Showing a slight slowdown compared to the prior month, the legal services industry added just over 1,100 jobs in the month of October – accounting for the third consecutive month of overall growth.

The total number of legal jobs is currently 1,130,000, which is still 50,000 less than the 10-year high of 1,180,000 set in May 2007, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The latest seasonally adjusted figures also show that the sector added 3,100 jobs in August, 400 more than the government had estimated last month. Overall, the sector has added 6,600 jobs over the last 12 months.

As for the wider job market in the U.S., total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 204,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.3 percent, according to the BLS.

Throughout the past 12 months, the legal services sector has added an average of 500 jobs per month, so the continued increase in jobs could be a sign the sector is opening up again. Last October, the legal services industry added 1,000 jobs.

With the ongoing patent wars between hi-tech companies, the emphasis on IP and patents has never been greater, and businesses are realizing the value of strong IP lawyers.

Companies like Nokia, HTC, Google, Microsoft, Apple and other technology companies have been embroiled in patent litigation, facing off against each other and against non-practicing entities. Because of the millions of dollars at stake in these suits, companies are seeking out IP attorneys for in-house roles and as outside counsel as well.


For more stories about the legal jobs market, check out InsideCounsel’s coverage below:

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