The U.S. economy’s employment picture brightened last month, but the legal industry suffered its third straight month of job losses.

The monthly jobs report released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the legal sector shed 1,000 positions in December. On a positive note, the report shows that the legal industry’s job total is up by about 1,200 positions compared to December 2009. (In another minor bit of good news, the report revises the original November job loss figures for the legal sector down from 1,100 to 900. Click here and here, respectively, to see the November and October reports.)