Sunday, June 10, 2007

No Shortage of Work for Legal Professionals

Business is healthy for many law firms, a new survey shows. Sixty-nine percent of lawyers polled said their firms are handling more projects and cases compared to one year ago; just 6 percent said their current workloads have decreased.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of attorneys, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 attorneys 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, "Is your law firm experiencing an increase or decrease in new cases or client projects compared to one year ago?" Their responses:

Significant increase 26%
Slight increase 43%
Neither an increase nor a decrease 20%
Slight decrease 5%
Significant decrease 1%
Don't know 5%

"Companies are looking to outside counsel to provide support for a growing volume of casework, ranging from large-scale litigation and patent and copyright issues to commercial real estate transactions and mergers and acquisitions," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal.

Volkert added, "Because projects may require special resources, many law firms are hiring legal professionals on a project-by-project basis to quickly access specific skill sets and expertise to handle complex discovery requests and other legal matters that have the potential to overtax current staff."

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