Attorneys serving high-technology industry clients may soon find as much or even more opportunity in Southern California as now exists in the Bay Area. The Southland now rivals Northern California's Silicon Valley in the number of technology jobs including electronics, computer hardware and software, aerospace, telecommunications, biotechnology, and new media. And now, Southern California is embarking on a marketing campaign to further expand its hi-tech presence.
In mid-1997, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan created the Los Angeles New Media Roundtable to define, support, and promote the Southland's technology business. Picking a catchy name for the region is high on the agenda in this effort. "Tech Coast" is the current favorite, over other contenders such as: Pacific Coast Hyperlink, Silicon Beach, Digital Epicenter, Hollyweb, Siliwood, or the Wired West. After selecting a name, the Roundtable will commission an exhaustive study to identify all technology companies in Southern California and then, with the help of public relations professionals, promote the region nationally and internationally. Local governments will be urged to make their communities attractive to high-technology industries by improving technical infrastructure such as fiber optic and coaxial cables for high-speed cable data transmission, and by ensuring that start-up companies are not overly burdened by taxes, zoning laws, and other business regulations.
Currently, there are almost 250,000 high technology jobs in Los Angeles and Orange County alone, in addition to those in San Diego's "Golden Triangle" and outlying areas. And, those numbers are growing. Recently, Los Angeles has beat out Silicon Valley for several start-up ventures, and has lured some Silicon Valley companies here. As more cutting-edge businesses are established and continues to expand in the Southland, there will be a commensurate increase in the need for legal services in practice areas such as securities, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property and licensing, employment, general business transactions, and related litigation. Thus, while the Southern California legal job market is hot, it is going to get hotter!