With fears of a double dip recession, and no job feeling
particularly safe, law firms continue to buck the trend when it comes to hiring. Law firms and corporations with
their own legal departments also have a quasi-IT group that works closely with attorneys. And that
business is booming.
According to the Cowen Group, a New
York based legal recruiter, managers of litigation Support departments at major law firms and corporations throughout the U.S. are reporting increased hours and
plan to hire for the third quarter in a row. Specifically:
- 61 percent of
law firms reported a quarterly increase in the number of hours worked by
their litigation support department in this year’s second quarter
- 36 percent reported plans to add litigation support headcount between
August and October 2010
- 27 percent reported a quarterly increase in training budget
- 31 percent reported a quarterly increase in their budget for new technical
Additionally, the first annual Litigation Support
Today salary survey “found that
the number of litigation support positions at law firms corporate legal
departments, and government agencies remained steady in 2009.” Essentially the
industry lost no jobs. That’s not to say
some litigation support specialists didn’t. Sometimes, their job moved and they had to move with it.
Average pay is about $71,000.
So what do they
Litigation support specialist assist their organization’s litigation efforts through the use of technology. They design,
implement and maintain litigation databases, and train end users on database use
and document management. They must know database programs such as
Concordance and Summation, participate in e-discovery, and convert databases. They’re
typically responsible for supporting the day-to-day operation of litigation
applications, data manipulation, quality control, troubleshooting and working
with outside vendors.
— Dino Londis