The Pacific Northwest has a "somewhat typical legal market in the sense that you'll find practice groups in all traditional legal sectors, including litigation, corporate, real estate and land use, taxation and IP," says Paul Danielson, recruiter for BCG Attorney Search.
However, the area hasn't escaped the influence of its tech-focused residents, and you can expect an abundance of patent work.
explains: "While not on par with the Silicon Valley in terms of relative revenue and the sheer number of tech-based companies, the tech sector's significance to the overall Pacific Northwest economy is what has driven the demand for patent prosecution work historically, and I believe it will continue to drive the same demand.
asserts that there has been "an increase in demand for patent litigation associates and partners," but that this tends to "go in cycles as compared with patent prosecution, which is typically more steady and sustained.
However, "the cycle is back on for now."
One thing to keep an eye on, though, is a recent development involving the US Congress
, which is considering new patent law bills "related to the sky-rocketing number of patent lawsuits filed year-by-year in the district courts of the United States.
explains: "Whether new laws come to pass, and if so whether they have any significant effect on demand for patent litigation attorneys, remains to be seen - often when rules are changed to try and curtail litigation, it can spawn even more.
More broadly, while most industry sectors were mangled by the recent economic crisis, Danielson
conveys that "employment has generally come back online at a steady pace.
Despite this, Paul Danielson
asserts that "it is often not as bad as claimed, and many residents prefer it because it contributes to the lush and verdant nature of the local environment.
At K&L Gates (Bill Gates' dad gave the firm its current name), one associate agreed: "If it didn't rain so much, it wouldn't look like this; when the clouds go away it's beautiful.
However, what's "not as bad as claimed" for one person might be just plain awful for another.
presents us with an example: "During my first year of college in the greater Seattle area, there were over 100 days in a row where it rained at some point, often throughout the entire day.
This comes at a price though; salaries in the region are, on average, 20-30% lower relative to the major legal markets, according to Paul Danielson
, but there is usually a lower billable hour requirement and an earlier bonus threshold as a consolation prize.
Generally, says Danielson
, work for local businesses and individuals is performed by "solid mid-sized regional firms or local firms" because it's a smaller market.
But getting hired won't be a walk in the park.
explains: "Because the Portland and Seattle areas are so desirable in terms of the quality of life, and because the legal markets are smaller relative to major cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, competition for law firm jobs is fierce.
You also see a relatively low turnover at the associate and partner level, because people simply tend to stay put once they are established."
So what would he