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The Legal Job Market in Columbus, Ohio

published September 18, 2008

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left

( 137 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)

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There are only a few major law firms in Columbus, Ohio, since most of them have very few attorneys and can only handle a few cases at a time. However, there is one law firm that is not only well known, and the biggest law firm in Ohio, but is also well respected throughout the nation. The law firm is known as Thompson, Hine, LLP. It was highly rated among the best corporate law firms in the United States. Thompson, Hine has a strong team of over 370 lawyers that serve premier businesses all over the world, such as Energizer/Eveready, LexisNexis, Time Warner Cable, and Ford Motor Company, just to name a few. Areas in which they specialize include telecommunications, real estate, product liability, personal and succession planning, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, life sciences, and transportation.

The Thompson Hine law firm offers several different types of legal services in different areas of practice. They represent major secured and unsecured lenders, debtors, and various other parties of interest in financial transactions in the event of bankruptcy. This law firm also represents corporate clients in a wide range of corporate litigation, from tax controversies to securities fraud. Thompson, Hine also advises clients about employee benefits regarding qualified, non-qualified, and welfare benefit plans. This law firm is considered to be the best in the state, employing more attorneys than any other law firm in the city.

The Columbus, Ohio job market is growing, though existing firms are currently not big enough to accommodate the ever-growing number of law school graduates. They cannot all be accommodated by the small law firms in the city. Most of them have to relocate to other cities where they can find internships in other bigger law firms. Most law school graduates have to start their careers with internships before they can start to practice law on their own.

Thousands of law school graduates take the multi-state bar exam every year. The only states that issue a different exam are Washington and Louisiana. There is always a national exam that makes up a major component of the multi-state Bar exam. What constitutes a passing grade varies by state. Each state has different rules concerning scoring and grading, depending on the subject tested. Most of the students from Ohio have taken the Bar exam in other states and passed.

<<Passing the Bar requires deep knowledge of the law, as well as practicing different testing strategies and tactics. All these require large amounts of time to master the fundamentals. Many argue that the Bar exam is a good metric for merit as an attorney.

The Bar exam, others argue, acts only as a pointless hurdle, and not a meaningful way to identify competence. They argue that the Bar only tests whether you are ready to waste more time studying.

The average attorney in Columbus earns an hourly wage of about $22.02. This amount totals to a mean annual income of $45,800, which includes a 7% rise in average income over the previous year. Columbus, Ohio compares poorly to the rest of the country regarding the annual income of its attorneys.

The cost of living in Columbus, Ohio is fairly reasonable. It's much less hectic compared to New York or Washington, D.C. Average food costs can total a mere $200 per month. Generally speaking, the cost of living in Columbus, Ohio is quite affordable when compared to the larger cities. The lower annual compensation directly reflects the cost of living.

Columbus is a quiet city. The quality of life is fairly good, though the average pay as compared to the rest of the country is lower.

Alternative Summary

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’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads 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.

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