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CHICAGO — A Chicago legal recruiting firm has seen so much demand from clients in the city for contract lawyers that it started a new business last month to provide the temporary attorney services. McCormack Schreiber Legal Search, a nine-year-old recruiting agency, launched the new business under the name McCormack Schreiber Legal Solutions because the company was getting so many requests for short-term lawyers on firm projects, said co-founder Amy McCormack said. More attorneys are interested in the jobs too, she said. “That’s beginning to really appeal not just as a stopgap measure but as a career choice,” said McCormack, who is also co-president and a recruiter. She is bidding this month for work in the Chicago office of a large New York firm, which has a $5 million budget for such lawyers, she said. Demand for contract lawyers has jumped over the past two years as legal parameters for electronic discovery have expanded and review of electronic documents has surged. Use of the attorneys is increasing, especially in Chicago and Washington, partly because of a “growing acceptance of contract lawyers,” said Jim Kosciolek, the owner of Legalpeople, a nationwide agency in the trade based in Chicago. Legalpeople has about 100 to 200 contract lawyers working in Chicago at any one time, said Kosciolek, who was imprecise for competitive reasons. The firm’s annual revenue and staff have doubled in size nationwide since 2004, he said. “As firms face increased cost pressures and retention challenges, the strategic use of contract lawyers can help resolve both of those issues,” Kosciolek said.

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