More than Four in Ten Lawyers Plans to Hire in Fourth Quarter

Corporate Law Expected to See Most Growth, New Robert Half Legal Survey Reveals

TORONTO, Sept. 15 /CNW/ - More than four in ten (44 per cent) lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plans to add legal staff in the next three months, while just 1 per cent plan reductions in personnel. The net 43 per cent increase in hiring activity is down six points from the previous quarter's forecast but remains above the average for all occupations surveyed by Robert Half for its Professional Employment Report. Much of the hiring is expected at law firms.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 75 lawyers at law firms with 20 or more employees, and 75 corporate lawyers at companies with 1,000 or more employees. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organisations.

Key Findings

    <<
    -   The net 43 per cent of lawyers expecting to hire is down six points
        from a net 49 per cent increase projected last quarter. However, it
        is well above the net 15 per cent anticipated hiring increase for all
        fields included in the Professional Employment Report.
    -   Eighty-one per cent of lawyers said it is challenging to find skilled
        legal professionals.
    -   Ninety-three per cent of lawyers are confident in their
        organisations' prospects for growth in the next three months.
    -   General business/corporate law, litigation and intellectual property
        are the practice areas expected to see the most growth in the fourth
        quarter.
    -   Lawyers, legal assistants and law clerks are the top three positions
        in demand.
    >>

Hiring Trends

"Law firms are taking a measured approach to hiring in light of continued economic uncertainties," said John Ohnjec, division director of Robert Half Legal in Canada. "They are focusing on selecting professionals who can help enhance their service offerings, especially in high-demand specialties, such as general business and corporate law, litigation and intellectual property."

Thirty-three per cent of lawyers identified general business/corporate law as the area of law that will experience the most growth in the next three months. Litigation received 20 per cent of the response, followed by intellectual property (7 per cent).

Law firms and corporate legal departments expect to hire an average of two full-time positions in the fourth quarter, according to survey respondents. Those interviewed indicated they will most likely hire lawyers (85 per cent), legal secretaries/assistants (37 per cent) and law clerks (28 per cent). "As firms continue to add onto their current teams, experienced associates with strong business development skills, valuable client contacts, and in-demand practice-area expertise, are seen as the most marketable associates," Ohnjec added.

About The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index

The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index is based on 150 telephone interviews with lawyers: 75 of the respondents are employed at firms with 20 or more employees, and 75 are employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

The interviews were conducted by an independent research firm. Information from the study is featured in the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, launched last year and the first study of its kind to monitor the hiring environment for professional-level positions exclusively. Based on more than 1,000 telephone interviews with executives throughout Canada, it provides insight on employment trends to help businesses and job seekers prepare for the upcoming quarter. To see how hiring within the legal profession has changed since last quarter and how it compares to other sectors, please visit www.roberthalf.ca/per.

About Robert Half Legal

Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com


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