los Angeles have required an average of 10 or more years of experience. Trusts and estates openings are most often seen at small boutique firms.

Tax

An LL.M. in Tax is usually required for tax positions. Surprisingly, law firms are placing little value on prior accounting firm experience—even if you worked at one of the "Big Four."

Real Estate

It is common for a real estate practice in Los Angeles to include land use and corporate financing components. Accordingly, real estate often finds new life in corporate and environmental matters. Candidates having a corporate background might transition well into real estate here. Although slow and steady now, real estate could see another revival in 2017, when two competing initiatives related to development and housing find their way to a March 2017 ballot. It has been rumored that either initiative could drastically change real estate development in Los Angeles.

Environmental/Energy

Energy openings vary across the LA basin, ranging from drafting power-purchase agreements to advising on land use regulations. Environmental attorneys having an interest in the energy sector have been getting traction with energy openings, but there haven't been many.

Up-and-Coming:

Data Privacy

We're starting to see data privacy openings as firms seek attorneys versed in the rules and regulations that protect the privacy of customer and employee information in a variety of sectors that include banking and financial services, healthcare, e-business, technology transactions, and intellectual property.

Dead Practice Areas:

Intellectual Property Litigation

Unfortunately, we just haven't seen many openings for intellectual property litigation attorneys in Los Angeles, which is not surprising in the midst of a steady and sharp decline in patent litigation cases filed for several years nationwide.

Entertainment Law

Arguably the most "niche" practice area there is, entertainment law is really just a catch-all phrase to describe the legal matters associated with having a client in the entertainment or sports industry. These legal matters range that gamut and include licensing IP, technology transactions, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, labor and employment, real estate, and even immigration. A handful of the major firms in Los Angeles do have an entertainment law practice for which they are well versed in matters specifically related to entertainment, media, and sports matters—but they are rarely hiring. Small entertainment boutiques dot the landscape, but unless you can demonstrate a professional connection to music, movies, or some other media, those firms will likely pass on you.
 
State of the Market Report: Orange County
by Valerie Ross, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Situated on a beautiful stretch of coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego, Orange County is home to a good number of highly ranked international firms, small to mid-sized firms, and litigation boutiques. Orange County remains a relatively more affordable and less congested choice when compared to its neighboring counties.

Hot Practice Areas:

Patent Prosecution

Orange County has seen a surge in small IP boutique firms opening up their doors for business, and existing firms with strong patent prosecution practices are churning out more work product. And that's not surprising. According to the Orange County Register, "investments in Orange County companies hit the $1 billion mark in 2015 for the first time since 2000…nearly $700 million of that went to companies based in Irvine, a city in Orange County known for its innovation in biomedicine and technology."

Litigation

Similar to Los Angeles, a stellar academic pedigree (top schools, top grades) is a must, along with solid work history at a top firm with maybe one or two moves at most, and prior litigation experience. Laterals without the California Bar just won't be considered. Many highly ranked national firms have offices in Orange County, and because these offices might be smaller in size, they can be even more selective about hiring credentials. Senior litigators seeking a change might find open doors at a number of Orange County's smaller litigation boutiques—but be prepared to bring actual trial experience. We're also seeing a number of openings for junior laterals at smaller litigation boutiques, particularly in the areas of construction defects, employment, and general civil litigation.

Steady Practice Areas:

Real Estate and Construction

Real estate and construction remain strong in Orange County, as developers and builders pursue private and government-owned ranchlands for conversion into master-planned residential communities. There's been a bit of a rental boom and apartment buildings are on the rise—literally. Retail complexes keep popping up. Many local businesses would agree that Orange County is still more affordable than Los Angeles or San Diego.

Employment

There's been a steady number of employment openings at firms of all sizes and rankings in Orange County. The big firms tend to seek junior associates, while the smaller boutique firms set their sights on experienced laterals and partners with business.

Dead Practice Areas:

Intellectual Property Litigation

Unfortunately, we just haven't seen many openings for intellectual property litigation attorneys in Orange County, which is not surprising in the midst of a steady and sharp decline in patent litigation cases filed for several years nationwide.

Bankruptcy

Although hot in other areas of the country, there just aren't many bankruptcy opportunities in Orange County. We expect this to change after the upcoming election, however, as some businesses might struggle with a new leader's economic agenda.

Environmental

Although often tied with real estate and land use matters, environmental law on its own seems to be dead in Orange County.

 
NORTHWEST
 
State of the Market Report: Seattle

by Paul Danielson, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Seattle as a city and legal market has not cooled down one bit (and the locals will tell you it has been a brutal summer, weather-wise). Hiring continues apace at Seattle firms in most all practice areas, with litigation, real estate, technology transactions, and corporate attorneys being in the greatest demand in 2016. Seattle firms continue to seek attorneys with stellar credentials, sophisticated large law firm experience (attorneys from top firms in major markets will have an easier time moving to Seattle than smaller firm candidates lateraling within the Seattle market), and of course portable business. Local personal connections used to be a must for would-be Seattle job seekers, but given the pace of growth and the increasingly international profile of Seattle, firms are warming up to candidates with no existing connections, as everyone now knows that Seattle is a destination in and of itself.

Hot Practice Areas:

Litigation

Just like every other West Coast market at the moment, litigation is dominant in terms of the number of open positions coming online and the frequency of firm hiring, but similar to other markets the competition is fierce due to a glut of lateral litigation candidates who have not seen very many opportunities within the last 4-5 years. Consequently would-be lateral candidates still need to possess stellar credentials in the form of top grades and top schools, law review, clerkships, as well as high-level litigation experience, preferably from large firms. Seattle firms also will require the Washington Bar, but mid-level and senior candidates will be able to waive in if they meet Washington's relatively easy reciprocity requirements. Candidates with large books of portable business will have their pick of firms.

Corporate

Corporate hiring is still going gangbusters in Seattle, and it is probably the second strongest market for corporate hiring on the West Coast outside of the Bay Area. All types of lateral corporate attorneys will find potential opportunities in the current Seattle market, especially those with experience in M&A, venture capital, emerging companies, corporate finance, and any corporate attorneys with significant portable business.

IP & Technology Transactions

Similar to corporate, but a more niche practice area, IP & technology transactions (and data privacy), is seeing heavy demand in the Seattle market. Given the composition of Seattle's economy and heavy representation by the tech sector heading into the future, we anticipate demand for attorneys with experience in this practice area to remain steady for quite some time.

Steady Practice Areas:

Labor & Employment

Labor and employment attorneys will still find plenty of opportunities in the Seattle market, especially attorneys with labor & employment litigation experience (firms are particularly keen on candidates with class action experience), as well as attorneys who have a solid background in ERISA, executive compensation & employee benefits, especially those versed in matters related to technology company mergers and expansions.

Slow to Dead Practice Areas:

We have seen some hiring activity in Seattle in patent prosecution and bankruptcy, though not enough to be considered steady—attorneys with experience in those areas should jump on every available opportunity. Dead practice areas include taxation, trusts & estates (firms hired heavily in the beginning of the year and have their current rosters full), real estate (same, although firms will still take a look at solid real estate attorneys even if they do not have a posted opening), patent litigation, environmental & energy, and any other practice area not listed above.
 
State of the Market Report: Portland
by Paul Danielson, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

As evidenced by the fast rising rents, booming economy, national TV show, and countless fawning New York Times travel articles, Portland is very much on the map at this point, both nationally and internationally. Remote work arrangements and new tech investment have driven a significant increase in technology jobs and salaries, and an article from just over a year ago highlights the fact that there is significant interest in Portland real estate among existing Bay Area residents, who are attracted to Portland's largely similar lifestyle at about 1/3 the price of current Bay Area living, although that gap is surely closing. Despite all of the new business action, the legal market in Portland is not booming in quite the same manner—firms are hiring, certainly, but salaries have not caught up to other major markets, and competition for each job in the Portland market is about as fierce as it gets. That being said, dedicated attorneys who have patience and are willing to engage in a very broad search can find success in making a lateral move.

