BCG West Coast

Category: Entertainment

Presentation Description

No description available.


Presentation Transcript

The West Coast Legal Market: 

The West Coast Legal Market With a Focus on the Bay Area Deborah J. Acker, Esq.


WELCOME / INTRODUCTION Legal Search Consultant – I work very closely with attorneys to help them find jobs in the Bay Area, Northern California and the entire West Coast, including Alaska and Hawaii. I also help people find jobs internationally. In addition, I assist law firms with hiring needs by locating and recruiting experienced and talented attorneys to join their firms.


My candidates are attorneys at all levels, from all practice and geographic markets, the majority coming from California. My law firm clients are firms primarily in the Bay Area but can include any West Coast region or international location (major focus on Asia). My livelihood is based on having an intimate knowledge of the firms I work with, their hiring practices, and what types of attorneys succeed and what types of attorneys don’t succeed at certain firms.


Prior to becoming a legal search consultant, I practiced IP patent law (life sciences), litigation and prosecution, in the Palo Alto office of a large D.C. firm (Finnegan Henderson) for a number of years. I also worked for 20 years in academic medicine as nurse-midwife/nurse-practitioner, an instructor and mentor for medical students, interns, and residents.


MY GOAL FOR TODAY SIMPLE: My goal for today is to give you information regarding my market so you can make an informed choice whether you would like to pursue opportunities on the West Coast. I would also like to share what I consider to be the most useful insider information and tips for success in various West Coast markets, and strategies for entering the market.

If there is interest and time, I can also speak to: : 

If there is interest and time, I can also speak to: Intellectual Property law, greater detail “Mature” students entering the legal profession Women’s Issues


HANDOUTS Article on the Bay Area as a Place to Live and Work Practice Guide Pamphlet Guide to What is Hot and What is Not in the Bay Area!


SHOW OF HANDS Current year? Home State? Plans to work on the West Coast? Bay Area? LA? San Diego? Sacramento? Portland? Seattle? Las Vegas? Phoenix?


OVERVIEW OF TOPICS Geographic Regions and the Legal Lifestyle What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Bay Area Legal Market (with a nod to LA) Getting a Job in the Bay Area (and LA) High Profile Firms (Visit other BCG Presentations in the Next Week for More on the Application Process and How to Research Specific Firms)

Bay Area-General Location: 

Bay Area-General Location Access to world class resorts and tourist destinations, the Sierras, wine country, California coastline, Tahoe (all seasons), LA, Pacific Northwest, Mexico, Hawaii Vibrant, Diverse, Cultural Goldmine Booming Economy Amazing combinations of work setting and lifestyle setting possible

Bay Area: Basic Stats: 

Bay Area: Basic Stats Population: more than 7,168,176 in nine county Bay Area, San Jose is largest city Age (SF): 20-24 years old: 6% 35-54 years old: 32% 25-34 years old: 18% 55 and older: 24%

Racial Diversity-SF: 

Racial Diversity-SF African American: 10% Asian/Pacific Islander: 33% Latino/Latina: 15.8% White: 41%

Silicon Valley: 

Silicon Valley San Jose and the lower Peninsula Large suburban area with easy access to mountain, bayside and ocean-front lifestyles. Upscale communities tucked in the hills and along the Peninsula Upscale restaurants and shopping San Jose as an urban center is just coming into its own. Great culture and art, Stanford, Montalvo, outdoor concert venues Tremendous access to outdoor/nature activities, unspoiled coast, undeveloped redwoods and mountains, well-developed “green” mentality; hiking, biking, kayaking, wildlife, all sports, ocean activities

Silicon Valley: 

Silicon Valley Some of the best weather in the world Software, hardware, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, other high tech, such as medical devices Thriving capital community Tremendous wealth Entrepreneurial spirit, e.g., Google Expensive Cost of Living—High Housing Costs

Silicon Valley Practice: Emerging Growth / Technology Climate: 

Silicon Valley Practice: Emerging Growth / Technology Climate Venture Capital, Fund Formation Intellectual Property (litigation and prosecution), Licensing, Tech Transactions General Corporate, IPO’s, M&A, (less debt deals, securtization, LBO’s); IP Corporate Support Securities litigation Thriving Commercial Litigation Real estate, Labor and Employment, White Collar Crime International/Cross-border matters extend into many practice areas (primarily Asia)

Silicon Valley: Legal Lifestyle: 

