The current economic landscape has presented great opportunities for current law students and law school graduates. A large number of law firms and corporate legal departments are increasing their staffing numbers.
In fact, according to a 2019 survey by Robert Half Legal Consulting Solutions, 54% of law firms were planning to expand their legal teams. Despite a temporary dip in demand for lawyers at the onset of the pandemic because of economic uncertainty, 2021 saw an overall increase in demand for lawyers. This trend is expected to continue in 2022, albeit at more modest growth rates.
The biggest challenge that legal firms will encounter during this period of growth is winning new talent over. Law firms increasingly face the challenge of attracting and retaining associates in a fiercely competitive market, characterized by burnouts and a shift in people’s mindset about work/life balance. 2022 looks to be a year of intense competition in the job market for lawyers. The biggest challenge that hiring managers face is the unavailability of talent. That said, let’s uncover the law specializations that are currently high in demand.
The process of introducing, planning, and executing a lawsuit continues to be one of the most important legal practice areas. There is a particular need for litigation lawyers within the areas of intellectual property law and labor & employment law.
Commercial lawyers serve business in countless ways, from contracts to collections. This area is growing due to an increase in new business developments and marketing disputes. There is also a growing need for experts in virtual currency law, which deals specifically with regulations regarding the taxes, policies, and sales of cryptocurrency and online gambling companies.
Intellectual property law
Demand for protection of copyrights and trademarks for musicians, writers, designers, and patents for inventors continues to grow as new technologies, like music and film streaming services, emerge. There is also growing demand for litigation and compliance activity concerning this specialty.
Family and domestic issues like marriage, divorce, adoption, juvenile offenses, and child protection need attention at all times, but especially in tough times.
Real estate law
Real estate lawyers help people and companies buy, use, develop, rent, and sell land and property. The recent housing market and increased urban development have created many jobs for lawyers interested in this transactional and planning legal work.
Compliance managers help their clients within the parameters of government guidelines that apply to that particular industry or practice. Because the regulations are complex and growing there is constant demand for lawyers to support policy and compliance programs.
Labor and employment
The regulations that govern relationships between employers and employees, including unions, contracts, wages, safety, benefits, and workers’ rights, are vast, and many, many lawyers and other professionals work in this area. At the moment, there is a growing need for expertise in the Family Medical Leave Act, parental leave, and wages & classification. These cases can often result in a litigation process – another factor leading to growth in that area.
Also known as mergers and acquisitions, or M&A, this work navigates the buying and selling of companies and their assets. Most of these employers are seeking mid-level law professionals with approximately three to five years of experience. Contract drafting and management usually comes into play here, as the complexity of these agreements requires close attention by legal professionals.
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