var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); });
device = device.default;
//this function refreshes [adhesion] ad slot every 60 second and makes prebid bid on it every 60 seconds // Set timer to refresh slot every 60 seconds function setIntervalMobile() { if (!device.mobile()) return if (adhesion) setInterval(function(){ googletag.pubads().refresh([adhesion]); }, 60000); } if(device.desktop()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [468, 60], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.tablet()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.mobile()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } googletag.cmd.push(function() { // Enable lazy loading with... googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ // Fetch slots within 5 viewports. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, fetchMarginPercent: 100, // Render slots within 2 viewports. // renderMarginPercent: 200, renderMarginPercent: 100, // Double the above values on mobile, where viewports are smaller // and users tend to scroll faster. mobileScaling: 2.0 }); });
×

How much do hot practice areas vary from state to state?

( 50 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
How much do hot practice areas vary from state to state?


As a general rule, the most in-demand practice area at all points in time is litigation. Litigation is always occurring, and this is almost always the case at almost all points in time—regardless of the economy. One way I explain this to my candidates is by telling them, "When the economy is good, people have money to hire attorneys and sue, and when the economy is bad, people sue people to get money they lost when the economy was good." In all my years in this profession, I have never seen litigation slow down. Law firms are always seeking litigators at most points in time, and the demand is pretty incessant. Litigation is virtually always the busiest and "hottest" practice area in the following markets:


  1. MOST NON-URBAN AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES
  2. MOST CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES WITH POPULATIONS OF LESS THAN 2,000,000 PEOPLE
  3. TEXAS (THE ENTIRE STATE)
  4. SEATTLE
  5. PORTLAND
  6. DETROIT
  7. CLEVELAND
  8. NEWARK
  9. CHICAGO
  10. WISCONSIN
  11. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (LOS ANGELES, ORANGE COUNTY, SAN DIEGO)
  12. MINNEAPOLIS
There are some small exceptions to these rules: 1. Minneapolis has very active intellectual property and patent prosecution bases, and these practice areas are generally quite active there; 2. Chicago has strong intellectual property, real estate, and corporate demands, but these are quite steady; and 3. Newark has a very consistent base of corporate work, but litigation still dominates.

In fact, in most cities of the United States, litigation simply dominates the hiring and is always "hot" in some respects because there is considerable demand for litigators. Generally, after litigators in terms of demands come corporate and other departments such as insurance, intellectual property, tax, and so forth. For example, despite its reputation as the center of governmental activity in the United States, the most active practice area in the Washington, D.C., region is usually not government contracts or some other governmental-sounding practice area. The most active practice area is generally litigation—I mention Washington, D.C. because it features "litigation with a twist" compared to other markets.

Litigation is an active practice area in Washington, D.C., and is generally very active at most points in time. An important fact to understand about litigation is that attorneys who work in the litigation field can research, write about, and interpret a great deal of policy and other information; they're not just marching into court as litigators in smaller markets might do.

Below is a discussion of a few areas that continually have a good deal of activity in practice areas other than litigation.

NEW YORK CITY
New York City typically has the majority of work in the financial field, due to the heavy concentration of banks and other financial institutions in its market. Accordingly, at most points in time the corporate practice area would be considered the "hot" practice area here. While it differs from time to time, this is generally consistent.

After the dot-com bust and September 11th, for example, there was noticeably less corporate work in New York City than there had been previously. Notwithstanding, in terms of their proportion of work nationally compared to other practice areas, New York stayed very busy. In addition, there is always a lot of corporate work in New York because there is so much financial work there—regardless of the state of the economy. New York City also continually has lots of work in the tax and insurance fields. In terms of hiring the most attorneys, the largest, most major practice area is always corporate because it interrelates with so many other fields. A law student desiring to work in New York would be best-suited pursuing corporate work.

FLORIDA
Real estate has traditionally been the area where there is the most activity in Florida. Across most points in time, there has been a strong demand for talented real estate attorneys in the state. This is likely due to lots of speculative construction and the fact that seniors and others seem to be moving to this state in great droves. There is also a strong demand for litigators in Florida; however, this demand is fairly constant and never has reached the fever pitch that the demand for real estate attorneys seems to maintain consistently.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Due to Northern California's proximity to Silicon Valley, the hottest practice areas at all points in time in this region tend to be intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution. As the United States increasingly moves toward an information economy, companies put an increasing emphasis on insuring they are doing everything possible to protect their intellectual property assets. Over the last several years, the intellectual property-related practice areas have never really abated in terms of how busy they have been.

CHARLOTTE
Charlotte has been getting a very busy banking and corporate practice over the past several years, and corporate and banking work has become increasingly important in this region. As this has occurred, the demand for banking and corporate attorneys has remained "hot."

LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas simply cannot hire real estate attorneys fast enough. Despite its desert location, this area has been demanding an increasingly large number of real estate attorneys over the past several years. Even with the weakening of the housing market in the area (and unsold condominiums and cancelled projects) the demand for real estate attorneys in Las Vegas has remained robust to keep up with real estate demand.

Conclusions

During the fallout from the dot-com boom in 2001, and over the ensuing couple of years, the importance of geographic factors affecting practice areas became critically obvious. Because law firms and corporations are businesses, they shed attorneys in practice areas that were nonproductive just as fast as they could and absorbed attorneys in practice areas that made money just as fast as they could.

The discussion above highlights practice areas which have consistently stood the test of time in these geographic regions over the past several years. It is extremely important to understand that practice areas that stand the test of time are likely to always have jobs available, and those that do not may be part of boom and bust cycles.


About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.


Featured Testimonials

I used Law crossing website and I found the search options user-friendly, useful and easy.
Eleanor


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #35: LawCrossing’s goal is to showcase the largest collection of law jobs at all times.

 

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives


Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.
About Harrison Barnes

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

Success Stories

I came back to LawCrossing to search through the listings in my new job search because I had been able to get my last 2 jobs through using the site. I love the search capacity and filters. This is a very valuable service.
  • Jennifer Guidea Bloomfield, NJ