As reported in The Connecticut Law Tribune, the legal industry saw a net increase in jobs of a meager 7,800 in 2012, a rate of growth of just 0.7 percent. The year was actually an improvement over the industry’s performance between 2009 and 2011 and is nowhere near regaining the over 60,000 jobs lost at the start of the 2008 recession. The report does foresee 2013 as being a better year than 2012 considering the relatively high numbers of positions open (3,275 jobs).
For 2013, the leading areas for job growth in the industry are in corporate (793 openings); intellectual property, technology transactions, and patent agents (755 openings); litigation (478 openings); real estate (231 openings); and employment (170 openings). California leads the way with number of positions available (531 openings), followed by New York (406 openings), Texas (214 openings), Illinois (210 openings), and Florida (141 openings).
“Large companies are still trying to find ways to reduce legal costs. They’re asking the fundamental question, ‘do we need lawyers to do this’?” says Clifford Winston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “There’s no reason to think that things will return to their pre-crisis ways because the recession exposed law firms’ inefficiencies and prompted the market to move in a direction that uses lawyers less frequently.”
Winston adds that firms may get the legal market moving again by renewing demand for their own services throughout possibilities such as litigation against pharmaceutical or food-processing companies or patent work in technology.