Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

Legal Trends Shaping the U.S. by Region


In 26 years of business, Assigned Counsel Incorporated® has seen a plethora of changes in the temporary lawyer industry. In addition to new trends prompted by technology, we have seen shifts in the legal landscape due to changing demographics and work styles – especially by region.

As a company that works in multiple states, we know that different areas of the country have different needs. We asked our recruiting attorneys to share the trends most prominent in their regions, and how they have impacted the ways they source and place temporary candidates. The responses below give us deeper insight into the legal issues across the country.

New York and New Jersey

The most in-demand attorneys are those with transactional or contract-based practice areas. Mid-level attorneys are the most sought after, followed by junior attorneys with specific experience. Our recruiting attorneys find it is not as difficult to identify attorneys with a certain skill set; rather, the challenge is finding attorneys who have the correct level of experience. For companies in the New York City area, a major obstacle is finding attorneys who can work within budget. While many candidates might be qualified, the cost-of-living in New York City often requires an increase in budget.

Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware

Recently, clients have been seeking attorneys who specialize in privacy, pharma and compliance that is often industry-specific. While there are many permanent job openings for attorneys with 10 to 15 years of experience, a lot of contract positions require five years of experience or less. Our recruiting attorneys have also found it more difficult to find solid, experienced, corporate paralegals in this market. In this region, many candidates are open to a longer commute, but hope that it can be balanced with an early start to the day.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia

In this market, our recruiting attorneys find that employment law and contract attorneys, for both the private and government sectors, are in the greatest demand. Not surprisingly, one of the most common but most difficult placements in our nation’s capital is with federal agencies. Many of these agencies require candidates with significant prior federal agency experience in extremely specific areas. In this region, it is not as difficult to find attorneys with general employment and contract experience.

West and Midwest

In the Western region (which includes markets such as Silicon Valley), attorneys with three to five years of experience in the fields of commercial contract agreements, specifically in technology agreements, are in high demand. This position can often be difficult to fill in this strong, competitive economy, as many attorneys who meet the specific requirements are in full-time roles. In the Midwestern region, it can be difficult to place junior-level attorneys with suburban companies. These junior candidates often live in the city and forego buying a car, making a reverse-commute to the suburbs less desirable. Interestingly, in both the West and Midwest markets, junior candidates are hesitant to embark on long commutes.

Whether it be industry-specific needs, conditions surrounding commutes, the ability to work remotely or level of experience, the trends shaping the legal industry are constantly changing. Understanding the unique needs of each region and its markets helps our recruiting attorneys find the ideal candidates for our clients.

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