A new poll suggests legal hiring will get a boost in the second quarter, with 44 per cent of respondents indicating plans to add staff over the period.
“As business conditions continue to improve in Canada, law firms are building their teams and increasing staff to meet the demand for their services,” says Anne Edmonds, regional manager of Robert Half Legal in Canada, which developed the survey.
“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.”
Most respondents, 91 per cent, said they were confident their organization could expand in the coming months. More specifically, 44 per cent expected an increase in legal staff, one per cent foresaw a decrease, and 50 per cent didn’t think staff levels would change.
Corporate law stood out as the practice area with the most growth potential, with 41 per cent of respondents pointing to it as the area they expected to expand the most. Litigation was next, at 23 per cent.
In terms of the types of legal professionals in demand, 92 per cent of respondents said they were most likely to hire lawyers, 31 per cent said secretaries or assistants, 27 per cent said law clerks, and 21 per cent said paralegals.
Meanwhile, 81 per cent of those polled said it is difficult to recruit skilled legal professionals. On average, respondents were looking to hire three additional legal professionals in the second quarter.
“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,” said Edmonds.
The legal staffing firm sourced the survey out to an independent research company. The results were based on interviews with 75 lawyers at law firms with at least 20 employees, and 75 corporate lawyers at companies with at least 1,000 employees. All respondents had hiring authority.