The Elias Legal Jobs Index tracks the number of positions advertised on major law firm websites. The March 2018 quarter Index provides further evidence of strong demand for experienced ‘mid-level’ lawyers. In fact, major law firms and in-house legal departments have 69 times more advertised positions for ‘mid-level’ lawyers than for junior legal staff.

In the first three months of 2018, three practice areas make up almost 44% of all positions advertised by the tracked major law firms. These are Property, Banking/Finance and Litigation/Dispute Resolution.

For consumer law practice areas, there has been a surge in demand for criminal lawyers as well as positive trends for personal injury, employment and family law.

Legal Practice Intelligence asked Jason Elias, CEO of Elias Recruitment and also the producer of the Jobs Index, about the current recruitment environment. One of the puzzling aspects of the current market is that reputable surveys continue to predict flat or modest salary increases despite a growing demand for people. 

Jason Elias raises the possibility that there may be a salary-increase lag as people get used to the new reality of talent shortages.

Has the rate of firm-hopping increased as a result of the increase in demand, especially as wages are supposedly flat? “Not that we have noticed. Our clients tend to shy away from candidates who move too frequently for a ‘quick buck’,” said Mr Elias.

Have there been any changes in what lawyers are looking for in a firm? “Yes,” responded Mr Elias. “Flexibility is increasingly important as is a clear career path and professional development.”

The detailed Jobs Index table can be viewed here

© 2018 Legal Practice Intelligence