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LawCrossing: Substantial Growth in Law Staff Positions; Western Regions Show Growth for Attorneys in All Areas of Practice
May 25, 2006
LawCrossing, the website with the largest collection of legal jobs in the world, has released a month-end statistical report on the changes in the number of legal jobs by practice areas and job types.

This past month's data show previous patterns for growth in attorney jobs holding steady, with a strong increase in open positions for legal staff. The report reflects changes in the demand for attorneys and legal staff in various practice areas throughout the U.S. for the period between April 16, 2006 and May 15, 2006.

One area which has seen notable expansion for legal staff in the last month is human resources, up a substantial 42.86 percent from last month.

"The new lawyers joining the job force after graduation will be looking for places to land, and the nation's law firms know they need to have hiring departments ready to handle the new people coming in," said LawCrossing CEO Harrison Barnes.

Another trend has been growth in jobs for accounting and finance personnel, which rose 42.65 percent in support of these same changes.

Meanwhile, the field of information technology continues to expand at a steady 28 percent, in accordance with an ongoing trend.

"IT is the backbone of the day-to-day working of every law firm," said Barnes.

"Every business needs good technical support to run and be competitive. Law firms especially carry a huge daily weight of research and communication, and it's vital that IT departments be fully staffed and competent."

Legal librarians, too, have shown steady growth in job numbers, up 27.27 percent from last month.

Attorney job openings continue to boom in Western regions, with growth slow in other areas.

"The West's growth is remarkable, and it has been for some time," Barnes said.

"We've seen this pattern of expansion in all the region's practice areas, especially in jobs in the government sector."

Indeed, government openings in the West were up 44.92 percent this month, with in-house positions at 31.19 percent and law firms at 27.42.

"Government agencies aren't usually the first place people look for attorney employment, but federal, state, and local branches have all seen dramatic growth over the past few years," said Barnes.

"The landscape of law is changing, and these shifts show the path the future will take."

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.

Regions Change in Number of Attorney Jobs by Employer Type from 4/16/06 to 5/15/06
  Law Firms In-house Government Overall Change
Northeast +1.42% -4.26% -4.28% -0.75%
Mid-Atlantic -4.30% -14.46% -5.11% -7.26%
South +6.40% -3.43% +0.99% -4.85%
Midwest -4.66% -8.26% -1.07% -5.62%
Southwest -2.79% -13.94% -10.18% -8.14%
West +27.42% +31.19% +44.92% +29.79%
Overall Change +3.07% -2.09% +3.57%  
Legal Staff Practice Areas Change in Number of Jobs from
4/16/06 to 5/15/06
Accounting/Finance +42.65%
Human Resources +42.86%
Information Technology +28.00%
Legal Administrator -60.27%
Legal Secretary +15.92%
Librarian -39.88%
Marketing +34.29%
Paralegal -13.01%
Receptionist +50.00%
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