The Current Market for Corporate Attorneys

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The Current Market for Corporate Attorneys
Evan Anderson is Managing Director of BCG Attorney Search's San Francisco office and the Director of BCG's Diversity Recruiting Practice. He assists a variety of candidates in several practice areas on the West coast, but he places particular significance on candidates representing ethnic, gender, and LGBT diversity.

Evan holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Organizational Counseling and a Master of Science in Counseling from John Hopkins University. His education in counseling, combined with more than fourteen years of experience in law firm management consulting as well as attorney counseling, makes him an exceptional addition to the BCG Attorney Search team. Evan is also an outstanding leader of their diversity Recruiting Practice.

Placing Corporate Attorneys on the West Coast and Why They are in Demand

How long has Evan been placing corporate attorneys? "I have been working with corporate associates in partners in both a career counseling and recruiting capacity since 1998. Although my practice includes working with attorneys in several different specializations, the bulk of my experience has been with corporate lawyers."
Does he place corporate attorneys throughout California or does he focus only on Northern California? "My territory encompasses the West Coast and some interior Western states so I place corporate attorneys all over California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona."

Are corporate attorneys hard to place compared to other attorneys? "The demand for corporate attorneys has been steady and strong since early 2011. Besides intellectual property associates, they are the most in-demand attorneys in California."

Are corporate attorneys hard to place in a downward economy? Evan asserted:
"Since the health of lateral corporate attorney hiring is so closely tied to the country's economic health, the stock market, and business activity (particularly mergers and acquisitions), it can be challenging to place these kinds of attorneys in a down economy. That said, corporate is often the first practice area to spring back to life during an economic recovery and, in my opinion,remains the most economically viable practice area."
Why are corporate attorneys in demand? Evan acknowledged:
"Corporate lawyers ensure the legality of commercial transactions and, as noted, as the economy improves and transaction activity increases, their services are in high demand. Merger and acquisition activity drives much of this activity. However, to structure a business transaction legally, a corporate lawyer may need to research aspects of several areas of law, including contract law, tax law, accounting, securities law, bankruptcy, intellectual property rights, licensing, zoning laws, and other regulations relating to a specific area of business. Facilitating this process requires insight into the clients needs, selective expertise, flexibility and most of all, a service mentality."
Will corporate attorneys be in demand in five years? "It's always hard to say how the economy will affect the legal hiring market in years to come, but if the upward economic trends continue, hiring should remain strong for several years."

What does the job market look like for a corporate attorney? "Right now, very strong. Corporate generalists tend to do very well in California. That includes experience in M&A, Securities, Capital Markets, and Corporate Governance. Specific to Silicon Valley, experience in Emerging Company/Venture Capital work is very valuable."

What would you tell a law student who wants to be a corporate attorney? "I would say it is the best practice area choice they could make, especially now! Corporate hiring maintains while other practices wane."

What is your best advice for a corporate attorney? "Try not to get too specialized in one area. Doing only securities work, for example, could hurt you in the long run. Try to get solid M&A work. That is needed across the board."

See entry level corporate attorney jobs here.

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