Denver Bar Association
November 2009
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Are You in the Know? Important stats for today’s economy

The Docket receives all kinds of press releases from all kinds of organizations and businesses. Don’t worry, we won’t pass along all of them. However, here are a few statistics on the legal industry during the past quarter, courtesy of Robert Half Legal, a staffing service. We compiled several surveys from the past few months. For each survey question, about 300 lawyers in firms and companies across the country were asked other questions as depicted here:

In-demand practice areas for firms doing business in other countries include energy, climate change, global restructuring, litigation and compliance. "With the growth of globalization in the past decade, international litigation and cross-border transactions are fairly ubiquitous," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "As the economy begins to recover, and more organizations establish a multinational presence, overseas employment opportunities for lawyers will increase."

"The practice of law is increasingly global, with a growing number of law firms serving clients outside the United States and many corporations handling more international transactions," said Volkert.

Additionally, a separate report by Robert Half Legal, titled "Delivering Value-Added Legal Services in Challenging Times," found that:

  • Demand for legal services is growing in practice areas such as bankruptcy, litigation, intellectual property and environmental law.

  • Experienced attorneys with a book of business are finding new employment opportunities, but recent law school graduates and generalists are encountering a competitive market.

  • Many law firms face steep revenue goals, prompting them to rethink client service methods.

  • Alternative billing practices are gaining wider acceptance as clients ask for more flexible arrangements from their law firms.

  • Corporate legal departments are limiting spending on outside counsel to the most strategic areas and reassessing the allocation of legal work.

  • Increasingly, corporate legal departments are using project professionals to manage rising workloads and meet demand for their legal services.

Volkert said that cost-conscious clients increasingly expect their law firms to offer flexible billing arrangements such as flat fees, monthly retainers, blended rates, contingency fees and rate caps.

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