News Releases

New Release Paragraph

In addition to identifying trends through our daily interactions with companies and job seekers, we conduct extensive research on hiring and employment issues. Read about our latest research, including results from our ongoing surveys of CFOs, CIOs, lawyers, advertising and marketing executives, human resources managers, senior managers and workers.

Nearly Three In 10 Lawyers Plan To Hire In Second Half Of 2015; Two-Thirds Cite Challenges Finding Skilled Legal Professionals

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly three in 10 (29 percent) lawyers interviewed for a new Robert Half Legal survey said their law firms or companies will be expanding their legal teams in the second half of 2015. This compares to 26 percent from six months ago and 29 percent from one year ago. Fifty-eight percent of lawyers said they expect to only fill vacant posts, while 8 percent said they would neither fill vacant positions nor create new ones. Just 1 percent of respondents anticipate staff reductions in the next six months.

Legal Hiring Environment in
the United States*

July-Dec.
2015

Jan.-June
2015

July-Dec.
2014

Expanding/adding new positions

29%

26%

29%

Maintaining/filling vacated positions

58%

60%

52%

Freezing/not filling vacated or new positions

8%

7%

10%

Reducing/eliminating positions

1%

1%

2%

Don't know/no answer

3%

7%

8%


99%

101%

101%


*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.


The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting services firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 200 telephone interviews with lawyers in the United States: 100 of the respondents are employed at law firms with 20 or more employees and 100 are employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organizations.

Other Key Findings

  • Sixty-four percent of lawyers said finding skilled legal professionals is somewhat or very challenging, a 14-point increase from the previous survey's findings.
  • Thirty-nine percent of lawyers expressed concern about losing legal personnel to other job opportunities, an eight-point increase from the prior report.
  • Thirty-nine percent of lawyers said that aside from increased compensation, challenging work or variety of assignments provides the greatest incentive for legal professionals to remain with an employer. Professional development opportunities ranked second, receiving 26 percent of the survey response, followed by flexible work arrangements, cited by 20 percent of respondents.
  • More than half (56 percent) of lawyers polled said that previous work experience or prestige of a former law firm/company is the best indicator of a job candidate's success. A referral from a current employee or member of a professional network followed, with 22 percent of the response.

"Competition for top talent is intensifying as law firms and corporate legal departments expand their teams to meet rising demand for legal services," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "When evaluating job seekers for a position, employers must move quickly to avoid losing top candidates to another organization. To assess legal professionals' potential for success within their firms, hiring managers are placing more weight on personal referrals and prestige of former employers."

Litigation Expertise in Demand
Litigation is expected to yield the most job opportunities from July through December of 2015, according to 39 percent of attorneys surveyed. Within the litigation practice area, insurance defense was cited by nearly half (48 percent) of lawyers as the leading driver of job growth, followed by commercial litigation (33 percent).

Lawyers were asked, "Which one of the following practice areas, in your opinion, will offer the greatest number of job opportunities in the second half of 2015?" Their responses:

Litigation

39%

General business/commercial law

17%

Real estate

8%

Regulatory or compliance

8%

Healthcare

6%

Intellectual property

6%

Family law

3%

Other

5%

None/don't know/no answer

8%


100%

Lawyers who cited "litigation" as a response also were asked, "Which of the following areas of litigation, if any, will offer the greatest job opportunities in the second half of 2015?" Their responses:**

Insurance defense

48%

Commercial litigation

33%

Employment

20%

Securities and corporate governance

11%

Class actions

8%

Intellectual property

7%

Personal/family law

7%

Other

16%

Don't know

1%


**Multiple responses were permitted.


View an infographic of the research highlights.

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing and consulting services division of Robert Half. A premier legal employment agency, Robert Half Legal provides highly skilled legal professionals for law firms and corporate legal departments on a temporary, project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, the company offers a full suite of legal staffing and consulting services to help organizations manage constantly changing workloads and access expertise across in-demand legal practice areas. More information, including online job search services, can be found at roberthalflegal.com. For career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog at blog.roberthalflegal.com.

 

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Lisa Hamilton, (650) 234-6234, lisa.hamilton@roberthalf.com