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For law firms hiring mid-level associates, practice area expertise and business development experience are the most important criteria, according to a survey of attorneys by Robert Half Legal, the legal staffing division of Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI).
Of the 150 lawyers questioned, 49% said practice area expertise was the most important factor in deciding to hire a mid-level associate. Business development experience/book of business ranked next at 30%.
Other responses included: years of experience, 10%; class ranking, 3%; didn't know/refused to answer, 6%; and 2% cited other criteria.