According to Study.com, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a 10% increase in job opportunities for lawyers between 2012 and 2022. An investigative report by NALP offers more positive news for the legal field. Results show that 95.3% of 2015 summer associates, students who will graduate in 2016, received an entry-level associate position offer, up from 93.4% last year, and in stark contrast to 2009 when only 69% of summer associates received offers. NALP’s Executive Director, James Leipold, says,
“After a period of considerable and prolonged slowdown in law student recruiting volumes, for the last two years we have seen strong markers of recovery, there is a scramble for top talent that we have not seen since before the recession.”
Why Are the Prospects for Attorneys on the Rise?
- An increase in demand for legal services – particularly involving cyber security and litigation
- Companies – both law firms and multiple industries that hire in-house legal counsel – are making plans for future growth as the country’s economy continues to stabilize.
- Many corporations are expanding their legal departments to handle legal issues in-house and to reduce hiring outside counsel
- Law firms are lacking in mid-level attorneys due to decreased hiring of entry-level associates during the recession. That has led to an increased demand for those (now) mid-level associates as well as an increased push to bring in more entry-level associates to gradually step in and correct the situation.
- Smaller graduating classes. When the market for lawyers tanked, prospective students turned to other career choices. As the economy has improved, the smaller number of graduating law students has created a more positive situation for those who remain in the industry.
Opportunities Are Particularly High in These Fast-Growing Legal Niches
- Litigation: Complex litigation is rapidly increasing.
- Cybersecurity: is growing at three times the market rate.
- Commercial Law: corporate transactions, M&A, contract administration, financial reporting, and procurement
- Healthcare: Legal issues abound as a result of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Healthcare companies are increasing their budget for compliance and other legal issues.
- Intellectual Property: There is an ongoing need to protect intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, patents, licensing, trade secrets, etc.
- Real Estate Law: Predictions may be for less than 5% growth in the 2016 housing market, but growth is still . . . growth.
In addition to hot spots in the legal industry, there is a growing need for lawyers who are technologically savvy, have strong interpersonal skills, client management, and business acumen. With the Baby Boomer exodus, Generation Y – better known as the Millennials- are stepping into leadership roles. They grew up being technologically savvy. If they can master the other areas, the demand for their services will be magnified.
Overall, the market is turning, and the competition for legal talent is heating up. And of course, your firm is only as good as the talent of your lawyers. To find the best legal talent available, you need a legal search firm with true expertise in the market. At OnBoard Legal, our search consultants are not only outstanding recruiters but are also experts in the field they serve. Contact OnBoard Legal today. We take talent to the next level.