Talent in Arizona Law Firms

Arizona law firms have struggled to recruit enough talent in recent years. This occurrence has come to a head recently with the Phoenix Business Journal referring to it as a “talent tug of war.” Fortunately, firms have been taking steps to overcome this challenge. 



Reasons for the Talent Struggle


The struggle to find sufficient talent for Arizona law firms is not a recent issue, but it definitely increased during the pandemic. Many practices became busier and others seized the opportunity to expand.

James Goodnow, Fennemore’s CEO, described it as “one of the biggest talent wars in recent memory.” According to him, there is a rise in “deal-flow” as well as “an uptick in litigation matters.” This has led to an extremely high demand for legal professionals.



What Firms Are Doing to Recruit Talent


Every law firm has taken a slightly different approach to overcoming the competition for talent. As Goodnow describes, “We’ve seen lots of firms throwing around money in an effort to make people move.” 

Other firms have taken advantage of remote work to expand their pool of candidates. With the ability to work remotely, law firms can recruit from outside of Arizona. 



The Supreme Court and UArizona Are Also Helping


In December, the Supreme Court and a new program from UArizona also announced a plan to help with the talent shortage. The Arizona Supreme Court approved the UArizona’s new pathways program that lets students become licensed legal paraprofessionals. This program is available to those earning either a bachelor’s or master’s in law. 

This new pathways program combines with new Task Force for Legal Services Delivery recommendations that legal paraprofessionals can provide advocacy and legal counsel in limited situations. That combination of factors should hopefully reduce the demand for lawyers and overall talent. 





Law firms in Arizona are struggling to recruit talent in a highly competitive market. Some firms are offering higher salaries or expanding remote work options. A new pathways program from UArizona should also increase the supply of legal paraprofessionals, somewhat reducing the unfilled demand.