Hot Practice Areas:

Litigation

Similar to other markets on the West Coast, litigation openings are more frequent in Portland than they have been in years in the second half of 2016. Because of the large number of would-be lateral litigators, however, the market is hyper-competitive, and firms can afford to be very picky. Candidates seeking to relocate to or lateral within the Portland market will need to have stellar credentials, high-level experience (particularly deposition and trial experience), and should ideally bring experience in the most in-demand Portland litigation practice areas such as construction, complex commercial, and insurance litigation.

Corporate

Corporate hiring has slowed down somewhat in Portland in terms of posted openings, but the practice area is busy enough that firms will typically give a look to any stellar corporate lateral candidate even if they do not have a posted opening. Experience in M&A, emerging companies, and corporate finance is particularly desired, partly driven by the boom we are seeing in the Portland tech sector.

Steady Practice Areas:

Tax, Trusts & Estates

Hiring continues to remain steady in taxation and trusts & estates, which is typical for this late phase of the economic boom cycle. LL.M.s are particularly desired, and candidates with strong experience from the junior to senior level will find potential opportunities in both business and transactional tax as well as tax planning for wealthy individuals.

Labor & Employment

Labor and employment opportunities continue to remain steady in Portland, although they are concentrated in employment litigation, including wage & hour, harassment, and unfair hiring practices litigation, with traditional labor, ERISA and employee benefits, and employment counseling all seeing low demand within the L & E practice area market.

Slow to Dead Practice Areas:

Hiring in Portland has been slow to dead in real estate and land use (although candidates with strong experience will still get a look from firms who do not have current openings), patent prosecution and patent litigation, bankruptcy, environmental and energy law, trademark, technology transactions, and any other practice area not listed above.

 
SOUTHWEST
 
State of the Market Report: Phoenix

by Christina Brown, Legal Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Healthy Practice Areas:

Litigation

Like Las Vegas, the demand for litigators in Phoenix continues to outpace every other practice area by far. The call for litigators includes medical malpractice, class action, insurance and construction defects, product liability, and general commercial and business. Although membership in the state bar is generally essential, attorneys may be eligible for admission by motion. Candidates most sought are those with 3-5 years of experience, though some firms are seeking more seasoned attorneys—and those with portable business are always favored.

Corporate

The corporate market remains very strong, with firms posting positions for candidates with M&A, securities, VC, finance, and hotel and leisure experience. Also valued is corporate governance and formation, joint venture and private equity, and IPO experience, all in the 2-6 year range. Firms generally (though not always) require Arizona licensure.

Labor and Employment

Nearly dead in our last report, demand for labor and employment attorneys has experienced a sharp uptick in recent months. Candidates with 2-5 years in litigation and counseling, specifically EEOC, Federal Family and Medial Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, discrimination and retaliation, wrongful discharge, wage and hour, and union arbitrations are encouraged to contact us to discuss opportunities in Phoenix and across the Western region generally.

Bankruptcy

Up dramatically from last quarter, bankruptcy opportunities for attorneys are on the rise in Phoenix. Attorneys having 2-5 years of experience in creditors' right with licensure in Arizona (or eligible for admission by motion) will find opportunities at firms of all sizes.

Partners Wishing to Lateral

Several firms in Phoenix are seeking partners. In a variety of practice areas from bankruptcy, tax, employment and more, if you are considering a lateral move as a partner, please contact us to discuss opportunities in Phoenix.

Steady Practice Areas:

Real Estate

Though slowing slightly from earlier this summer, demand for experienced real estate attorneys remains constant. The experience level being sought ranges from 2-6 years, including those with hotel industry experience, project development, finance, commercial leasing, and acquisition.

Family Law

The need for family law attorneys is in fact up from the last report. Candidates with 2-8 years that are well versed in family law procedure, have strong litigation skills, developed writing skills, and a solid understanding of discovery and disclosure obligations as well as experience in settlement conferences, mediation, Order of Protection hearings, and trial are strongly preferred.

Patent Prosecution

Unlike Las Vegas, there remains a call for patent prosecutors, including those with 1-5 years' experience with a degree in electrical engineering, physics, or computer science. USPTO registration is nearly always required, while membership in the Arizona bar is less essential.

Trusts and Estates

Up from last quarter is the need for attorneys specializing in estate planning. Although the market is far from "hot" in this area, there is consistent a need for estate attorneys with at least 2 years of experience in planning, guardianship/conservatorship, probate, trust administration, public benefits, and litigation.

Other Practice Areas:

A number of other practice areas across Phoenix continued to show slight demand, including immigration, tax, and environmental law.
 
State of the Market Report: Colorado
by Jamie Bailey, Partner, BCG Attorney Search - Chicago

Denver

Partners with Portable Business

Are you a partner with portable business looking to lateral to a new firm in Colorado? Generally speaking, firms are looking for a minimum of $500,000 in portable business. If you are a partner with business interested in transitioning to a new firm in Colorado, please call our Chicago office.

Associates

Denver firms are very busy and we have seen increased lateral hiring in the corporate transactional, litigation, patent prosecution, technology and trademark areas. In addition, commercial real estate continues to be an area in which Denver firms have significant need. Attorneys with the following skills and experience should contact our Chicago office to discuss opportunities in Denver.

Corporate - M&A; Finance; Securities; Private Equity; Banking
 
  • 1-5 years of experience in M&A and private equity transactions.
  • 2+ years of experience handling corporate M&A and technology transactions. Experience handling public finance work is a plus. CO bar is required.
  • 2-6 years of experience in corporate M&A, private equity, securities and debt finance transactions.
  • 3+ years of experience in banking, finance and complex lending transactions. Strong knowledge of financing structures required.

Litigation - Commercial; Trusts and Estates; Consumer Financial Services (CO bar most often required)
 
  • 1-3 years of litigation experience. Judicial clerkship preferred.
  • 2-4 years of civil rights and government tort defense litigation experience. CO bar required.
  • 3-5 years of experience in general commercial litigation. Trial, hearing and deposition experience required.
  • 3-5 years of consumer financial services litigation experience. CO bar required.
  • 4-6 years of experience in trusts and estates litigation. Knowledge of probate and trust law required.

Intellectual Property -Technology; Patent Prosecution; Trademark

Technology
 
  • 1-2 years of experience in complex technology transactions. CO bar or eligibility to sit for the bar required.
  • 4-6+ years of experience handling technology matters, including cloud services, outsourcing, Internet and e-commerce transactions.

Patent Prosecution (USPTO and CO bar most often required; advanced degrees preferred where noted)
 
  • 2+ years of experience in software and electronic patents. USPTO required.
  • 2+ years' experience in patent prosecution and background in electrical engineering or computer science. USPTO required.
  • 2-4 years handling patent prosecution matters and an advanced degree in mechanical, aerospace engineering or physics preferred. USPTO preferred.
  • 2-6 years of patent prosecution experience and an advanced degree in organic or medicinal chemistry, molecular biology or genetics.
  • 2-6 years of experience in patent prosecution matters with a background in computer science, electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering or physics. Advanced degree preferred. CO bar and USPTO preferred.
  • 3+ years' experience in patent prosecution with background in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry or bio-engineering. CO bar is preferred.

Trademark
 
  • 2-4 years of experience in trademark matters, including brand management of trademark portfolios and familiarity with advertising, marketing and promotions.
  • 3-6+ years of experience in trademark clearance, counseling, prosecution and enforcement. Large law firm experience preferred.

