Law Firm Hiring on the Rise in 2012 According to New Cowen Group Report

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The Cowen Group’s 2011 Salary and Talent Landscape Report: $200 million spent on eDiscovery and litigation technology professionals in 201

eDiscovery, Survey, Litigation Support

The Cowen Group Salary Study, now in its sixth year, surveyed executive leadership from a cross section of the AmLaw 200 to provide critical insight into the landscape of human capital investments and corresponding revenue generation trends at major firms

A select number of successful firms are doubling their eDiscovery and litigation technology revenue by making significant, strategic investments in people, process and technology.

AmLaw 200 firms are expecting to create and fill 375 new eDiscovery and litigation support positions in 2012 – generating an additional $42 million in compensation in the upcoming year, as noted in The Cowen Group’s 2011 Salary and Talent Landscape Report.

According to the survey, 57% of the market intends to hire additional staff in 2012.This excludes replacement hiring activity that is typical within the industry. In real terms, compensation numbers will likely be even higher, as nearly all firms anticipate modest salary increases in 2012 across all positions.

Firms are focusing on investing in highly billable, value-added legal and technology roles, such as eDiscovery coordinators and experienced project managers.

“A select number of successful firms are doubling their eDiscovery and litigation technology revenue by making significant, strategic investments in people, process and technology,” says David Cowen, president and founder of The Cowen Group. “What is significant for 2012 is the visibility of aggressive strategic hiring by sophisticated firms who better understand how to meet their clients’ expectations and have clarity on what it takes to run their litigation support department.”

The anticipated investments should pay off. Surveyed law firms did report modest profits in 2011 ($275 million in hourly revenue as compared to $200 million in salaries), but the survey notes, firms now anticipate a nearly 100% increase in revenue in 2012.

The survey also revealed that investments in established career paths, training, mentorships, and benefits will be almost as important in attracting and retaining professionals as base compensation. Additionally, well-thought out partnerships between firms and technology services providers will be increasingly prevalent, as qualified candidates become scarcer. “When a firm needs to hire three analysts, it will be competing with a firm who is spending over $1million in department salaries alone. That is going to knock a lot of department leaders out of the war for top talent,” said Cowen.

Considering The Cowen Group salary survey did not include the hiring plans of corporate legal teams or legal technology companies, the estimated 375 new jobs and $42 million dollars in compensation may be a very conservative prediction for 2012. “We were surprised by the continuing enormous demand for talent.” Cowen says.

The Cowen Group Salary Study, now in its sixth year, surveyed executive leadership from a cross section of the AmLaw 200 to provide critical insight into the landscape of human capital investments and corresponding revenue generation trends at major firms. Results of the annual salary survey can be found on The Cowen Group’s web site.

About The Cowen Group

The Cowen Group is the nation’s leading search firm specializing in staffing and recruiting for eDiscovery, Litigation Support and Legal Technology teams for Fortune 500 corporations and AmLaw 200 law firms. In addition to placing more than 350 technology professionals and attorneys in the past five years, The Cowen Group shares key industry and market trends generated through its multiple surveys and hosts over 50 executive peer micro-events nationally. The Cowen Group unparalleled insight into the trends and market forces that are shaping our industry.

Contact The Cowen Group Market Research team at (212) 661 0025 or surveys(at)cowengroup(dot)com
Media Contact: Maribel Rivera at (212) 661 0025 or maribel (at) cowengroup.com

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