Nearly Half of Law Offices Plan Staff Additions

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<p><strong>Menlo Park, Calif. &mdash; May 4</strong><br />Law firms and corporate legal departments will be adding to their teams in the year ahead, a new survey shows. </p><p>Forty-seven percent of attorneys polled said they plan to hire personnel in the next 12 months, and just 2 percent of respondents anticipate staff reductions. </p><p>Litigation, corporate governance and intellectual property were identified as the areas of law expected to experience the most growth.<br /><br />The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a staffing service specializing in attorneys, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. </p><p>It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 300 attorneys among the 1,000 largest law firms and corporations in the United States and Canada. All respondents have at least three years of experience in the legal field.<br /><br />Lawyers were asked, &ldquo;Do you expect the number of lawyers employed with your law firm/corporate legal department to increase, stay the same or decrease in the next 12 months?&rdquo; </p><p>Their responses:</p><ul><li>Increase: 47 percent</li><li>Stay the same: 47 percent</li><li>Decrease: 2 percent </li><li>Don&#39;t know: 4 percent </li></ul><p>Lawyers also were asked, &ldquo;In your opinion, which one of the following areas of law will experience the most growth in the next 12 months?&rdquo; </p><p>Their responses:<br />Litigation: 30 percent</p><p>Ethics and corporate governance: 22 percent</p><p>Intellectual property: 18 percent </p><p>Real estate: 11 percent </p><p>Bankruptcy: 8 percent </p><p>General corporate/commercial: 1 percent </p><p>Other: 3 percent </p><p>Don&#39;t know: 7 percent </p><p>&ldquo;Litigation activity &mdash; from labor and employment disputes to contract issues and patent and copyright protection &mdash; is creating demand for tenured attorneys with relevant case experience and successful track records,&rdquo; said Charles Volkert, Robert Half Legal executive director. &ldquo;Litigation occurs in every industry and is a practice area that continually produces a significant volume of work. Because case demands vary, however, law firms often supplement their full-time staff with project professionals to meet peak workloads.</p><p>&ldquo;As companies expand into overseas markets and enter into partnerships on a global scale, they&rsquo;ll look to outside counsel for advice on operating within a foreign locale&rsquo;s regulatory framework, as well as for guidance on how to minimize risk while making the most of new business opportunities.&rdquo;</p>

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