Litigation Technology, eDiscovery Hiring Boom Salary Study Shows

More than 200 eDiscovery and litigation technology professionals will be hired by AmLaw200 firms over the next six months, according to The Cowen Group’s 2010 Salary Study.

New litigation and resumed work on previously stalled litigation is driving the next wave of litigation support and eDiscovery hiring,” said David Cowen, president and founder of New York City-based The Cowen Group. “The demand for talent is surging and law firms, corporations and legal technology vendors need to prepare for this increase in demand.”

A dearth of qualified candidates means competition for experienced professionals is going to heat up. Increased competition typically leads to higher salaries as firms look to recruit new staff and retain their professionals, Cowen said. In 2011, a surge in the number of new positions at firms, corporations, and vendors coupled with a shortage of qualified professionals will drive salaries upward.

Experienced professionals will command higher salaries as lateral moves become less frequent and more strategic. Vendors will continue to be the venue in which talent is developed, and many hiring managers will turn to their ranks first when seeking experienced candidates. As always, marquee firms will have the gravitas, career paths, and budgets to attract the best talent in the industry. Those seeking to move to a top-tier firm should plan on building experience at a mid-level firm, top vendor, or possibly a major corporation—without that pedigree, candidates for those positions are simply not as competitive.

Mid-sized and smaller law firms may find it challenging to recruit qualified candidates if they cannot match the salaries offered by top-tier law firms. This will likely lead to the development or strengthening of strategic partnerships with litigation support and technology companies, Cowen said.

The 205 new jobs we identified in the salary survey might be very conservative as the survey was taken by AmLaw 200 firms and does not include the hiring plans of corporate legal teams or legal technology companies,” Cowen said. “Human resource professionals and hiring managers will need to know what the average base salaries are at various levels in order to attract and retain the brightest technology professionals.”

The Cowen Group Salary Study, now in its fifth year, surveyed more than 400 litigation support and eDiscovery professionals at 100 major law firms to provide critical insight into industry compensation trends. Results of the annual salary study are available for free and can be found on The Cowen Group’s web site.

About The Cowen Group

The Cowen Group provides premier recruiting and staffing services to litigation support, electronic discovery, and legal technology departments at AmLaw 200 Firms, Fortune 500 companies, and leading legal service vendors. Since 2005, The Cowen Group has placed more than 350 eDiscovery and litigation support professionals and attorneys, in addition to providing management consulting and advisory services.

Contact David Cowen at (212) 661 0025 or david@cowengroup.com

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