Law Jobs Heat Up in Q1 Outstripping Predictions
After a soft month in December, which saw our law firm jobs outlook fall 20% shy of expectation, January, the start of Q1, marked a significant turnaround. We predicted 763 job openings for the first month of 2024, and the market bested that figure by 195 jobs, amounting to 26%. These numbers represent openings for US-based associates, partners, and counsel only.
January 2024 Hiring Surpassing Projections
Our predictions are derived from a proprietary algorithm that quantifies job opening figures by analyzing the seasonality of employment opportunities and the trajectory of market trends observed in the preceding months.
Lateral Hiring Shifts
To add context to the gravity of this outperformance, looking at the month-by-month deviation pattern in 2023, our predictive values were “as expected” for eight months and “less than expected” for only four months. Not once did they outpace the projections, which add to the significance of the January figures. It also sets the stage for a bullish first quarter. We expect activity to continue to rise at least through March of this year.
Law Firm Futures
Accelerated hiring is also spilling over to the lateral market. Laterals experienced a mostly tepid 2023, which saw them eclipsed by entry-level hires for the first time in half a dozen years. In sharp contrast, January saw senior-level openings, Counsel, and Partners exceed predictions by 22% apiece. The lone dim spot was the associate cohort, which tracked eight percent lower than the 1358 jobs anticipated.