2019: The Current Minneapolis Legal Market


As 2019 progresses forward, the legal market in Minneapolis remains hot and ripe with opportunity and potential:

New Entrants (Four Super-Regional/National Firms) in Minneapolis Since Last September. We reported early last year that “Minneapolis remains a popular destination for national and regional firms as we know of at least four other national or regional firms that are seriously exploring this market.” In September 2018, Quarles & Brady opened an office here. And since January 1, 2019, three other firms opened offices in this market: Spencer Fane, Greenberg Traurig, and Saul Ewing. Since opening, Greenberg and Saul Ewing have already added 10 and four lawyers, respectively, bringing the total number of lawyers at each firm in Minneapolis to 13 and 12, respectively. 

National Firms in the Minneapolis Market.  Just 10 years ago, there were only 11 AmLaw 200 firms with offices in Minneapolis, and three of those firms were “legacy” firms: Dorsey & Whitney, Faegre & Benson and Robins Kaplan. There are now 23 AmLaw 200 firms with a presence in Minneapolis. Of the 12 AmLaw 200 firms that have established offices here in the last 10 years, seven have arrived since 2016. And Minneapolis remains a popular destination for national and super-regional firms; we know of at least four national or super-regional firms that are seriously exploring opportunities (i.e., getting on planes for meetings) in this market. There remain strong “local” law firm options in Minneapolis, but market consolidation is an undeniable reality: at least 25 Minneapolis lawyers have moved from local firms to AmLaw 200 firms here since January 1. 

Hot Practice Areas in 2019. The four hottest practice areas in Minneapolis are corporate, real estate, intellectual property and health care. Attorneys in these practice areas with the right background and experience have vast opportunities available to them in this market, in some cases even if they have little or no portable book of business. In the real estate space, the new (since 2016) arrivals have exemplary national real estate practices, meaning that there have never been more varied options for real estate transactional attorneys in Minneapolis.



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