Real Estate
 
  • 1-5 years of experience in real estate financing transactions.
  • 3-6 years of experience handling real estate leasing, title, land use, and real estate finance transactions. CO license required.
  • 4+ years of experience in commercial real estate transactions. Experience with tax aspects and credit financing preferred. Title insurance experience required. CO bar required.
  • 5+ years' experience with private equity funds, REIT's, and developers on sales and acquisitions of commercial real estate properties.

Tax
 
  • 6+ years of experience in partnership/LLC and M&A transactions. Tax credit experience is preferred but not required.

Labor and Employment
 
  • 2-4 years of experience in EEOC and discrimination investigations, class action litigation, and federal anti-discrimination regulations. Colorado bar preferred.
  • 4-6 years of experience with EEOC and state agency work, as well as state federal court litigation involving harassment and discrimination claims. FLSA class and collective actions experience a plus. Judicial clerkship and CO bar (or eligibility to sit for the bar) preferred.

Healthcare
 
  • 3-5 years of experience in healthcare transactional and regulatory matters and litigation. Large law firm or boutique healthcare firm experience preferred.

Government Contracts
 
  • 3-5 years of prior government contracts experience. CO license or eligibility to waive into the CO bar required.
 
State of the Market Report: Las Vegas
by Christina Brown, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Healthy Practice Areas:

Litigation

When we last reported, Las Vegas litigation positions had more than doubled from the winter months, and this pace has continued to increase. Firms large and small are seeking litigators with experience from 0-5 years in nearly every area, including consumer finance, general business and commercial, family, criminal defense, construction defects and more. Trial and deposition experience, federal clerkships, law review and moot court experience are favored and licensure in Nevada is virtually a must.

Labor and Employment

This quarter saw labor and employment virtually explode, with candidates receiving multiple interviews (and offers) across multiple states, even in some instances without the bar. In places such as California, Arizona, and Nevada, labor & employment attorneys are enjoying many opportunities. Firms are generally seeking experience from 2-5 years in wage and hour, discrimination, workplace violence, class action, and employment agreements and handbooks, in both litigation and counseling.

Calling for Partners

Several firms have been and continue to seek partners with portable business in a variety of practice areas. If any of these positions for partners are of interest, please contact us so we may talk with you about these opportunities.

Steady Practice Areas:

Corporate

Firms have continued to show a need for corporate associates and partners with traditional M&A, finance, joint venture, consumer finance, and securities experience. Firms are looking for attorneys ranging from very junior to partner level. In some cases firms are indicating a mere "preference" for Nevada state bar members.

Trusts and Estates

The call for estate planning attorneys showed a marked increase this quarter, with firms seeking candidates with 3+ years of experience. Specifically sought is experience in private annuities, family limited partnerships, annuity trusts, charitable lead trusts, and charitable planning.

Slower Practice Areas:

Intellectual Property

There is some need for IP prosecutors and agents, but it has dropped significantly since our last report. Candidates should be admitted to the USPTO with an electrical, computer, mechanical engineering or science background.

Tax

Attorneys having 1-4 years' experience in tax law have the opportunity to make a lateral move, with firms seeking superior academics and an LL.M. as an added advantage.

Slow to Dead Practice Areas:

There has been a significantly lowered demand for lateral attorneys in Nevada in most other practice areas besides those mentioned above, including gaming, environmental, and bankruptcy law.
 
MIDWEST
 
State of the Market Report: Chicago

by Jamie Bailey, Partner, BCG Attorney Search - Chicago

Last quarter we reported a marked increase in transactional practices in Chicago. Transactional practices continue to be very busy in the vast majority of firms here in Chicago and we have seen a remarkable uptick in the need for highly trained specialists who have significant experience in key transactional areas, including: M&A, finance (including debt finance and leveraged finance), private equity, investment management, securities and venture capital. As we head into the fourth quarter, we expect to see this increased activity in transactional practices continue, as firms close out deals for their corporate clients. With this surge in corporate work, firms are also seeking strong ERISA and employee benefits attorneys to service their transactional deals. Commercial real estate remains fairly constant. The flow of intellectual property work in Chicago remains strong, with a slight downturn in IP litigation (which appears to be a national trend) and a fairly constant demand for patent prosecutors. We have seen an increased need for IP attorneys with strong technology and privacy skills, as well as those bringing excellent trademark and copyright experience. Litigation remains fairly constant and larger, middle market and smaller firms are expanding and increasing their ranks in this area. The increased need for healthcare attorneys since last quarter is significant and, similarly, firms are increasing their resources in labor and employment.

The Chicago legal market is very strong and the overall diversity in terms of the practice area needs for laterals we see in Chicago firms is encouraging. We suspect this strong level of lateral hiring activity will continue through the fourth quarter. The following lateral report will give you an overview of the strength of the Chicago legal market and the most significant practice areas in which Chicago firms have needs.

Partners with Portable Business

If you are a partner with portable business, we are interested in speaking with you. Generally speaking, large firms in this market are looking for a minimum of $1M in portable business. Partners seeking to make a move should contact our Chicago office at 312-321-9411.

Associates

Corporate - Finance; Debt Finance; Leveraged Finance; Trade Finance; Securitization; Securities; Investment Management; Commercial Lending; Private Equity; M&A; Joint Venture; Venture Capital

In our last report, we noted an increase in transactional needs in law firms in Chicago. Our Chicago office continues to receive requests from large and middle market firms in Chicago with busy corporate transactional practices, with continued significant need for top tier finance and investment management attorneys, as well as corporate M&A and securities attorneys. Our clients are seeking associates with the following skills and experience:
 
  • 1-4 years of experience handling M&A, private equity and divestiture transactions.
  • 1-6 years of experience handling general corporate, M&A and finance transactions.
  • 2-4 years handling commercial lending transactions. Familiarity with municipal finance, banking, corporate finance and securities underwriting is preferred.
  • 2-4 years of experience in M&A transactions, employment consulting agreements, non-competition agreements and licensing agreements. Qualified candidates should have experience structuring M&A, joint venture, corporate formation and restructuring agreements.
  • 2-4 years handling private equity backed acquisition finance LBO's, equity investments, restructurings and workouts.
  • 2-5 years in debt finance, secured and unsecured finance transactions. Leveraged finance experience is preferred.
  • 2-5 years of experience working with investment funds, including structuring private equity and real estate funds and alternative investment vehicles.
  • 2-5 years of experience handling LLC partnership agreements, securities offerings, M&A transactions. Joint venture and investment management experience is a plus.
  • Mid-level and senior associate to income partner level attorneys to handle corporate and franchise transactions.
  • 3-5 years handling capital markets transactions. Corporate finance and securities and corporate governance experience in the REIT industry is preferred.
  • 3-5 years of experience in securitization and/or trade finance transactions.
  • 4-6 years of experience in investment management matters, including the Investment Company Act of '40, the Investment Advisors Act of '40, the Securities Act of '33 and the Securities Exchange Act of '34. Experience representing registered investment companies and investment advisers is preferred.
  • 4-7 years of experience in corporate securities and international corporate transactions.
  • 7+ years of experience advising corporate pension funds and experience representing institutional investors in domestic and international investments. Experience drafting investment management fund documents required.

Tax - Corporate Tax; Partnership Tax; Tax Controversy (LL.M. typically preferred for tax positions)

We've seen a slight decline in the need for tax attorneys since our last report. We would, however, still be interested in speaking with attorneys with the following experience:
 
  • 3-8 years handling corporate, M&A and partnership tax matters.
  • 4-6 years of experience in tax controversy matters. IL bar admission required.

