Just before I passed the bar exam in 2009 I was clerking for attorney Gayle Mayfield-Venieris, principal of Mayfield and Associates in Solana Beach, California. Gayle, a top business law and litigation attorney, offered me a truism which ran something like this: “In good times, business transactions rise and litigation decreases; in hard times, the reverse is true.”

It simply makes sense: while money is flush, a business would prefer to spend its resources gathering and servicing clientele then throwing good money chasing after bad. On the other hand, where there is a lack of clients and business to go around, every piece of revenue must be protected, even if it means litigation to recoup losses.

Of course, there are niches which thrive on the reverse: When businesses falter or fail, there is certainly transactional work to be done selling of or dismantling those businesses. Nevertheless, I’m not surprised to have notices a gradual upswing in advertising for litigation paralegals.

Evidence for the increasing demand for litigation paralegals can be seen in the advertisements in the San Diego Daily Transcript, which I pulled off their website today and include for you below. I see this as the result of two factors: increasing litigation for litigation law firms; and the desire of firms to delegate more of their work to paralegals when possible, thus saving costs for the firm and increasing their margin on each piece of litigation.

Whatever the reason, it seems to be a boom time for paralegal jobs in litigation firms.

LIT PARALEGAL (Downtown San Diego)

San Diego office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard and Smith is seeking a full time litigation paralegal with 2-3 years of experience. Must have database experience and an aptitude for learning and using case automation such as Concordance, Summation, CaseMap, Access, Relativity, in addition to Livenote, Excel, WordPerfect and/or Word. Responsibilities include subpoenaing records, organizing and summarizing records, communicating with experts and coordination of depositions, end user searching skills for records in databases, and creating trial binders. Paralegal certificate required. Email resume to obrien@lbbslaw.com

Downtown litigation firm seeking paralegal with 5 plus years legal malpractice and/or complex litigation experience. Position requires a highly-organized, self-motivated individual with a certificate from an ABA accredited paralegal program. Mail, fax or email resume to Carol Madle, Wingert Grebing, 600 W. Broadway, 7th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101, 619-232-4665, cmadle@wingertlaw.com.

Downtown San Diego civil litigation firm seeks paralegal with 5+ yrs exp in commercial litigation for expanding practice. Working knowledge of complex litigation, trial preparation, & cases involving large docs req’d. Proficiency in Word, Excel, Power Point, & working knowledge of various database software (Concordance, Access & Summation). Excellent skills & Bachelor’s degree or ABA-approved paralegal certificate req’d. Fax resume to Hiring Partner, Morris Polich & Purdy LLP @ 619-557-0460 or e-mail to recruitment-sd@mpplaw.com.