Law firms and corporate legal departments are optimistic about adding staff in the coming year, a new survey shows. Fifty-five percent of attorneys surveyed said they would be augmenting their teams in the next 12 months. Intellectual property, corporate law, real estate and litigation were practice areas experiencing consistent growth.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a staffing service specializing in attorneys, paralegals and other skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 attorneys among the 1,000 largest law firms and corporations in both the United States and Canada.
Attorneys were asked, "Do you expect the number of attorneys employed with your firm or corporate legal department to increase, stay the same or decrease in the next 12 months?" Their responses: increase 55 percent, stay the same 41 percent, decrease 3 percent, and don't know 1 percent.
"Hiring activity in the intellectual property practice area is expected to increase, in part due to renewed venture capital funding of information technology and biotechnology companies," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal.