Hot Legal Jobs for 2014: Spotlight on Litigation

Hiring is on the rise for legal professionals with specialized skills and experience, with litigation expertise topping the list, according to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half Legal. Nearly half (46 percent) of the lawyers we interviewed expect the litigation practice area to generate the greatest number of legal job opportunities through the first half of this year. Within litigation, insurance defense, commercial litigation and employment are the hottest specialties.

Why is litigation expertise in such high demand? As law firms and corporations focus on renewed business activity and heightened demand for legal services, they require skilled lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries with litigation expertise to support an increase in insurance defense, antitrust lawsuits, labor, employment and class action matters.

Changing Compensation to Attract Top Talent

As job prospects are expanding for legal professionals with specialized skills, starting salaries are projected to be rising as well. While salaries have not yet returned to prerecession levels, more organizations are making the necessary changes in compensation to attract top talent and retain valued employees.

For example, according to the Robert Half Legal 2014 Salary Guide, starting salaries for litigation support professionals are predicted to increase 3.6 percent, on average, over 2013 levels. Litigation support directors in the U.S. with 10 or more years of experience should see the greatest gains in compensation. Starting salaries for this position are expected to increase 4.6 percent compared to last year, to the average annual range of $91,500 to $117,750. Litigation support managers with three to six years of experience are expected to see an increase of 3.7 percent in starting salaries, to the average range of $67,000 to $85,750, annually.

For more information on projected hiring trends and starting compensation for more than 100 positions in the legal field, download Robert Half Legal's 2014 Salary Guide.