Covid Effect

An analysis of law firm job postings confirms that the lateral hiring market is on pause. 

Recruiters subscribe to databases that track job postings on law firm websites; these databases track when positions are posted, if and when they are modified, and the precise date the positions are removed from law firm websites (“closed”).

From 2016 to 2019, an average of 730 postings closed nationally in the month of March, ranging from 661 postings in ’16 to 790 in ’19.  This March ('20), 1,857 postings closed, well over double the 4 year average. 

So how do we know these positions were closed due to fears and reality of Covid-19 / recession and not simply filled?  We don’t know for sure but examining the number of times that law firms closed multiple positions in a single day can be instructive.  Closing more than one position on the same day could be the result of administrative lag in removing filled searches from the website; but it could also be the result of internal decisions to pull back on hiring.  

In March ('20), law firms removed more than one position from their website on the same day 251 times; several law firms did this multiple times, perhaps starting with the positions with the least urgency/need and then progressively putting the brakes on more and more searches, as the crisis worsened.

Unfortunately, the removal of job postings confirms that the lateral hiring market is on pause, at least in the short-term.


Questions?  Please email Jordan at