TechFlash (02/24/12) Brad Broberg
The demand for litigation support personnel—an emerging field where the law and technology overlap—has prompted increased hiring in the legal field. Litigation support hiring among recruiting firm Robert Half Legal clients increased “well in excess of double digits” in terms of percentage growth between 2010 and 2011, says Diane Domeyer of Robert Half Legal, where Domeyer oversees West Coast operations.
A national survey released by the litigation support staffing firm the Cowen Group found that 57% of law firms nationally anticipate hiring litigation support staff in 2012 with an average growth rate of 13.7%. While firms are not eliminating outside suppliers, the growing demand for litigation support makes it cost-effective for firms to bring more work in-house, creating additional billable hours while saving clients money by eliminating the middleman. The biggest driver in the litigation support boom is the proliferation of digital documents and communication. “Technology is playing a larger and larger role (in litigation) and a lot of firms are trying to beef that up,” says Shelly Langley, owner of Langley Recruiting, a Seattle legal staffing firm. “I’m seeing more paralegals being hired with database and e-discovery experience.”