Spurred on by strict regulations, high taxes, and an inflated housing market, the mass migration of tech companies from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX, shows no signs of slowing down. Within the last year or so, Oracle, 8VC, FireTrail, and Question Pro announced plans to move their corporate headquarters to Austin, aka “Silicon Hills.”
Tesla’s new state-of-the-art Gigafactory is now up and running, just as fellow tech behemoth Apple puts the final touches on its billion-dollar campus in Northwest Austin. Is Austin’s tech-fueled economic growth also creating new hiring opportunities for lawyers? As an attorney, read on to learn why relocating to Austin could provide the “spark” that your career currently needs.
Why Are Tech Companies Attracted to Austin?
Many “Big Tech” CEOs are opting to leave California in search of lower real estate prices, more business-friendly tax laws, and fewer operational restrictions. Austin has many qualities that make it an attractive relocation option for companies inside and outside the tech industry.
The city frequently appears on “best places to live” lists due to its lively downtown, mild climate, cultural attractions, and growing business base. Surrounded by water, the area’s hills, forests, and ubiquitous hiking and biking trails make it the perfect playground for employees and their families.
As the capital of Texas, Austin also has one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States, along with a reasonable cost of living – notably in comparison to a highly taxed and regulated state like California.
Do New Companies Moving to Austin Increase Demand in the Legal Industry?
Fortune 500 tech companies that have already opened or announced plans to open new facilities in Austin include Oracle, Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Facebook (Meta), and Google. Tech influencers from around the world are now taking notice of Austin’s business-friendly climate. Canva, a large Australian tech company specializing in online graphic design tools, recently unveiled its first US office in downtown Austin.
Ripple effects will be felt across the legal community as these companies scramble to staff their on-site legal departments. In addition to hundreds of lawyers, scores of paralegals and other legal professionals will be needed to fill newly created in-house corporate counsel positions throughout the Austin metropolitan area.
Are Tech Companies Shifting the Focus of Austin Lawyers?
By necessity, Big Tech employers are reshaping Austin’s legal job market as hiring managers seek lawyers and other legal professionals with tech-related expertise. Attorneys specializing in practice areas such as technology law, international tax law, copyright and marketing law, and regulatory compliance law are now in high demand.
Faced with stiff competition from fellow Silicon Valley transplants, many tech employers are now offering additional financial incentives to candidates who possess the right mix of professional qualifications and company culture mindset.
How Are Lawyers in Other Practice Areas Being Affected?
Austin’s rapid tech industry growth has fueled expansion in other industries, most notably housing, transportation, construction, hospitality, finance, and energy. Companies that compete in those sectors also require legal counsel, whether it’s provided in-house or outsourced to one of the many prestigious law firms that recently opened satellite offices in Austin.
As tech companies continue to add new employees, Austin’s increasing population will drive the demand for attorneys with experience in practice areas such as labor law, immigration law, real estate law, tax law, and environmental law.
Is the Influx of Big Tech Changing Austin Legal Recruiting?
The latest influx of Big Tech comes as many corporate associates enjoy a level of bargaining power rarely before seen, thanks to booming demand and a tight recruiting market. To gain an advantage, tech companies are using Austin’s lifestyle as a recruiting tool for legal talent, along with financial incentives and other perks.
Big Tech hiring managers throughout the metro area are hard-pressed to develop creative strategies to recruit and place candidates into open corporate counsel positions. Once placed, Austin’s competitive legal market has made it even more challenging to retain employees as workplace considerations like company culture, diversity, inclusion, and a healthy work-life balance appear on candidate “wish lists.”
As Austin’s thriving legal community continues to experience exceptional growth, legal headhunters will remain a viable part of the candidate placement process by connecting Big Tech employers with qualified applicants so that all parties win.
We Help Legal Clients in Texas Navigate Change
When it’s time to change jobs as a legal professional, a reputable legal headhunter can be invaluable throughout the entire job search process during both good markets and bad. At Momentum Search Partners, our team of six legal recruiters has 100+ years of legal recruiting experience in Texas and nationwide.
With offices strategically located in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, our fingers are constantly on the pulse of the Texas legal market. For more information about our recruiting services, contact us today!