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Increased hiring likely in legal field through end of 2010

The final quarter of 2010 is likely to see increased business confidence and continued legal hiring, according to a new survey by The Robert Half Legal Hiring Index. Twenty-nine percent of lawyers interviewed for the survey expect to add legal jobs, while only six percent of those polled anticipate declines, a net 23 percent increase in projected hiring activity. Eighty-eight percent of those polled said that they were at least somewhat hopeful that their organizations would be able to expand during the next quarter. Somewhat tempering the excitement, however, is the finding that the vast majority of those polled, 59 percent, expect no change in their organization’s hiring.

“As the economy regains its footing, legal organizations continue to make strategic hires to support active practice groups,” said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. “Law firms, in particular, are expanding their legal teams to improve service offerings and meet client demands.”

Volkert believes that lawyers may be anticipating new business opportunities stemming from both the economy and government regulation. Unfortunately, it is the area of bankruptcy/foreclosure that most poll recipients expect will experience the greatest growth in the next three months. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed believed that area would see the most growth, well ahead of litigation (18 percent) and healthcare (17 percent).