TORONTO, March 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Nearly two in five (38 per cent) lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to hire full-time legal staff during the second quarter of 2012, while 1 per cent anticipate staff reductions. The net 37 per cent increase in hiring activity compares with a net hiring increase of 32 per cent forecast in the first quarter of this year. Close to half (48 per cent) of those polled expect no change in staff levels in the next three months. More than three in four (76 per cent) lawyers said it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals, up five points from the previous quarter. Hiring activity is expected to take place predominantly at law firms, and general business/corporate law is the practice area 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 37 per cent of lawyers expecting to hire is up five points from a 32 per cent net increase in hiring activity projected last quarter. Lawyers interviewed plan to add an average of two full-time positions. - The three most in-demand positions are lawyers (92 per cent), legal secretaries (40 per cent) and law clerks (33 per cent). - The practice areas expected to see the most growth in the second quarter are general business/corporate law, litigation and restructuring/insolvency. - Seventy-six per cent of lawyers said it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals, up five points from the previous quarter. - Eighty-eight per cent of lawyers are somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the next three months, down two points from last quarter. >>
"Hiring is expected to remain active this quarter with many law firms adding full-time positions to pursue business development opportunities and bolster growth," said John Ohnjec, a division director of Robert Half Legal in Canada. "They are selectively recruiting associates who will help them enhance service offerings in high-demand specialties such as corporate law, litigation, restructuring and insolvency."
Thirty-one 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 came in a close second, receiving 29 per cent of the response, followed by restructuring/insolvency (8 per cent).
"As corporate legal departments continue to build their teams to manage more work internally and reduce their spending on outside counsel, the most marketable associates are those who possess expertise in key areas such as compliance and e-discovery," Ohnjec said.
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 in 2010 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.
For further information: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, [email protected]