Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Law Firms Lay Off Record Number of Attorneys

The National Law Journal and Law.com have recently reported record attorney layoffs. Washington took the brunt of the layoffs with 149 D.C. staff at Hogan & Hartson offered buyouts and dozens more attorneys and staff at Holland & Knight, Dechert, Bryan Cave, and DLA Piper let go. Almost 250 lawyers and staff in Washington were affected. The poor economy has required downsizing of firms all over the U.S. to keep them in the black. Here's a list of firms that have reported layoffs as of February 17, 2009:

Akin Gump
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll
Bell Boyd & Lloyd
Bingham Mccutchen
Blank Rome
Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels
Bryan Cave
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
Cahill Gordon
Clifford Chance
Cooley Godward
Dewey & Leboeuf
Dickstein Shapiro
DLA Piper
Drinker Biddle & Reath
Duane Morris
Epstein Becker
Faegre & Benson
Fenwick & West
Fish & Richardson
Foley Hoag
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
Goodwin Procter
Heller Ehrman
Hogan & Hartson
Holland & Knight
Hunton & Williams
Jenner & Block
Katten Muchin Rosenman
Kaye Scholer
Kirkland & Ellis
Loeb & Loeb
Luce Forward
Mayer Brown
McDermott Will
McKee Nelson
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy
Moore & Van Allen
Morgan & Finnegan
Morrison & Foerster
Nixon Peabody
O'Melveny & Myers
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Patton Boggs
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Powell Goldstein
Proskauer Rose
Reed Smith
Ropes & Gray
Seyfarth Shaw
Shutts & Bowen
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
Synnestvedt & Lechner
Taylor Wessing
Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner
White & Case
Wilson Sonsini
Wolf Block

Unfortunately, there will probably be more. The question is whether there is anything to be learned from the huge salaries to first year associates and the billable hour pressures to keep the doors open. Perhaps a new model for law firms will arise out of the rubble when the economy recovers that better aligns outside attorneys with their clients.

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