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N ot so long ago, when the nation was awash in optimism and initial public offerings, it was hard to tell who was having the better year: the law firms or the talent brokers that supplied them with lawyers. Now, it’s difficult to determine which of the two is hurting less.

It’s a tough time to be a legal headhunter. The economic recession that has shaken so many Bay Area law firms is taking a toll on recruiters as well. With a glut of unemployed attorneys on the market and slackening demand for them, headhunters find themselves in a tenuous role. To make it through this dry season, many headhunters are widening their net in search of new ways to bring in money.

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