- The city of Miami is an international economic hub offering a vibrant culture and good quality of life for its residents.
- It has a competitive legal market because many Biglaw firms have opened shops there in the past few years, and the legal landscape is quickly changing.
- It may be a good idea to work with a legal recruiter in Miami’s hot market.
Miami is a city rich in history. The city’s origins and culture have developed as one of the country’s most influential cities. Known as the “Gateway to Latin America,” Miami is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Brickell Avenue has the largest concentration of international banks in the United States. It is also a significant tourism hotspot. Miami is home to many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers, in addition to music festivals like the Calle Ocho Festival, part of Miami’s annual carnival.
The Greater Miami area is home to various industries and companies. The region is home to 4 Fortune 500 companies as well as many large manufacturing, financial, and biotech companies. Baptist Health South Florida, the University of Miami, Wells Fargo, and American Airlines are some of the area’s largest employers. The combination of tourism, international finance, and a large shipping harbor (PortMiami) make for a robust economy. Finance, estate planning, tax, bankruptcy/restructuring, labor & employment, and international law are major practice areas in the South Florida market. If you dream of kite surfing and riding your bike on the weekends, Miami might be calling you.
Miami-Dade County is home to 16, 237 lawyers, according to the American Bar Association. While many attended the University of Miami or another in-state university for law school, there is also a significant influx of lawyers from across the country setting up practices in Miami.
Top law firms are setting up offices in Miami
A number of Biglaw firms (e.g., Quinn Emanuel, Kirkland, Sidley, King & Spalding, Winston & Strawn) have all recently expanded to Miami. These legal giants are luring talent away from local firms and a talent war is stirring. You might want to consider working with a legal recruiter if you’re searching for a job in the Miami legal market.
- Holland & Knight’s Miami office has practices in international trade, banking, real estate and construction, telecommunications, transportation, and healthcare.
- Greenberg Taurig was founded in Miami in the late ‘60s and has grown to employ over 2,500 lawyers in 42 offices across the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This firm is Biglaw with local roots.
- White & Caseis a leader in cross-border work and is known for its diverse and inclusive culture.
- Jones Day’s Miami office (opened in 2013) focuses on transactions and disputes crossing over into Latin America and makes use of resources from its global offices to support the South Florida team.
The legal industry has really grown in Miami over the last few years. Post-pandemic, firms are accommodating attorneys’ desire to live in better climates and more vibrant cities. These firms recognize that good legal work can be done from anywhere. These firms compete on a national and global scale with many of the top organizations across the country, and they offer the quality of life that many attorneys are looking for.
If you’re interested in moving to Miami, you may be able to transfer within your firm. If that’s not an option, many firms with offices in Miami and many practice groups would be interested in discussing a lateral placement to their Miami office.
How to conduct a legal job search in Miami
Lateral attorneys usually make their move in one of a few ways:
- Lateraling from Firm X to Firm Y in the same city.
- Lateraling from Firm X to Firm Y, moving to a new city.
- Moving to another office of the same firm.
If you’re lateraling from Firm X to Firm Y but planning to stay in the Miami area, you’ll want to make use of your network in the area. Connect with attorneys you’ve worked across the table with, folks from the bar association section you’re in, or find alumni from your law school. A legal recruiter might be able to help you find unlisted positions at firms in Miami that even your network doesn’t know about yet.
If you’re lateraling to a new firm and moving to Miami, your job search will go more smoothly if you work with a legal search firm to help you learn about the Miami legal market, the open positions in the city, and the best groups to work with for your practice area. A knowledgeable legal recruiter will be able to help you find a good fit in a new city.
If you’re staying within the same firm but want to move to Miami, you should start the process by talking with the partner(s) you currently work for. Teams generally rely on associates to continue working at their usual capacity, and sudden moves are frowned upon.
If you want to transition to the Miami office of your current firm, you’ll need to work out the politics of how the partners will perceive the move. Can you do a ramp-down with the partner you currently work with?
Do you need to shift your work to a different group? Is there training you can get before you make the move? Talk to the human resources department only after you’ve got the details squared away.
If you’re not able to handle this on your own or you want the help of someone who knows staffing for legal professionals, you might want to take your lawyer resume to a recruiter instead. An attorney search can be overwhelming when seeking a full-time role. The right attorney recruiting firm, however, knows the lay of the land and can use their headhunting process to find you the perfect fit. Miami legal recruiters and headhunters can help you with attorney placement in the right place. Whether it’s in-house counsel you’re seeking or a job as an associate attorney, a headhunter can help. There are many open attorney jobs and you just need the right recruiter to help you pinpoint your next opportunity.
Examples of lawyers who work with legal recruiters in Miami
Associate who is moving to Miami from a different legal market
Matthew is a mid-level associate in D.C. who is seeking a lifestyle change in Miami. Excited about the vibrant city he’s moving to, Matthew is using a legal recruiter to help him find a good placement in a legal market that he doesn’t know much about. He’s hoping to find better work-life balance at his new firm, and his recruiter is helping to narrow down positions that will keep him on-track with his goals.
Associate who wants to change practice areas
Kelly wants to add more international work to her practice, but her current work is focused on domestic transactions. She feels pigeon-holed into doing the same work for the same partner at her current firm, so she wants to lateral to a different firm, and she’s using a legal recruiter in Miami to connect with partners looking to grow their established international practices.
If you need more information on the best legal recruiters in Miami, send me a message using the site’s chat button stating briefly that you’re on the lookout for a firm placement in Miami. I’ll keep all your information confidential and get back to you quickly with some recommendations.
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Joshua Holt is a lawyer with 10 years of experience in Biglaw working at the country’s largest law firms, culminating in his work at a Vault 30 law firm in the private equity mergers & acquisition group. He has extensive experience counseling associates in lateraling to a firm with a better fit, helping associates make partner and working with law students navigating on-campus and call-back interviews.