Legal hiring to increase in third quarter; Robert Half Legal survey finds
business confidence also on rise

TORONTO, June 29 /CNW/ - Legal hiring remains a bright spot in a transitional economic environment, as four in 10 (40 per cent) lawyers interviewed for The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index said they plan to add legal jobs in the third quarter. Just 2 per cent of legal organizations plan staff cutbacks, for a net 38 per cent hiring increase in the next three months.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, legal assistants and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 50 lawyers at law firms with 20 or more employees, and 50 corporate lawyers at companies with 50 or more employees. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organizations.

Lawyers were asked, "Does your law firm or company plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time legal personnel on your staff during the third quarter of 2010?" Their responses:

    
    Increase..........................................................   40%
    Decrease..........................................................    2%
    No change.........................................................   50%
    Don't know........................................................    8%
                                                                       ------
                                                                        100%
    

Given current and anticipated activity, 87 per cent of lawyers interviewed expressed confidence in their organizations' prospects for growth, noted John Ohnjec, LL.B, a Canadian division director with Robert Half Legal. "Law firms specializing in litigation, corporate law, and commercial and residential real estate especially are adding staff to meet rising demand for their services," Ohnjec said. "An increase in employment-related and intellectual property litigation, ongoing corporate legal requirements and an uptick in the real estate sector are generating hiring activity."

Even in a competitive legal job market, nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) lawyers interviewed said it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals. "To manage the increased flow of job applicants for specific roles, attributes which may have previously been considered 'preferable' are now 'required' by firms," said Ohnjec. He added that some organizations are bringing in legal professionals on a project basis to supplement the efforts of full-time staff and also to evaluate their potential firsthand before committing to a permanent hire.

About The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index

The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index is based on 100 telephone interviews with lawyers: 50 of the respondents are employed at firms with 20 or more employees, and 50 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 earlier this 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 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, 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: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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