James Heffner, real estate law and banking and financial law attorney with Danna McKitrick, P.C., was prominently featured recently in an article by the St. Louis Business Journal on the state of attorneys and available legal positions in the St. Louis area.
In “Out of Order: Too many lawyers chase too few jobs,” Heffner commented on several issues affecting the St. Louis legal community.
Prior to the recession which hit the area beginning in 2008, St. Louis law firms benefited from years of rising rates where, according to the Journal, “the client didn’t object or even question it. After all, the clients were charging their customers more, too.” However, after the recession hit, this trend ended, according to Heffner.
“Companies looked to cut costs, and that has been reflected in law firm hiring,” said James Heffner, partner at Danna McKitrick….
Even now, five years later, this hasn’t changed. In addition, while in the past companies were willing to pay for new attorneys to learn on-the-job, the cost-conscious client is no longer willing to bear this cost.
“The message is: ‘Don’t train lawyers on my dime,” Heffner said.
During this time of restraint, some law firms folded or merged. Others have used it as a time to add or grow practice areas. According to Heffner,
“We are actively looking to hire quality lawyers with a book of business or a certain expertise.”
And as for law students, Danna McKitrick has continued with its law clerk program.
“The quality of candidates has noticeably improved,” said [Heffner], a partner in charge of … law clerks at the Danna McKitrick firm.
Read the full article … St. Louis Business Journal