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TORONTO, Feb. 8  - Partners or senior lawyers depart from every law
office at one time or another, yet most firms don't plan for this eventuality.
In a recent survey, 53 per cent of lawyers polled said their law firm or legal
department does not have a formal succession plan in place for key positions.
   The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a leading staffing service
specializing in lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and other highly skilled legal
professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes
responses from 300 lawyers among the 1,000 largest law firms and corporations
in the United States and Canada. All respondents have at least three years of
experience in the legal field.
   Lawyers were asked, "Does your law firm/corporate legal department
currently have a formal succession plan in place for key leaders and
managers?" Their responses:

                    Yes.......................... 41%
                    No........................... 53%
                    Don't know...................  6%
                                                 ----
                                                 100%

   "It's understandable that succession planning may sometimes take a back
seat to billable work or urgent legal matters, but law offices should not wait
until a leader departs to begin the process," said Charles Volkert, executive
director of Robert Half Legal. "Creating and implementing a succession plan is
not a quick task - it can take many years to identify and groom a lawyer for
an advanced leadership role."
   Volkert recommends that law offices begin by choosing high-potential
employees, providing them with ongoing mentoring and including them in
strategy discussions relating to the operation of the firm or department.
   "Succession candidates must be given ample opportunity to build their
skills and leadership abilities in practice management, new business
development, marketing, strategic planning and client service," Volkert said.

   About Robert Half Legal

   Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half
International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments
with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, law clerks, paralegals
and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half
Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.

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