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.

Survey: Litigation To Offer Greatest Legal Job Opportunities In Next Six Months; 22 Percent Of Lawyers Plan To Expand Teams

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec.14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Litigation is expected to yield the greatest legal job prospects in the months ahead, new research reveals, with more than one in five attorneys planning to add to their existing teams. Twenty-two percent of lawyers interviewed by Robert Half Legal anticipate that their law firms or companies will add legal jobs in the first half of 2018. This compares to 33 percent six months ago and 25 percent one year ago. Fifty-one percent of lawyers said they plan to only fill vacant posts in the next six months, while 14 percent said they would neither fill vacant positions nor create new ones. None of the survey respondents plan to reduce legal teams.

Legal Hiring Environment in the United States

Jan.-June
2018

July-Dec.
2017

Jan.-June
2017

Expanding/adding new positions

22%

33%

25%

Maintaining/filling vacated positions

51%

51%

59%

Freezing/not filling vacated positions or creating new ones

14%

6%

11%

Reducing/eliminating positions

0%

3%

0%

Don't know/no answer

13%

7%

5%


100%

100%

100%

View an infographic of the research highlights.  

Other Key Findings

  • More than six in 10 lawyers (62 percent) said finding skilled legal professionals is somewhat or very challenging, while 31 percent of survey respondents expressed concern about losing legal personnel to other job opportunities in the next six months.
  • Twenty-eight percent of lawyers said that, aside from compensation or bonus, flexible work arrangements provide the greatest incentive for legal professionals to remain with an employer. Challenging work or variety of assignments ranked second (26 percent), followed by professional development opportunities, at 20 percent.

"Law firms are focused on growing revenue in an increasingly competitive environment, while legal departments are being tasked to contain costs by managing more work in-house," said Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "To improve service levels, these organizations are recruiting legal professionals with highly specialized skills, strong business acumen and in-depth knowledge of their industry or sector."

Sullivan added that to attract and retain the best talent, law firms and companies are promoting perks and benefits that job seekers covet most, including telecommuting, flexible schedules and professional development opportunities. "Aside from compensation, offering programs that help employees improve work-life balance and advance their careers are highly effective strategies for boosting recruitment and reducing turnover," she said.   

Litigation Expertise in High Demand

Nearly four in 10 attorneys (38 percent) expect litigation to yield the most employment opportunities in the next six months, with close to half (48 percent) citing insurance defense as the top driver of job growth within the litigation practice area.

Lawyers were asked, "Which one of the following practice areas will offer the greatest number of job opportunities in the first half of 2018?" Their responses:*

Litigation

38%

General business/commercial law

12%

Real estate

10%

Regulatory or compliance

5%

Family law

5%

Intellectual property

3%

Labor and employment

2%

Privacy, data security and information law

2%

Criminal law

2%

Healthcare

2%

Other

8%

None/don't know/no answer

12%


101%


*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 number of job opportunities in the first half of 2018?" Their responses:**

Insurance defense

48%

Commercial litigation

33%

Personal injury

11%

Employment

9%

Class actions

3%

Other

8%

Don't know

1%


 **Multiple responses were permitted.

Survey Methodology

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal and conducted by an independent research firm. It 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 respondents have hiring authority within their organizations.

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 roberthalf.com/legal.

 

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

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