Chicago, the third-largest city in the nation and the largest of the Midwest cities, offers a wide array of museums, entertainment, restaurants, shopping, performing arts, professional sports teams, and neighborhoods that appeal to every culture.
The skyscrapers line the skyline indicating that Chicago has a vibrant business community, and several corporations, including Fortune 1000 companies, call Chicago IL home. Manufacturing, technology, transportation, media, and healthcare are all leading industries in Chicago, making the opportunity to have a diverse client base very likely.
Home to some of the largest and most prominent law firms in the U.S., Chicago IL offers a diverse landscape of law firms and practice areas. While you would expect the friendly and slower-paced lifestyle to impact how attorneys practice, the Midwest work ethic reigns supreme. Top law firms require annualized billable hours are comparable to New York standards, and their salaries and bonuses often rival the Big Apple’s.
Despite being the 3rd largest legal market in the United States, Chicago’s legal community is tight-knit and often skeptical of outsiders moving into the city. Proving ties to the greater Chicago area is essential when considering a lateral move. Making a lateral move to Chicago must consider the deep roots that attorneys also apply to promising candidates. If you do not have personal ties to Chicago, it will likely be challenging to land a job in the Windy City.
The HOT practice areas
Corporate mergers and acquisitions and Commercial Real Estate lead the pack for hot practice areas in Chicago IL. National law firm attorneys aren’t the only attorneys that do the complex corporate and real estate deals. Several smaller business boutique law firms land the work because of their more competitive rates.
Employment law areas, such as Employee Benefits, Labor Law, and OSHA, are also in demand in Chicago. Along similar lines, Cyber Security and Data Privacy continue to be a pressing need.
Skills in Litigation, particularly in technology areas, like Patent Litigation and Employment Litigation, are in demand.
Using a legal headhunter
Several national and regional law firms have offices in Chicago, and corporations have large legal departments, so navigating the legal job market in Chicago can be challenging. Often legal placement opportunities are not found on legal job boards but through a network of connections. Using a Chicago-focused legal recruiter is advantageous because they should have relationships with Hiring Partners, Recruiting Managers, and General Counsels. Legal recruiters also should have a general pulse on the legal job market.
If you are an attorney with a solid academic record, sophisticated legal experience, and at least two years of legal experience, using a Chicago-focused legal headhunter to assist you with a legal placement will be advantageous. A legal headhunter will streamline your job search time, educate you on the lateral market, and assist you with placement and transitioning to a new role. Legal headhunters study the market and have relationships with employers that will open doors to the hidden legal job market. Working with an experienced legal headhunter to help you navigate the legal market is beneficial.
If you’re looking to build a more diverse team, MB Attorney Search will help you find the legal talent you need. If you’re seeking an attorney position, MB Attorney Search is a legal headhunter that will guide your path. They offer over 25 years of experience helping law firms and companies hire associate attorneys throughout the Midwest and recruit top talent in the field.