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Survey: Nearly One-Quarter of Lawyers Would Start Their Own Law Firm

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hanging out a shingle has become more attractive to lawyers, a new survey shows. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of lawyers interviewed by Robert Half Legal said they would establish a law firm if they had the necessary capital. These results represent an 18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in 2005, when just five percent of lawyers said they would open their own law office. Seventy-six percent of lawyers recently polled said they are not interested in starting a solo practice.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting solutions firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 350 telephone interviews with lawyers in the United States and Canada: 175 of the respondents are employed at law firms with 20 or more employees and 175 are employed at companies with 1,000 or more employees.

Lawyers were asked, "If you had the necessary capital, would you start your own law firm?" Their responses:










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*Total does not equal 100 percent due to rounding.

"Cloud computing platforms and mobile devices have made it easier to start an individual law practice with less capital investment – all you really need is a fully loaded laptop, a phone, an internet connection and a workspace," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "As the barriers to entry have been reduced, more people may be tempted to go into business for themselves, especially if they aren't feeling satisfied at their current company or law firm."

But Volkert cautioned, "Just because you can go solo doesn't mean you should. It takes an entrepreneurial mindset and a significant amount of time to develop a market presence and cultivate client relationships. It also means rolling up your sleeves to tackle administrative tasks, such as billing and calendaring, in addition to practicing law."

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal provides a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. The company offers in-demand expertise across practice areas as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. More information about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions can be found at


SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Lisa Hamilton, (650) 234-6234,