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Legal hiring set to increase

June 19 2013

The legal field should see more hiring activity in the second half 2013, prompted by a surge in litigation-related work, according to new research from Robert Half Legal.

Thirty-one percent of lawyers interviewed said their law firm or company plans to expand or add new positions in July through December, while 50 percent said their organizations will be maintaining current staff levels by filling vacated posts. Thirteen percent of survey respondents said they will not fill vacant positions or create new ones and 2 percent said they will be reducing or eliminating positions.

“To increase their bench strength and augment practice groups, law firms are seeking legal professionals who possess expertise in high-demand specialties as well as solid business development skills,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “Legal departments also are expanding their internal teams to address increased workloads.”

Fifty-five percent of respondents cited litigation activity as the force driving hiring at their firm, followed by general business/commercial law with 39 percent and healthcare with 24 percent.

Sixteen percent of the lawyers said it is “very challenging” to find skilled legal professionals today and 37 percent said it is “somewhat challenging.”

The survey is based on 200 telephone interviews with U.S. lawyers who have hiring authority within their organizations. It included 100 respondents employed at law firms with 20 or more employees and 100 respondents employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

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