Litigation - General Commercial; Financial Services; Securities; White Collar; Class Action; Healthcare; Construction (IL bar required in most cases)

There has been a considerable uptick in the need for litigation associates in Chicago at the largest, middle market and smaller firms in the specific areas noted immediately above. Litigators with the following skills and experience should reach out to our Chicago office:
 
  • 2-4 years of financial services litigation, regulatory enforcement, CFTC, SEC, FINRA, securities and derivatives litigation experience.
  • 3-5 years of experience in white collar/internal investigations litigation, including fraud, the FCPA, insider trading, healthcare violations, customer fraud and the False Claims Act litigation matters.
  • 3-5 years of managed care litigation.
  • 3-8 years handling class action and complex discrimination litigation matters.
  • 6-20 years of experience in construction litigation.
 
ERISA/Employee Benefits - Health and Welfare Plans; Executive Compensation; Qualified Retirement Plans

With busy corporate practices, firms in Chicago are experiencing a corresponding marked increase in their need for ERISA and employee benefits attorneys. We would be interested in talking to attorneys who have the following skills and experience:
 
  • 1-3 years of experience handling the ERISA aspects of investment funds.
  • 2+ years handling welfare, executive compensation and qualified retirement plans and the Affordable Care Act.
  • 2-5 years of experience handling ERISA, health and welfare plans, executive compensation, pension and M&A transactions.

Labor and Employment - Employment Litigation; Counseling; Traditional Labor Experience

The need for labor and employment attorneys has remained fairly constant. Attorneys with the following experience should contact our Chicago office.
 
  • 3-5 years of employment counseling experience defending clients before the EEOC and the IL Department of Human Rights.
  • 4+ years of experience in employment litigation, wage and hour and employee mobility. Traditional labor experience is a plus.
  • Senior traditional labor and employment attorneys with experience handling NLRB hearings and labor union matters.

Healthcare - Data Privacy, HIPAA; Stark; Medicare/Medicaid; FDA

In our last report, healthcare was not an area in which we were seeing significant need in Chicago. However, that has changed this past quarter and we have seen an increased need in Chicago for healthcare attorneys with the specific experience noted below:
 
  • 3-5 years of experience handling data privacy and security, HIPAA, the Privacy Act of 1974, and FDA matters. Regulatory experience is a plus.
  • 4+ years handling healthcare transactional and regulatory advice, tax-exempt healthcare organizations, and fraud and abuse.
  • 4-7 years of experience in Stark law, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and healthcare regulatory compliance.

Intellectual Property - IP Litigation; Patent Prosecution; Trademark and Copyright; Technology (Note USPTO, IL bar and/or advanced degree requirements below)

Intellectual Property practices continue to flourish in Chicago and the need for highly trained IP attorneys with a diverse range of skills and technical backgrounds remains a constant. Although IP litigation has somewhat declined (and this is a national trend), we are still experiencing some need for IP litigators here in Chicago. We have significant need, however, for patent prosecutors and attorneys with strong technology and trademark and copyright experience. We would be interested in speaking with attorneys with the following skills and experience:

IP Litigation
 
  • 1-4 years of experience in patent litigation with an advanced degree in biology, biochemistry or immunology.
  • 2-6 years of patent litigation experience and a background in electrical engineering or computer science. USPTO required.
  • 3+ years of experience handling pharmaceutical or medical device litigation with a background in chemistry or biochemistry. IL bar admission is required.
  • 3-5 years of experience handling Hatch-Waxman litigation matters. IL bar admission or ability to sit for the IL bar exam is required.

Patent Prosecution (USPTO and IL bar most often required)
 
  • 1-5 years of experience in patent prosecution matters with a background in mechanical engineering or electromechanical engineering.
  • 2-5 years of patent prosecution experience and a background in material science, nanotechnology, or medical devices. IL bar and USPTO required.
  • 2-7 years of experience in patent prosecution with a background in electrical engineering or computer science. IL bar and USPTO required.
  • 3-5 years of patent prosecution experience and a background in cellular biology, immunology, molecular biology, pharmaceutical sciences, genomics, chemistry or biochemistry. USPTO required.

Trademark and Copyright
 
  • 1-2 years of experience in trademark prosecution, clearance and litigation. Fluency in Spanish or Mandarin required.
  • 5-10 years of experience in domestic and international trademark prosecution and enforcement, trademark portfolio management and trademark clearances.

Technology
 
  • 1-2 years of experience in technology, cybersecurity, and professional services delivery.
  • 1-3 years of experience in technology transactions, including outsourcing, joint ventures, R&D technology, licensing, biotech and M&A transactions.
  • 3-5 years of handling technology transactional matters.
  • 3-6 years of experience in privacy and data security.
  • 4-6 years of experience handling technology transactions and privacy, licensing, cloud services, outsourcing and e-commerce transactions.

Real Estate - Acquisition and Dispositions; REITs; Hotels; Leasing; Finance; Construction; Land Use; Zoning

The need for highly trained commercial real estate attorneys remains constant in Chicago. If you are a commercial real estate attorney with the following skills and experience level, please reach out to our Chicago office:
 
  • 2-5+ years handling acquisition, disposition, leasing, development and joint venture transactions.
  • 5+ years of experience working with private equity clients on development and acquisition deals and familiarity with funds, REITs, private lenders, commercial banks and complex real estate transactions.
  • 5-7 years of experience with purchase and sale contracts, leases and title matters. Experience working with hotels is a plus. Real estate finance, construction, land use and zoning experience is preferred.
 
State of the Market Report: Indiana
by Liz Leach, Partner, BCG Attorney Search - Chicago

Indianapolis

Our understanding of the current Indianapolis market from Indy lawyers and our candidate representations is lateral activity is moving slowly. In other words, interviews and actual hires are taking much longer than usual. The largest firms in Indianapolis appear to be doing most of the hiring. There also are more mid-senior level and partner openings.

Hot practice areas are patent prosecution and patent litigation work; benefits, executive compensation and ERISA; health care (including pharma work as Indy is home to many pharmaceutical companies) and lastly corporate - mergers/acquisitions and senior litigators. Real estate, labor/employment, bankruptcy and tax appear to be surprisingly slow.

Partners with Portable Business

We are also interested in speaking with partners with portable business. Generally speaking, firms in this market are seeking a minimum of $500,000 in portable business. Partners seeking to make a move in this market should contact our Chicago office.

Take a look below at some of the positions we are currently recruiting for in Indianapolis:

Associates

Corporate - Mergers/Acquisitions

The Indianapolis office of our client seeks a business attorney with 1-3 years of experience. The candidate will be working on matters related to mergers and acquisitions, finance, private equity, venture capital, fund formation, and general business.

Real Estate

The Indianapolis office of our client seeks a real estate attorney having 2-6 years of significant real estate experience, including a broad knowledge of real estate development. The candidate must have extensive experience with the preparation and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements for commercial real estate transactions and leasing. Additional experience in the area of real estate finance documentation is a benefit. Should be a member of the Indiana Bar or eligible to waive in.

Intellectual Property - Patent Prosecution

The Indianapolis office of our client seeks an intellectual property attorney with 2-5 years of patent prosecution experience. The candidate should have a technical background including mechanical engineering or similar.

Employee Benefits/ERISA

The Indianapolis office of our client seeks a benefits and executive compensation attorney with 4+ years of experience. The candidate should have experience with retirement and executive compensation, from an AmLaw 100 law firm or in-house corporation.

The Indianapolis office of our client seeks ERISA attorney with 3-5 years of experience. The candidate must be trained in a variety of substantive employee benefits areas, including preparing IRS filings, researching a variety of legal issues, drafting documents, and handling transactional employee benefits due diligence matters.
 
