Has the US legal market turned the corner? Demand for legal services rose for the first time in more than two years, according to the latest Peer Monitor Index report from Hildebrandt Baker Robbins. PMI rose three points in the fourth quarter of 2010 to a reading of 55. The PMI has now resumed the gradual upward trend that began in early 2009.

The gain in PMI was attributed to a slight rise in demand in the fourth quarter, coupled with a small increase in rates. Continued tight cost controls and restraint in adding new lawyers boosted both productivity and firm profitability.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.