Trends in Law: Seeking Truth In The Era of Distortion

As we get ready to begin the final stretch to end the year, it is critical to get a clear picture of what the legal landscape will look like for 2019. In this new era of distortion, the truth has become more elusive, technology continues to give businesses a competitive advantage to stay on the cutting edge.

The insights that follow provide lawyer with the top trends that are shaping the legal profession. Keep your eye on the ball, make sure you’re still bankable.


OnBalance Search Trends 2018 - 2019.001

As was the case in 2017 Litigation and Corporate continue to dominate the legal field with Labor & Employment and Intellectual Property rounding out the slices in the pie.

The issue of pay equity between women and men has been garnering a growing amount of attention making litigation from class actions to individual cases—an increasingly common occurrence.

The top markets in Litigation are New York City (13%), The District of Columbia (10%), Los Angeles (8%), San Francisco (7%) and Chicago (6%).

Corporate Law is still done primarily in New York City (25%), that’s not going to change any time soon.

The top Labor & Employment markets are San Francisco (12%), Los Angeles (12%), New York City (11%), The District of Columbia (7%) and Minneapolis (6%).

At the mid-level, L&E practices will continue to be highly coveted, but it is not certain what these very interesting times will tell in 2019. The senior level lawyers can find it difficult to make partner in the L&E services due to rate competition.

The number of associates (5%) and counsel level attorneys lathering into partner posts (15%) this past year. There is no skew  in terms of the moves regardless of the size of the firm. Big, small and mid-sized firms have experienced movements along these lines.
Lateral Moves By Title



Law firms continue to expand to meet the need for tech transactions to handle high-end M&A support. Intellectual Property also is in demand for licensing, joint ventures and other IP-related agreements.  No field is more rife with cyber threats to protect businesses intellectual property.

Data privacy is a good practice to consider. The market has been expanding for senior tech transactions associates as of late, with several high-end firms with senior lateral needs.

The top markets for IP are The District of Columbia (19%) and New York City (17%).


Locations Laterals Moved From
Location Laterals Moved To
Firms Attorneys Lateralled From.
Firms Attorneys Lateralled To

The market was unprepared for the real estate boom back in 2013.  There are few markets in the country that are better suited for launching a real estate career than California. The top markets for Real Estate are New York City (17%), Los Angeles (10%), The District of Columbia (8%), North Carolina (7%) and Minneapolis (6%).

Not surprisingly in the world of Banking New York City (25%) and The District of Columbia (24%) dominate legal transactions. New emerging practice areas to consider are cannabis and cryptocurrency.


Ready to make the lateral partner move? You’ll need to clearly detail how you got to where you are and why the you’re the best. 

Not sure you are being compensated equitably for your efforts? Have you valued your book of business? Detail how much revenue each client contributes and what verticals have historically been most profitable.

Working with a local legal recruiter can benefit your job search in several ways. Let’s schedule a time to sit down and assess your worth and value in the marketplace.


About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence.  Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today.  Call 516.731.3400 or visit our website at

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.