The legal sector has lost 1,000 jobs in December, recording its third straight month of job losses, but overall, the sector has more jobs than a year ago, according to the data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The legal sector lost 1,000 jobs in December. In November, the sector lost 900 jobs, revised from an earlier figure that showed a loss of 1,100 jobs.

The sector last saw gains in September when 1,400 new jobs were created.

The figures are not surprising.

While according to a study by Northwestern University Law School, the legal sector has lost about 15,000 lawyers and legal-staff jobs at large firms in the United States since 2008, a a Wells Fargo consultant has warned that more job losses are expected in the sector as law firms are going to protect their profits in a challenging environment.

Jeffrey Grossman, national managing director for the bank's legal specialty group, told the Washington Post that he foresees more cuts as firms offer more alternative fees.

I still see an industry that has overcapacity and we suspect further challenges, further timekeeper cuts and possibly further staff cuts, Grossman said. The bottom line is that firms are going to protect their profitability.