January’s Carnage:1,487 Law Layoffs

As 2009 began, so did news of a growing tsunami of attorney layoffs being made at many BigLaw firms—not to mention London’s magic circle, in-house legal departments and midsize law partnerships. The Law Shucks blog listed a total of 1,381 layoffs reportedly being pursued by law firms based in theU.S.and abroad during January, in a chart on its Layoff Tracker page. (This figure included both attorneys and staff.) By the end of the day, the layoffs total had been increased to 1,487, after Ropes & Gray announced that it is letting 106 staff members go

The latest wave followed hundreds of lawyer layoffs announced last year, but the pace of the attorney axings seems to be picking up: It appears that at least 500 attorneys have been let go by major legal employers this month, according to news reports, and additional layoffs may have been made without attracting media attention.

ABA JOURNAL 29TH JAN 2009 By Martha Neil

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