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Upstate lawyers optimistic about economy; 94% expect demand for services to rise

Leading upstate lawyers are more optimistic about this year's anticipated economic rebound than their New York City area counterparts, according to the latest findings of informal polls by the New York State Bar Association and its Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession.

Vincent E. Doyle III, a Buffalo lawyer who takes over as president of the 77,000-member state bar in June, and current President Stephen P. Younger of Manhattan reported that lawyers in both Western and Central New York found 2010 to be a year of economic recovery for their clients.

Doyle, who will become the state bar's 10th president from Buffalo, noted a "broad consensus" about an economic upturn expressed by 17 lawyers during an informal poll taken during the just-concluded meeting of the state bar's Young Task Force in Rochester.

Doyle said he was heartened by a similar straw poll of 21 managing partners of New York City law firms that showed about 90 percent of them expecting steady or increasing demand for legal services from business clients because of the improving overall economy.

On the same point, 94 percent of upstate lawyers expect steady or increasing demand for legal services this year, Doyle said.

And unlike managing partners surveyed in New York City, the majority of upstate law firm leaders said their clients don't have an issue with paying for the work of younger law firm associates, Doyle noted.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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