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 One-third Of Lawyers Plan To Expand Legal Teams In Second Half Of 2016; Two-thirds Report Challenges Finding Skilled Talent

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- An increase in hiring is predicted for the legal field with nearly one-third (31 percent) of lawyers interviewed by Robert Half Legal anticipating their law firms or companies will add legal jobs in the second half of 2016. This compares to 24 percent six months ago and 29 percent one year ago. Fifty-one percent of lawyers said they expect to only fill vacant posts, while 12 percent said they would neither fill vacant positions nor create new ones. No respondents anticipate staff reductions in the next six months.

Legal Hiring Environment in the United States*

July-Dec. 2016

Jan.-June 2016

July-Dec. 2015

Expanding/adding new positions

31%

24%

29%

Maintaining/filling vacated positions

51%

54%

58%

Freezing/not filling vacated positions or creating new ones

12%

15%

8%

Reducing/eliminating positions

0%

1%

1%

Don't know/no answer

7%

6%

3%


101%

100%

99%

*Some responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting solutions 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-seven percent of lawyers said finding skilled legal professionals is somewhat or very challenging, while 33 percent of survey respondents expressed concern about losing legal personnel to other job opportunities in the next six months.
  • Thirty-four percent of lawyers said that, aside from compensation or bonus, challenging work or variety of assignments provides the greatest incentive for legal professionals to remain with an employer. Flexible work arrangements ranked second, receiving 26 percent of the survey response, followed by professional development opportunities at 20 percent.

"Law firms are hiring to expand lucrative practice groups or establish new services while legal departments are recruiting professionals to support an increase in case work related to commercial litigation and transactions," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Midlevel lawyers and paralegals who possess deep knowledge of a particular industry or sector are highly marketable."

Litigation Expertise in Demand
Litigation is expected to yield the most job opportunities from July through December of 2016, according to 41 percent of attorneys surveyed. Within the litigation practice area, commercial litigation and insurance defense were identified as the leading drivers of job growth, with each category receiving 43 percent of the survey response.

Lawyers were asked, "Which one of the following practice areas will offer the greatest number of job opportunities in the second half of 2016?" Their responses:**

Litigation

41%

General business/commercial law

21%

Real estate

7%

Family law

6%

Regulatory or compliance

5%

Intellectual property

3%

Healthcare

2%

Other

4%

None/don't know/no answer

10%


99%

**Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Lawyers who cited "litigation" as a response were also asked, "Which of the following areas of litigation, if any, will offer the greatest job opportunities in the second half of 2016?" Their responses:***

Commercial litigation

43%

Insurance defense

43%

Personal injury

16%

Employment

8%

Personal/family law

5%

Class actions

4%

Securities and corporate governance

2%

Other

10%

Don't know

4%

***Multiple responses were permitted.

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal provides a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. The company offers in-demand expertise across practice areas as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. More information about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions 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