State of the Market Report: Wisconsin
by Jamie Bailey, Partner, BCG Attorney Search - Chicago

Milwaukee and Madison

Partners with Portable Business

If you are a partner with portable business, we would be interested in speaking with you. Firms in this market are generally looking for a minimum of $500,000 in portable business. Partners seeking to make a move in this market should contact our Chicago office.

Associates

Milwaukee and Madison law firm offices are hiring lateral associates in the following practice areas:

Intellectual Property - Patent Prosecution

The most significant need we have in Wisconsin firms for IP attorneys is for patent prosecutors with the following skills and experience:

Patent Prosecution (USPTO and WI bar most often required)
 
  • 1-4 years of patent prosecution experience and a background in mechanical or electromechanical technologies. Wisconsin bar and USPTO required.
  • 3+ years of experience in patent prosecution, licensing, client counseling and opinion work with a technical background in mechanical or electrical engineering.
  • 5+ years in patent prosecution with an electrical engineering or computer science background. USPTO required.

Our general practice firms in Wisconsin continue to expand in key areas, including litigation, corporate, real estate, healthcare, trusts and estates and labor and employment. The following are the skills and experience we are seeking in these key areas:

Litigation - Commercial; Asbestos
 
  • 3-5 years' experience in commercial litigation.
  • 3+ years of experience handling asbestos litigation matters.

Corporate - General Corporate; M&A; Franchise
 
  • 4-7 and 8-12 years of experience in corporate transactional and franchise matters.
  • 5-7 years of experience handling general corporate and M&A matters.

Real Estate - Acquisition, Disposition, Leasing, Finance, Zoning, Land Use
 
  • 2-5 years handling acquisition, disposition, real estate finance, lease transactions, zoning, and land use. A background in accounting or finance is preferred.

Healthcare - Fraud; Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement
 
  • 3+ years of experience working with healthcare transactions in connection with fraud and abuse, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and healthcare regulatory compliance.

Trusts and Estates
 
  • 3-5 years of trusts and estates experience working with high net worth individuals on estate and gift planning matters. Wisconsin bar is required.

Labor and Employment
 
  • 3-4 years of experience in labor and employment litigation. Wisconsin bar is required.
 
State of the Market Report: Minneapolis/Saint Paul
by Julie Lehrman, Senior Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search


Twin Cities

As the economy remains steady, we are seeing continued needs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market. Specifically, patent, health care, corporate, litigation and tax are particularly strong this season.

Additionally, the need for partners with books of business remains constant in the Twin Cities. Partners with books larger than $1M will find that they are the most marketable in the Twin Cities, but those with $500k or more may find success at smaller or mid-sized firms. Partners with substantial books are encouraged to reach out to BCG's Chicago office to learn about opportunities in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul market.

Litigation

Litigation continues to be strong and steady in the Twin Cities. Large firms tend to want excellent academic credentials and large-firm experience, while smaller and mid-sized firms tend to focus more on hands-on experience including trials, depositions, and handling of all phases of discovery. We have seen specialized needs such as antitrust and construction litigation. Most firms want litigators who can function with at least some independence, and mid-level litigators are more marketable than junior ones.

Healthcare

We have seen a small but not insubstantial need for healthcare attorneys in the Twin Cities. Senior healthcare attorneys who can function independently and mid-level healthcare attorneys with solid transactional and/or regulatory experience are the most marketable.

Tax

Tax has been pretty strong the last few seasons in the Twin Cities, and this trend continues. Firms prefer a CPA or LLM, and several years of experience in the relevant tax sub-field. More experienced tax attorneys can do well as long as they have solid experience in a reputable law firm. Firms remain reluctant to hire attorneys out of accounting firms.

Corporate and Transactional

While corporate law is not going gangbusters in the Twin Cities as it is in some other markets, solid M&A candidates with strong law firm backgrounds should not have a problem getting some traction here.

IP

We have a seen a slow but still steady need for IP attorneys in The Twin Cities. The greatest need continues to be in electrical engineering and computer science or computer engineering. Attorneys who have demonstrated a high level of independence, minimal need for supervision, and have prosecuted many patents are the most marketable. As many firms in this field are small boutiques, a large firm background is less important than in other legal fields.
 
State of the Market Report: Saint Louis
by Julie Lehrman, Senior Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

One of our more steady markets is Saint Louis, and this remains the case this season. We see continued needs in the areas of patent prosecution, healthcare, and commercial litigation. Attorneys looking to relocate to the Saint Louis area should have a solid reason for doing so: family in the area, a spouse who has secured a job there, or something similar. Otherwise, it may be difficult to make the transition.

Partners

The Saint Louis market is amenable to partners and groups of partners with business, especially local ones. Partners with any amount of portable business over $250,000 are encouraged to contact the Chicago office of BCG to discuss putting together a marketing plan and strategizing your search.

Healthcare

We have seen a slight uptick in demand for healthcare attorneys in the Saint Louis area. Senior attorneys remain marketable, even those without business. Experience with fraud & abuse, Stark, and regulatory appear to be the most marketable healthcare attorneys.

Commercial Litigation

Perhaps the strongest need in Saint Louis this season has been for commercial litigators. We have seen demands for those with litigation sub-specialties including med-mal, products liability, real estate litigation, and insurance, as well as needs for general commercial litigation.

IP Prosecution

Although IP prosecution remains strong nationwide, we are seeing a bit of a slowdown this season, and that includes Saint Louis. The most marketable technical backgrounds remain electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science, but traction is slow even with these highly desirable backgrounds. The most marketable attorneys are those who have significant hands-on experience who can operate with little supervision. USPTO admission is required.
 
State of the Market Report: Michigan
by Julie Lehrman, Senior Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search - Chicago

Detroit has been a busy market this season. We have seen quite a bit of activity in the Detroit metro market, in such practice areas as: tax, corporate, employment law, patent prosecution, litigation, and trusts and estates.

Partners with Business

Partners with at least $250k in portable business are highly encouraged to contact the Chicago office of BCG to discuss the market. Those with at least $500k in portables will be most marketable at smaller to mid-sized firms, while those with upwards of $1M are more likely to be marketable to the larger firms. Our Chicago office will be happy to help you strategize and draft a marketing plan.

Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Southfield, Novi, Troy, Royal Oak, Lansing

Patent Prosecution

Patent prosecution, while slowing in some other areas of the country, is holding steady in the Detroit area. Those attorneys with technical backgrounds in electrical or computer arts remain the most sought-after in Detroit (and elsewhere). A high level of autonomy is highly desirable, and USPTO admission is, of course, required. Firms often ask for samples of patent applications drafted, and some require applicants to submit to technical assessment tests. Industry experience is highly valued.

Corporate

We have observed a continued need for strong M&A and securities attorneys in the Detroit area. Attorneys with at least two years of solid law firm experience are the most marketable, and M&A and securities are probably the most desirable backgrounds in Detroit.

Tax

Tax remains a strong practice area in the Detroit area. As elsewhere, firms prefer a CPA or LLM as well as experience with large or medium sized law firms. Candidates who are currently in accounting firms and have no law firm experience will find themselves to be less marketable.

Employment Law

Detroit usually has a slow and steady need for employment lawyers, and this has held true this quarter. Attorneys with traditional labor law skills are especially marketable in Detroit, as well as those with EEO/Title VII experience. Hands-on litigation experience is always helpful, including depositions and trial work, as is client counseling.

Litigation

Litigation has picked up pretty significantly nationwide over the last year or so, and this trend continues in Detroit. Commercial litigators should generally have a large firm background with significant responsibility for cases including performing all phases of discovery, depositions and trial experience if possible. Smaller firms tend require more direct, hands-on experience. Litigators with more than two years of experience are the most marketable.

Trusts and Estates

We have noticed a small demand for trusts and estate attorneys in the Detroit metro area. As with other tax-based disciplines, most firms prefer more experience, and attorneys with 2-3 years of very solid law firm experience are the most marketable.
 
