As the economy restores, law firms are turning to contract employees to augment the influx of a newly invigorated workload. With conflicting market recovery reviews continuing to circulate, firms are tentative regarding direct hire decisions. In turn, they are increasingly utilizing the contractor market to bridge the gap as their confidence remains in an indeterminate state.
From support staff to experienced attorneys, firms are taking advantage of the highest caliber of contractors they have ever seen hit the market. For those involved in contractor hiring decisions, word to the wise: reaction time is critical. An over-confident “it’s an employers market” philosophy no longer applies--especially with contractors. While being sought after by numerous parties, these free agents are often offered multiple opportunities, including counter-offers. Not surprisingly, when a firm has an urgent need for a specific skill-set, you can bet its direct competitors will too. This is especially true for experienced paralegals and attorneys in specialized practice areas across the board.
Legal E's Executive Director of Contracts and Project Services, Janice James, has over 30 years experience on both sides of the desk as a former HR Director in a prominent DC law firm and as a seasoned legal recruiter. She has developed a stellar reputation in legal recruiting with a breadth of industry knowledge and integrity. Janice sees the contractor hiring trend building and becoming more competitive. “Within the last six months, I have seen tremendous growth in the needs of contract attorneys, paralegals and support staff. Firms are reacting to their pressing needs by using contractors (with serious consideration for direct-hire after a very short time) as the best way to get solid talent in the door and billing hours. The market seems to be in full swing again.”
Contract Staffing Consultant, Nancy Carpenter, who has over 10 years of in-house law firm experience as both a legal assistant and legal recruitment manager, conveys, “We work strategically to process a well-rounded group of contractors so we can meet any and all staffing challenges that come our way. Clients count on us to work expeditiously to vet out the best possible candidates from our large pool.” Always forward-thinking and innovative, Legal E's recruiting staff uses a highly sophisticated database system which offers Boolean search capabilities of over 12,000 local, legal-industry candidates. It is the secret to the agency's "needle-in-a-haystack" placement abilities.
Legal E's newest recruiting team member, Kristy Reese, who has had a successful career in New York AM LAW firms as a litigation paralegal, legal marketer and in professional development, is in full agreement with Nancy and observes, “I am impressed with the intricacy of the search process to make the best possible matches. Whether it is a large project or one specialized skill-set, Legal E always puts forth a highly-coordinated effort to reach the ideal candidates.”
Always having the client's best interest in mind, Legal E strives to be an "insight leader" of information pertaining to industry developments and employment trends. Knowing the market and remaining steadfast regarding the integrity of the process has always been the company's mission. As contractors see more and more opportunity in the market, the Legal E team remains extremely optimistic for the future. “It is validating when a contractor is invited to join a firm.” President and Founder, Jeanette Derby, concludes. “That is a good day’s work.”