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IBA: Legal Hiring Expected to Increase in Fourth-Quarter

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Increased business confidence and continued legal hiring are expected in the fourth quarter of 2010. Twenty-nine percent of lawyers interviewed for The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to add legal jobs, while 6 percent anticipate declines, resulting in a net 23 percent increase in projected hiring activity. In addition, the majority (88 percent) of survey respondents said they were at least somewhat confident in their organizations’ ability to expand during the next quarter.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 100 lawyers at law firms with 20 or more employees, and 100 corporate lawyers at companies with 1,000 or more employees. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organizations. 

“As the economy regains its footing, legal organizations continue to make strategic hires to support active practice groups,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “Law firms, in particular, are expanding their legal teams to improve service offerings and meet client demands.”

Volkert suggested that lawyers may be anticipating new business opportunities tied to the economy and government regulation. Bankruptcy/foreclosure, fueled by recession-related filings and corporate restructuring, is the area of law expected to experience the most growth in the next three months, garnering 24 percent of the total response. Litigation ranked second (18 percent) and healthcare was a close third (17 percent) among lawyers interviewed for the report.

Nearly half (45 percent) of lawyers said it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals. “Despite high unemployment rates, the market remains competitive for candidates with experience in growing practice areas,” said Volkert. Survey participants identified lawyers (95 percent) as the type of full-time legal position they intend to add followed by legal secretaries/assistants (36 percent) and paralegals (26 percent). “Demand for associates who can generate revenue and support staff who can perform multiple job functions should remain strong in the coming months,” Volkert said.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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