David Netzer of Litigation Support Careers is our guest blogger today:
We all read conflicting reports regarding employment – but what is the real story?
At present, the market stretches to both ends. At one end, some companies are hiring while others are in the middle of a hiring freeze and at the other end, are continued layoffs. A company may issue a press-release announcing a positive outlook while the annual report of that same firm is showing us grim news. The reality is that various companies will always be growing or shrinking in any economy due to a variety of internal and external factors such as management, financing activities, legal issues, and even the success (or failure) of their clients.
By analyzing the variety of positions actually posted by companies on job boards such as LitigationSupportCareers.com over the last six months, we have identified a few legal arena employment trends. This is an effective way to determine what is happening at law firms, corporations, and litigation support agencies because companies do not typically pay to advertise vacancies unless they are ready to make a hire for an approved position.
We have witnessed quite a few openings for Litigation Paralegals in the Real Estate sector. The flood of openings is primarily due to the massive number of foreclosures and short-sale situations that have occurred since the ‘burst” of the housing bubble. Corporate Litigation Paralegal jobs have opened up at banks, mortgage servicers, and quasi-federal agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help manage massive case-loads. Law firms have also hired a hefty volume of Litigation Paralegals to assist with cases they are handling on behalf of banks along with counsel to homeowners facing foreclosure.
Generally speaking, for the past several years, law firm Partners have just been talking about bringing eDiscovery expertise in-house. However, we have definitely noticed a trend in the creation of these new departments over the last six to twelve months. Recently, law firms have been hiring Litigation Support Analysts, Lit Support Specialists and other related positions such as eDiscovery Specialist and Documentation Specialist. Most positions require strong technical skills such as a working-knowledge of document management applications, discovery (search) technologies and various review platforms, as well as general understanding of document collection and preservation.
Last, but not least, there has been a recent upswing in the number of Sales and Project Management roles advertised by litigation support vendors. These positions provide services including electronic discovery, court reporting, facilities management, consulting, and software.
Sales Executives are usually among the first to be laid-off once a company experiences a decrease in revenues. In most cases, the sales crew is paid high salaries and do not directly contribute to the day-to-day operations of a business. Now that companies are gleaning the light at the end of the tunnel, they want to get their Business Development staff in front of potential clients. Subsequently, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Sales Executive jobs posted on the net. Project Management postings are on the rise also, which means these firms plan to have more business than they can handle with their current staff and need to augment the workforce with more employees to maintain quality customer service.
David Netzer has been an Executive Recruiter for several years in the litigation support sector, and is the founder of a job board dedicated to the litigation support industry located at www.LitigationSupportCareers.com.