DC has the highest concentration of lawyers in the country and the legal hiring market is continually abuzz with activity across several practice areas. Given the ease of waiving into the DC bar, and the constant demand for top talent, firms here tend to be more welcoming to lateral hires who are relocating from major markets, both domestically and overseas. DC’s position as the nation’s capital understandably informs hiring trends in ways that are unique to this market. It is common for attorneys to be hired from (and return to) government agencies, particularly in the case of antitrust and securities lawyers. Many firms value litigation experience gained at the SEC and the DOJ and attorneys here often go back and forth between their law firms and these two agencies in particular. FDA regulatory attorneys are in consistent demand.
Current hiring needs are highly concentrated in the corporate transactional (M&A and private equity are in huge demand) and intellectual property sectors (predominantly patent prosecution). Antitrust hiring remains consistently strong, as does ERISA and FDA regulatory hiring.
Washington, DC is the nerve center of US policy and politics and is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. With its wide avenues, majestic monuments and memorials, neoclassical government buildings, impressive museums, and acres of parks and green space, it looks every bit the part as America’s capital. The city is also realizing a new found “hipness.” DC’s rapid gentrification, fueled by new restaurants and bars continually emerging in previously neglected neighborhoods, has continued to up the “coolness” factor of places like Shaw, the U Street Corridor, and Capitol Hill.
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