Legal sector cuts 1,100 jobs in May

June 11, 2008
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Looks like the legal profession is starting to feel the effects of the slowing economy. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. legal sector lost 1,100 jobs in May. That’s the third consecutive month of losses for the industry. But lawyers, clerks, paralegals, and others aren’t having just a bad couple of months. Overall, the legal services sector in the U.S. has cut 4,200 jobs in the last six months and nearly 10,000 since last year at this time.



What about Indiana? So far, the public sentiment seems to be that Indiana law firms aren’t reeling from the downturn in the economy like firms in Chicago, New York, or other larger markets. Indiana attorneys often tout the fact that national legal trends – especially the negative ones – don’t often happen here, are slow to happen, or don’t happen on the kind of scale that other markets see. Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development keeps records of legal profession job numbers, but only by year, so it’s hard to know how Indiana legal workers have fared this year.



Do Indiana attorneys just have their heads in the sand, hoping the dark cloud of job cuts will blow past Indiana? There may be some signs that Indiana isn’t immune to legal job cuts due to the economy. Indiana Lawyer reporter Rebecca Berfanger had several firms deny her request for interviews about whether their summer associate hiring has been affected by the state of the economy, which usually means there isn’t good news to report. Law firms rarely deny a chance to tout the positive happenings at their firms.
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  1. Not enough copperheads here to care anymore, is my guess. Otherwise, a totally pointless gesture. ... Oh wait: was this done because somebody want to avoid bad press - or was it that some weak kneed officials cravenly fear "protest" violence by "urban youths.."

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