While the nation’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.7 percent in March, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the legal sector suffered a setback by losing 500 jobs during that period.

The monthly job loss figure is especially striking given that the latest BLS report also shows that, rather than the modest 100-job drop originally reported for February, the sector actually gained 700 jobs that month. That was a dramatic improvement over previous months, when the industry hemorrhaged thousands of jobs. Since March 2009, roughly 31,300 jobs all told have been lost in the legal sector. (Click here, here, here, and here for legal jobs numbers from January, December, November and October.)

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