One in Three Lawyers Plan to Hire in First Quarter, Survey Finds

Approximately one in three (31 percent) lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plans to add legal staff in the first quarter of 2012, while 4 percent plan reductions in personnel. The net 27 percent increase in projected hiring activity is up three points from the previous quarter’s forecast. Law firms are expected to do the majority of the hiring in the next three months.

“Although law firms continue to have a cautious hiring outlook, they’re optimistic enough about their prospects to want to add full-time staff in key legal and support positions that bolster growth,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “They continue to focus on hiring senior- and partner-level lawyers with substantial books of business and expertise in high-demand practice areas, such as bankruptcy and foreclosure, litigation, and labor and employment law.”

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a 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.

For more key findings, read a press release by clicking here.