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TMCNet:  LEGAL HIRING EXPECTED TO REMAIN STRONG IN SECOND QUARTER

[March 15, 2011]

LEGAL HIRING EXPECTED TO REMAIN STRONG IN SECOND QUARTER

TORONTO, Mar 15, 2011 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Corporate Law Hottest Growth Area, Robert Half Legal Survey Reveals Hiring in the legal field should remain strong in the second quarter of 2011, new research suggests. Forty-four per cent of lawyers interviewed for the quarterly Robert Half Legal Hiring Index plan to add legal staff in the next three months and one per cent plan reductions in personnel. The net increase in hiring activity is up 1 point from the first-quarter forecast.


The majority of lawyers polled (91 per cent) are at least somewhat confident in their organisations' ability to expand in the second quarter. Hiring activity is expected to take place predominantly at law firms, and corporate law is the practice area predicted to see the most growth in the coming months.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier 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 75 lawyers at law firms with 20 or more employees, and 75 corporate lawyers at companies with 1,000 or more employees. All of the respondents have hiring authority within their organisations.

Lawyers were asked, "Does your law firm or company plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time legal personnel on your staff during the second quarter of 2011?" Their responses: << Increase..................44% Decrease...................1% No change.................50% Don't know/no answer..... 4% ---- 99%* >> *Responses do not equal 100%, due to rounding.

"As business conditions continue to improve in Canada, law firms are building their teams and increasing staff to meet the demand for their services," said Anne Edmonds, Regional Manager of Robert Half Legal in Canada. "In particular, law firms are adding staff to the hottest practice areas, such as corporate law and litigation, and hiring on a full-time and project-basis, in order to meet client demands." Forty-one per cent of respondents identified corporate law as the area of law that will experience the most growth in the next three months. Litigation followed, receiving 23 per cent of the response.

While there remains a large pool of available talent in the job market, more than four out of five of the lawyers polled (81 per cent) report difficulty recruiting skilled legal professionals. When asked how many full-time positions will be added in the second quarter, the average response was three.

Respondents also noted they most likely will hire lawyers (92 per cent), followed by legal secretaries/assistants (31 per cent), law clerks (27 per cent) and paralegals (21 per cent). "Law firms are currently seeking experienced associates with exceptional business development skills and valuable client contacts, as they focus on increasing their firms' service offerings," Edmonds added.

About The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index is based on 150 telephone interviews with lawyers: 75 of the respondents are employed at firms with 20 or more employees, and 75 are employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

The interviews were conducted by an independent research firm. Information from the study is featured in The Robert Half Professional Employment Report, launched last year and the first study of its kind to monitor the hiring environment for professional-level positions exclusively. Based on more than 1,000 telephone interviews with executives throughout Canada, it provides insight on employment trends to help businesses and job seekers prepare for the upcoming quarter. To see how hiring within the legal profession has changed since last quarter and how it compares to other sectors, please visit http://www.roberthalf.ca/per.

About Robert Half Legal Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.

SOURCE: Robert Half Legal TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Robert Half Legal, Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com

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