Friday, April 11, 2014

Wall Street Journal on law firm hiring

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has a report on the recently held NALP conference in Seattle during which NALP Director James Leipold explained that during the 2008-09 recession, 60,000 legal jobs were lost.  Since then, only 9,000 of those jobs have returned and according to Mr. Leipold, the salad days of pre-recession hiring are gone for good. 

Law Firm Entry-Level Hiring Unlikely to Return to 2006 Levels 


Here’s more cheerful news for recent law graduates after this week’s lackluster employment data: the hiring sprees of the mid-2000s, when firms brought on vast armies of associates, are unlikely to return in the near future.


This assessment comes from a man whose business it is to crunch the numbers: Jim Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement, a group that tracks legal job figures and focuses on career planning and professional development for law students and attorneys.


“We’re not going back to 2006 anytime soon,” Mr. Leipold, said Thursday at the group’s annual conference in Seattle, according to the National Law Journal. According to the story:


    The sector shed 60,000 jobs during 2008 and 2009, and only 15,000 of those positions     have returned, he said.

    Nearly 9 percent of associates at U.S. law firms were laid off in 2009 and some of them         are still trying to make their     ways back to into fulltime law firm work.


Mr. Leipold’s assessment shouldn’t surprise those who have been tracking the tepid   recovery since the economic downturn upended the legal profession.


Years after the recession triggered layoffs and rate freezes, big law firms are scrambling for clients. Overall the industry has notched only modest increases in revenue compared to the boom times before 2008, when many firms had more work than they could handle.


Technology, globalization and the rise of outsourcing have altered the legal job market, Leipold said.

 . . . . 

You can continue reading the Wall Street Journal blog post here as well as the National Law Journal story referenced in that post here.


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