Increased demand for legal services is fueling steady hiring activity in the legal industry, according to the 2007 Salary Guide from Robert Half Legal, a leading staffing service specializing in positions in the legal field.
"Opportunities abound in a variety of practice areas in industries," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Corporate governance requirements, new business initiatives and rising caseloads have increased the demand for skilled, experienced attorneys, paralegals and support staff.
"Legal professionals with backgrounds in compliance and regulatory issues, litigation, intellectual property and real estate are particularly well positioned to take advantage of the current job market."
Following are five in-demand positions identified by Robert Half Legal in its 2007 Salary Guide:
• Licensed attorneys (5+ years of experience) - candidates with experience in high-growth practice areas such as corporate transactional law or commercial litigation are highly sought.
• Corporate attorneys - in-house counsel knowledgeable about regulatory and compliance issues are needed by legal departments responding to continuing federal and state corporate governance mandates.
• First-year associates - competition for recent graduates has intensified at large and mid-size law firms as they tap an ever-shrinking pool of candidates to bulk up their staff in response to increasing caseloads.
Paralegals (3+ years of experience) - the hiring of experienced paralegals is expected to remain strong at mid-size and large law firms.
• Legal secretaries - the need for experienced support staff is expected to remain acute as a growing number of professionals retire and fewer students apply to legal secretarial programs.