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LawCrossing Announces Increase in Openings for Attorneys in the Western U.S.; Government Jobs Lead in New Demand

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LawCrossing, the website with the largest collection of legal jobs in the world, released a statistical report on changes since the beginning of 2006 in the number of legal vacancies by region and employer type. The report reflects changes in the demand for attorneys and legal staff in various practice areas throughout the U.S. for the period between January 1, 2006 and February 15, 2006. Overall, the the data indicate continuing growth in the opportunities for attorneys in most practice areas and locations, while the demand for legal staff remains in flux.

LawCrossing's team of 200 researchers and editors monitors the hiring needs of more than 1.2 million legal employers. With more than 100,000 legal jobs in the U.S currently in the database, the website counts tens of thousands of law students, attorneys, and legal staff professionals as members. The statistics released point to considerable demand for attorneys in most practice areas and regions of the country, with government and in-house employers leading the trend. The Mid-Atlantic, South, and West regions saw considerable increase in all attorney practice areas, with the demand particularly high in the West. The overall increase in attorney vacancies in that region spiked to 63 percent. The most significant increase in the West was observed in government agencies, which toped 150 percent. "Two thousand five was a great year for attorneys in the U.S., and that trend is continuing in 2006. The last month's growth in the West has been remarkable," said LawCrossing CEO Harrison Barnes. Elsewhere, growth has been more cautious, with Mid-Atlantic and South regions exhibiting more temperate growth than the West.



Government agencies are becoming leading employers of attorneys in federal, state, and local branches; and the numbers reflect a strong increase throughout the U.S. "The federal government is expanding," said Barnes. "There is a real need to fill openings created by that expansion; and across the country, we're seeing government on all levels becoming a leading employer of attorneys." In-house positions showed significant growth in all regions, climbing by 19 percent in the Mid-Atlantic region and reaching 80 percent in the West. Law firm vacancies, while climbing more slowly, have expanded overall, with the West, again, leading the way.

At the same time, the data on legal staff is mixed. The largest of legal staff positions, paralegals, saw a decrease in the overall numbers in the new year. On the other hand, there have been significant increases in demand for information technology and human resource specialists, topping 103 and 130 percent, respectively. The largest increase, however, is in marketing, where the numbers have climbed above 161 percent. "To stay competitive, law firms are hiring more and more IT professionals and increasing their marketing departments to seek out new clients and retain the current ones. Human resource professionals are needed to support that change," Barnes explained. "It's a long-established trend that is taking place in the business world, and law firms are no exception."

Regions Increase/Decrease in Number of Attorney Jobs by Employer Type from 1/1/05 to 1/1/06
  Law Firms In-house Government Overall Change
Northeast -2.1% +10.3% +2.3% +115.91%
Mid-Atlantic +5.7% +19.4% +34.9% +12.9%
South +3.0% +7.4% +14.0% +5.5%
Midwest -7.0% +2.9% +33.9% +0.5%
Southwest -13.7% +9.6% -3.0% -4.0%
West +44.2% +80.4% +150.5% +63.0%
Overall Change +7.0% +19.8% +35.3%  


Legal Staff Practice Areas Increase/Decrease in Number of Jobs from 1/1/06 to 2/15/06
Accounting/Finance +55.1%
Human Resources +130.8%
Information Technology +103.1%
Legal Administrator -47.5%
Legal Secretary -12.8%
Marketing +161.5%
Paralegal -4.1%
Other +36.9%
Overall Change -7.4%

About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.
About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.



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