Hipster Cities Like Portland Attract Lawyers Willing to Work as Paralegals

Portland, Ore., is among the cities attracting young well-educated “hipsters” willing to overlook a tough job market to live in a popular place. And some of the new arrivals are lawyers.

Portland, Seattle and Austin, Texas, don’t have enough jobs for all their young and educated migrants, but the places continue to draw new people, the Wall Street Journal reports. “What these cities share is a hard-to-quantify blend of climate, natural beauty, universities and—more than anything else—a reputation as a cool place to live.”

Among those dealing with a bad job market is 28-year-old Stephen Anderson, a lawyer who moved to Portland in June. He tried to find a legal job with Boly:Welch and ended up as an assistant to the firm’s recruiters, the story says. His duties include answering the phones, picking up lunches and sometimes walking the owner’s two poodles.

Anderson isn’t the only lawyer willing to accept a nonlegal job in Portland. Several lawyers have asked Boly:Welch for placement in paralegal jobs, but the firm generally refuses, the story says. The firm’s reluctance stems from the fact that lawyers are unlikely to stick around as paralegals when the economy improves.

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