State of the Market Report: Ohio
by Liz Leach, Senior Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Fall continues to be a good market for Ohio attorneys in ERISA, employee benefits, estate planning, IP, corporate, labor/employment, real estate and tax. Partners with portable business exceeding $300,000 should contact BCG's Chicago Office to learn about Ohio opportunities.

Cincinnati

Intellectual Property

Cincinnati continues to follow the national trend of the sought after IP technical disciplines computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering. We have also seen increased demand for life sciences backgrounds. Again, like the rest of the country, there seems to be a decrease in IP litigation.

Corporate

Corporate transactional attorneys are in demand, especially those with mergers & acquisition and finance skills. Attorneys with more than 3 years of experience are sought after.

Trademark

There has been a rise in the need for trademark attorneys, more than in past years.

Litigation

Cincinnati, like the rest of the country, seems to have many litigation openings. Strong credentials, academics and deposition and courtroom experience are sought after. We have seen that the large firms in this area have many openings this quarter.

Labor & Employment

Unlike Chicago, here the demand for labor/employment lawyers does not appear to be high at this time. Law firms are looking for traditional labor experience in addition to litigation and employment counseling.

Real Estate

There are a few real estate openings, but things are not as busy as they were a year ago.

Tax, Trust & Estates and Employee Benefits and ERISA

There always seems to be a demand for tax, trust & estates and employee benefit attorneys, no matter what level. A CPA or LLM is sought after. A background at an accounting firm or company is acceptable and sometimes a plus, whereas in other practice areas, law firm experience is a must. ERISA lawyers are always in demand and continue to be sought after.

Cleveland

Corporate

Experienced corporate attorneys are in demand more so recently than in previous quarters. We have seen growth in corporate and public finance work.

Real Estate

Real estate work has slowed down, but transactional work, leasing and REIT work has been steady.

Intellectual Property

Patent prosecution work is readily available. Like other regions across the county, firms in Cleveland are seeking out those with backgrounds in computer science, electrical engineering and software engineering.

Litigation

General commercial litigation has seen a small amount of growth.

Labor & Employment

Throughout Ohio, labor and employment continues to be a strong practice group seeking out those attorneys with strong litigation skills and employment counseling backgrounds.

Health care

There has been an increase in health care work, regulatory and transactional.

Columbus, Toledo, Dayton and Akron

Corporate

Even in the smaller cities of Ohio, corporate law attorneys with mergers & acquisitions experience are in demand, especially those with finance experience.

Litigation

Continued growth in litigation is seen in the less populated regions of Ohio, with commercial litigation needs posted most.

Bankruptcy

We have seen a decline in bankruptcy work of late.

Labor and Employment

L&E is status quo and traditional labor skills are required most.

Real Estate

We have also seen a moderate need for commercial real estate attorneys with leasing and complex transactional experience.
 
State of the Market Report: Utah
by Liz Leach, Partner, BCG Attorney Search

Salt Lake City

Overall, the largest growth practice area we see in Salt Lake City is Intellectual Property.

Partners with Portable Business

We are interested in speaking with partners with portable business who are seeking to lateral to new firms in Salt Lake City. Generally speaking, firms are seeking a minimum of $500,000 in portable business. If you are a partner with business interested in transitioning to a new firm in Salt Lake City, please call our Chicago office at 312-321-9411.

Associates and Junior Partners

Law firms in Salt Lake City have lateral associate (and junior partner) needs in the following practice areas: IP prosecution, real estate, litigation, corporate and health. Intellectual property attorneys with electrical engineering, computer science or physics backgrounds are sought after, just like in the rest of the country.
 
NORTHEAST
 
State of the Market Report: Boston/New England

by Margaret Gilleran, Esq., Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Boston is the bellwether for what is happening in the rest of New England. Similar to last quarter, corporate and intellectual property remain the busiest practice areas in Boston with real estate placing third, albeit with a substantial margin between it and the two leading practice areas. At long last the litigation market in Boston is beginning to show more activity. This increase in activity reflects a national trend which—until this quarter—was not in evidence in Boston. Healthcare, trusts and estates, tax, and employee benefits remain steady.

Corporate

The corporate market in Boston is strong. The greatest demand is for attorneys with exceptional academic credentials and between two and five years of large firm experience. There is no one specialty area—e.g. M&A, Capital Markets or Investment Management—that is more in demand than any other area. If you are a corporate associate who is considering looking for a new position in Boston, then now is an excellent time to commence a search.

Intellectual Property

The demand for Patent Prosecutors is greater than the demand for patent litigators in Boston. This trend is true throughout the country and reflects patent litigation's changing landscape in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Boston has long been the epicenter of the biotechnology industry and it is no surprise that life science degrees (e.g. chemistry, biology, biotechnology, etc.) among both patent prosecutors and patent litigators are in far greater demand than technology degrees like computer science, electrical engineering, or physics. It is increasingly true that firms are much more interested in associates who hold advanced life science or technology degrees and, in many cases, actually require (as opposed to "prefer") Ph.D.s.

Real Estate

Real estate is not exactly booming in Boston; however the practice area remains steady; and real estate associates of a certain "vintage" (e.g. fifth and sixth years) continue to reap the benefits of being in very short supply. When the recession of 2008 hit, many firms simply stopped investing in their real estate groups, which meant that—among other things—they stopped developing and producing real estate associates. If you are a real estate associate who has managed to practice in real estate during the last five to seven years, then you are somewhat of a unicorn and would most likely have a very short and successful job search in almost any region of the country, including Boston. Unlike corporate, where the greatest demand is for candidates with between two and five years of experience, the demand in real estate is for slightly more senior candidates with four or more years of experience. As is often the case in real estate, candidates with a lot of transactional experience, including financing, leasing, and lending, are in the greatest demand.

Litigation

Litigation is finally showing signs of life in Boston! While the litigation market should not be described as "hot", a number of new litigation opportunities have become available in Boston during the last three months. This increase in opportunities is in evidence in New York as well. Legal trends (in terms of "hot" practice areas) usually go from the East Coast to the West Coast; however, the trend in litigation is the exception, and it is good news for Boston that litigation is experiencing a long awaited uptick. The increase is still in its nascent stages and therefore firms can still afford to be highly selective. However, if you are a litigation associate with great credentials who has not been able to explore new opportunities in the last several years (because the market was fairly dead) now is an excellent time for you to dust off your resume and commence a search.
 
State of the Market Report: New York
by Katy Anderman, Managing Director, BCG Attorney Search

The New York City legal market was busy this summer. As we move into the fall season, we are continuing to see new lateral opportunities in the areas of corporate, banking, bankruptcy and labor & employment. Currently, there are over 300 Am Law 200 openings in New York City. A breakdown of jobs by practice area is below:
 
Practice Area: Number of Openings:
Corporate 91
Litigation 62
IP 34
Banking 22
Bankruptcy 19
Labor & Employment 16
Real Estate 16
Tax 10
ERISA 10
Health Care 5
Trusts & Estates 5
 
Corporate

Our clients are looking for corporate candidates at all levels with general transaction experience, M&A, finance, securities and investment management skills. We have been noticing a greater need for candidates with experience in capital markets, securities laws and corporate governance matters with respect to public companies.

Banking

We are seeing more of a need for finance associates with extensive experience in complex lending transactions, including lender-side representation and/or sponsor representation in medium to large private equity acquisition financing transactions. Candidates should have excellent drafting skills and a strong working knowledge of financing structures, credit agreements, security agreements and bank commitment papers.

