E-Discovery Jobs Continue to Rise with Emphasis on Sophisticated Talent in Law Firms

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For third straight year, litigation support professionals receive good news for upcoming year from Cowen Group Industry salary survey

Legal Technology Recruiting, David Cowen

Since 1996, The Cowen Group has focused solely on legal technology recruiting and staffing

Law firms will have to make investments in talent with Relativity and predictive coding skillsets to keep up with the shift of talent to the vendor vertical

Optimism is the key word to emerge from The Cowen Group’s 7th Annual Litigation Support Salary Report, which was released today with important information for job candidates and employers alike.

The survey identified four critical trends in 2012 that will impact demand for talent in 2013:

  •     More law firms are anticipating adding talent

o    70% reported plans to hire in 2013 (up from 53% in 2012 and 60% in 2011)

  •     Salary growth is increasing. Firms were more likely to report raises of 5-7%, where in prior years raises were in the 3-4% range.
  •     Large firms with a strategic focus on providing eDiscovery services to their clients pay significantly more than mid-market firms. Moving to fill an urgent need at an established department can increase salaries by $15,000 to $50,000.
  •     Large firms with a less established eDiscovery service offering are recruiting Senior Attorneys and Partners to develop a market leading practice area with staff attorneys, internal Litigation Support teams, and a network of strategic partnerships.

The 2012 Salary Study surveyed more than 100 litigation support and eDiscovery professionals at 71 AmLaw 200 law firms about their 2012 compensation practices and any planned changes in 2013.

“Law firms will have to make investments in talent with Relativity and predictive coding skillsets to keep up with the shift of talent to the vendor vertical,” said David Cowen, founder and Managing Partner at The Cowen Group. “This also includes better training and career management for employees. Firms that make this investment will find themselves in stronger positions vis-à-vis vendor competitors.”

Law firms will begin to see shift in talent to vendor because of managed services.

Key drivers of 2013 hiring plans discovered through Cowen Group-sponsored thought leadership events include:

  •     Increased corporate control
  •     Heightened regulatory requirements
  •     Enforcement actions at State and Federal level
  •     Rise of managed services

What industries are driving hiring corporate eDiscovery growth? Those in financial, pharmaceutical and oil & gas industries are investing the most in experienced talent.

Additional trends revealed in the survey include:

Many law firms will choose to outsource pieces of their litigation support department in 2013 for following reasons:

  •     Shortage of experienced project managers and analysts
  •     Shift of talent to corporate positions
  •     The complexity of litigation support technology
  •     The massive volume and variety of data

High margin project managers and eDiscovery associates will rise, and we expect several new roles to be created in 2013. Basic project management experience is no longer enough – project managers in 2013 will need to be experienced, competent and savvy in both business and technology.

An additional key trend to watch is demand for eDiscovery practice group attorneys, counsel and associates. Although no hard data is available, the Cowen Group projects more than 25 new positions were created in 2012 – and the number of positions will double in 2013.

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 and has gained recognition as an internationally leading eDiscovery talent placement firm for 100 of the Fortune 500 corporations and 125 AmLaw 200 law firms.

Since 1996, The Cowen Group has focused solely on legal technology recruiting and staffing. As industry experts, The Cowen Group has exclusive access to jobs at elite organizations and knows where to find the top talent in the industry.

The Cowen Group is committed to serving the eDiscovery and legal technology community and fostering its growth by providing greater industry transparency to key issues. It accomplishes this through its access to its extensive network of professionals and executives and the sharing of information through its three key channels: talent placement, market intelligence and executive events.

Cowen Intelligence, a specialized unit focused on gathering, analyzing and sharing key industry and market trends and information since 2005 has published Annual Salary Survey’s for the Litigation Support and eDiscovery community, Quarterly Critical eDiscovery Trends Snapshots, and multiple topic-specific reports.

The company also launched Cowen Executive Events in 2009. This unit is focused on producing premier industry events that provide eDiscovery, Litigation Support and Legal Technology industry professionals with unprecedented networking and information sharing opportunities in key markets throughout the United States. To date, the executive events have included more than 900 professionals representing in-house legal departments, law firms and the legal technology vendor community.

Media Contact:
Maribel Rivera
Senior Director, Marketing & Operations
Maribel (at) CowenGroup.com
Office: (212) 661-0025
Mobile: (631) 796-4342

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