Litigation Paralegals: Safe from Recession?

With the doom and gloom news about slow growth and possible recession swirling around us,  there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Wait!  It’s not a train coming at us.  It’s actually good news. 

According to a press release from Robert Half issued today, The hiring of paralegals is expected to remain steady as law offices continue to build teams to handle rising     caseloads. Litigation paralegals are sought by law firms who are managing an increasingly high volume of lawsuits.

Hallelujah!  Praise the litigation gods!  "Intellectual property, litigation, corporate and security, and bankruptcy law are generating a significant amount of casework and a steady
increase in demand for legal services," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Many employers, particularly those at large and midsize law firms, are offering higher salaries to job candidates who possess the most sought after practice area expertise, certifications and technical skills."

The five in-demand positions for 2008, according to Robert Half Legal:

    — First-year associates – Competition has intensified among large and
       midsize law firms for graduates from the nation’s leading law schools.
       Job candidates who have finished in the top 20 percent of their class
       or possess experience within a specific practice area are highly
       sought.

    — Patent attorneys – Demand is robust for attorneys with trial expertise
       at law firms specializing in intellectual property or the information
       technology, biotechnology and healthcare industries.

    — In-house attorneys – To meet ongoing corporate governance requirements,
       companies seek experienced attorneys with regulatory compliance,
       corporate and security law, and commercial litigation backgrounds.

    — Litigation paralegals – The hiring of paralegals is expected to remain
       steady as law offices continue to build teams to handle rising
       caseloads. Litigation paralegals are sought by law firms who are
       managing an increasingly high volume of lawsuits.

    — Intellectual property legal secretaries – The shortage of experienced
       support staff remains acute. Legal secretaries with trademark or patent
       experience, including patent prosecution, are in strong demand.

So what if the company does legal staffing and probably wouldn’t be so anxious to predict a year coming up filled with staff slashing or overall merging and purging.  It’s good news for litigation paralegals in an otherwise shaky economy guaranteed to make you rein in your plastic money cards and batten down the spending hatches.

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