The U.S. Legal Jobs Market Continues Unprecedented Growth in 2022 as Number of Available Legal Jobs Grows to a Record 12,000 Positions

January 21, 2022

legal industry has 12000 open jobs for the first timeLeopard Solutions has been tracking and analyzing the skyrocketing demand for talent across the United States to support the unanticipated demand for legal services at almost all levels in 2021.

And the hyper-competitive market for law firm talent shows no signs of slowing down in 2022.

Our jobs database currently shows a record 12,000+ open legal positions – the most open jobs at one time we have seen since we started tracking jobs – a number that has consistently grown each month.

In addition, law firms are facing competition for talent from corporations who are also seeking to fill open roles as well.

Some points to note:

  • Our jobs database just hit a new milestone, 12,000 current legal openings
  • Just today, law firms raised first-year associate salaries to $215K in a bid to stand out in the ultra-competitive legal talent market.
  • For comparison the number of open jobs in our database hit an all-time low of 3000 in July 2020 during the pandemic.
  • It is now up 300% since that point in time, and it is 71% higher than in normal times.
  • The total number of lateral hires in 2021 topped 14,000 – a large increase from 2020 and 2019.
  • We’ve seen a steady increase in job postings month-over-month since October 2020.
  • It’s important to note that most law firms do not usually post jobs online for partners or counsel, so the attorney job market is even stronger than these numbers show.

What does this mean for law firms, candidates and legal recruiters?

“Retention and recruiting remain a challenge for law firms in this competitive market,” says Laura Leopard, CEO, and Founder of Leopard Solutions. “There’s a huge demand for law firm associates and for recruiters to find them. In order for law firms to win the race for associates, they need to not only be creative in not only recruiting but also in their retention strategies.”

Stiff competition for talent and fast-paced searches means that cultivating relationships and access to accurate and updated data matters more than ever.

Our Leopard List law firm attorney search platform can help both in-house hiring managers and legal recruiters support their law firm hiring needs.

  • The Leopard List enables clients to find candidates to fill open jobs and receive updates three times per day as new jobs are added to our database.
  • Our diversity filter enables recruiters to help law firms find more diverse hires.

Sign up to receive our 2021 State of the Legal Industry Report, which includes more eye-opening insights on how the legal industry fared in 2021, including which practice areas had the most job openings, which practice area had postings open the longest and more.

Contact Phil Flora, Vice President of Sales and Marketing to learn more about how Leopard Solutions can help your law firm solve your legal intelligence needs.