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Report from the Field: Phoenix, Arizona

Last week, I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to meet with legal employers. These employers included some of the largest firms in the area, as well as the fourth largest prosecutors' office in the US, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Most of these employers are located in downtown Phoenix which seemed to be undergoing a tremendous wave of construction projects, including a new convention center. Here are some details to report:

Bryan Cave - Met with the recruiting director and chairs of the hiring committte. This firm has had a long history of success in recruiting Minnesota students on and off campus. They are very interested in connecting with members of the class of 2008 who are interested in practice in the region. If so, please contact me.

Maricopa County Attorney's Office - This office has extensively revamped their training and recruiting programs in the last year. Jeff Duvendack, the attorney in charge of these areas, now oversees a comprehensive entry-level attorney training program. In addition, entry level salaries have been raised to the low $50K range to be competitive with other major prosecutor offices nationally. If you are interested in prosecution practice in a growing office, this would be an excellent choice.

Snell and Willmer - The largest law firm in Phoenix with branch offices in Denver, Salt Lake City and Orange County. I met with the recruiting director and chair of the hiring committee. This firm is very interested in connecting with Minnesota students -- they are hoping to participate in the West Coast Off-Campus Interview Program in Los Angeles this fall. Please check Symplicity for more information.

Jennings, Strouss - This firm employs over 120 attorneys and features a diverse range of practice areas. I met with the recruiting coordinator who mentioned they would bet returning this year to the West Coast program in Los Angeles.

Fennemore Craig - The oldest law firm in Arizona. They are located in the Midtown area, near some of the more exclusive shopping and dining areas. They are looking for ways to connect with Minnesota students and are considering participating in the West Coast program.

In each case, the people I met were uniformly impressed by the quality and caliber of Minnesota students and graduates. The Phoenix market is growing and these firms are interested in ways to connect with students from top tier schools around the country. The West Coast program offers them the opportunity to meet with a pool of applicants from several law schools. In the case of Bryan Cave, these efforts have proved so successful that the firm now recruits on campus. Our hope is that each of these employers will eventually make the trip up to Minneapolis in a few years.

If you would like more specific information about these firms or other employment options in Phoenix, please let me know.