Cautious optimism from law firms as economy shows signs of l

by Vault Law Editors | April 20, 2010

Are the clouds of recessionary ash finally starting to lift from the recruiting landscape? While firms aren’t exactly throwing their doors open, there are some signs of clearing skies:

  • In California, “optimism is in the air,” according to a story in The Recorder. With earnings and hiring up in the tech sector, Silicon Valley firms like Cooley Godward are busier than they were this time last year. According to Cooley litigation chief Michael Rhodes, incoming matters run the gamut, from licensing and securities work to consumer and privacy class actions.

  • In the UK, The Lawyer reports that the “top 25 firms are back in recruitment mode, with an estimated 2,133 people having been brought on board to UK offices in 2009-10 alone.” Of course, that’s still fewer than the 2,370 people who were made redundant, but it is nevertheless an encouraging sign. Most of the recruiting comes from mid-market firms, and “the highest numbers of hires were made by two firms with large volume businesses, Irwin Mitchell and Eversheds.” Beyond personal injury, other areas experiencing an uptick include litigation and regulatory practices.

  • Encouraging results have prompted some firms to increase their partner ranks. For example, SJ Berwin just promoted seven new partners, one more than last year, while Silver Circle favorite Herbert Smith welcomed 18 lawyers to the partnership — an increase of nearly 50 percent from last year.

  • More good news on the partner front: the Project for Attorney Retention reports that the percentage of female partners is on the rise: 34 percent of the 2010 partner class are women, compared to 28 percent last year. [hat tip: Above the Law]

posted by vera

Filed Under: Law


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