Exactly one-third of lawyers surveyed said they plan to add jobs in the next quarter and just two percent expect to cut staff. The net 31-percent hiring increase is up five points from the previous quarterâ€™s survey.
The hiring index is 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. Â All of the respondents have hiring authorization within their organization.
Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal, noted in a press release that 83 percent of respondents expressed confidence in their organizationsâ€™ prospects for growth.
Â “In particular, law firms specializing in bankruptcy, foreclosure and litigation are adding staff to meet increased demand for their services,” Volkert said. “Successive waves of bankruptcies and restructurings, along with a surge in labor relations and employment-related litigation, are fueling hiring.”
The survey also found that, despite a competitive legal jobs market, nearly half respondents (47 percent) said it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals, which is a 6 percent increase from the previous survey.
“Specific attributes that may have been listed as ‘preferable’ in a job posting in the past may now be ‘required,’ which narrows the range of viable candidates for a given position,” Volkert said.