Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgOur recent Career Center survey asked about how the economy has affected the practice area choices of associates and law students.  A large majority – 80% – of law firm respondents indicated that they have not had to work outside their chosen practice area to meet their hours.

Of the 20% of law firm respondents who have had to work in practice areas other than their own, more than two-thirds of them have picked up litigation work and almost half of them have billed hours to bankruptcy matters.  Almost half of law student respondents indicated that their practice area choices have been affected by market conditions, with litigation the new top choice among law students.

Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link for more on which firms are leaders in the practice areas you are interested in.

Full survey results, after the jump.

The majority of law firm respondents indicated that they have not had to work outside of their chosen practice area to meet their hours:

  • 79% of respondents said that they have not had to work outside of their chosen practice area to meet their hours.
  • 21% of respondents said that they have had to work outside of their chosen practice area to meet their hours.

Chosen practice areas of law firm respondents:

  • 56% corporate
  • 31% litigation
  • 7% employment
  • 4% real estate
  • 2% tax

Of those law firm respondents working in practice areas other than their chosen one to meet hours, the practice areas they are working in are (percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents may be working in more than one alternate practice area):

  • 68% litigation
  • 45% bankruptcy
  • 30% corporate
  • 18% employment
  • 15% real estate
  • 12% tax
  • 10% trusts and estates

Almost half of law student respondents indicated that their practice area choices have been affected by market conditions:

  • 46% of law student respondents said that their practice area choices have been affected by market conditions
  • 54% of respondents said that their practice area choices have not been affected by market conditions.

Original practice area interests of law student respondents:

  • 46% corporate
  • 23% litigation
  • 18% real estate
  • 4% bankruptcy
  • 3% employment
  • 3% tax
  • 2% trusts and estates

Of those law student respondents whose practice area interests have shifted because of market conditions, the practice areas they are now interested in are (percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents may be interested in more than one alternate practice area):

  • 67% litigation
  • 47% corporate
  • 40% bankruptcy
  • 29% employment
  • 27% real estate
  • 22% trusts and estates
  • 19% tax

As always, we encourage to send information about your law firm experience to [email protected].