Business Confidence Remains Strong, Robert Half Legal Survey Reveals

TORONTO, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Increased hiring is anticipated for the legal field in the third quarter of 2011, new research indicates. Half (50 per cent) of lawyers interviewed for the Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to add legal staff in the next three months, while 1 per cent plan reductions in personnel. The net 49 per cent projected increase in hiring activity is up six points from the second-quarter forecast. Much of the hiring is expected to take place at law firms.

Business optimism also remains strong. The overwhelming majority (91 per cent) of lawyers polled are at least somewhat confident in their organisations' ability to expand in the third quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter. Corporate law is the area of law predicted to see the most growth in the coming months.

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 49 per cent increase in anticipated legal hiring is up six
        points from a net 43 per cent increase projected last quarter.
    -   Ninety-one per cent of lawyers are confident in their companies'
        prospects for growth in the next three months, unchanged from last
    -   Lawyers, legal secretaries and law clerks are the top three positions
        in demand.
    -   Corporate law, litigation and foreclosure/insolvency are the areas of
        law anticipated to see the most growth in the third quarter of 2011.

Positions in Demand

While the job market remains competitive, 72 per cent of lawyers report difficulty recruiting skilled legal professionals. When asked what type of positions will be added in the third quarter, respondents indicated they most likely will hire lawyers (96 per cent), followed by legal secretaries/assistants (56 per cent), law clerks (39 per cent), paralegals (35 per cent) and legal administrators (18 per cent).

"Law firms are making strategic hires to provide exceptional service, keep pace with client demands and pursue new opportunities that will generate revenue," said Anne Edmonds, regional manager of Robert Half Legal in Canada. "As law firms continue to focus on enhancing their service offerings, experienced associates with strong business development skills should remain marketable."

Hiring Trends

Forty-four per cent of lawyers identified corporate law as the area of law that will experience the most growth in the next three months. Litigation received 21 per cent of the survey response, followed by foreclosure/insolvency (5 per cent).

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

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

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330,

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