NY Market is Hot for Corporate Attorneys, Say BCG Recruiters

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BCG Attorney Search, the nation’s top legal recruiting firm, is seeing a strong demand for corporate finance attorneys in New York. With a comparatively lower supply of qualified corporate attorneys, competition among law firms is fierce.

BCG Attorney Search

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It is a great market if you are an associate with sophisticated finance experience. It is a tough market if you are a law firm looking for an associate with finance experience.

The New York market is experiencing a robust demand for corporate attorneys, according to legal recruiting firm BCG Attorney Search. Law firms are actively seeking finance attorneys with top credentials and between 2 to 6 years of experience.

BCG Attorney Search, the nation’s most selective legal recruitment firm, is seeing a growing demand for corporate lawyers in the New York legal market. This demand is in steep contrast to the state of the market just three or four years ago, when the market was tighter and banks were reluctant to lend.

“The majority of the law firm job openings in the New York market are for transactional practices right now, and out of those transactional opportunities, the majority of those are corporate,” said BCG recruiter Katy Anderman.“It’s an extremely busy market, and out of all of the East Coast cities, there’s no comparison in terms of demand. New York is really the mecca for transactional work, and we’re definitely seeing that in terms of job openings.”

BCG recruiter Margaret Gilleran noted that the demand in New York runs in tandem with current trends in the London legal market. “In the New York market, there is a strong demand for finance attorneys above any other practice area. Structured finance and debt finance attorneys are needed in New York, and you are seeing the same trend in London. Both are international centers of finance and corporate transactions, and what is hot in one is usually going to be hot in the other.”

New York’s spike in demand comes at a time when the supply of qualified corporate attorneys is relatively low. The financial markets were slow at the height of the economic recession, and the need for corporate finance attorneys stalled as a result. Due to the lack of work, many corporate finance attorneys either proactively switched practice groups or were retrained by law firms to handle other work. The result has been a dearth of more mid-level and experienced attorneys at precisely the time when the market is picking up again. The phenomena is in line with what happened in other practice groups like real estate, where the economic downturn pushed attorneysinto other areas due to the lack of work.

Anderman spoke of the implications for the legal job market. “No one was lending in 2008 – 2009, and firms were not even training that many junior associates in secured, bank and debt finance in 2010. Many firms are now in desperate needfor secured lending and debt finance associates as the work is picking up. “

The result has been a shrunken pool of qualified transactional candidates and stiff competition for those with the right experience. This is compounded by New York firms’ already rigorous standards for its job candidates, where an Ivy League law school, top grades, and prestigious law firm experience are all de rigueur.

“It is a great market if you are an associate with sophisticated finance experience,” noted Gilleran. “It is a tough market if you are a law firm looking for an associate with finance experience.”

About BCG Attorney Search:

BCG Attorney Search is a premier recruiting firm for experienced attorneys in the United States. BCG Attorney Search has 10 offices across the U.S. and its recruiters focus only on working with attorneys. Since the year 2000, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys with employers who were the best fit for individual candidates, and helped law firms and companies with their recruitment efforts. For more information, please go to http://www.bcgsearch.com/

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Andrew Ostler
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