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1. 800. 973.1177

WEEKLY RECRUITER SPEAK

Moving your career to another city [by LawCrossing Staff] There is nothing more exciting than leaving one area of the country and going to a new area to start a new career and life. One of the advantages of having chosen a career in the fluid legal industry is that you do have the option of living in other parts of the United States or even the world.

There is nothing more exciting than leaving

nel in other markets who are seeking to

lenge for relocating is for paralegals, legal

one area of the country and going to a new

relocate to a given market conduct searches

secretaries and contact attorneys.

area to start a new career and life. One of the

on LawCrossing.com. We have found that a

advantages of having chosen a career in the

fair number of legal professionals wish to

B. The Challenge of Relocating as a Parale-

fluid legal industry is that you do have the

relocate to another area of the United States.

gal, Legal Secretary or Contract Attorney

States or even the world. We have helped

When relocating to a given market, it is

While legal professionals are almost always

plenty of attorneys and other legal staff find

extremely important that you have a good

in demand in both good and bad economies,

jobs when they wanted to move from one city

sense of how the relocation process works

it is often more difficult for legal profession-

to another. We believe that we have made a

and the issues that affect it. Your success in

als whose primary experience is litigation-

positive difference in the quality of many.

relocating to a given market will be influ-

oriented to relocate than other types of legal

enced by a variety of factors; however, we be-

professionals for the most part. Second,

When considering relocating, remember the

lieve two of the more important factors are:

legal professionals with corporate experi-

option of living in other parts of the United

first question you will always be asked is

ence are extremely marketable when the

why? Deciding to relocate to a city with which

• What type of legal professional you are

economic climate is good and can easily be

you have minimal ties may not be attractive

• Where you are relocating to

relocated to other areas of the country. Legal

to a firm who is seeking loyalty and stabil-

professionals with corporate experience of-

ity. You must think through the reasons that

A. The Type of Legal Professional You Are

ten also have the luxury of being marketable

you have for relocating and whether those

Will Influence Your Success in Relocating to

just not in other areas of the United States

reasons will appeal to potential employers.

a Given Market

but in other areas of the World. When the

Before you pack your bags, however, it is

Your success in relocating to a given market

important to distinguish the types of legal

will generally be better if you practice in a

ficult time finding work and may even be laid

professionals that are likely to have the most

given area of the law that is in high demand

off. Third, the more specialized the practice

success in relocating from those who will not

at the time. Before we go into some detail

area a legal professional is in, and to the ex-

have success. It is also important that you

about this, you should know the following.

tent those skills are transferable to another

know which markets are going to most likely

First, if you have worked at a good law firm in

firm, the more marketable they will be.

be receptive to your efforts to relocate there.

the city you are in and have first-rate experi-

economic climate is failing, legal corporateoriented legal professionals have a very dif-

If you’ve spent some time reviewing the jobs

ence, you will have a very good chance of

The following are our observations about the

we have available, you’ve quickly realized

relocating if your primary experience is in a:

success different types of attorneys are likely

that there are countless opportunities in

to have in relocating to a different market.

many of the markets. As much as we hate to

• Document Processing Jobs

say it, your success in getting any of these

• Administrative Job

positions will be dependent upon numerous

• Marketing Job

factors which, in many cases, will have more

• Human Resources Job

While litigation-oriented legal professionals

to do with forces beyond your immediate

• Receptionist Jobs

are almost always in demand in a given mar-

control than with what you can control.

