Law firms see increase in labor and employment work

Practice area remains strong despite decrease in overall demand for legal services

New data from the Hildebrandt Institute, a division of Thomson Reuters that provides law firm research and programming, shows that law firms are seeing an uptick in demand for labor and employment work.

According to Hildebrandt’s Peer Monitor Index, which the company released on Friday, labor and employment work increased in demand by 4.2 percent during the second quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, there was a 0.2 percent decrease in overall demand for legal services.

Hildebrandt determines the index, which measures law firm profitability, by using a number of variables such as billing rates, expenses, productivity and demand.

The data shows that the demand for litigation work was flat in the second quarter, the demand for corporate work decreased by 2.1 percent, and the demand for real estate and bankruptcy work fell by 3 percent.

The index also found that firms in Los Angeles saw a 5 percent increase in demand legal work and that Silicon Valley firms saw a 2 percent increase in demand for legal work. Elsewhere, New York firms and Chicago firms saw a 1 percent decrease in demand for legal work, and firms in Washington, D.C., saw a 2 percent drop in demand for legal work.

Mark Medice, program director of Peer Monitor, told Thomson Reuters that he predicts 2012 will remain a challenging year for law firms. "Law firms have seen expenses growing but top line revenue remained fairly flat."

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Ashley Post

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