Like many other professions, the global economic recession does not paint a pretty picture of the current job market for lawyers. Many large firms are making sudden redundancies. Teams of lawyers are being laid off. Firms are closing down. Very little work is coming in to keep the remaining firms afloat.
Actually, those entering the legal profession may have some advantage, simply because it doesn’t cost as much to hire them as someone with experienced pay. This is a callous fact for those who have invested a lifetime in their careers, but it does look better for the new graduate. The catch is there is a high demand for jobs with few openings available.
This trend will probably continue for some time during this recession. Really, these problems hit the legal profession far ahead of the rest of the economy. There’s is no easy solution. The redundancies won’t stop until the market picks up. The market won’t recover until the economy improves. Until then, legal professionals will just have to make do with what they can.
There’s plenty of reason for those who have invested in legal careers to be disappointed and resentful. A great deal of time, money and work has been invested to get them where they are professionally.
A Matter of Attitude
Like the global recession, the availability of legal jobs comes down to attitude. Like consumers, law firms are afraid to invest in tightening times, making a bad situation worse. They announce a vacancy, do the interview process, only to put the position on hold because they are afraid of current economic pressures. This creates a back log of legal perspectives looking for jobs, a scenario that will only change with economic recovery.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants Enjoy Growing Demand
At the same time, the field for paralegals and legal assistants is growing. This comes through firm cutbacks. Instead of giving the work to a lawyer that costs more, they’ll give it to a paralegal or legal assistant who can do the same job for less. Added to this scenario is the fact that there is more legal research to do than ever before due to electronic databases. Paralegals and legal assistants will continue to enjoy demand, whether from an established position or through contracted freelance work.