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IBA: Survey Finds Staffing Levels to Rise in Second Quarter

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More than one-quarter of lawyers interviewed recently said they plan to increase staff levels in the second quarter of 2010, while virtually none anticipated declines, according to The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index. 

Comparatively, sixty-seven percent of those responding projected no change in hiring practices during the quarter. The survey 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.

Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal, noted that hiring activity will likely be stronger for law firms, as they faced more intense pressure to downsize compared to corporate legal departments. “Law firms that cut deeply during the downturn are planning to add staff to meet existing client demands and prepare for new business,” he said. “Delivering superior quality and service requires having the right people in place. Reputation and competitiveness can suffer when a firm is understaffed.”

But locating the best candidates may be difficult, the survey results suggest. Forty-one percent of respondents said that it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals in the United States, despite high unemployment rates. Volkert noted that a single legal posting can generate several hundred resumes. “The sheer volume of applicants often makes the process more complicated for hiring managers,” he said. “As a result, some firms and departments are relying more heavily on their professional networks, internal referrals and specialized recruiters to identify the best candidates for open roles.”  

Although the anticipated rise in hiring activity is a positive sign for those in the legal field, even more welcome news may be the overall sense of optimism: 80 percent of lawyers interviewed are at least somewhat confident in their organizations’ prospects for growth in the second quarter. “Bankruptcy, foreclosure and litigation practices have been strong for some time now and should continue to grow,” Volkert said. “Intellectual property, labor and employment, and securities law also have seen increased hiring demand.” 

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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

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