Survey: Law Firms Focused on Expertise That Can Boost Revenues

TORONTO, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - While many law offices remain cautious about adding new staff, those firms that are hiring want associates who can help them expand lucrative practice areas and bring in new business, a recent survey confirms. Asked what criteria is the most important when evaluating prospective midlevel hires, nearly half of lawyers interviewed cited practice area expertise (49 per cent) followed by business development skills (30 per cent).

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a leading staffing service specializing in lawyers, paralegals, law clerks and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 lawyers from among the largest law firms in the United States and Canada. All respondents have at least three years of experience in the legal field.

Lawyers were asked, "Which one of the following criteria, if any, is most important to you when deciding to hire midlevel associates?" Their responses:

    
    Practice area expertise ........................... 49%
    Business development experience/book
     of business ...................................... 30%
    Years of experience ............................... 10%
    Class ranking .....................................  3%
    Don't know/refused ................................  6%
    Other .............................................  2%
                                                       ----
                                                       100%
    

"Law firms are facing an increasingly competitive market and require associates who are able to step in and make immediate contributions," said Jon Veale, division director of Robert Half Legal. "Firms that are hiring are looking for associate-level candidates with strong business development skills and in-demand practice area expertise including restructuring and insolvency, labour and employment and securities litigation."

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, law clerks 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: Robert Half Legal, Kristie Perrotte, Suite 820, 181 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5J 2T3, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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