The U.S. Legal Jobs Market Shows no Signs of Slowing Down as Number of Available Legal Jobs Grows to a Record 10,000 Positions

July 26, 2021

Leopard Solutions has been tracking and analyzing the skyrocketing demand for lawyers across the United States as the industry recovers from COVID-19. Our jobs database currently shows a record 10,000+ open legal positions and has consistently grown each month. This is a clear indication that the industry has not only bounced back from pandemic-time lulls but is once again investing in talent and replenishing lawyer ranks after being cautious in hiring.

Some points to note:

  • Our database currently has more than 10,000 current openings (a growth of 235% jobs since the start of the pandemic) – this is much higher than our pre-pandemic levels.
  • Since January 2021, we’ve seen a staggering 106% growth in open attorney and support positions from 1000+ law firms (from 4,873 as of January 4 to 10,051 as of May 14).
  • The available job figures have surpassed our pre-pandemic numbers. Between 2017 and the end of 2019, there were on average 6,000 to 6,500 open legal jobs open at any one time in our database.
  • While the industry is seeing growth across many practice areas, Leopard Solutions research has shown the most growth in corporate/M&A, followed by litigation and intellectual property jobs.
  • We’ve seen a steady increase in job postings each month since October 2020.
  • It’s important to note that most law firms do not usually post jobs online for partners and counsel so the attorney job market is even stronger than these numbers show.

What does this mean for law firms, candidates and legal recruiters? “In short, it’s a candidates’ 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.”

Law firms’ recruiting and retention strategies often involve money and as Laura notes, “We’ve seen significant increases in starting salaries, special bonuses as well as hefty signing bonuses and even paying off candidate’s law school loans.” But Laura notes that it’s not all about the money for the lawyers. “Candidates are looking at distinguishing characteristics such as firms’ approaches to remote work. Those firms emphasizing lots of time in the office may be at a disadvantage. Flexibility to remotely work is key today.”

“In a market where firms are having to turn away business because they don’t have the lawyers on hand to staff the matters, they can’t afford to lose this race,” adds Laura. “Being able to quickly find candidates who match an open position, down to the most granular detail, is key to hiring success. And being able to identify attorneys with a high probability of leaving can be integral in retaining talent at law firms.”

Although business is booming for legal recruiters, stiff competition for talent and fast-paced searches means that cultivating relationships and access to relevant 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.

Contact Phil Flora
, Vice President of Sales and Marketing to learn more.