Silicon Valley: Legal Lifestyle Business Casual/Work Hard Less need for ties, jeans on Fridays Billable minimums 1850-2000 average, 1950 typical (people will work way above this at some firms, to 2200-2300) High Salaries and Generous Bonus Structures, compensation very good, at or “almost at” New York rates (the latest boost puts first year at $160K in some firms), most big CA firms start at $145K as of Jan. 31, 2007

Silicon Valley: Legal Lifestyle: 

Silicon Valley: Legal Lifestyle Most people use cars to commute Office spaces tend to be office parks with big parking lots, rather than high rises, usually you have to get in the car to go to a restaurant unless you are in downtown Palo Alto or the newer office parks More family-friendly? Most big firms are relatively tolerant of alternative lifestyles and viewpoints

San Francisco: : 

San Francisco: World class city, what else can I say? Variety of neighborhoods Tremendous diversity Funny weather Expensive lifestyle, High Housing Costs World class culture, sports, arts Lofts, apartments, single family houses

SF Legal Practice: More Traditional: 

SF Legal Practice: More Traditional Banking and Finance (but not like New York); few financial institutions now headquartered in California; but significant private equity General Corporate Commercial litigation, securities litigation, Antitrust, IP litigation, Bankruptcy Significant hard and soft IP Real Estate, Environmental, Land Use Labor and Employment White Collar International/Cross-Border

SF: Legal Lifestyle: 

SF: Legal Lifestyle Business (slightly less) Casual Work hard, same as Silicon Valley, 1950+ Commute via public transportation High-rises and parking garages, office views Firms relatively liberal re alternative lifestyles Urban lifestyle, easy access to restaurants, theatre, sports Hipper? More chic? Many singles prefer SF over Silicon Valley

Bay Area—Other Areas, Outskirts: 

Bay Area—Other Areas, Outskirts Oakland Smaller General Firms, Boutiques, Plaintiff’s Firms, Public Agency, Admin Law, Labor and Employment, Construction, Torts, PI, Appellate Sacramento Regulatory, Government-related, Real Estate, Environmental, Land Use, General, Health Care, Labor and Employment Walnut Creek Real Estate, Environmental, Land Use, Public Agency, General, Health Care, Energy Marin Small boutiques and general firms Napa Wine and Beverage Practice (real estate, IP, land use, estates, litigation)

Los Angeles: 

Los Angeles Another world-class city/region Weather Oceans Outdoor Lifestyle Be Prepare to Drive and Deal with Traffic Expensive Housing “Happening” Lifestyle

Los Angeles-Legal Lifestyle: 

Los Angeles-Legal Lifestyle Intense Hours/Good Comp Many law firms, good quality of all sizes if you want to get into the region Many boutiques Entertainment, Media, E-commerce, Internet Plus the practice profile similar to Bay Area Downtown vs. Century City Casual but don’t assume too much!

San Diego: 

San Diego Some major firms, more regional firms Significant Corporate Significant IP, life science emphasis Everyone wants to live there! Very competitive market Out of state firms attempting footholds recently


Portland Smaller market, fewer openings Perhaps a bit more conservative, but still “west coast” Significant IP, Intel, Nike, others Fewer big national firms Stoel Rives Less lateral moves Tend to doubt that people want to stay there unless they have roots


Seattle High quality big firms and very good regional firms Hard to get into big firms, very competitive market with UW grads, as picky as the Bay Area General Practice, Labor and Employment, Health Care A lot of IP Matters related to Microsoft, Boeing, and related industries Many People love the lifestyle balance in Seattle, lower minimums More encouragement to have outside (literally) interests Expensive housing market


Phoenix Can be a tough market to get into Not as laid back as you might think, people work hard at the big firms Real Estate, Environmental, Energy General Practice More IP than you would expect A number of national firms, still picky Variable comp levels You need to show a connection to the area

Las Vegas: 

Las Vegas Vibrant Economy Easier to Get Interviews and Offers Work Related to Gaming Regional General Firms Real Estate Less concerned about connections to area Talk to Pasadena BCG Recruiters—they have the most inside knowledge


BAY AREA: WHAT’S HOT, WHAT’S NOT! Historic Trends: 1996-2000: Corporate/Tech Boom Years Late 2000-2003: Dot Bomb Years, layoffs in corporate, IP, litigation, industry supportive practice areas, 2004-Present: Return to Balance Recently: Corporate is booming in SF and Silicon Valley More opening regional offices again to attempt a foothold from out of the area More summer associate hiring

What’s Hot, What’s Not: 

What’s Hot, What’s Not The In-House Climate in the Bay Area Problems with associate retention after 2-3 years Extremely variable re legal lifestyle; not a guarantee improvement in hours and lifestyle Not a guarantee to make money on stock options Unstable positions with mergers and acquisitions Very competitive to get the “plum” corporate counsel positions, easier with transactional, corporate, licensing, prosecution, than litigation

