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State of the Fall 2016 Law Firm Hiring Market
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Summary: Find out what each market is experiencing in terms of hot practice areas and slow practice areas across the country.

This just in! BCG Attorney Search has released the latest state of the market report. Read the full report at State of the Law Firm Hiring Market for Fall 2016 for more information.


San Francisco –

Top Practice Areas: Corporate, environmental, labor and employment, and litigation are booming in the San Francisco region. Corporate attorneys need to have strong academic and professional credentials to be sought after in the Bay Area.  Environmental needs have turned around in the region with many firms now seeking to find candidates to fill the need with litigation, CEQA and NEPA experience.

Strong Practice Areas: Healthcare, data privacy, real estate, technology transactions, immigration and patent agent/technical specialist are remaining steady in the region.

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Slow Practice Areas: Energy, patent litigation, ERISA/employee benefits/executive compensation, patent prosecution, tax, and trademark are slowing down or remaining slow.

Dead Practice Areas: Construction, bankruptcy, project finance, and trusts & estates are either dead or have very little activity.

Silicon Valley –

Top Practice Areas: Corporate, labor & employment, patent prosecution, patent litigation, and technology transactions are sitting at the top of the market in the Southern Cali region. The need for corporate and corporate finance attorneys is still going after the word came out in the Winter Market Report. This kind of attorney needs to have experience in M&A, securities, venture capital, corporate finance, private equity, or emerging companies.

Strong Practice Areas: Data privacy, healthcare, employee benefits & executive compensation, litigation, and real estate. Healthcare attorneys in the Silicon Valley need to have a minimum of five years of healthcare transactional experience.

Slow Practice Areas: Trademark, tax, and trusts & estates have seen some increase but not much.

Dead Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, energy and environmental have no activity.

San Diego –

Top Practice Areas: Litigation, corporate, employment, and patent prosecution are still hot practice areas. Patent prosecution has dropped off in other areas but is still strong in San Diego. Both hard and life sciences have had openings but a Ph.D. and 2-3 years of solid prosecution experience is required.

Strong Practice Areas: Real estate has slowed down after being the hottest practice area in San Diego for the past few years.

Slow to Dead Practice Areas: tax, patent litigation, trusts & estates, bankruptcy, trademark, healthcare, immigration, and environmental & energy are seeing very little if any activity. Bankruptcy is expected to pick up at the beginning of the year.

Seattle –

Top Practice Areas: Litigation, corporate, and IP & technology transactions are still booming in the region. Seattle is experiencing a heavy demand for IP and technology transactions due to its growing tech sector.

Strong Practice Areas: Labor and employment is still remaining strong in the Seattle market for those with litigation experience and solid backgrounds in ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation.

Slow to Dead Practice Areas: Patent prosecution and bankruptcy has some activity while taxation, trusts & estates, real estate, environmental & energy, and patent litigation have basically no activity.

Phoenix –

Top Practice Areas: Litigation, corporate, labor & employment, bankruptcy, and lateral moves are staying strong in the region. Several law firms are seeking new partners in several areas like tax, employment, and bankruptcy.

Strong Practice Areas: Real estate, family law, patent prosecution, and trusts & estates are seeing a steady amount of activity. Real estate has slowed down but there is still a demand for experienced real estate attorneys with 2-6 years.

Slow Practice Areas: Immigration, tax, environmental law, and some other practice areas are see small demand.

Atlanta –

Top Practice Areas: Corporate and real estate for junior and mid-level associates is strong in Atlanta. Law firms in the area want well-credentialed associates from top law schools and other large law firms or partners with portable business.

Strong Practice Areas: Healthcare, bankruptcy/restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, taxation, and trusts & estates are experiencing either emerging or steady demand.

Slow Practice Areas: ERISA/employee benefits, IP litigation, immigration, technology transactions, labor & employment, privacy, and trademark have only had a small amount of listings appear during the last quarter.

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