As corporate and real estate work began to dry up during the recession, many young associates were forced to turn their attention to other practice areas, leaving a dearth of young transactional lawyers now that firms are looking to hire them again, according to firm leaders and legal recruiters.

“We just went through a search to hire somebody and it was difficult to find a candidate,” said Maury B. Reiter, managing principal of Blue Bell-based Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein.

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