What’s Hot, What’s Not: 

What’s Hot, What’s Not See handout Very similar in LA They have more entertainment issues, media issues, real estate and development, other niche areas Thriving commercial litigation practice

Getting a Job in the Bay Area: 

Getting a Job in the Bay Area Competitive Market Most big firms desire top credentials, elite firms have cutoffs with schools, grades; some require clerkships (top 25% top tier schools, top 5% lesser schools) Most big firms evaluate entirely on credentials and less on personality You will be up against the best and the brightest from Stanford, Boalt, Hastings, UC Davis, and Santa Clara (local non-top tier favorite, strong IP)

Getting a Job in the Bay Area: 

Getting a Job in the Bay Area The Bar Exam Hard to come in to California without the Bar, or plans to take the Bar after school Summer Clerkships Firms may be hesitant to give you a slot without a connection to the area Consider Job Fairs, Direct Applications Be careful about which office you apply to…

What Will Get You Noticed?: 

What Will Get You Noticed? Top Tier School Top Grades, Class Rank/Class Standing Law Review (any editorship is good) Success in Moot Court Competition, Writing Competitions Work with High Profile Professors Leadership Experience Reflection of Drive and Ambition on the Resume

What Will Get You Noticed?: 

What Will Get You Noticed? Technology Background: Electronic Engineering, EE Computer Science, CS Physics Mechanical Engineering Life Sciences, need a Ph.D., e.g. chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, biotech –related degrees Significant Time and Experience in Industry

What Will Get You Noticed: 

What Will Get You Noticed Language Skills: Lots of international, cross-border work requiring Asian language skills, all types, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin and other dialects), Korean, etc. High Profile Clerkships The higher the better, these will cure many weakness on a resume and will often bridge the out of state gap… so much so that some attorneys do clerkships after practicing for a year or two to have another shot at competitive markets Externships are positive but will not cure a weaker resume Summering at a Big Name Firm Connections—need to be used carefully

Major Firms with Roots in California: 

Major Firms with Roots in California Large Bay Area Firms (500+) Bingham McCutchen (Mergers) Cooley Godward Heller Ehrman, White & McAuliffe Gibson Dunn Morrison Foerster O’Melveny & Myers Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker Pillsbury Winthrop Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati


Mid-size Bay Area Firms (200-500) Fenwick & West Latham Littler Mendelson (Labor and Employment) Thelen Reid & Priest Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, Oliver & Hedges


Small Bay Area Firms (100-200) Farella, Braun & Martel Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rabkin Munger, Tolles & Olson Howard Rice Shartsis, Freise & Ginsburg

Bay Area Boutiques: 

Bay Area Boutiques Allen Matkins (General, RE, Business) Beveridge & Diamond (Environmental, Land Use, Lit., National) Blakely, Sokoloff (IP, Prosecution emphasis, EE, CS) Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass (RE, Lit, Business, Others) Day, Casebeer, Madrid & Batchelder (Litigation, IP Lit.) Folger & Levin (Transactions, Lit, Business) Gunderson, Dettmer, Stough, Villeneuve, Franklin & Hachigian (IP Transactions, Corporate) Howrey (Anti-trust, litigation, IP, Global) Keker & Van Nest (Litigation)

Bay Area Boutiques: 

Bay Area Boutiques Fish & Richardson (IP) Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein (Plaintiff’s class actions, civil rights, etc.) Myers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson (Public admin., RE) Steefel, Levitt & Weiss (Business practice) Stein & Lubin (Litigation, RE, top lawyers, balanced lifestyle) Steyer, Lowenthal, Boodrookas, Alvarez & Smith (litigation) Townsend, Townsend, & Crew (IP)

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state: 

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld Baker & McKenzie Covington & Burling Davis Polk Duane Morris Dechert Epstein, Becker & Green

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state: 

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state Jones Day Kirkland & Ellis K & L Gates Mayer Brown Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Nixon Peabody DLA Piper

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state: 

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state Reed Smith Ropes & Gray Shearman & Sterling Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state : 

Major Firms in CA— Coming from out of state Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal Sullivan & Cromwell Weil, Gotshal & Manges White & Case Wilmer Hale


Resources General Guide to Metropolitan Regions San Francisco: Housing


Questions? Thanks for your attention. Feel free to call me or any of the BCG recruiters for additional information. It is very satisfying to steer people in the best direction for their goals early in their career and help them avoid blind alleys!

authorStream Live Help