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Advice for Law Students and Attorneys: Emphasize Labor and Employment


A. Harrison Barnes
The market for labor and employment attorneys is “hot” at the moment. People are losing their jobs at a record pace in the United States as layoffs and other economic downsizing starts taking effect. When people lose their jobs, many decide to sue their employers and this results in extra work. In addition, the new Obama regime is very likely to sign pending legislation that is extremely pro union. This pro union legislation will create even more work for labor and employment attorneys. Companies are already preparing for this legislation to be signed.

As an attorney seeking a job, you should go where forests are the greenest. You need to be where people want you. The demand I am seeing for labor and employment attorneys is very high.

When people talk about the legal market being poor, I know it is a gross generalization. Certain practice areas in the legal market are poor–the whole legal market is not poor. When you look at the economic performance of law firms in good and bad times, there really is never much difference– total revenue numbers are generally pretty stable. The reason for the stability of revenues is because work simply shifts between practice areas. Corporate work may grind to a standstill, while labor and employment work goes through the roof. I have seen this pattern for years.

If you are looking for a legal job in this market, I highly recommend you look closely at labor and employment.

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