I have noticed a new legal recruiting trend. Well, I am calling it a trend because I recently saw at least two articles on the topic. Law firms are recruiting and hiring lawyers in markets where they do not have a physical office. Obviously, this trend is fueled by COVID-related conditions. Law firms and lawyers are comfortable with remote work.

Partners Without Walls

Both articles focus on Big Law. The first appeared on law.com. The first article, Partners Without Real Estate: Law Firms Are Entering New Markets Before Signing Leases, focuses on partner recruiting.  For example, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan hired 10 partners in Miami. They also hired 3 in Austin, TX and 1 partner in Atlanta, GA. However, they have not announced the opening of an office in any of these cities. Similarly, Fox Rothschild has hired new labor and employment partners in Kansas City, MO and Boston, MA. The article notes that these are new markets for the firm, but they do not have physical space. The article mentions several other firms doing the same thing.

Associate Demand

The second article appeared on Above the Law. The title of the article tells it all – Biglaw Firms Are Hiring Remote Associates In This Post-Pandemic World. The following excerpt from this article jumped out at me:

Firms are seeking talent in markets outside of their office locations partly due to the recent skyrocketing demand for associates, particularly in areas such as corporate work and intellectual property. The pandemic pushed many young lawyers out of Big Law or the profession entirely, adding to the crunch.

The article goes on to give numerous examples of national law firms hiring associates in areas where there are no physical offices. It shows, like the article about partners, that some law firms are comfortable having a remote workforce.

New Opportunities

This legal recruiting trend creates opportunities for those looking for a new firm in several ways. There may be more high-level partner positions available in your marketplace.  The right candidate may get an entry into a Big Law firm. This can have a few advantages such as a larger platform, higher compensation, and more prestige. So be on the lookout for a firm coming to your city. Or maybe call me first to stay ahead of this legal recruiting trend.