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Hot Areas in the Legal Job Market for 2015

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By Peter Clarke, JD on June 10, 2015 12:55 PM

It's about time the legal job market heard some good news. Reports over the past few years have focused on the fact that the market is over-saturated, wages aren't rising, et cetera, et cetera.

Finally, there's good news for legal professionals in 2015: hiring is picking up and salaries are expected to increase more quickly than last year. But what specific areas are growing? Here's a quick overview of some of the hottest areas in the legal profession right now:

The Most Job Opportunities Will Be in Litigation

According to the 2015 Robert Half Legal Salary Guide, law firms reported that the greatest number of new opportunities will be in litigation. More technology and cuts to paralegal jobs in recent years have prompted firms to rely more heavily on litigation support managers and related professionals. Compensation for litigation support managers may increase as much as 4.9% this year.

Jobs Related to Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act

Healthcare has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. Thanks in part to Obamacare, the healthcare job market has grown more quickly than at any time since 1991. This, in turn, means more work for legal professionals. According to the Robert Half report, both law firms and private companies can expect to see expansive workloads related to healthcare issues and the Affordable Care Act in 2015 and beyond.

Commercial Law and Contract Manager Jobs

The growing economy means a rise in business activities. Legal teams are gearing up for an increase in financial reporting, regulatory compliance, contract administration, and other commercial-law related tasks. Robert Half found that professionals in the field of contract management can anticipate a 5.1% increase in starting salaries this year.

Side Work for Lawyers

While growth in the legal field continues, Forbes notes that an increasing number of lawyers are performing legal work on the side (in addition to their main job). Side jobs in the law have more than doubled between 2001 and 2014. Although earnings are lower for side jobs than for salaried lawyer jobs, this is an important option for legal professionals.

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