Boston Legal Market
The Boston market is relatively small, which means that the competition can be stiff for summer associate positions. Boston is an incubator for technology and biotech companies, which drives a lot of the work. Because so many of these companies need funding, Boston is also popular for venture capital companies and private equity companies. There are a few very selective national firms in Boston (including firms like Ropes & Gray, WilmerHale, and Goodwin Procter). There are a few AmLaw 100 firms that are headquartered in Boston, and several other AmLaw 100 offices located in the city. You will also find a number of Boston-based firms that may or may not have additional offices outside of the city, but are considered more local firms (e.g., Mintz Levin, Choate Hall & Stewart, Goulston & Storrs). Over the past few years, more and more AmLaw 100 firms have been entering the Boston market; firms including Morrison & Foerster and Orrick have recently opened Boston offices.
Practice Area Overview
- Corporate Law: The market is especially robust in fund formation, venture capital/hedge fund/capital markets, financing and investment in emerging companies (technology and life sciences-related), private equity-driven mergers & acquisitions and buyout work, and securities compliance.
- Intellectual Property: Patent prosecution and patent litigation are both hot areas because of the large number of technology and biotechnology companies in Boston.
- Litigation: While it is a relatively steady practice, most Boston firms look to hire more associates for their transactional groups than for their litigation practices.
- Energy and Environmental Law
- Entertainment Law
- Project Finance
- International Law
Boston firms care strongly about ties to the area, and want to know that you plan to stay in the Boston area long-term. If you are from Boston or attended college in the Boston area (or New England in general), you should certainly emphasize that! If you aren’t from the area, you can highlight your interest in the unique practices of the Boston legal market (e.g., the work coming from emerging technology and biotech companies). Because of the presence of so many tech/biotech and venture capital companies in Boston, students can stand out by demonstrating their knowledge of the industry and an interest in corporate work. Any sort of science or technology background is also appealing. Georgetown Law has a strong presence in Boston, with firms such as Ropes & Gray, Mintz Levin, Goulston & Storrs, and WilmerHale hiring Georgetown Law students on a regular basis.
Boston Market Resources
Check out the links below for more information regarding the Boston legal market, networking opportunities, and job listings.
Georgetown Law Resources
- Boston Job Search Strategy Handout
- Boston Legal Market Podcast (2016)
- Boston Market Practice Areas & Firms Handout (2018)
- “Ask a Boston Market Expert” Transcript (2016)
- Market Focus: Boston
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly classifieds
- Chambers Associate Regional Guide: Boston & New England
- National Law Journal: Boston Market