Legal Hiring to Increase in Third Quarter; Robert Half Legal Survey Finds Business Confidence Also on Rise

Jun 09, 2010, 08:00 ET from Robert Half Legal

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Legal hiring remains a bright spot in a transitional economic environment, as one-third (33 percent) of lawyers interviewed for The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index said they plan to add legal jobs in the third quarter. Just 2 percent of legal organizations plan staff cutbacks. The net 31 percent hiring increase is up five points from the previous quarter's survey.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 100 lawyers at law firms with 20 or more employees, and 100 corporate lawyers at companies with 1,000 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:





No change


Don't know



Given current and anticipated activity, 83 percent of lawyers interviewed expressed confidence in their organizations' prospects for growth, noted Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "In particular, law firms specializing in bankruptcy, foreclosure and litigation are adding staff to meet increased demand for their services," Volkert said. "Successive waves of bankruptcies and restructurings, along with a surge in labor relations and employment-related litigation, are fueling hiring."

Even in a competitive legal jobs market, close to half (47 percent) of lawyers interviewed said it is challenging to find skilled legal professionals, up 6 points from the previous survey. "Specific attributes that may have been listed as 'preferable' in a job posting in the past may now be 'required,' which narrows the range of viable candidates for a given position," said Volkert. He added that some organizations are bringing in legal professionals on a project basis to augment 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 200 telephone interviews with lawyers: 100 of the respondents are employed at firms with 20 or more employees, and 100 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 4,000 telephone interviews with executives throughout the United States, 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, 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