September 29, 2023

A Day in the Working Life

Professional Services

Mike Vogel | 2/26/2016

» $56.52 billion
» 6.7%
of Florida’s GDP
» GDP rank:
No. 6

» Employment: 750,421
» 6.88%
of total employment
» Employment rank:

The category includes law, accounting, bookkeeping, architecture, engineering, computer services, vets, advertising services and consulting .

William R. Trueba Jr.
» Attorney, Espinosa Trueba Martinez

Lucrative Niche

In the professional, scientific and technical sector of Florida’s economy, lawyers eclipse all others in sheer numbers. And within the law, specialty areas are seeing some of the fastest growth. According to the Florida Bar, the number of board-certified intellectual property lawyers in Florida has increased 70% since 2008.

William R. Trueba Jr. And his partner Jorge Espinosa founded their Miami intellectual property fi rm in 2008 and last year added another fi rm’s legal team to form Espinosa Trueba Martinez, which has nine attorneys and eight support staff. “I think it’s definitely a good time to be in intellectual property,” Trueba says. “More and more people see the value in protecting intellectual property rights. More and more companies are requiring employees to sign agreements that protect the companies from taking stuff if they leave or change employment.”

IP lawyers generally are paid by the hour for litigation work and at more than general commercial case rates. Registration work tends to be done at a fl at rate “because clients are demanding it, frankly,” Trueba says.

13.7% — Growth in number of lawyers by 2023
$47.55 — Average median hourly wage
21.8% — Growth in the number of paralegals by 2023, though the total number of jobs created is lower
$22.73 — Average wage

Joy Fledelius
» Assistant Paralegal, Gunster

Paralegal Ladder

A longstanding trend in the law has been the decline in support positions relative to attorneys. However, the number of jobs for paralegals is forecasted to grow faster than that for attorneys.

After four years in the U.S. Air Force in meteorology, Palm Beach County native Joy Fledelius came home and used the GI Bill to get her associate’s degree in paralegal studies from Palm Beach State College in 2005 and her certificate to be a paralegal the following year. “Just thought I’d give legal a try. I liked solving problems. Liked research. Loved books,” she says. While in school, she took a temp job at West Palm Beach firm Gunster in its law library. Now 38, she’s an assistant paralegal in the firm’s corporate department, works an eight-hour day that begins at 7:15 a.m. and hopes to become a fullfledged corporate paralegal. Paralegals on average in Florida make nearly $23 per hour.

Scott Schneider
» Director of Business Advisory Services, Kaufman Rossin

Improving Efficiency

South Florida native Scott Schneider, 39, director of business advisory services at Miami-based Kaufman Rossin, has been an interim controller and interim CFO. He’s helped companies improve efficiency, reduce expenses and conduct other performance improvements. “On New Year’s Eve, I get a text from a client, ‘Happy New Year and thank you and I sincerely mean it,’” he recalls. He looks forward to many similar sentiments from happy clients. “We work together. I’m always on my toes thinking.” And Schneider happens to work in the fastest-growing area of accounting, consulting and business advisory services.

14. 1% — Projected growth in accounting and auditing jobs in Florida by 2023, 21st in the state amid occupation creation

$29.72 — Average median hourly wage

11. 5% — Growth in the number of engineer jobs projected in the next eight years

8. 9% — Growth in the number of jobs in professional, scientific and technical services by 2023

Tags: Business Services, Economic Sectors, A Day in the Working Life

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