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Fifty-nine percent of lawyers expect the litigation practice area to generate the most revenue for their law firm in the next two years, according to a recent poll by Robert Half Legal. General business and commercial law ranked second, with 31 percent of the survey response.
"Managing partners at many law firms are focusing on improving profitability by shedding lower-margin work and expanding teams in high-growth specialties, such as litigation and commercial law,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “Law firms are hiring senior-level associates with portable books of business or acquiring boutique firms to rapidly bring new services to market.”
A surge in commercial litigation and compliance-related activity will result in continued demand for skilled legal talent, according to Volkert. Associates and paralegals with three to five years of relevant experience, who can help corporate clients prepare for trial and comply with recent regulations, will be particularly marketable.
Lawyers were asked, "Which of the following practice areas, if any, will offer the greatest revenue generation opportunities for your law firm in the next two years?" The top five responses:
- Litigation: 59 percent
- General business/commercial law: 31 percent
- Healthcare: 14 percent
- Bankruptcy/foreclosure: 8 percent
- Labor and employment: 7 percent
The survey is based on 175 telephone interviews with lawyers employed at the largest law firms in the United States and Canada. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organizations.