Friday, February 13, 2009

My, My, My, Bloody Valentine

One would normally associate Valentine's day with love, and pink and that touchy, feely fuzzy stuff. For nearly 800 lawyers and legal staff around the country, Valentine's Day has another pink connotation--pink slips. the ABA has a couple of stories, here and here.

Six well-known law firms have announced attorney layoffs: Bryan Cave; Dechert; DLA Piper; Faegre & Benson; Goodwin Procter; and Holland & Knight. And significant staff layoffs may have been made at a seventh, although no official announcement has been made, according to Above the Law.

Additional cost-cutting measures, including a pay freeze, a pay cut and postponing the start date for incoming associates were also announced today by several law firms.

Citing the "deteriorating economic environment," megafirm DLA Piper tells the ABA Journal that it is reducing its U.S. roster by approximately 80 associates and 100 staff. "While we had hoped for a rebound in economic activity, we believe that a major improvement in 2009 is increasingly unlikely," according to the firm, which also implied that these layoffs will be the last for the foreseeable future.

After the DLA Piper news came word that Bryan Cave is eliminating 58 attorneys and 76 staff, that Holland & Knight is "restructuring" and laying off approximately 70 lawyers and 173 staff, and, via ATL, that Faegre & Benson is cutting 29 attorneys and has offered a "voluntary separation package" to an unknown number of staff.
and when that was not enough:
Epstein Becker & Green and Cozen O’Connor have confirmed layoffs, bringing to eight the number of well-known law firms that cut people yesterday. In all, 480 staffers and 317 lawyers were laid off—or a total of 797 jobs lost in one day.
Oh, it gets worse, more layoffs are expected.

I am now pretty happy that I am at a small firm and business is good for us.

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