• Financial/Accounting Jobs

ket (even during recessions), they do have a

Several times on a daily basis, legal person-

As will be discussed below, the largest chal-

1. Legal Professionals in the Litigation Field

slightly more difficult time relocating on an

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ongoing basis than other legal professionals.

continued on back


1.800. 973. 1177

WEEKLY RECRUITER SPEAK

For the most part, then, a litigation-oriented

training than their counterparts practicing

are very marketable is because the skills they

legal professional must have outstanding

other types of law.

learn--if they have the right type of training-

credentials to consider relocating to a given

-are transferable. Additionally, depending on

market. There are some exceptions to this

You must also be aware of the various require-

the type of experience, corporate legal profes-

rule, however, and these will be discussed

ments for paralegal certification from state to

sionals who become specialized often have

below.

state. Many states such as California require

skills that are greatly in demand.

paralegals meet certain requirements before First, the good news. When the economy slows

they can work as paralegals. You should also

A legal professional with specialized skills

down, many types of legal professionals, such

be aware of the type of practice. If you have

can be truly marketable if there is a firm that

as those in corporate-oriented environments,

already had substantial federal experience,

needs those types of skills. The legal profes-

have a very difficult--if not impossible--time

you know that federal courts are guided by

sional could be marketable in Los Angeles,

relocating regardless of the strength of their

the same general rules of procedure and

Austin, St. Louis, and all sorts of places, while

resumes. Conversely, lawsuits can drag on for

evidence. Your skills in one state court may

her counterparts without those types of skills

years and even pick up to some extent when

not be readily transferable in a different state,

would not be. In fact, if that legal professional

the economy cools. Thus, litigation-oriented

depending on their various rules of procedure

were one of only a handful of legal profession-

legal professionals are almost always market-

and practice.

als in the country with her particular types of

able to some extent regardless of the state of

skills, she might even have close to guaran-

the economy.

2. Corporate Legal Professionals

The bad news is that it is far more difficult

Corporate legal professionals are the easiest

for litigation-oriented legal professionals to

types of legal professionals to relocate. In

Corporate legal professionals tend to be

relocate.

fact, corporate legal professionals can gener-

most marketable in large Metropolitan areas

ally pick and choose the types of areas of the

and also in growing areas. Certainly, being a

One of the reasons it is more difficult for

United States they want to relocate to if they

corporate legal professional has some very

litigation-oriented legal professionals who

have solid experience and are coming from a

real rewards because, as a corporate legal

are not truly stellar to relocate is because

top law firm. A corporate paralegal attorney

professional, you develop a skill set which

there are so many of them. There are far

in New York, for instance, could relocate to

is marketable in more than one place in the

more litigation-oriented legal profession-

Detroit, Miami, or even Memphis if they were

country at a time.

als than tax, ERISA and corporate-oriented

strong enough.

teed employment in doing that particular type of work.

legal professionals, for instance. The desks of

The downside to the marketing of corporate

administrative supervisors in major firms are

However, the negative aspect to this reality

legal professionals is that when the economy

littered with the resumes of litigation-oriented

is that corporate legal professionals are not

slows, so does much of the corporate legal

legal professionals, and for hiring personnel it

always marketable, and their marketabil-

professional’s work. In fact, when layoffs oc-

is often far easier for them to hire local talent

ity will be dependent upon the state of the

cur in law firms’ corporate legal professionals

than attorneys relocating unless the litigation-

economy to a greater extent than litigation

are often the first to go. This manic up-and-

oriented legal professional is stellar.

legal professionals. Additionally, a corporate

down demand for corporate legal profes-

legal professional attorney coming out of a

sionals means that a corporate legal profes-

For litigation legal secretaries, for instance,

major legal market and law firm in a city such

sional’s likelihood of relocating is extremely

there are also several less-than-obvious risks

as New York or Palo Alto will be far, far more

dependent upon the state of the economy.

to hiring an out-of-state secretary unless the

marketable than a corporate legal profes-

secretary has some really stellar qualifica-

sional coming out of a lesser known legal

tions. Finally, there are various rules for

market for the most part. The perception is

pleadings, filing requirements and all sorts of

that corporate legal professionals coming out

things that are unique to each jurisdiction and

of a major legal market and firm will have far

court that litigation secretaries may practice

better and sophisticated legal experience than

in. The learning curve is often far steeper for

corporate legal professionals coming out of

out-of-state litigation secretaries than for

lesser-known markets.

local secretaries, and such laterals who work in the litigation field generally need far more

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One reason that corporate legal professionals


Moving your career to another city