SO WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE SEATTLE LEGAL MARKET?
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.