Seattle continues to enjoy a robust economy and considerable growth in many areas. The legal market is thriving, and Seattle firms are more and more open to hiring candidates from out of the state. However, there are things that firms look for and taking the time to consider them will prepare you for a more positive reception into the Seattle legal market. Here are a few tips: Have a plan. Make sure you know what your timeline is, and if you are going to try and secure a position prior to moving, or will be moving and then looking. Do your research. Firms are much more comfortable if a candidate has done their research and has an understanding of where they will be living, and what the costs area associated with that, and what the commute will be like. Know your reason for moving here. It sounds obvious, but the question is always asked, by both recruiters and clients: why are you coming to Seattle? Clients want to know you will be putting down roots and have some connection to the area, or strong reasons for being here – they want to know you will be sticking around if they are going to invest in you. Be able to travel here for interviews. If you are going to try and secure a position prior to relocating, then you must be available to come out for interviews. Firms are usually comfortable with phone and/or Skype for initial meetings, but once an offer starts becoming a real possibility, they are going to want to meet you in person, and you should want to meet with them as well.

Seattle firms are willing to hire people who are moving here and a key step is having a plan and being able to articulate that plan to your recruiter and to clients. A good recruiter will help you identify issues and problems before they arise, and help you navigate through them to present yourself as a strong and viable candidate to a client.


The past decade has seen the Seattle legal market go through major changes. In the early part of this millennium, we saw Seattle experience a huge growth spurt, and the legal market reflected that. Those were the days of multiple offers for candidates, signing bonuses, and not enough legal staff to go around. The market downturn in 2008 hit everyone hard and it took years for the legal sector to rebound – but it has – and we are again experiencing a strong market for legal professionals.   We are at the top of the cycle again, and law firms and companies are hiring at a steady pace.

While we don’t see the type of hiring frenzy that was everywhere in the last decade, we do see a steady growth pattern and a consistently strong market. The hiring is brisk, but more thoughtful and carefully planned. Firms seem to be making decisions on the reality of the work in hand, and less on any potential projects. That means more job stability and better salaries. The legal market has continued to provide an excellent opportunity for legal professionals to earn a competitive wage, and salaries of legal staff have continued to rise steadily. The forecast looks positive for 2016.