“Hiring for in-house positions continues to be strong and companies continue to build up strong in-house teams. That’s definitely a trend that we continue to see.”

Because companies are looking to cut costs, they’re beefing up their in-house teams in an effort to be less reliant on external counsel, which is good news for lawyers seeking work in that area, says Heller.

Law firms, meanwhile, she says, are on the hunt for lawyers who have their own books of business and those with expertise in the technology sector who are looking for counsel-type roles.

“We continue to see an emphasis from firms for candidates who’ve developed strong business development skills, both the desire to engage in these types of activities at the junior level and who have success in these areas. It’s not just about your technical skill set. There’s a lot of pressure for lawyers within firms to really show their ability to build a client base.”

Due to the improving economy and globalization, Heller notes there’s also more demand for lawyers who have experience in mergers and acquisitions, a sector that all but died after the stock market meltdown in 2008, and for those with a background in securities.

“We have a number of firm clients looking for talent in the securities area where a few years ago that was not the case. There is least some interest in bringing people on in that area.”

Commercial real estate and information technology are also sectors that are rife with opportunities for lawyers and that is expected to continue in 2017, says Heller.

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