2022 Job Market Predictions for Lawyers

2022 will be a job seeker’s market across a range of industries and that includes the legal industry as firms compete to hire the best talent. While early on in the pandemic, many law firms were just struggling to survive, a backlog of cases plus challenges to restrictions means that now law firms are looking to expand and position themselves for long-term growth.  

Most In-Demand Areas of Practice 

While there are positions to be had in all areas of practice, some of the most in-demand practice areas for 2022 will be: 

  • Commercial law 
  • Litigation 
  • Family Law 
  • Real Estate Law  
  • Intellectual property 

Corporate legal departments are especially looking for talent that has experience serving the technology, healthcare, government, and financial services sectors. Specifically, these departments need talent that have a background in: 

  • Mergers and acquisitions 
  • Labour and employment 
  • Compliance 
  • Contract management  
  • Corporate transactions 

It is not surprising as well to note that as the competition among law firms for employees increases, so do the pay ranges for these professionals.  

 

Hiring Trends for Lawyers in 2022 

While jobs in the legal industry are plentiful, it is still important to be aware of some significant hiring trends if you wish to position yourself for the best opportunities possible. The following are a few trends you should know about and prepare for:  

  1. Digital skills are essential 

The need to be tech-savvy has long been a part of working in the legal field, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified that need. Many hearings and depositions are still being held virtually and many legal contracts may now be signed with an e-signature. Even when the pandemic is over, some of this business will likely continue to be done through a computer screen rather than in person – if for no other reason than convenience.   

What this means for job candidates is that they need to show they are digitally proficient and able to work with tools such as practice management systems, litigation software, and e-filing. 

  1. Larger firms are looking at partnerships and mergers 

In order to grow their businesses more quickly, large firms are forming lateral partnerships with other firms that work in another area of law. In doing so, both firms are able to increase their portfolios of clients and offer additional services to existing clients.  

Big firms are all making things more challenging for smaller firms by recruiting some of their top talent.  

  1. There may be more contract talent hired in 2022 

As workloads in legal firms increase, corporate departments may need to hire more professionals on contract in order to fill the skills gaps for certain projects and cases. The goal of hiring contract legal professionals would be to obtain expertise that is not available in-house.  

  1. Adaptability will be key for legal support staff 

The legal profession has gone through many changes over the past two years and legal support staff will need to be adaptable and well-rounded. Besides doing case research, drafting legal documents, and managing calendars, legal support professionals must be able to host virtual meetings and assist with client management systems and online billing.  

Contact Life After Law today 

If you are a legal professional looking to make a career change in 2022, Life After Law has the resources and expertise to help you. Contact us today to learn more.