Bankruptcy Law

The need for bankruptcy attorneys at all levels has been rising. Several big law firms are looking for attorneys with peer law firm experience on both the creditor or debtor side of Chapter 11 cases. Associates with three to six years’ experience in representing clients in bankruptcy cases and distressed situations are in the highest demand.

Intellectual Property Law

The IP market remains hot for those candidates with a technical or science background. We are seeing an increased demand for candidates with electrical engineering or computer science degrees on both the litigation and prosecution sides. Candidates with strong technology transactional and licensing skills are in demand at the top IP practices and firms. One top IP-litigation firm is offering a signing bonus for highly competitive candidates who come on board before the end of the year.

Labor & Employment Law

Labor & employment continues to be a niche area where the demand for candidates is high. Firms are looking for candidates with all experience in all aspects of labor-management relations law, including but not limited to wage and hour, class action litigation, EEO litigation, negotiations, counseling, WARN act, corporate reorganizations, reductions in force and related judicial proceedings. Experience with employment contracts and corporate deals with respect to labor matters will also be helpful.

Real Estate Law

The real estate market has held steady, but we haven’t seen a lot of growth in terms of newly listed positions. The focus remains on candidates with both real estate finance experience and traditional real estate experience. Candidates with a broad range of experience representing lenders/borrowers in financing transactions and in connection with joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions and real estate fundamentals such as title and survey, leasing and other property level due diligence will be in high demand.

Conclusion

There are several outstanding opportunities for transactional candidates in the NYC market. Litigation positions are available, but candidates must meet specific qualifications for each position as there are very few generalist positions open.
 
State of the Market Report: Philadelphia
by Becca Levine, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Philadelphia has started to become a popular destination for attorneys in large cities to move to, making the area increasingly more competitive for top talent at the larger firms. The market in Philadelphia is steady—there is action in a wide range of areas, from corporate, to real estate, to general litigation, but no one area that stands out as overwhelmingly busy. The market for trust & estates and tax work as well as ERISA work, however, in Philadelphia is slow, with few firms having a really strong practice in these areas, although healthcare work has picked up. Employment litigation, as a subset of litigation generally, continues to be an active area in Philadelphia, with a number of well-known employment boutiques focused in that market as well as thriving practices at some of the larger firms. Most of the market is geared towards junior to mid-level associates (2-7 years out) with little interest in more senior associates, unless the attorney has a solid portable book of business.

Litigation

As compared to other markets of the country, litigation in Philadelphia is on the healthy side. A couple of the large firms continue to put out openings for litigators, but due to the above mentioned growing interest in relocating to Philly, we are seeing these positions filling up extremely quickly. Thus, if you had an interest in this market and have a strong litigation background at a large firm and would like to lateral to another large firm, we recommend jumping at any opening that may come out. Generally, the market for litigators at smaller firms continues to be steady as well.

Corporate

The corporate market in Philadelphia is slower than in previous quarters. Although we are seeing corporate openings, we would expect there to be a bit more movement at this time. However, a strong corporate attorney has the chance to break through in the larger firm market. Smaller firms, on the other hand, are generally looking for someone with broad corporate experience, often including real estate work.

Real Estate

Real estate continues to be a solid market in Philadelphia. This type of niche experience is harder to come by, and anyone with a strong real estate transactional background will get more traction than a general corporate associate. However, even here, while this area is very strong right now in neighboring New York, we are not seeing as much interest at the larger firms than we have in the past. As with other areas, attorneys with between 2 to 6 years of experience with significant real estate transactional experience are the most marketable.

Intellectual Property

This area is especially slow in Philly—with openings really only at smaller firm practices on the patent side, and even that not overwhelmingly strong. However, there are some large health care practices in Philadelphia, and having a life sciences background might garner some significant interest from firms that are in need of this type of expertise. IP/IT transactional work is not a large area in Philly, and more firms would be interested in this type of expertise in New York.

ERISA/Employment and Tax/Trust and Estates

ERISA in Philadelphia is a smaller market, with an opening coming out every couple of months. Employment litigation, however, is a strong market here, and someone with solid defense-side employment experience, especially with labor experience as well, would likely get a lot of interest. On the other hand, openings in the trust & estates market and other tax-specific areas remain very slow, with almost no openings at all in the market for a long time in this specialty.
 
SOUTH
 
State of the Market Report: Kansas City, Missouri

by Julie Lehrman, Senior Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

We are seeing a continued and surprisingly strong demand for both litigation and IP prosecution in Kansas City. For litigators, having the Missouri and Kansas bars may be helpful. Like Saint Louis, attorneys seeking to relocate to the Kansas City area should have a compelling reason for doing so, or strong familial ties to the area.

Partners with Portable Business

The Chicago office of BCG Attorney Search is happy to speak with attorneys who have significant portable business. Firms in Kansas City are especially interested in partners and groups of partners who are local or have local connections. Partners with any amount of portable business are welcome to call us for a discussion.

Litigation

One of the strongest practice areas in the Kansas City area this season has been in commercial litigation. We are seeing plenty of activity in this sector. Subspecialties of commercial litigation where we have seen needs include consumer class action, insurance defense, professional liability, and med-mal, in addition to commercial litigation. Trial, discovery, and deposition experience can be very helpful.

IP

Unlike some other geographic markets, patent prosecution appears to have remained strong in the Kansas City area. Interestingly, we have seen needs in life sciences as well as electrical engineering and computer science. Especially for life sciences, employers prefer a Ph.D. or Master’s degree, and industry experience is almost always looked upon favorably.
 
State of the Market Report: Atlanta
by Jennifer McNeil, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

Healthy Practice Areas:

Corporate

Corporate openings for junior to mid-level associates in Atlanta remain quite healthy, particularly in banking and finance, as well as general corporate, including mergers, acquisitions, securities, corporate governance, and capital markets. Firms in Atlanta seek well-credentialed associates from "peer" large law firms and top law schools. There are also several openings for more experienced corporate attorneys, particularly for partners with portable business. There are two active openings for partners with experience in general corporate and securities work.

Real Estate (Transactions and Finance)

Real estate hiring in Atlanta has been very strong in 2016. While demand has tapered a bit compared to last year, we do not see demand diminishing significantly given the rapid pace of development throughout Atlanta. There is a healthy demand for mid to senior level candidates with solid commercial real estate transactions experience. The most sought after experience includes finance experience, as well as more traditional real estate backgrounds, including acquisition, disposition, development, joint ventures, and leasing. Several Atlanta firms have expressed interest in hiring an experienced real estate attorney with a solid book of business of at least $500K.

Emerging Practice Areas:

Healthcare

It has been a pleasant surprise to see healthcare pick up as a practice area to the point where we see fairly regular listings for junior to mid-level attorneys with healthcare experience, particularly in litigation, regulatory, and government investigations. Being a somewhat niche practice area, firms are more focused on candidates with excellent experience, rather than candidates with top law school credentials but not as strong experience.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring

While nationally the economy is quite strong, some sectors of the economy have recently slowed down. As a result, bankruptcy associates are in higher demand than one would expect. There are a handful of new restructuring positions in Atlanta, particularly for junior to mid-level candidates with experience representing various stakeholders in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and out of court restructurings. Several firms are looking to add restructuring and insolvency partners, and generally seek portable business of $1M.

Steady Practice Areas:

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property remains steady in Atlanta. Most of the current openings are for patent prosecutors with hard science backgrounds in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science, as well as for life science backgrounds, particularly in biotechnology. The greatest needs are for mid-level associates. Advanced degrees, especially Ph.D.s, are always preferred. There is also a strong preference for candidates who have USPTO registration.

