Legal sector gains 100 jobs in August after sharp downturn in July

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The legal sector gained just 100 jobs in August, according to information from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Legal Week (sub. req.) covered the findings, released last Friday.

The slight increase came after the sector lost 4,300 jobs in July to end a three-month streak of job gains. The current BLS report indicates that 1,126,300 people work in legal services, and that number has fluctuated between 1.12 million and 1.13 million since June 2013. The pre-recession high was 1.8 million in May 2007.

Some large law firms have reported job cuts this year, including Dentons; Sedgwick; and Seyfarth.

But a survey of about 135 law firms conducted by Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group showed revenue jumped 5.6 percent in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year. Driving the gains were law firms in the top tier—the Am Law 50, report Law.com and Bloomberg Big Law Business. Revenue grew 7 percent for law firms in the Am Law 50; 6.6 percent for firms in the Am Law 100–which includes the Am Law 50; and just under 3 percent for Second Hundred firms.

“Revenue was higher than what we would have speculated, and a nice growth in inventory should bode well for the second half of the year,” Joe Mendola, senior sales director with Wells Fargo, tells Law.com.




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