Facts & Figures: 5 sets of newsworthy data

From shrinking salaries to the growing demand for labor lawyers, an inside look at the numbers that count

Sinking Settlements

Although the number of U.S. securities class action suits has remained consistent this year, the number of settlements in those cases has dropped significantly, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting. The average value of those settlements, however, has increased in 2012, although some of that is attributable to a $1.01 billion settlement in In re American International Group, Inc. Securities Litigation.

Grim Graduation

In case you haven’t had your fill of depressing law school statistics, here are some more. According to a new study from the Association for Legal Career Professionals, 2011 graduates are earning significantly lower median salaries than graduates in past years. And those are the lucky ones: Nearly 15 percent of 2011 law school graduates can’t find jobs at all.

Labor Lawyers

The financial crisis hasn’t been kind to most of the legal industry, but attorneys working in the labor and employment sector have reason to smile, according to new data from the Hildebrandt Institute. Although demand for corporate, real estate and bankruptcy work fell during the second quarter of 2012, law firms saw an increase in the demand for labor and employment work in the same time period. Read on for a more complete breakdown:

Flagging Firms

Between the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, the United Kingdom has had plenty to be excited about this year. Unfortunately, the country’s law firms don’t have as much to celebrate. According to Reuters, two of the U.K.’s largest law firms, Linklaters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, reported flat revenues and decreased profits per partner for the fiscal year ending April 30. But it’s not all bad news: The overall revenue for the country’s largest firms is expected to rise this year, in part due to mergers.

Gender Gap

Diversity: It’s a perennial buzzword in the legal field, but are women actually making inroads in law firms? The answer, at least according to a new study from the National Law Journal (NLJ), is yes, but slowly. The NLJ surveyed 221 law firms, and found that the percentage of woman partners has increased over the past 10 years, although the percentage of women in equity partner positions has remained relatively stagnant. Read on for more statistics:

Alanna Byrne

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