Litigation

Litigation hiring has slowed in Atlanta compared to the first half of 2016. Interestingly, small to mid-sized local and regional firms are doing most of the hiring, rather than the larger Atlanta firms. Most of the demand is for junior to mid-level litigators with civil litigation experience. Of the openings for litigators, firms are looking for candidates with experience in niche areas like employment, bankruptcy, products liability, insurance coverage, and construction law. There are a couple of openings for commercial litigators at larger firms, with an emphasis on outstanding academic credentials and admission to the Georgia bar. There is also a need for litigation partners with portable business. One major firm in Atlanta is looking for a toxic torts and products liability partner with $1M+ in portable business.

Taxation, Trusts & Estates

There is some demand for attorneys with experience in taxation and trusts and estates. With the increase in corporate and personal profits, wealthy companies and individuals seek strategies to preserve and grow their assets moving forward. Firms seek solid experience in this area, and have an extremely strong preference for lateral candidates with prior law firm experience, tending to disregard candidates coming from accounting firms. An LL.M. in Taxation is always helpful. Several firms in Atlanta would like to add tax partners in the near future. A top firm in Atlanta would like to add a tax partner with middle market M&A and partnership tax experience. Another is searching for a counsel level attorney to help with their busy trusts and estates practice—no portable business is required.

Slow Practice Areas:

There have been a handful of listings in Atlanta in the following areas during the past quarter: ERISA/Employee Benefits, Immigration, IP Litigation, Labor and Employment, Privacy, Technology Transactions, and Trademark. All other practice areas not mentioned above are not seeing current demand at present, although that is liable to change.

Atlanta firms are always open to considering lateral candidates with a solid book of portable business, and will frequently take a look at top caliber candidates in any practice area on a prospective basis, so if you are considering a lateral move in Atlanta, please get in touch with BCG to see what your prospects might be.
 
State of the Market Report: North Carolina
by Jennifer McNeil, Recruiter, BCG Attorney Search

The main action in North Carolina continues to center around Charlotte (with fewer openings in Raleigh).

The litigation market in Charlotte continues to be extremely slow, with very few openings this quarter. Intellectual property picked up slightly, with some of the larger and more mid-sized firms looking for patent prosecution associates, particularly in hard sciences.

In the large firm market, corporate continues to remain strong, with most of the top firms in the area looking for experience in capital markets, finance, and M&A. Most postings are for mid-level associates, although a couple are for attorneys with more experience, especially in banking and finance.

Real estate also continues to be strong in North Carolina, although it has slowed down a bit. Firms continue to be interested in strong real estate attorneys.

The small firm market in North Carolina continues to have openings in a wide range of areas, from patent work to litigation to corporate work, with openings in both Charlotte and Raleigh.

Litigation

The litigation market in North Carolina continues to be very slow, with only a handful of openings, and almost none at top firms in the area. This trend seems to have continued from prior quarters, although litigation has begun to pick up in New York, so we expect to start seeing some growth in the Charlotte market, especially in the last quarter of 2016.

Corporate

Similar to the trend in other markets, North Carolina has a steady corporate market, but certainly not a booming one. Firms are generally looking for someone at the mid-level stage, with 2 to 5 years of experience, and generally in the M&A, capital markets, regulatory, and finance areas. There is less need for securitization work, and almost no need for health care or intellectual property technology with a corporate focus.

Real Estate

Real estate in North Carolina continues to be active, though it has slowed a bit. The large majority of openings relate to transactional real estate work and less related to litigation work.

Intellectual Property

The Intellectual Property market in North Carolina remains strong, and may be the strongest market in the area, especially for attorneys with science backgrounds and patent prosecution history. Transactional IT work however, is less in demand in this area.

ERISA/Employment and Tax/Trust and Estates

Tax, ERISA and Trusts & Estates remain slow in North Carolina, with more interest in the ERISA corporate category than other areas. Trusts & Estates has some interest, but mainly at smaller firms in the area. Tax is very slow, with only one opening in Charlotte for a tax transactional associate.
 
State of the Market Report: Texas
by Suzanne Dupree Howe, Managing Director for Texas and the Southeast, BCG Attorney Search

Overall, the market in Texas is in strong shape. While the price of oil remains lower, we are consequently still seeing a slowdown in transactional energy work. However, we at BCG still find the corporate market to be robust, although perhaps not as strong as the previous years. The litigation market has picked up significantly, and we've also seen a rise in labor & employment. With ten years of experience recruiting lateral attorneys in Texas, I would say that the legal market is as well-rounded here as I've ever seen it.

But let's get down to the topic of the summer. By far, the biggest legal news to hit Texas this quarter was, of course, THE SALARY INCREASE! A lot of the large Texas firms matched New York pay for first year associates, now coming in at a whopping 180k. Many of the firms have announced their raises, or at least their decision on the raise issue. Some firms are still working out if they are going to move upwards on salary. But for those candidates interested in making a move to Texas, this is a terrific time to do so. The cost of living in Texas makes these raises pretty hard to turn down, and we've seen many candidates making a move they have long considered.

Here is a rundown of the practice areas as they stand today:

Corporate

This remains our hottest area. M&A candidates are our greatest need. We also have needs for private equity and funds.

Finance

This has been a hot area in both Houston and Dallas. We've seen a lot of lateral movement locally and have also placed several candidates coming from New York in the last year.

Bankruptcy

This area isn't as strong as it was last year. We are still seeing some needs, but it is slowing down.

Litigation

While this area isn't our hottest area, and firms remain very selective, this has been one of the best years for litigation I have seen in some time. Candidates with judicial clerkships tend to get the most traction.

Patent Prosecution

This area has remarkably slowed in the last year or so, although we are still seeing needs for candidates with a finite skill set. Generally candidates with an EE degree can find great traction, as well as candidates with a Chem.E. (for Houston, specifically), and mechanical engineering degrees.

IP Litigation

Our needs in this area have also slowed over the last few years. This is a trend we are seeing nationally. However, we almost always have a few active searches consistently.

Transactional Energy

This area is very slow in terms of true energy upstream and downstream work. However, we are still seeing needs for energy M&A.

Labor and Employment

Employment has been a consistently hot area across the country for a couple of years. We are consistently seeing needs in both Houston and Dallas at both large firms and employment boutiques alike. It's a great time to look, with abundant opportunities in the state.

Employee Benefits

This remains a solid practice area in Texas and we consistently see needs.

Taxation

This area has been slow in Texas this year. But we can often place candidates with an LL.M. in Taxation from a top three program opportunistically with a busy group.
 
State of the Market Report: Tennessee
by Suzanne Dupree Howe, Managing Director for Texas and the Southeast, BCG Attorney Search

The legal market in Tennessee remains robust. We are seeing a healthy number of needs in both Nashville and Memphis, with the Memphis market being more active than we’ve seen it in a few years.

We are seeing needs across many practice areas currently. Corporate, Healthcare, and Employment candidates remain our hottest needs.

We also have more patent positions in the state than we’ve ever had. If you are patent attorney looking to relocate to Nashville, now is a great time to do this. We’ve also seen a number of needs in Litigation this year.

Tennessee has a number of highly sophisticated firms, and with the low cost of living, it remains a great choice for candidates looking to relocate from a larger market.
 
State of the Market Report: Louisiana
by Suzanne Dupree Howe, Managing Director for Texas and the Southeast, BCG Attorney Search

With the energy industry faltering, it’s no surprise that most of our needs in Louisiana this last year have been in litigation. We have very few transactional needs in New Orleans right now. In fact, our strongest need to date this year has been in employment. Employment is by far the hottest area in Louisiana and candidates of many levels are being sought. We are also seeing needs for energy litigation.

The most important factors for candidates entering the Louisiana market are 1) Louisiana bar and 2) ties to Louisiana. Candidates with great academics and ties to the state can sometimes get traction without the bar. But I highly recommend that any candidate with serious plans on relocating should take the Louisiana bar as soon as possible.