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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: Blended Paralegal And Legal Secretary Roles Account For Half Of Today's Legal Support Jobs

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As clients seek legal services at lower costs, the need for multifaceted support staff is growing. Two-thirds of lawyers (66 percent) interviewed by Robert Half Legal said blended or hybrid paralegal and legal secretary positions have become more prevalent in the last two years, and 15 percent said their organization plans to increase hiring for these roles in the next 12 months. The research also found that 50 percent of the legal support jobs at law firms or companies are hybrid positions.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting solutions firm specializing in placing 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 from the largest law firms and companies in the United States.

Lawyers were asked, "In your opinion, have blended or hybrid paralegal/legal secretary positions become more or less common than they were two years ago?" Their responses:*

Much more common

24%

Somewhat more common        

42%

No change  

17%

Somewhat less common 

4%

Much less common     

1%

Don't know

11%


99%

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding. 

Lawyers were also asked, "Does your law firm or company plan to increase or decrease its hiring of legal support professionals for blended or hybrid paralegal/legal secretary positions in the next 12 months?" Their responses:**

Increase significantly

1%

Increase somewhat

14%

Keep the same/no change  

61%

Decrease somewhat 

9%

Decrease significantly     

1%

Don't know

15%


101%

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

"Hybrid positions that combine administrative tasks with paralegal duties are becoming more widespread as firms restructure their support teams to improve efficiencies," said Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "To deliver quality results to clients at lower billing rates, the responsibilities of legal professionals in these blended roles are also expanding to include a variety of litigation support tasks traditionally handled by first-year associates."

Job prospects and salaries are increasing as employers compete for tech-savvy and versatile legal assistants, Sullivan observed. "Paralegals with a bachelor's degree, technical proficiency and three-plus years of experience in a high-demand specialty — such as compliance or commercial litigation — are in short supply," she said.

The Robert Half Legal 2018 Salary Guide revealed average starting salaries for hybrid paralegal jobs at a midpoint of $50,000 in the United States, depending on the scope and complexity of the position. Download a complimentary copy of the guide and access a salary calculator at the Robert Half Legal Salary Center.

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.

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

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